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Rbreb13

M$ Word Tips and Tricks

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Four ways to select a block of text

1. Use the mouse. Just click and drag the mouse to select text.

2. Use [shift] plus the arrow keys. Hold down [shift] and press an arrow key to select text in the desired direction. To select a word at a time, press [Ctrl][shift] and the left or right arrow key.

3. Use the mouse with the [shift] key. Move the mouse pointer away from the cursor position, hold down [shift] and click to select all the text between the cursor and the place where you clicked.

4. Frustrated when you try to select text with the mouse past the bottom of the currently visible page and Word leaps past what you want to select? Those are the times to use [shift] plus the down arrow key instead of the mouse.

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Generating Dummy Text in Word

Every so often I need a document filled with any kind of text to test a macro or a formatting technique or to show someone how to use a particular feature. On my system, I've created an AutoText entry that lets me fill pages simply by inserting the entry. But this doesn't help when I'm working on someone else's system. I've heard that Microsoft Word has an easy way to fill pages with dummy text, but I haven't been able to track down the details.

The feature you're looking for generates as much text as you ask for, printing the sentence The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog as many times as you need. To generate the text, simply open a new blank document and type the command =rand(p,s), where p is the number of paragraphs you want and s is the number of sentences per paragraph. Then press Enter, and Word will create the text. (For this to work, the autocorrect while typing option must be active. Choose Tools | Autocorrect, and make sure the Replace Text As You Type check box is checked.)

This technique will work anywhere in a document as long as you enter the string so that the equals sign is the first text character in a paragraph. For example, suppose you want to create a quick and dirty table to experiment with anywhere in your document. For a three-column table, first enter the command =rand(3,1), which creates three paragraphs containing one sentence each.

Next, select the three paragraphs and choose Table | Convert | Text to Table. Set the number of columns to 3, make sure the conversion is set to separate text at paragraphs, and choose OK. This will produce a one-row, three-cell table with text in each cell and the row selected. Copy the selected text and create as many rows as you need by pasting them in.

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Grow font, shrink font

Here are three quick ways to change the size of selected text: Use the Format dialog box. Use the Font button on the Formatting toolbar, or use the Grow Font and Shrink Font shortcuts, which are [Ctrl] plus the open- and close- square bracket characters, respectively.

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Hiding Word's Recently Used Files

Most of the time, I like having the list of recently used files on Word 2002's File menu, but there are times I don't want others to see the names of the files I've been working on. Is there an easy way to delete the list without turning the feature off?

Choose Tools | Options and then the General tab, remove the check from the Recently Used File List check box, and choose OK. Go through the same steps to turn the feature back on. Any file names previously on the File menu will no longer show.

To remove the names from the Start menu's Documents list as well, right-click on the taskbar and choose Properties. Depending on your version of Windows, choose the Start Menu, Start Menu Programs, or Advanced tab, and choose the Clear button (if you see one) or choose the Customize button and then the Clear button.

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Insert and format symbols

For instant access to thousands of special symbols, like foreign characters and wild and crazy icons, open the Insert menu, choose Symbol, and look through the selections available with different fonts and subsets of fonts. After you insert a special character or symbol, you can then select it and use [Grow Font] and [shrink Font] on it!

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Instant AutoCorrect

Right-click on a word that's flagged as misspelled. If a correct suggestion appears on the shortcut menu, choose it from the AutoCorrect submenu to create an AutoCorrect entry.

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Jump quickly between documents

If you work with a lot of open, overlapping documents, here's a quick way to cycle between them: Press [Ctrl][F6] to jump from one to the next; [Ctrl][shift][F6] will jump you backward.

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Keep Tracked Changes

We often split up long files to edit them in Microsoft Word's revisions mode. When we're ready to put a document back together for a final review, we start with the first segment and add the others back in. But we haven't found a way to put the pieces back together without either losing revisions altogether or winding up with everything in every section after the first marked as a revision. Is there a way to rebuild the document and keep the individual revisions?

The solution to this problem is surprisingly simple. Open the first document, turn off Track Changes, use the Insert | File command to insert each of the other documents, and then turn Track Changes back on for further editing. The first step—turning off Track Changes—is the key. Unless you turn the feature off, anything you insert into the file will be treated as a change and marked as such.

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Learn to use Undo

Make a mistake? Press [Ctrl]Z or choose Undo from the Edit menu right away. Keep pressing [Ctrl]Z to backtrack through and undo the most recent editing changes you've made.

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Limit your shifts

If your work involves a lot of typing, each keystroke you save helps you work more efficiently. Here's a tip that can help you virtually eliminate the need to perform the simple act of pressing the [shift] key to capitalize the first letter of a sentence, depending on the kind of text you type.

Here's how it works:

1. Go to Tools | AutoCorrect and click the AutoCorrect tab.

2. Click the check boxes for the options Capitalize First Letter Of Sentences and Capitalize Names Of Days.

With these options activated, you don't have to press [shift] to capitalize the first letter of a sentence. After you type a period or a question mark to finish one sentence and type the first word of the next sentence, Word will automatically capitalize the first letter of that word.

In addition, with the Capitalize First Letter Of Sentences option enabled, you can type the singular or plural form of any day of the week (e.g., Friday or Fridays) and Word will automatically initial cap each instance.

While you're in the AutoCorrect menu, go ahead and create your own AutoCorrect entries for the months of the year. For example, in the Replace field, type january, then type January in the With field. Click Add to include this change in the list. Click OK to save and close.

How does Word know when the period you've typed is used in an abbreviation and not at the end of a sentence? Also under AutoCorrect, click the Exceptions button to display a list of common abbreviations that require periods. Word won't automatically change the capitalization of a word that follows any abbreviation in this list.

You'll want to make sure that common abbreviations like Dr., Mr., Ms., and Mrs. aren't included in the Exceptions list so that Word will initial cap the names that follow them.

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Line Pointers

Have you ever needed to draw directions on top of a map graphic? There are a couple of ways to do this with Word, but one in particular will give you a clean, uninterrupted line.

First, display the Drawing toolbar, click either the Line or Arrow tool, then click and drag to draw the first segment of the journey. Next, rather than using multiple line objects to draw the rest of your path, simply expand this first line by right-clicking on the line and choosing Edit Points. Now when you mouse over the line object, the cursor will change to a crosshair with a circle in the middle. Click on the line and drag in any direction to bend the line in a new angle.

If you want to add a new segment, right-click on the line and choose Add Point. When you do, Word will add a new bending point to the line object. Then you can click and drag on that point to create yet another segment, and you're guaranteed that all of the individual segments will be connected in an uninterrupted fashion.

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Link documents

When you go to Insert | File, Word lets you navigate to a folder, select a file, and insert it into the current document. The result is a static copy, since the inserted text won't change unless you edit it. In most situations, this is probably the result you want, but in other cases you may want to insert a dynamic copy of a document instead--one that stays linked to the external file.

An inserted link is a Word field, which means that when you select it and press [F9], the link displays the most current version of the external file. For instance, suppose your company prints a standard disclaimer at the end of all business correspondence. If the text of that disclaimer is subject to frequent revisions, you might want to link to the disclaimer's source file.

Go to Insert | File and navigate to the file to which you want to link. Click the file once to select it, click the drop-down arrow on the Insert File dialog box's Insert button, and choose Insert As Link. When you do, Word inserts a field in the form:

{INCLUDETEXT "<drive>:\\<path>\\disclaimer.doc"}

If you see this Word field instead of the text, press [Alt][F9] to toggle field codes.

Next, open the external file (disclaimer.doc in our example), make a change to the text, and save and close that document window. Return to the document where you inserted the link, select the linked text, and press [F9] to update. When you update, changes made to the external file will show up in the linked text.

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Link to another file in your document

When you go to Insert | File, Word lets you navigate to a folder, select a file, and insert it into the current document. The result is a static copy--the inserted text won't change unless you edit it. In most situations, this is probably the result you want. But in other cases, you may want to insert a dynamic copy of a document instead--one that stays linked to the external file.

An inserted link is a Word field, which means that when you select it and press [F9], the link displays the most current version of the external file. For instance, suppose your company prints a standard disclaimer at the end of all business correspondence. If the text of that disclaimer is subject to frequent revisions, you might want to link to the disclaimer's source file.

Go to Insert | File, and navigate to the file you want to link to. Select the file, click the drop-down arrow on the Insert File dialog box's Insert button, and choose Insert As Link. When you do, Word inserts a field in the following form:

{INCLUDETEXT "<drive>:\\<path>\\disclaimer.doc"}

If you see this Word field instead of the text, press [Alt][F9] to toggle field codes.

Next, open the external file (in our example, disclaimer.doc), make a change to the text, and save and close that document window. Return to the document where you inserted the link, select the linked text, and press [F9] to update. When you do, changes made to the external file will show up in the linked text.

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Mail merge testing

Have you ever wished you could customize the contents of a merge letter based on the values stored in a merge field? You can do just that with the If...Then...Else... merge field.

Let's say that in your monthly statement to your customers, you want to show the number of transactions for the month, a number that is stored in your data source in a field called TransCount. If the value in TransCount is 1, you want to print "1 transaction." If the value in TransCount is 0 or greater than 1, you want to make the word "transaction" plural, as in "0 transactions" or "22 transactions."

Here's how to do that:

1. Go to Tools | Mail Merge and edit your main document.

2. On the Mail Merge toolbar, click the Insert Merge Field button, and select TransCount.

3. Press the spacebar after the <<TransCount>> field and type "transaction" in the main document.

4. Click the Insert Word Field button and choose If...Then...Else....

5. Select TransCount in the Field Name dropdown list, choose Equal To in the Comparison dropdown list, and type 1 in the Compare To field. (Leave the Insert This Text field blank.)

6. In the last field, Otherwise Insert This Text, enter the letter "s" and click OK.

Now, when you run your mail merge, the If...Then...Else... field will return nothing when the value in TransCount is 1, so the phrase in the merge document will appear as "1 transaction." In all other cases, the field will return the letter "s" which turns "transaction" into "transactions."

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Make friends with the right mouse button

Don't be afraid to right-click on a block of text or a table cell. The shortcut menu offers immediate access to some handy formatting options.

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Make style changes to similarly formatted noncontiguous text

Before Word 2002, if you wanted to change the format of 10 chapter headings scattered throughout your document, you would have to find and change each one individually. Using Word 2002's Select Text With Similar Formatting feature, you can select and change them all at once.

For example, to change all chapter headings in Heading 1 style to blue, follow these steps:

1. Right-click one chapter heading.

2. Click Select Text With Similar Formatting from the shortcut menu.

3. On the Formatting toolbar, click the Font Color drop-down list and select blue.

To change headings from Heading 1 style to another style, follow the procedure above, but in Step 3 hold down [shift] and click the Formatting toolbar's Style drop-down list and choose a new style.

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Managing versions

Some Word users mistakenly assume that the only way to store multiple versions of a document is by going to File | Save As and saving separate copies of the file. Manually saving different versions of a file works well enough, as long as you don't lose, accidentally delete, or overwrite any of the document copies.

Word offers a way to track different versions of your document that makes it almost impossible to lose the old versions.

To use this method, go to File | Versions and click the Save Now button. When you do, the Save Version dialog box will appear. In the Comments On Version field, type notes to yourself or to future reviewers regarding this version--such as why you're saving it or what is significant about it compared to other versions--then click OK.

If you haven't previously saved the file, Word will prompt you to save the document. You can repeat that process for as many versions of the document as you like.

When you need to review an earlier version of the document, go to File | Versions. In the Existing Versions section, you'll now see a row corresponding to each version of the document that has been saved. That information includes the date and time when each version was saved, the user ID of the person who saved the version, and the first few characters of the comments. Click the View Comments button to see all of the comments entered.

When you double-click on any of the versions listed in the Existing Versions section of the Versions dialog box, Word opens a brand-new window and shows you the document as it appeared when that version was saved. You can make changes to this version of the document, but if you try to save the file, Word will force you to give the file a new name.

The only way to delete a version from a document is to go to File | Versions, select the version, and press [Delete].

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Marker display

Work with paragraph markers and tabs displayed. Simply click the Show/Hide button on the Standard toolbar. Displaying those normally hidden characters helps you avoid inadvertently deleting objects or changing formatting; it also helps you figure out funky alignment and extra white space problems.

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Match bullets and numbers to the rest of the text

When working with bulleted or numbered text, you might find that the numeral or bullet font format doesn't match the format of the rest of the text.

For example, in a document that contains numbered text, you might find that when you change the format of a page or section within the document, the numbers retain the old format although the text assumes the new one.

If this happens in your document, follow these steps to make the numbers or bullets match the text format:

1. Select the numbered or bulleted text.

2. Go to Format | Bullets And Numbering.

3. In the Bullets And Numbering dialog box, click Customize.

4. In the Customize dialog box, click the Font button, and make the necessary changes so the font will match the text.

5. Click OK to return to the Customize dialog box, and click OK again to close the dialog box.

Your numbers and bullets should now match the surrounding text.

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Modify styles in existing documents

You can use Word's Modify Style dialog box to automatically change the format of any style already applied to a document. For example, suppose you've applied the Heading 1 style to a document and decide that you want to change the font size from 16 to 14.

To access the Modify Style dialog box in Word 2000, go to Format | Style, select the Heading 1 style from the Style list, and click Modify to open the Modify Style dialog box. Make your changes, and click OK. Word applies the change to all text formatted as Heading 1 in the active document.

To change styles in Word 2002, go to Format | Styles And Formatting. Right-click the Heading 1 style in the task pane, and click Modify. Make your changes, and click OK.

These methods automatically apply the changes to every occurrence of the style in the active document. To make the change available to other documents, select the Add To Template check box in the Modify Style dialog box. This applies the change to any new documents based on that template.

To apply the change to an existing document based on the template, open the document, and go to Tools | Templates And Add-Ins. Select the Automatically Update Documents Styles check box, and click OK.

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Move paragraphs without cutting

Cutting and pasting text can cause headaches for inexperienced Word users. Consider what happens if you cut a block of text and then get distracted and forget to paste the text before closing the document. That text may be lost forever, unless you've saved a backup copy of your document.

To avoid the possibility of cutting and losing text, Word 2000 offers a "no-cut" method for moving text within a document: Go to View | Outline to display the Outlining toolbar. (It doesn't matter whether the document contains any heading-level styles.)

The Outline view lets you manipulate text without cutting and pasting. Just click anywhere in a given paragraph, then click the Outlining toolbar's Move Up or Move Down buttons. Word moves the current paragraph up or down within the document. To exit the Outline mode, go to View and choose Normal, Web Layout, or Print Layout.

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Navigate documents with a map

If you use Word 2000 to maintain long documents, such as legal opinion memos or technical manuals, using the document map is a better way for getting around quickly than using [Page Down] or [Page Up].

To display the map, go to View | Document Map. Word adds a list of links to the major sections in your document to the left side of the document window. Click a section link to move instantly to any section in the document.

Within the document map you can also click a plus sign [+] or minus sign [-] to expand or collapse a section. Right-click the document map to display options for customizing how many levels appear.

By default, the document map looks for and displays text formatted with Word's heading styles, such as Heading 1, Heading 2, and Heading 3. If you would like to use a document map but don't want to use heading styles, you can make any existing style appear on the document map without changing its appearance in the document; just add a level to that style's definition.

Here's how:

1. Go to Format | Style, select the name in the Styles list, and click Modify.

2. Click Format and choose Paragraph.

3. On the Indents And Spacing tab, click the Outline Level drop-down list, and choose Level 1 or Level 2.

4. Click OK to save your changes.

Text formatted with the style you specified now appears on the document map.

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Numbering anywhere

Word's autonumbering feature automatically numbers paragraphs, but it does so on the left margin. If you want to put sequential numbers anywhere in your text, there's an easy workaround: Go to Insert | Field, and with All Category selected, choose AutoNum from the Field Names list, and then click OK.

With this approach, you can insert the AutoNum field anywhere in your document, including in the middle of a line. You can also indent the AutoNum field simply by pressing [Tab] in front of it.

Unlike the numbers generated by the Bullets And Numbering feature, you can select the way AutoNum displays numbers and format them directly. To change the AutoNum format, go to Insert | Field, select AutoNum from the list, click the Options button, and choose between numbers, letters, or Roman numerals.

Note: The AutoNum field changes its value based on its location relative to previous AutoNum fields, which means that if you insert two or more AutoNum fields within the same paragraph, those fields will display the same number. Also, if you insert an AutoNum field above existing entries, Word will automatically update the AutoNum fields that follow the new field.

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Open menus and select commands from the keyboard

Press [Alt] plus the letter that's underlined to open a menu such as File, Edit, View, and so on. Once a menu is open, you don't need to press [Alt] to select a command; just press the underlined letter of the command you want to select. Here are some common examples: Quick print preview: [Alt]F,V. Quick save as: [Alt]F,A. Quickly reopen the first document in the most recently used file list: [Alt]F,1.

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Paste items from the clipboard with the [insert] key

By default, pressing the [insert] key toggles Word's Overtype mode on or off. However, you can reconfigure the [insert] key to exhibit the Paste function.

Follow these steps:

1. Go to Tools | Options.

2. On the Edit tab, select the Use The INS Key For Paste check box, and click OK.

Pressing the [insert] key after cutting or copying a selection of text now pastes the contents of the clipboard into the document at the point of insertion.

After you've set the Use The INS Key For Paste option, you can no longer use the [insert] key to toggle Overtype mode on or off. However, you can still toggle Overtype mode on and off by double-clicking OVR in the status bar.

To make Overtype the default mode, select the Overtype Mode check box on the Edit tab in the Options dialog box.

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