Last Friday several of us got together and had the June webinar with the focus on how to use Microsoft Word more efficiently. We always have a great time in these trainings – not just because we get to learn new stuff. It’s awesome to hear the voices of all our Twitter and Facebook pals.
And the chat window…Oh, the chat window…
There were the fun comments:
- OMG this is so cool!
- This has been AWESOME – I have to leave now THANK YOU!!!!
The pithy observations:
- Getting all filled up with smart-icity, way kewl.
- Great for old eyes that see crappiocca (about Zoom)
- I just want my computer to READ MY MIND and do what I want, not what I tell it (I get it wrong too often)
The great questions:
- Is there an indicator that tells you what view you’re in or do you have to check under “view”
- Oooh, can I see that mouse-click trick again?
We had tons of fun. Here are the Word tricks that got the most Oooohs and Aaaaahs – this will make for a long blog, but I wanted you to have all the information.
- How to save a template – there’s a blog on this already but it was from the early days.
- How to use Breaks (see below)
Using Breaks properly
In Microsoft Word, there is a tool that every creator of long documents – particularly long documents with sections (like chapters) should know – and that is the use of Breaks.
Think of a break as an interruption:
I want to interrupt this page and start a new one… one would use a page break.
I want to interrupt this column…a break would help again!
What if I need to go to the next Chapter and have the Header or the Footer change to say Chapter 2 instead of Chapter 1 now…once again, a Break!
There are several different kinds of Breaks and they are all located in the Page Layout tab in the Page Setup grouping under Breaks (in the old Word, they were in the Insert menu under Break).
The keyboard shortcut for this is to hit the CRTL and the Enter button at the same time. This will immediately move you to the next page without having to hit the Enter key eighteen times to get there.
The keyboard shortcut for this is to hit the CTRL, the SHIFT and the Enter key simultaneously. If you are creating two or more columns of text (think of a newsletter or even your own notes and lists of words), the Column Break can keep you from having one little orphaned line at the bottom of a column. A Column Break says, “Move those lonely little words out of this column and into the next one.”
Text wrapping Break
This is a new feature that was added to the later versions of Word and it is quite useful if you use a lot of tables or graphics in your documents. This ends the current line and forces the text to continue below a picture, table, or other item. Unless you write children’s books with pictures it is doubtful that most writers would use this.
There are several different kinds of section breaks, though most writers use only one. I don’t want to short-change anyone who wants to use them all so I’ll define each type in greater detail.
Section break types:
Inserts a section break and breaks the page so that the next section starts at the top of the next page.
I use section breaks in conjunction with changes to chapter Headers and Footers in my manuscript. (If you don’t know what I mean when I say “Headers and Footers” you need to go to Word and hit the F1 key to get help on this feature.)
Next Page breaks allow you to break this chapter and go to the next. When you are finished with your manuscript, you will then go back through your document and change each section to have the proper heading (i.e. Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and synopsis).
By using Next Page section breaks, you allow your page numbering to stay consistent throughout your manuscript and this is HUGE. I know writers who put their page numbers in by hand and it breaks my heart to see them waste so much time. USE BREAKS!!!
I think of this as interrupting formatting for part of a page, rather than an entire page. For example if I want to have a page of text with three columns in the very middle of the page, the only way to do it is to put a Continuous section break before and after the text I want to turn into columns. Otherwise Word will turn the entire document into columns.
The only individuals I’ve ever seen use the next two types of breaks are people who make courseware books for subjects like math where the text goes on the left page and the diagrams go on the right, or vice-versa.
Inserts a section break and starts the next section on the next even-numbered page. If the section break falls on an even-numbered page, Word leaves the next odd-numbered page blank.
Inserts a section break and starts the next section on the next odd-numbered page. If the section break falls on an odd-numbered page, Word leaves the next even-numbered page blank.
Breaking Down the screen elements
We discussed every single item above, paging special attention to:
- The ability to customize the Status Bar with a right-click
- Double-clicking on the Vertical Ruler is the fastest way into Page Setup
- The Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) can be moved above and below the Ribon AND you can add buttons to it and customize.
- You can zoom in and out and change Views in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
The Word Status Bar:
The Status Bar gives you information such as what page you are on and the total number of pages in the document. To the right side are the View buttons and the Zoom feature.
In newer versions, you can right-click on the Status Bar and get a TON of information. Below is the Status Bar shortcut menu for Word 2007:
Some useful Left Mouse shortcuts in the document area are:
# of Left Mouse Clicks
|Single-click||Places the cursor in that location of the document.|
|Double-click||Selects the single word that was double-clicked on|
|Triple-click||Selects entire paragraph.|
|Ctrl +Single-click||Selects the sentence that was clicked on.|
Microsoft Word Options have moved in the newer versions. In the old versions, Options was always located at the bottom of the Tools menu.
In Word 2007, it is at the bottom of the Circle menu. In Word 2010, Options is located on the very left hand side bottom of the Backstage View (located in the File tab on the far left side of the Ribbon).
Some great jewels here:
- Display settings – change the way you see the Word screen
- AutoCorrect – allows you to change things as you type. Ex: instead of typing Writers In The Storm every time, I can program “WITS1” to change to Writers In The Storm via AutoCorrect, which is located in the Proofing tools in the Word options.
- Save options - this lets you change your default saving location/folder and, most important to me, program Word to save to a backwards compatible version like Word 2003 if you’re dealing with others who use older versions of the program.
- Advanced options – allows you to change the AutoFormat As You Type options, which often bother writers.
As always, I encourage you to ask me any questions that are burning a hole in your brain.
Without further ado, here are the winners of the JULY WEBINAR, in alphabetical order with a link to their sites:
- Amber West
- Amy Kennedy
- Amy Shojai
- Angela McGill
- Bridgette Booth
- Eleanor Gwyn-Jones
- Gene Lempp
- Jamila Jamison
- Jen Kirchner
- Jessica Aspen
- K.B. Owen
- Linda Burke
- Sonia G. Madeiros
- Stacy Green
- Terry O’Dell
Congratulations…I can’t wait to find out what topic the July Winners are going to pick!
HOT OFF THE PRESSES
GPS for Authors: Pre-pubbed, Recently pubbed, or Multi-pubbed
Instructor: Vannetta Chapman
August 1 – 30
IF ONLY every writing contract came with an author GPS. We could hook it up to our computer monitor, and be assured we would safely find our way from Contract A to the Bestseller List of our dreams. Too often it seems we’ve plugged into our navigation system a route for Novice to Insane in 12 short months. It doesn’t have to be that way. There are steps you can take to insure you arrive where you want to be and with at least a portion of your sense of humor intact. Registration: Lawson Writer’s Academy
What are you learning these days? Are there any webinars or teachers the rest of us need to know about? Is anyone in Kristen Lamb’s July blogging class? Enquiring minds always want to know at More Cowbell.