Thursday, September 2, 2010

Microsoft Word 2010

I’m participating in Book in a Week (BIAW) this week with my on-line Faith, Hope and Love (FHL) chapter of the Romance Writers of America (RWA). Wow! That’s a lot of acronyms.

What I’m working on is the manuscript I started almost 2 yrs ago during BIAW with my local writing chapter, the Saskatchewan Romance Writers (SRW). This time, however, I’m doing the final edits.

This book been a long process. I had a story to tell, but didn’t have correct grammar skills to ‘pass inspection’, or craft knowledge to excite anyone.

It took time, education and support to reach this level. And part of that is computer education.

One of the problems I’m encountering this week is a learning curve with Word 10. I recently replaced my 5-yr-old laptop with a new one and installed Microsoft Office 2010 on it.

Can I just say that I love Word 10!

Unlike Word 7 which seemed to have a negative learning curve, Word 10 has productive features I’ll fight to keep, like...

Split Screens

I’m not sure if this is the correct term, but I heard them talking about this on the Windows 7 commercial without really paying attention. I figured, yeah, so?

So? So it’s provided me with a feature I always wished I had but never thought it was possible… being able to see 2 or more manuscripts at the same time.

When I receive critiques back from my crit partners or contests judges, I like to follow down between mine and theirs, line for line, and see what they ‘caught’ or suggested. Usually, I have to switch back and forth between documents which is a real time waster—especially if I’m checking from more than 2 people.

But now, I click on View in my Word 10 Task tool bar (last one) and this screen shows up:

View Tool Bar

Click on Arrange All and voila!

Split screens, like so:
Compare 3 documents on one screen

Sticky Notes

A new feature of the Microsoft Office 10 is Sticky Notes. I’ve read posts from other Prairie Chicks who raved about sticky notes, but never had the inclination to use them myself. Mainly because they kept falling.

Instead, I have white boards and bulletin boards in my office where I record all the pertinent information for my current work in progress (wip). The problem is that when I take my laptop into the house at night, I leave all my boards behind. Yet, I work for another 2 or 3 hours inside.

The discovery of these Sticky Notes has enabled me to organize all my notes on my laptop, so much more readily available than in their original document files. They’re there when I need them and in the background (minimized) when I don’t.

Adding Page Numbers to Header

Speaking of Word 10, I still have an issue formatting the header and page number. This started with Word 7 and it hasn’t changed with Word 10.

The problem is that adding a header and numbering the pages are 2 different formatting actions. The program has technically progressed to the point where there are so many options for both, they can’t be done at the same time. Yet.

If you add the paging first, it disappears when you add your header. And if you add your header first, all your pages will be the same number.

I spent 2 hrs Monday night and one on Tues morning trying to add a header with automatic page numbering to the first 115 pages of my wip. I knew how to do it last year and thought I filed away the info but couldn’t find it. A google search brought up so many helps on how to skip numbering on the first page, adding a table of contents to correspond to your numbers, etc. No one seemed to have the same problem as me.

Finally after prayer (yes, it works), I remembered the following sequence:

  • On your Word 10 tool bar, click Insert

Insert Tool Bar

  • Go to the Header & Footer box and click Page Number
  • Click on the first Option – Top of Page

  • A header appears with number 1 in the spot you chose 
  • Move your cursor to the left of the number 
  • Backspace to the start of the line and type in your title and word count 
  • Space bar over to just before your number and add the word Page 
  • Move your cursor to the right of your number and hit Enter 
  • Type in your author name (or whatever)

If you’re working with chapters with sequential numbering and find you need to change the number on the first page of one of your chapters, do this:

  • Place your cursor over the page number you wish to change

Highlight Page Number

  • Click Insert Page Number in the Header& Footer box 

  • Click on Current Position

  • Drop down one and click on Format Page Number 

  • A dialogue box opens – go to the bottom and add in your number 

  • Click OK and that’s it

 And now that I have these instructions here, I’ll always know where to find them.

What do you think? Do you have any tips for using any of the Microsoft Office 7 or 10 features?

Does anyone know how to access the split screen portion of Windows 7?


Karyn Good said...

I love Windows 10, especially the split screen action. I use it all the time. In fact, I'll be using it today to work with a critique I received.

And believe me, you are not alone on the page number thing. I, however, was too lazy to stop and figure it out so THANKS! I owe you one.

Janet said...

Ooh, now I want Word 10!!

Oh, well, I'll stick with what I've got - the only thing I can see that I would really love would be the sticky notes. You know how much I love sticky notes.

As for the split screen and arrange all - in 7: the menu bar at the top, the one marked 'window' gives you all those choices. I use it all the time when I'm working on edits!

Great post, Anita - good luck with the rest of BIAW :)

j.leigh.bailey said...

I totally want Office 10 now, if only for the sticky notes! Sadly, I've only just upgraded to 7... :(

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Karyn, I really can't believe how much time the split screen saves when working with critiques. I tried the old 'compare' before and it just confused me.

You, too with the numbers? Oh good, so I'm not using the blog for my own personal purpose. I finally remembered where I saw the instrutions last time and it was on the ACFW email loop but I've switched computers since then and left my email behind.

Glad I could help you. :)

Anita Mae.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Janet and j.leigh, I know the feeling. Usually, I'm the last one to get anything new and exciting because I tend to use things until they wear out. This was a first for me. And the only reason I was able to spend the money on MS Office 10 is because I bought one of the cheapest laptops. I think it was $450 and it's a 15" HP. The guy at Best Buy was trying to tell me it was slow compared to the rest, but it's sooooooooooo much faster than my 5 yr old one.

Also, I was very picky about my USB ports. I'm right handed and I'd already returned a laptop I'd bought a week earlier because the USB port was on the lower right side. My thumb kept knocking it and pressing against the flashdrive. At that rate, the flashdrive wouldn't last very long and I'd lose all my 'stuff'.

This model has one on the lower left (I'm not left-handed so it's not a problem), and 2 on the upper right, above the DVD player.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that I sacrificed speed of browsing for efficiency of writing.

Sorry, I rambled.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. :)

Anita Mae.

connie said...

Great hints! (send money)

Would husband make you a rudimentary easel? Then you could at least bring the most pertinent board in.

Thanks for the clue about 7 janet.

Jana Richards said...

Hi Anita,
You're such a techie! I'm very proud of you for figuring out the page number thing. I tend to just ignore stuff I can't figure out, until my husband can show me how to do it.

I knew about the split screen feature in Word 7, but the problem I had with it was that the font was too small for me when I had it on a vertical split. (I have terrible eyesight so I like to make the font big!) But I never tried it in the horizontal split the way you had it I could make the font as big as I like and could still see the whole line. Duh! I don't know why I didn't think of that before.

Thanks for the heads up.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Connie, I already have a nice brass easel which I brought with me to the spring retreat at the abbey. However, if you've ever carried around a whiteboard, you know how easy it is to erase. And then, if you leave the marks on for a few months, you can't get them off. Sticky Notes are so much more effecient.

Okay, I just found what Janet was talking about with Word 7 on my mini. Thanks, Janet! I never knew. :)

Anita Mae.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey, Jana, you're welcome.

This sure was a productive post. Not only did it help some of you, but I learned something, too. :D

Anita Mae.

Victoria Bylin said...

Hi Anita Mae! I switched from XP to Word 2007 a couple of months ago. It took about a week to beat it into submission, but now I'm a fan. I put the 15 or so commands I use all the time on the toolbar and turned off just about everything else.

The ribbon is pretty much useless to me, so I keep it turned off unless I need it.

It took me forever to figure out templates, but I finally got it.

I use sticky notes on my desk top. In Word 2010, are they document specific? That would be cool. I managed to find the page numbering function, but it was a challenge.

As for split screen, I don't use it but I can see where it would be useful.

Great post! I would never have finished a book on a plain old typewriter.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Vicki... templates? Ribbon? And they're calling me techie? LOL

No, unfortunately the Sticky Notes aren't document specific. Now that would be a nice feature, but maybe it's down the road. I'm using the different colors for different docs.

I hear you on the plain old typewriter. I still remember the day I first typed on a computer screen and the elation when I realized the implications of the backspace button. :D

Thanks for dropping in, Vicki.