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Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word

23 Feb 04 - 04:12 PM (#1122025)
Subject: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: katlaughing

Have any of you tried any of the programs from The Microsoft Boycott Campaign, specifically any of the alternatives listed for Office/Word?

Thanks,

kat


23 Feb 04 - 04:18 PM (#1122033)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: katlaughing

Sorry, should have said, most of those are commercial, not shareware, and some not any less that M$Office.:-)


23 Feb 04 - 04:21 PM (#1122035)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

Kat
In my honest opinion, I would think twice about changing unless you have a very very good reason. I am a qualified tutor in Adult Education and have been teaching for many years, although I am in a semi retirement situation now.
The standard is Microsoft Word and most companies use that.
It is possible that one day, just like Lotus, Microsoft may head for a fall. At this moment in time that is not the case.
Please explain why you would want to use anything different and I will try to help you.
You can PM me if you prefer.
Cheers
Les


23 Feb 04 - 04:36 PM (#1122048)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca

I have tried some of the alternatives such as Ability and 602. They're not bad, but there ARE some incompatibilities. You do have to be careful.

I haven't tried Open Office for about 3 years though. Long time, so it might be much better.


23 Feb 04 - 04:43 PM (#1122056)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Joybell

I've been using Lotus Smart Suite since I bought a computer three years ago. (I'd never used one before) Lotus came free with it. I also have Word (**##@%**!!)so that I can convert text into something other people can read but I never use it by choice. I can't believe how user-friendly Lotus is compared to Word. Pictures go where you want them, the text stays where you want it and moves where you want it to. I came in as a beginner and was using Lotus without help right from the start. Joy


23 Feb 04 - 04:54 PM (#1122063)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: MudGuard

I use OpenOffice, and documents produced with it can be used in Word as well - no problem with incompatibilities so far...

I also never had problems reading .doc or .xls (or even .pps) with OpenOffice.

The GUI is a bit different, but did not take too long to get used to...


23 Feb 04 - 04:54 PM (#1122065)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage

Kat,

The trouble with bucking the trend of using Word is that you or others have to convert the text over to Word or Word-friendly software somewhere down the line. I was a happy user of WordStar, but they lost market share when they tried developing a "lite" program, and never caught up to Word and WordPerfect.

WordPerfect is still around and I know people who like it, but if you want to use text from there in print projects, you need to take it--you guessed it--into Word first, where the TrueText fonts are supported in a way that programs like Adobe Pagemaker can use.

SRS


23 Feb 04 - 05:28 PM (#1122093)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: katlaughing

Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate your comments.

SRS, I can save to word.doc, now regardless, and can also convert plain text to it on the old computer which is networked, so no problem there.

Les, thanks for your kind offer and forgive me in being a little late in saying, "Welcome to the Mudcat."

Joybell, Mudguard, thanks. I will definitely look into those.

I do have a wonderful little wp program which I learned about, right here, called "Yeah, Write" which is terrific for just wp.

I've got MSWorks, but it seems so ltd. after working in Word.

Thanks, again,

kat

Les, welcome to the Mudcat and thanks for the offer.


23 Feb 04 - 05:29 PM (#1122094)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex

I use both Wordpro (Netscape) and MSWord. The only problem with Wordpro is that I get sometimes get MSWord documents that are a later release than it can cope with.

Word format is a de facto standard so any alternative product that you use must be able to both read and save in that format.

The one MS product that I won't touch is Outlook. I use Pegasus for email and, although it has some bad points, it it far easier to manage.


23 Feb 04 - 08:31 PM (#1122220)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Bill D

some of the better alternatives can open & edit Word files....I guess it depends on just how much of the fancy tricks you 'really' use.

602 suite does a LOT of stuff, and Open Office does at least as much. But unless you really, truly need those, you might look at Atlantis word processor which has a freeware version called Nova, and a paid version called "Ocean Mind". This is, in either version, a good, powerful application.


23 Feb 04 - 09:11 PM (#1122252)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Bill D

(note...a lot of the pay features of 602 Suite have to do with photo editing and text-to-speech)


23 Feb 04 - 09:16 PM (#1122259)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: mack/misophist

Open Office is better than my copy of Word 97. Be sure to read the help files and how-tos, though. Did I mention that it's free. Libranet linux is about $50 and very easy to use.


23 Feb 04 - 10:36 PM (#1122294)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage

Peter, I agree with you. I also use Pegasus, for one of my email addresses. I tried using it in it's Multi-pop format, though, and that got really confusing, so I use Pegasus for one account, Eudora for another, and the old Netscape Mail 4.73 (I didn't bother to convert to the new Netscape--and I think our friend Bill D was the one who helped me make that decision!)

Interesting that those programs are in existence, Bill, despite the tsunami of Microsoft through the marketplace. I'll have to go take a look at them. I probably won't switch, but you never know when another way to do a task won't be just what you need!

SRS


23 Feb 04 - 10:41 PM (#1122297)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage

P.S.--my word processing program is fine, but my keyboard was a problem for a while. I use it so much that I'd worn down the little nubs on the F and J keys, and most of the lettering had worn off. I'm a touch typist, so had no problem once I was centered over the right keys, but visitors and my son who doesn't type yet didn't like it. It feels like I have a whole new computer, to have this nice keyboard.

But what did I find when I went keyboard shopping? Every single one that had anything more than the standard 104 keys is loaded with symbols for Microsoft programs. They also have three extra keys there just for starting Microsoft. Think it's a consipracy?

SRS


23 Feb 04 - 11:50 PM (#1122332)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Bev and Jerry

We've used Word Perfect since about 1492 and only convert our text documents to Word if we have to share them with someone else. Otherwise, we never use Word. If we had to cite one reason it would be the "reveal codes" function in Word Perfect which (you guessed it) shows all of the codes, not just the characters. So, when something goes wrong you just look at the codes and remove the offender (or maybe add what's missing). Everyone says you can do that in Word but no one has ever been able to show us how.

For spread sheets we were brought up on Lotue 1-2-3 and now use Quattro Pro which comes with the Word Perfect office suite. Corel bought up Lotus a long time ago so Quattro Pro is just an advanced version of Lotus 1-2-3. It's way more sophisticated than Excel. One example is that you can do a mail merge directly from a Quattro Pro spread sheet. Try that with Excel.

On the negative side, Corel support really sucks. Microsoft tells you something that is totally irrelevant to your question but, while Corel's answers are relevant, they're usually a lie.

Bev and Jerry


24 Feb 04 - 03:14 AM (#1122383)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

Bev and Jerry
To see the coding behind the text in Word, look at the standard toolbar and look for the icon that looks like a musical note. Its called Show/Hide. Its an on off icon. I use it all the time.
You also need to work and understand the following menu options, Tools - Auto Correct and Tools Options.
With the knowledge of how the above three work, you should never really have too many problems. I used to teach at advanced level for Word.
I used to teach the reveal codes in WP a long time ago. I used to be really hot on the reveal codes, which at the time I used to think were the bees knees. Probably forgotten most of it now.
Hope this is of some help.


24 Feb 04 - 04:05 AM (#1122404)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Gurney

Can't say too much about WP, I use it as a stand-alone and it makes not much difference in that case,-I'm not a typist who needs short-cuts or speed.
Peter from Essex and Stilly River Sage mentioned Pegasus Mail, and I did use that for a while, trying to stay away from MS products and virus writers. It was irritating on my old P2 machine, drifting all over the screen, and I must have had something turned off, because when I reverted back to Outlook I received over 300 eMails, dating back up to 3 months. A trap for young players. Mostly spam, fortunately.


24 Feb 04 - 04:25 AM (#1122419)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Fibula Mattock

Emacs, emacs, eeeeee-maaaaacs, to use LaTeX. But then you wouldn't be using Windows! :) I'm writing my thesis in LaTeX - there's just no way Word could handle it.
I will, on occasion, use OpenOffice, but it's a bit unwieldy too.
Pine for my e-mail - no viruses ever get through totally text-based mail software...

Seriously though, I've been working in this Computer Science department for over 3 years, and although some people use Windows (the rest of us are on Linux or Unix) everyone knows better than to send anyone a Word Doc. I cannot for the life of me understand why people would want to attach one to an e-mail. either it goes in plain text, or you send a PDF. Rant ends!


24 Feb 04 - 08:46 AM (#1122539)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: mack/misophist

Dear Fibula Mattock:

EMACS????? It is to laugh. If you need a text editor, use one, not a bloated monster like emacs. Vim forever! Or even pico. Word is for people without choices.


24 Feb 04 - 09:07 AM (#1122561)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Fooles Troupe

I rarely want to pay for s/w but registered EditPlus - I gavbe some info in another thread - so you can search for it if you are really interested - I prefer it for text & HTML - it will also edit any computing language that you load in the profiles for...

I have taked to printing my song words by formatting them in HTML & using my browser to print them - less hassle - smaller size files than Word etc - all the formatting you need for printing a song!

Robin


24 Feb 04 - 10:27 AM (#1122577)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: katlaughing

I loved Eudora for email, but it has some quirks with XP which I haven't ironed out, so I am trying out Mozilla's new email program,Thunderbird,
and so far I like it just fine, easy to use, all the bells and whistle one might need, imo, and it prefers to send in plain text.

I am looking over programs, some of the ones you all have mentioned. Thanks, again,

kat


24 Feb 04 - 10:47 AM (#1122586)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage

That symbol in word to let you see the page formatting is the paragraph symbol. If you can't see all of your choices in Word, it's because it only displays those you've used recently. Look for those little double arrows over the down arrow symbols on your toolbar and it will show you the others.

I wrote my thesis in Word--an earlier version that didn't keep trying to change my formatting all over the place. I dislike how Word keeps adopting the formatting of any text you cut and paste it. My remedy for that is to paste everything into Notepad first, then select and copy it into Word. It strips out the formatting (except for hard returns).

SRS


24 Feb 04 - 01:46 PM (#1122710)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: KateG

I'll second the endorsement for WordPerfect. Have been using it for eons (since the days of DOS) and really enjoy the reveal codes feature.


24 Feb 04 - 02:16 PM (#1122740)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas

Bev and Jerry, The Villan, Stilly River Sage, et.al.

The "show all" button, that has the "paragraph" character "¶"for its icon, selects a setting that toggles whether formatting things like paragraphs, hidden text, blank spaces at the end of a line, and a few other thing, are displayed. It essentially toggles, on or off, a checkmark in one of the setup choices in Tools – Options, on the View tab.

It is essentially a "reveal formatting" switch, and corresponds – as best I can remember – the "reveal codes" switch in WP.

I almost never use this switch, because I always view all formatting, in page layout view, in documents I'm working on. As with quite a few things in Word, the result of this switch depends somewhat on what other choices you have made in the Tools – Options setup.

A Word document can also contain REAL coding, as opposed to a few format switches like WP, in the form of "field codes" that can be viewed as "code" or as "result" using the switch "Shift-F9" for a specific single field, or Alt-F9 to show/hide code for all fields in a document. Few people use this form, since there are "dummy" methods of doing most things by clicking choices somewhere in Word; but it is a method with immense power and grace for those few things that need it. In addition to the code/result toggle, you can set up Word so that it shows field results with a "grayed" background in the normal view, or as normal text.

SRS – If your dropdown menus only show the most recent, and you really want to see everything, you can change the setting to show long menus by clicking on Tools – Customize, and on the Options Tab, put a click in "Always show full menus."

You can also "paste as unformatted text," or as several other special formats, directly into Word, using the Edit – Paste Special command, and selecting the format you want. (Quick keys – Alt-E, S, and usually one "arrow up," although the choices available – how many arrow steps - depend on the content of what's in the clipboard.) You thus have the choice, without leaving Word, of pasting, as an example, just the text or pasting directly so that you can extract links and such from a web selection.

If you have pasted something with a lot of "formatting" in it, after you've pasted it into Word, you can convert it to plain text by highlighting/selecting what you want to convert and hitting Ctl-Shift-F9 – the "unlink fields" switch. (Ctl-A, Ctl-Sh-F9 converts the whole document to "text." You do have to "save as text" to prevent it all being converted back to a word .doc, if you really want one of the several flavors of .txt file to use elsewhere.)

People have their own favorites, but often forget the "learning curve" they faced with the one they're now familiar with. Most "My program does this and Your program doesn't" are really "I know how to do this in My program and I don't know how to do this in Your program."

Word, and Office programs in general, are typically set up with "defaults" that make it easy to do simple stuff without learning anything. It can be ridiculously difficult to turn off all the "features" in Word to make it useful at a "professional level" of work (you also need to turn on some features that are "defaulted off") but experienced users I've known who have been proficient at both WP and Word would kill to avoid using WP. If it works for you, and if you don't need to conform to anyone's office practices, then it doesn't make much difference what program you use.

****

Fibula Matlock – Sometimes format and layout are important, and an attached Word .doc is one of the easier ways to getting something to other users. Few people who don't have an IP department to buy it for them have a distiller version of Acrobat, or the ability and interest to assemble and learn to use one of the freeware substitutes. (We do have some notable exceptions here.) This post, down to the "****" above is 23 KB in Word, but is 47 KB as a .pdf. If you include any graphics, or moderately complex layout, a .pdf file can often be 6 times as large as the Word document from which it's made. And contrary to what Adobe tells you, even with Acrobat and a good set of plug-ins, editing a .pdf is BITCH.

It's common courtesy to send stuff in a format that the recipient can use, but the attitude that "nobody needs anything I don't like" is one of the reasons a lot of IP departments are intensely hated (or scrupulously ignored) in large organizations, by the people who have to use the systems to do their own work. Your job in IP is to keep your users happy, not just to make your own life easy. End of rant.

John


24 Feb 04 - 02:23 PM (#1122746)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

John Excellent post. I endorse what you say.
Les


24 Feb 04 - 02:25 PM (#1122749)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Peter T.

Wordperfect is for writers; Word is for publishers.

yours,

Peter T.


24 Feb 04 - 03:21 PM (#1122800)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Bill D

"Interesting that those programs are in existence, Bill, despite the tsunami of Microsoft through the marketplace."

interesting, yes...suprising, no,...not to me. I do the math and realize that there must be millions of users who hate M$, and lots of programmers who just enjoy the challenge of creating programs-- and you end up with dozens of WP programs, 'some' of which are gonna be good: at least good enough for those, like me, who simply do NOT need all the features of Word. Some of them start out trying to make a few bucks, but give up and go free (or simply abandoned). Others find a 'niche' because of speed, special features, or small size, like the "Yeah, Write" program kat mentioned.

There are programs called "CryptEdit", "PolyEdit" "TextShield Fusion", NoteXpad (a beefed up NotePad)
and even NoteTab, in 3 versions, which is a 'different' text and HTML editor which enjoys wide support in some circles.

All of these are good..none have all the tricks of Word, but many can open and edit Word files (.doc).

It can be fun just to play with them, and now & then one can be VERY useful, like NoteTab was when I wanted to do text file numbering in a list of songs....or TextShield Fusion, which will do 3-D tricks with fonts in ways I have not seen anywhere else.

The worst thing about collecting all these toys is remembering where they are and what each is good for..*grin*...not a hobby for everyone!


24 Feb 04 - 03:26 PM (#1122805)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage

John,

I didn't describe those four little switches in the bottom left corner of a Word document. I usually work in either the Normal View or the Print Layout View, never the Web View or the Outline view.

If you work in the Print Layout View then you see all of that formatting stuff and your headers and footers are ghosted into the page you're working on.

I haven't bothered to tell the program to leave all of those icons in place because I'm more likely to add things with keystrokes as I am to stop what I'm typing and use the mouse to highlight something then click on the icon. (If you're typing and want bold face, at the beginning of the segment type "control-B" and add what will be bold and at the end type "control-B" and it turns off the Bold feature).

I always forget about that "paste as unformatted text" bit you've spoken of before, but I should check it out. First thing I do when I am using a new instalation of Word (on a computer that won't mess up someone else, of course!) is to go into the preferences and turn off a whole bunch of shit that Microsoft sets as default in the program.

SRS


24 Feb 04 - 04:20 PM (#1122839)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas

Almost any program has features that few people use, and in many cases they can be quite helpful. Many programs also have features that people do use that can be a real problem to others with whom they work - without ever realizing that there are better ways.

An example of one of the latter in Word is the "Insert Symbol" piece of $#@%^. Authors like to get fancy and put special characters in their stuff. No problem if they select a font that contains the character they want, so that the document contains the ASCII/ANSI (or UNICODE) character number. The editors and proofers can get it right. If you use the "Insert Symbol" utility in Word, it looks like the character you want, but it's actually a "special graphic," non-ASCII, known only to Word, that CANNOT be converted to anything that the printers/publishers can get into your book, except by using incredibly arcane methods.

I personally find it helpful to turn off the "Formula Editor," since I find it easier and more accurate to format equations with the suitable fields. It gives me better control - much like doing it in LaTeX, and with most of the capabilities you'll find there. Unfortunately, if Equation Editor is not removed, any accidental double-click in the field converts it automatically and instantly to Mickey'$ idea of how you should lay it out, and you can't "unconvert" it.

I can remember when I created much of my simpler text in DOS with "copy con filename.txt" type the text and Ctl-Z to end it, and you get a perfectly good "document." Edit with edlin - it's still on my machine. Let's NOT go back to there.

John


25 Feb 04 - 01:32 AM (#1123193)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

I have always retained this website in my favourites. Its all the ASCII Codes, and when I am in Word and I need a special character, I hold the ALT key down and type the ASCII code using the numeric keypad. Then when you release the ALT key you get the character you want. For example ALT + 163 gives you this character. ú . It works when you are making posts in this forum and with any text based application.

http://www.asciitable.com/


25 Feb 04 - 01:45 AM (#1123195)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: katlaughing

Wow, as always, tremendous info here. Thanks VERY much for continuing our education!

The publishers to whom I've submitted my books, mostly want them in Word.doc format; though there have been a few who wanted it in plain text. I'd prefer doing it all in a simple wp program, but I also like learning the ins and outs of manipulating my own publications, so...here I am, learning once again thanks to you folks.

PeterT...agreed, unless one wants to self-publish.:-)

kat


25 Feb 04 - 03:48 AM (#1123232)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas

The Alt-numpad entry works for input of ASCII values, and in the later Windows versions/Office for Unicode too, if you get sufficient of the "Internationalization" accessories, and if you're using a Unicode font. Of course, when you use a "strange" character, the reader has to have an installed font that is able to "draw" it. We've had quite a lot of discussion in some other threads about "why can't I see that character."

The tough part, for the editor, is looking at a strange character on screen or in print, and trying to figure out what the "author" intended it to be, so that you can get the correct character (i.e. the right ANSI number) in the font family that the book "designer" says you have to use. The problem with the "insert symbol" thing in Word is that you can't change what it inserts to another font, because it isn't a character.

I do have an accessory program that lets me highlight a few characters on screen, and will tell me what the ANSI numbers are for each of them. Unfortunately it only works for the low character (ANSI) set, and the really strange ones are often from the high Unicode character numbers.

Most publishers, especially book publishers, prefer to have a straight wordprocessor input from authors. By the time it goes through proofing, editing, possibly technical editing, layout, layout proof, page proofs, etc., there are plenty of opportunities for the "publisher" to convert, at the appropriate time, to whatever system is needed. A few journals, particularly those associated with academia, insist that the author must submit in TeX. A very few want word processor but with SGML tags. If you're going through a small publisher, or self-publishing, the requirements of the printer may dictate that you'll have to get stuff into Pagemaker or Framemaker, but usually that's the job of a layout person and the editing crew; and the less "layout" the author has done, the easier it is for them to get it right.

It is very important that you talk to your publisher about what his requirements are before you go too far with something.
We once helped a "friend(?)" with his 395 page book that the he had typed in text files, which was appropriate, but all in UPPER CASE "because he thought it would be easier for his reviewers to read." The problem is, he didn't call us until his publisher rejected it as "unsalvageable," so we got it two days before it was supposed to go to the printer. (And that was in the days of DOS Word 2.)

John


25 Feb 04 - 05:44 AM (#1123291)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Fibula Mattock

JohnInKansas - an attached Word doc is also a nice and easy way of picking up a Macro virus...
You don't need Adobe distiller to make PDFs. You can use ps2pdf - and you can even do it online, Windows users included.


25 Feb 04 - 10:35 AM (#1123473)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: EBarnacle

The only problem I have been having with WordPerfect lately is that I have been getting resistance from MS XP when I want to copy to documents to CD. Dya think that Bill's gnomes might be going out of their way to make life difficult for users of other word processors? Nah, couldn't be.


25 Feb 04 - 02:12 PM (#1123632)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Bev and Jerry

The Villan and SRS:

Thanks for the advice. We have tried it and are now able to see some of the codes.

We have not been able to see the codes for font size, font, or font color. These are things we use frequently in Word Perfect and sometimes we get them screwed up so that text appears different than we intended. This usually happens when we are editing a document that already has a number of font sizes, types and colors in it. In Word Perfect we activate reveal codes and the problem becomes obvious and is easily fixed. How can we do that in Word?

Bev and Jerry


25 Feb 04 - 03:21 PM (#1123693)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas

Bev and Jerry -

The conflict you're having here is that in WP you have to fix the code in order to get what you want. In Word, you don't need to go to any code, you just fix the document to get what you want.

In Word, when you select some text, the font name is displayed for you in a small window on the tool bar. If you have not selected anything, the font to be used at the current cursor position is displayed in the window. The font size is also displayed. If the font is Bold, the "Bold-switch" button is highlighted. If the font is Italic, the "Italic-switch" button is highlighted.

Essentially, for all the common character formats, the "code" is always displayed. It's just displayed on the tool bar instead of in "code" in the document that you have to turn on and off.

If you want character formatting that's something more exotic, you select the text you want it to apply to, and click "Format, Font" and the "code" is displayed in an input window where you can select (1) the font name, (2) whether you want "regular, italic, bold, or bold italic" (3) whether you want underline, and if you do, what underline style you want - usually 16 kinds available, (4) and any of 11 additional "effects" including strikethrough, double strike, superscript, subscript, shadow, outline, emboss, engrave, small caps, all caps, or hidden. In later versions of Word, the format window will show you a sample of text so you can see what it will look like with the "changes" you choose - before you "ok" and close the window.

In the same toolbar where the "code" (i.e. the plaintext name) for the font is always displayed, you also have a separate box that displays the paragraph style in use. Probably many people have never seen anything but "Normal" in this box, but if you choose to define "Paragraph Styles" you can create any style you want, usually in language like "Based on Normal, font Arial, 14 point, All Caps, Indent 0.5, Margin 1.2, 6 point before, 12 point after ..." and you can apply all of this to any paragraph simply by clicking on the "Style" box and choosing a paragraph style from the dropdown list. You don't need codes or have to remember how to "spell" a style description. You just open a "create style" window, and apply the formatting you want once, give the style a name, and then "select it" from the style box to apply it when you want it.

In Word, you don't write a code to change a format. You simply "format" the text you want changed. In WP, a common cause of "code break" is editing with codes not revealed. You accidentally delete a "start" or "end" tag, and the "code" is broken. In Word, you can get a similar effect if you delete the carriage return that separates text of two different styles, but the essential "code" is always displayed, as the font, size, and style in the toolbar. You just put it back to what you want.

(For those Word users who haven't figured it out, the "format" moves with the cursor. If you are in paragraph 1, and delete the end of paragraph marker, the format of paragraph 1 "carries with the cursor" into what was paragraph 2. You've added par 2 to par 1, with par 1 format. If you're in paragraph 2 and backspace over the preceding paragraph marker, the format of paragraph 2 "goes with the cursor into the original paragraph 1. You've added par 1 to par 2, with par 2 format.)

In Word, the essential "codes" are always displayed on the toolbar. They're just in plain text, in the form of descriptions of the formats in use.

John


25 Feb 04 - 03:52 PM (#1123736)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage

Villan, great web site! Thanks!

Bev and Jerry, John pretty much covered it. Word is a "what you see is what you get program," so if you use TrueText fonts and go through your text and highlight what you want to change then go to the menu above and choose the font and size and whether it is bold, italic, or underline (and if you go to the Format menu and to Font you can find all sorts of stuff for strike-through, superscript, subscript, etc) you'll get that in your printout. It's a good idea to have a printer that understands what Word is trying to send.

SRS


25 Feb 04 - 03:53 PM (#1123737)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: MudGuard

To create pdf files, you can also use open office...


25 Feb 04 - 05:22 PM (#1123797)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

John have you mentioned Templates? They are a godsend.

SRS
Keyboard shortcuts are the key to fast typing.

Here are a few for people who don't use them.

Action               Result of action               Can be used in
F12               File Save As…                        All applications
CTRL + S        File Save                        All applications
CTRL + F4        Close current document               All applications
CTRL + O        Open existing document               All applications
CTRL + N        Create a new document               All applications
CTRL + P        Print the current document        All applications
ALT + F4        Close current application        All applications
CTRL + Z        Undo last action                All applications
CTRL + X        Cut (move) into clipboard        All applications
CTRL + C        Copy into clipboard               All applications
CTRL + V        Paste from clipboard               All applications
CTRL + Y        Redo last action               All applications
F7               Spellcheck                        All applications
CTRL + B        Bold Text                       All applications
CTRL + I        Italic Text                       All applications
CTRL + U        Underline Text (single line)        All applications
CTRL + L        Left Margin Align                                Word
CTRL + R        Right Margin Align                                Word
CTRL + E        Centre between Left and Right Margin                Word
CTRL + J        Justify text between Left and Right Margin        Word
SHIFT + F3        Change case of letters (upper/lower etc)        Word
CTRL + SHIFT+ W               Word Underline                                Word
CTRL + SHIFT + D        Double Underline                       Word
CTRL + SHIFT + K        Create Small Capital Letters               Word
CTRL + SPACEBAR               Return to Default Font                       Word
CTRL + Q               Remove Paragraph Formatting               Word
SHIFT + ALT + D               Insert the Date                                Word
CTRL + D               Display Font Dialog Box                       Word
CTRL + 1               Single Line Spacing                        Word
CTRL + 2               Double Line Spacing                       Word
CTRL + 5               One and a half Line Spacing               Word
CTRL + M               Left Block Indent                       Word
CTRL + SHIFT + M        Undo Left Block Indent                       Word
CTRL + T               Hanging Indent                                Word
CTRL + SHIFT + T        Undo Hanging Indent                       Word


25 Feb 04 - 05:23 PM (#1123799)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

Sorry about the columns, dont think there are tab settings available for posting, is there


25 Feb 04 - 05:54 PM (#1123830)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: treewind

FYI, if you want to post to MudCat space formatted you should insert a <PRE> tag (and </PRE> afterwards). That's just an HTML issue. Then it'll look like this (though I still had to edit it a bit):
Action     Result of action                 Can be used in
F12             File Save As…                   All applications
CTRL + S       File Save                        All applications
CTRL + F4       Close current document          All applications
CTRL + O       Open existing document          All applications
CTRL + N       Create a new document            All applications
CTRL + P       Print the current document       All applications
ALT + F4       Close current application       All applications
CTRL + Z       Undo last action                All applications
CTRL + X       Cut (move) into clipboard       All applications
CTRL + C       Copy into clipboard             All applications
CTRL + V       Paste from clipboard             All applications
CTRL + Y       Redo last action                All applications
F7             Spellcheck                      All applications
CTRL + B       Bold Text                        All applications
CTRL + I       Italic Text                      All applications
CTRL + U       Underline Text (single line)    All applications
CTRL + L       Left Margin Align                           Word
CTRL + R       Right Margin Align                         Word
CTRL + E       Centre between Left and Right Margin       Word
CTRL + J       Justify text between Left and Right Margin Word
SHIFT + F3       Change case of letters (upper/lower etc) Word
CTRL + SHIFT+ W   Word Underline                            Word
CTRL + SHIFT + D Double Underline                         Word
CTRL + SHIFT + K Create Small Capital Letters             Word
CTRL + SPACEBAR   Return to Default Font                   Word
CTRL + Q          Remove Paragraph Formatting               Word
SHIFT + ALT + D   Insert the Date                           Word
CTRL + D          Display Font Dialog Box                   Word
CTRL + 1          Single Line Spacing                      Word
CTRL + 2          Double Line Spacing                      Word
CTRL + 5          One and a half Line Spacing               Word
CTRL + M          Left Block Indent                         Word
CTRL + SHIFT + M Undo Left Block Indent                   Word
CTRL + T          Hanging Indent                            Word
CTRL + SHIFT + T Undo Hanging Indent                      Word
As for the word processing/Office question, at home I have a network with Linux, Win98 and WinNT boxes on it. Open Office is a no-brainer choice for this setup, with full file compatibility between platforms.
OO can export to PDF. The only thing it can't do is read Excel Macros - it has a macro language but it's different (I think it has to be for copyright reasons)

Anahata


25 Feb 04 - 10:54 PM (#1124038)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Bev and Jerry

John:

OK. We get that and thanks.

But here's another thing we don't get. Suppose there is a font change in a document. In Word, if we move the insertion point to the spot where the change occurs, the font appearing in the little window in the tool bar is the font of the text preceding the insertion point. So, if we add text there, it will be in the font of the preceding text. Same thing with a color change. If we wan't the added text to be in the font or color of the following text do we have to add it in the font of the preceding text and then highlight it and change it?

When we do this operation in Word Perfect, we display the codes and, in the lower window, we can place the cursor either before or after the font or color change. We know this must be better because that's the way we've always done it (just kidding)!

Bev and Jerry


26 Feb 04 - 12:03 AM (#1124081)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Bev and Jerry

John:

We think we just answered our own question. If we want to add text using the font following the insertion point we just change the font in the little window on the tool bar to whatever we want and type away, right? Same goes for color and font size, right?

Thanks for being patient with those who are "Word-challenged", resistant to change of any kind, and don't care for Bill Gates in any case.

Bev and Jerry


26 Feb 04 - 01:42 AM (#1124116)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas

Bev and Jerry

If you really want to "pick up" the format to type something new to the left of where the font change occurs, you can insert your first new character to the right of one that's formatted like you want, type at least one character and re-type the character that was to the left, and then delete the original "first letter." It's usually easier just to set the format for the point where you're going to make the entry in most cases. It is true that the character on the left of the cursor determines what format the next one you type will have, unless you set a change.

You should also be aware that you can click on the little paintbrush on the toolbar. If you have nothing selected, "character format" at that current cursor point is copied "to the paintbrush." Click on another character, and that character format will be "pasted" to the new point. If your cursor is "in" the new format, click the brush, and then click the left edge of the space that precedes where the new format started, and the space will have the new format so you can start typing to its right.

If you have a paragraph selected, when you click on the brush, the "paragraph style" is what's copied, and is what will be pasted at the next click. Note that if you "mouse" into the left margin, you get an arrow that will "tilt" when it decides you want to select a complete line. If you "click and hold" with the cursor arrow in "line select" you can "paint" whole sections in a single stroke - until you release the mouse button.

If you "double-click" the paintbrush, it will copy the style/format and remain on so that you can "click" that format, character or style, into multiple places. If you "double-clicked," the "paint format" button stays on until you hit any key on the keyboard. The Esc key is the "approved" way of turning off the format paste.

Note that the "paint format" function was a little different when it was first introduced. I believe it was in Word95, but it's been a while ago. In the original version, you highlighted what you wanted to change, click the brush, and then click where the format you want already exists. (or something like that.) If you have a really old version, you may want to check your help file.

John


26 Feb 04 - 05:34 AM (#1124176)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

Another couple of quicky keyboard shortcuts that my wife uses because she is a translator and has to alter long documents and these save her some time.

If you make a change in a long document and move on through the document and need to go back to the last change, she :

Ctrl - Z (this undoes her previous change but puts her cursor at the point she made the change)
Then
Ctrl - Y (This redoes the change she made and leaves her cursor where she wants to be.)


If you have selected a piece of text and want to increase or decrease the size of the text then do the following assuming you have selected the text you want changed :-

Hold down the CTRL + SHIFT keys and then keep on pressing the < or > keys. (notice the point size changing on the formatting toolbar.)


26 Feb 04 - 06:57 AM (#1124207)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

Thansk for the info there Treewind. I am trying it now


Artist
Song

Cyril Tawny
Rose In June

Martyn Wyndham Reid
Jone's Ale

Cilla Fisher & Atrie Trazise
Fair Maid of London Town


26 Feb 04 - 07:01 AM (#1124208)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

Damn. Try again

Artist
                         
Song

Cyril Tawny
                    
Rose In June

Martyn Wyndham Reid
            
Jone's Ale

Cilla Fisher & Atrie Trazise
   
Fair Maid of London Town


26 Feb 04 - 07:02 AM (#1124210)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

Soemthing not quite working there Treewind. What am I doing wrong?


26 Feb 04 - 08:01 AM (#1124240)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: AKS

Have a look at this (a longish one on how a "modern" word processor makes the quality of a document worse than intended) and/or this (on .doc "compatibility" in future).

AKS


26 Feb 04 - 10:24 AM (#1124345)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

Some interesting stuff there AKS

When I teach anybody how to use a word processor, I always teach them to type what they think and worry about the errors and formatting afterwards.
That way even the two fingered typist can type a document reletively quickly.
People who stop and start because they have made an error or they would like a particular style will take ages to get the body of the document completed.
My approach once the body of the document is done, is to spellcheck it.
Then print it and read it, making any corrections on paper.
Then make any final additions corrections.
Formatting the document for me is generally left till last. Whats the point of formatting a document if you decide that you don't need it or decide to make drastic changes later.

How often have I had bosses say to me "It takes so and so so long to knock a document up, I might as well do it myself."
Very often, the person creating the document is trying to show the other person how good they are at doing this and doing that, when in actual fact all that is needed in the first instance is a draft that can then be knocked about afterwards.

The above is even worse when it comes to spreadsheets.
A boss says can you tell me what our ???? are for last week. I need it urgently. A day later, the boss still hasn't got the answer they want. Why, becuase the person getting the info is creating a work of art, so their boss will be impressed. They forget that maybe the boss had a meeting and needed some figures to take in with them now, not tomorrow. Finally the person getting the info together gets upset becuase the boss no longer needs thier wonderful work of art and they think the boss is a mean *******.

better stop :-)


26 Feb 04 - 11:47 AM (#1124403)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage

Villan, if you want to look at what Treewind did before, open the source code for this page and go look at it exactly.

There are lots of keystrokes available to use with Word, but they're packaged in the background. In the old program WordStar they were conspicuously part of the program's operation and I used them all of the time so they were easy to remember. They were based on blocks of functions. If you were moving or modifying a block of text, all commands began Control K__ . Onscreen commands were Control O__. I don't remember too many others.

If you use diacritical marks frequently and go to the Word Insert menu for the Symbol menu, you should take a look at the bottom of that dialog box. It shows you the keystrokes (Control, Alt, whatever, + the keys or numbers needed). So if you want to put é in, you can do the Word method (control ' + e) or you can do the ascii version of alt 130. Word doesn't tell you both, it only gives you the ascii version if they haven't worked it out for themselves in the Word program. Again, as an old WordStar user, I tend to favor those keystroke methods, they don't interrupt my typing nearly so much as stopping to use the mouse does.

SRS


26 Feb 04 - 12:08 PM (#1124419)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

"I tend to favor those keystroke methods, they don't interrupt my typing nearly so much as stopping to use the mouse does.
"

Coudn't agree with you more SRS

"Villan, if you want to look at what Treewind did before, open the source code for this page and go look at it exactly."

As I am new to this forum, I am now a bit mystified what you mean. I tried the
 tag (and 
but this pushed each piece of information onto a different line. Is there something I don't know about this forum?


26 Feb 04 - 12:12 PM (#1124424)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: clueless don

Stilly River Sage,

Your 24 Feb 04 - 10:47 AM posting has me intrigued. What are the "little double arrows over the down arrow symbols on your toolbar"? I realize that the Word toolbar may be customized, so perhaps yours has a feature that mine does not. Or do you mean the "screen up/screen down" bar along the right side of the page?

The ¶ paragraph symbol will reveal, in my experience, spaces, hard returns, tabs, and such like, but it does not "reveal codes" in the same sense as WordPerfect. I have never found a way to answer the question "why is it doing that??" for a Word document (e.g. a particular line or paragraph is indented differently than the paragraphs before and after it.) This problem occurs most often when I am working with documents created by someone else.

I use Word at work because I have to. I would much, much, MUCH rather use WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS. Sometimes the only way I can get what I want is to create the document in WP 5.1 for DOS and then convert it to Word. The problems with WP 5.1 for DOS include that others don't use it, that it is difficult to incorporate graphics, and that it is hard (impossible?) to obtain printer drivers for modern printers.

Don


26 Feb 04 - 12:46 PM (#1124452)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: GUEST,Annie

Our company standardized on Word Perfect and Lotus at the beginning of time. This was before the proliferation of Word and Excel in office PCs. I am interested in switching over to Word and Excel to minimize the conversions during emailing.

The big wrinkle with Lotus is that when we upgraded to Windows XP the scroll button stopped working. That is very irritating and will drive people into Excel unless Lotus fixes it. Also Excel graphics are superior....you can overlay multiple data sets on the same graph. No can do with Lotus. Most of the young people we hire out of college know Word and Excel but not WP or Lotus.


26 Feb 04 - 12:49 PM (#1124453)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

Have a look under the Tools, Options, View tab. You will see the option to turn field codes on.

Test the options out on a document that doesn't matter, so that you get used to what they do.

The other one to look at is Tools, Autocorrect. This is the area that creates most of the problems for users. This is where you will find all the options that make word do things you dont want to do. Take time to look and test out ideas from this area, especially the autoformat options.

hope this helps


26 Feb 04 - 01:20 PM (#1124481)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage

Villan,

If you were trying to see exactly what treewind did to align your text, then the easiest way is to open the source code of the Mudcat page you are reading and sort through the various messages to see how the html looks on Treewind's exact message to you. I sometimes do this to see what the code was when people put up interesting effects that I haven't figured out how to do by myself.

Mudcat has a lot of stuff built into the page, so you're reading through all of the page formatting for each message--horizontal rules, "post" "top" "forum home" "printer friendly" and "translate" all involve code you'll see again and again.

In Internet Explorer go up to the View menu and then open "Source." It will bring up a Notepad window with all of the source information for the page. Scan through it until you find where treewind formatted your text. You can also view the page source in Netscape. It gives you a Netscape page with a gray background behind the code.

"Clueless Don," the double arrow over the down arrow, as I clumsily put it, says "More Buttons" when you mouse over it. Click on it and you see the rest of your options for the page. Sorry if I confused you! I went looking for someone's screen capture, and found this image. If you look next to the window that says "125%" with it's own down arrow, the next icon, and another one further to the right, are what I was talking about. Those give you more buttons to work with. As was mentioned above, if you don't like Word tucking away unused buttons, you can set it to leave them all in sight all of the time.

SRS


26 Feb 04 - 02:43 PM (#1124546)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas

The Villan -

For the "take a look at the code" comment:

This web site posts html. Even though you type plain text (more or less) in the input box, it gets "coded" to html before it hits the screen. If you right-click in a blank area of the screen, one of the options is "view source." That will open a new window with the "html" code for the page visible. This "source" page is what's actually received by your machine when you open the thread.

Until fairly recently, we all had to type the line breaks, using <br> tags at the end of each paragraph. The site has been upgraded so that it recognizes paragraph breaks automatically, but quite a few other things still have to be "coded" in your post box.

The 'cat doesn't generally recognize the typeface size, or italics or bold, in what you post. Everything displays at a default size and in "plain text" unless you use html tags to specify something different. There are exceptions here, but you have to "code" this sort of stuff to get reliable results.

You should not use the <, >, or & characters in a post, since these are html "defined control characters" that may trick the interpreter into thinking that you're inserting a "tag" to tell it to do something fancy. If you want to use one of these as a literal character, you need to code them as &gt; &lt; and &amp;.

HTML display doesn't generally recognize tabs, and generally collapses repeated spaces, so you can't "align columns" by putting in multiple spaces. You can put in nonbreaking spaces, using &nbsp; or &#160; "character codes" but each reader gets to chose what font to use for display, so some may be using proportional and some fixed character width and they will get different results.

If you use a <pre> tag at the beginning of some text, and a </pre> tage at the end, that text will be displayed as "preformatted" text. This means that spaces will not be collapsed and that the text will be displayed in a monospace font. Each person who reads it gets to chose what monospace font, but at least all the characters will be the same width, so columns will align like what you set up if you used a monospace font when you aligned them.

You can also "align" things by coding tables, but that gets into more complex html than should probably be discussed here. There are several helpful threads in the FAQ and PermaThread sections you can access back on the main "Lyrics and Knowledge" page. There are also a few "html practice" threads where you can try out stuff, or you can just view a "practice post" on your own machine. (Save as text from your wordprocessor, and change the file extension to htm. If you save directly as .htm, Word, especially, tries to "correct and convert" what you typed. Open in your own browser). The practice threads are edited to delete older stuff, so they stay at reasonable length.

Word Shortcuts: In some earlier versions of Word, it always seemed to me that it was ridiculously difficult to find the "shortcuts" info in Word Help, but recent versions lay it all out if you enter "keyboard" in the Help "Index," "Search," or "Help Wizard." Note also that you are perfectly free, in Word, to create your own "quick keys" or to change the ones that are supplied as defaults, and you need not fear doing so since all versions of Word have a "restore defaults" button. (See Help.)

Mickey$oft has recognized that people who use Word Perfect have a real difficulty understanding how you can get by without all that "arcane code stuff," so all recent versions of Word have a separate choice on the Help menu called "Word Perfect Help." (Quick keyed Alt-H,P in most versions.) Numerous settings can be changed, if you really want to, to make Word behave and look much more like what you're accustomed to in Word Perfect.

One of the difficulties for many new users of Word comes from the attempt to provide "every possible help for idiots." There are many "features" that allow Word to "help" those who can't spell, or who use "bad grammar" etc., and far too many of them (IMHO) are turned on by the default settings. Nearly all of the obnoxious stuff can be turned off in Tools - Options, and in Tools - Autocorrect Options, just by "unchecking" the boxes. You can make Word do, or not do almost anything that suits your preferences.

John


26 Feb 04 - 04:34 PM (#1124666)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

Thanks John
I know understand what this forum accepts. My ISP Forum is super dupa so I don't have go through that process.
I do understand what you are on about.

I agree entirely about Word.
If you don't understand Tools Options and Tools Autocorrect then life is a big problem.

Have you taken the ECDL Advanced Wordprocessing exam at all John? - Thats quite a good one. You need to know whats going on in Word to pass that. I just took the exam without any study and passed, but then I had been teaching Word advanced for many years. Not teaching much these days so it gets a bit rusty now.
I took the ECDL Advanced Spreadsheet exam straight after the Word exam and passed that. Many people fail that because their knowledge of spreadsheets is not good enough.
I have invigilated on those exams as well.

John is there a way you can edit a post once you have submitted it?

Cheers
Les


26 Feb 04 - 04:49 PM (#1124678)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage

Les, if you use the page preview (box next to the "Submit Message" bar) then you can be fairly confident that even after proofing your post, you'll see the mistake the moment after you push the final "Submit." :-) Then you send PM to Joe Offer or one of the Joe Clones and ask them if they can fix it for you.

SRS


26 Feb 04 - 05:14 PM (#1124693)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas

Les -

If you "substantially mangle" a post, a common procedure is to re-post a corrected version immediately. The "clones" who maintain things will often delete a duplicate post automatically, if they find it; but it's a "courtesy thing" to go to the Help site (link at the far right of the page header) and post a "please correct" or "please delete" message there.

You should be aware that the Help site is on a different server, and still needs scripting for anything fancy - but there's no need to put anything fancy there. It may drop a paragraph break if you don't <br> it, but will pick up "double paragraph" breaks without coding i.e. "enter" twice in a row, and it will "newline" without coding.

If you have a "really special" need for a correction, deletion, or some such, a PM to Joe Offer or another of the staff/helpers will usually get attention.

You cannot, generally, make changes to your own post once it's sent.

John


26 Feb 04 - 05:34 PM (#1124710)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

Thanks guys.
I forgot the http://www on some of my links for the Market Rasen Folk Club dates thread. It is a bit discourtious not to have the links properly set up especially as it relates to people who are helping me so much.
I am not complaining, but it is like stepping backwards with this forum. I am so used to being able to edit my own post immediately if I have made a mistake.
I will soon get used to the things that don't happen as I expect them to. Your hep is great.
I have to say that this is an excellent forum. (not crawling trust me :-))

Les


27 Feb 04 - 09:52 AM (#1125143)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: clueless don

Stilly River Sage,

Thank you for your 26 Feb 04 - 01:20 PM response. I had noted that the Word toolbar may be customized, and so not everyone has the same toolbar. In this case, the only thing to the right of the "100%" box on my toolbar is a question mark inside a talking balloon, which is apparently "Office Assistant". But I will try to look into the "help" facility (often a fruitless exercise!) for information on "More Buttons".

By the way, your blue clicky didn't yield an image of a Microsoft Word toolbar. That may have something to do with my not having "flash player" installed.

Don


27 Feb 04 - 10:08 AM (#1125151)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

CD
Point and click on the View menu
Move mouse pointer down until you are hovering over Toolbars
A cascading menu will appear
Move into that set of menu's
Move down and click on Customise...
Point and click on the Options tab

Click on all the small white square boxes so that a tick appears in each one, except the large icons white square box. make sure there isn't a tick in that box

Finally click on the close button

That will show you all the buttons on the Standard and Formatting toolbars. You will also get a full list of mneus when you select them.
You will also see against menu choices shortcut keyboard options.
Also whenever you point at a toolbar icon you will see a little text box appear telling you what it does as well as suggesting the keyboard shortcut.

cheers
Les


27 Feb 04 - 01:04 PM (#1125262)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas

Most "fully comliant" windows programs allow you to use the same "View - Toolbars - Customize" to move buttons around from one bar to another. You have a very similar, but less detailed, display in Internet Explorer, for example.

It really isn't too difficult to create a "custom" toolbar and put a few of your favorite buttons on it. This can sometimes avoid needing to have another larger toolbar open; and can save some space on the screen to work in, especially if you can avoid having one or two of the larger standard toolbars displayed.

Word2002 goes to extremes with the File - New thing, and displays several categories of "things you can do." (I find it rather annoying that it takes half the options window to ask me if I want to open a document when I click File - New. If I wanted to open a document I'd have clicked File - Open, but...) It displays, conspicuously, the two or three templates you've used most recently, but to open a new document with a template you haven't used recently, you have to search out the one you want. My "custom toolbar" has two buttons that I created, each of which opens a new document using a different specific template. I use these two layouts quite frequently, but apparently not consistently enough to keep them up as the "recent" choices. Clicking one of these buttons does the same thing as "File - New - New from template, General Templates - General Tab - scroll to find the one you want, and click it. One click on my "new card" button, and the new blank document I need to put stuff the way I want it on a 5x8 index card is up.

Word has a number of "floating toolbars" that pop up when you need them. If you insert a picture, when you click on the picture the "Picture Toolbar" should pop up. The default is that it "floats" somewhere in the middle of the screen. If you click and drag it up to the toolbar, it will open there the next time you click on a picture. I prefer to have it "on the bar" so that I don't have to keep moving it around to see the stuff I'm working on. If you decide that you want to "float" it again, just drag it back out into the middle of the screen the next time it's open.

In Word Perfect, character format is controlled by those "codes" that are placed in line with the text. In Word, the character format for a paragraph is "contained in the carriage return" at the end of the paragraph. If you've turned them on to show, you can select the "paragraph mark" at the end of one paragraph, (Hold Shift, and "arrow" across it) copy it, and paste it at the end of another paragraph to "apply" the "character style" of the first paragraph to another one. We used that a lot before the "Paint Format" brush came along. It might still come in handy.

In Word, the "document format" is in the file trailer/footer, which is "contained in" the last carriage return for the document. It's rarely needed with newer Word versions, but those still using Word95/98 or earlier should know that a "corrupted" Word file can often be "salvaged" by copying everything except the last carriage return to a new document.

A documented, but apparently not widely known, way of "corrupting" a Word file is to insert a bookmark at the beginning of the document. Every Word document has a "hidden" book mark - call it "home" - at it's beginning. If you insert a new bookmark that includes the first cursor position at the start of the document, you may replace the "home" bookmark with your own. Since Word keeps track of a lot of stuff by its offset from start of file, the document may fall apart. There's little reason to need a bookmark there, since Control-Home always takes you there, but if you really need your own bookmark at the start of the document, omit at least one character (it can be a space, or a hidden character) from the start of the bookmark. This may have been "fixed" in newer versions, but I'm so used to "avoiding the first char" that I ain't gonna test it.

In principle, it would seem that you might corrupt the document similarly by pasting a carriage return, as mentioned above, over the last carriage return of a document. The last ¶ "contains" the last paragraph's character format and the document format, and the paste only replaces the paragraph's character format, so it's not a problem there.

Especially with newer versions, Word is astonishingly "stable." It's a little depressing that all the problems I've learned to solve seem to have gone away (although some old tricks do come in handy). Now it's just a matter of getting set up to turn off all the "idiot" stuff that's defaulted in.

Those WP people who are justifiably proud of what they've learned about "Word Perfect arcane codes" may see from the above that there's a whole new fertile ground of "arcana" to pick up with Word. :-)

John


27 Feb 04 - 04:04 PM (#1125350)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage

Clueless, I am clueless as to what that page was about. When I set up the link it was to a screen capture image that someone had put up to show aspects of Word. It must have gone through some kind of active server page so that the link wouldn't work from another computer.

I've just opened my version of Word, captured the image in Snagit, added an arrow using PhotoDraw, saved it to a server using FrontPage (these last two are both inferior programs and I hope to replace them soon). You can now see the image here. I won't be leaving it up for long, but long enough that this discussion can hash over the "more buttons" button.

SRS


27 Feb 04 - 08:18 PM (#1125510)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

Yep and that button is only there because the Standrad and Formatting toolbars are on the same line, and ther isn't enough room to show all the buttons on that particular toolbar. In my opinion an absolute pain in the arse.
Thats why I always have the standard and formatting toolbars on seperate lines, so that I can see all the buttons.

Good work there SRS :-)


01 Mar 04 - 09:39 AM (#1126943)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: clueless don

Stilly River Sage, thank you for trying again with that screen capture! My Word toolbar does not have that button (two "greater than" signs over a downward pointing triangle.) As The Villan indicates, it may be because my toolbar takes up two rows.

Thanks to The Villan for your instructions, though the first time I tried them I didn't succeed in changing my toolbar (I'm sure that was my fault.)

Thanks also to JohnInKansas for your comments. I'm intrigued by the notion that the formatting for a paragraph is "contained in the carriage return" at the end of the paragraph. But I'm not sure how to make practical use of this information. If only there was a way to click on this final carriage return and obtain a display of what the formatting is. That would be a real "display codes" feature, the thing we WordPerfect users have been wanting!

Don


01 Mar 04 - 10:41 AM (#1126990)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas

clueless don

Everything that's in the formatting is displayed in format windows, so there are no "secrets" to be revealed by "opening up" the carriage return. If you want to know the paragraph style, you look in the style window. If you want to know about the paragraph indents, etc., you look in "format paragraph," and get a pretty "plain english" description. The font (typeface) name and point size are always displayed, but if you want more information you look in the "format font" window.

In all probability the carriage return is only an anchor (reference point) for pointers to where things happen in the document. The actual format "instructions" are most likely in the file trailer. It might be clearer to say "the & is formatted and the format of the & controls the format of the preceding paragraph."

The point here is that if you copy a carriage return symbol, and paste it onto the end of another paragraph, both paragraphs will be "formatted" the same.

The "practical" significance of knowing that the carriage return "contains" the paragraph format is that it helps you remember that something happens when you delete one. If you put your cursor to the left of a carriage return and delete it, the format of the preceding paragraph "continues into the following one." If you put the cursor to the right of a carriage return, and "backspace" over it, the format of the "following paragraph" is "carried" with the cursor into the preceding one.

Twenty years ago, we'd have been debating the difference between the "paragraph mark" (& ANSI 038), the Carriage Return (ANSI 013), and the Line Feed (ANSI 010). In most command line programs (and in WordPerfect?), the & is a CR/LF pair, and in some old programs it mattered whether it was 010-013 or 013-010. It took several years that I recall before the ANSI 038 could be fairly universally "interpreted" by a lot of old - but living - programs; but the "object" that's displayed in Word by the glyph for a "paragraph" is accurately described as "none of the above." If you use an ANSIVAL() function (e.g. in Visual Basic, or C) to "read" what one is, it will tell you it's an ANSI 13, but in a Word document it's a formatted ANSI 013, (and maybe some other things as well,) so you've only gotten part of the story.

"Disassembling" the & would be somewhat akin to taking off the wheels and removing the drivers seat in order to decide whether to change the engine oil. It ain't gonna tell you much that's applicable to anything that should concern you, and it's gonna be a whole lot of work. Add a quart and drive on.

John


01 Mar 04 - 11:08 AM (#1127009)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage

"Carriage return"--think about the term for a moment, then try to explain this idiomatic expression to a non-English speaker who is under the age of about 25. (Yes, I know what it means, I'm a touch typist from the days when you had to return your own carriage with that hand thingie, there wasn't even a button where the "enter" button is now to do it for you, before word wrap took that function away from the "enter" formerly "return" button. . .)


01 Mar 04 - 11:17 AM (#1127018)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

John
I can still remember going into companies when people started to abandon Wordperfect and move on to Word. I did a lot of crosstraining and most of it was -
I do this in WP, what do I do in Word. They were sweaty armpit 1 day sessions, but they worked and everyone that I taught, by the end of the day were looking forward to going back and working in Word.
The same was true about crosstraining people from Lotus 123 to Excel.
The worst part of that was getting caught up with converting files after the training. A nightmare.
Having said that, I earned a lot of money as a freelance trainer and earned an excellent reputation.
Oh for those days again. Learndirect has taken away a lot of that work.


01 Mar 04 - 11:28 AM (#1127031)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

SRS, did you have any nails left in those days. I remember those typewriters. Needed to have muscles in your arms to do the carriage return :-) Oh happy days LOL.
Do you remember punch cards (dropped a complete tray of them in my first day at work. Embarassed isn't the word) and comptometers.
Not that I used any of those, as I was working in a cost department in those heady days.
Giving my age away ha ha.


01 Mar 04 - 12:09 PM (#1127065)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage

Villan, I am a pianist (at least I was when I was playing all of the time). Typing came easily and the carriage return wasn't a strain. But those old manual typewriters, before the electric, they were good exercise. My kids finally broke my old Olivetti portable typewriter I was given when I graduated from high school. I got through my undergraduate years with that. When I went back to college for my MA in the mid 1990's I had been a freelance writer for many years and was well-adapted to the technology--but it struck me just the same--I could write my college papers on a computer! What a gift, if you've ever had to measure the page and know when to stop in order to put in footnotes.

SRS


01 Mar 04 - 12:24 PM (#1127079)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere)

I've been using Open Office for a while, so that I can open and work on school produced documents from Excel and Powerpoint at home, and vice versa, without the personal outlay for work programs when I can use MsWorks with Word for my own stuff.

I've just gone paid for with Star Office, which has a manual, and am transferring over my Works files - a few problems with the spreadsheets which are taking time, but the format they are saved in is much smaller, it's going to give me much more space. The graphs in Calc are not so flexible as in Works, though, so I may have to keep it installed. Not up to Excel, definitely.

But all the programs will save in MS compatible formats (even if they don't come out the other end exactly the same - they need tweaking before running a presentation!)

Our hardware supplier has started offering Star Office as an alternative to Office, so I need to assess it for school.

Penny


01 Mar 04 - 01:45 PM (#1127130)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas

Penny S - Unless you have the newest Microsoft Works, please don't mistake the wordprocessor you have for Word. You've already noted that the spreadsheet "isn't quite Excel," and in earlier versions of Works, the wordprocessor, while a little more of a "look-alike," isn't really Word. They have stated that the newest Works will actually include Word, and possibly "a version of Excel," depending on how you interpret their "sales-speak;" but I haven't seen it yet to know how "stripped down" either of them is.

And I just noticed again a comment by SRS - "It's a good idea to have a printer that understands what Word is trying to send." In earlier versions of Word, the fonts available (shown in the dropdown font list) depend on what you have set as your default printer. Regardless of how many fonts you had installed "on your machine" you would only see the ones your "default printer" could handle. If you were working for eventual printing elsewhere, on a printer that had fuller font capabilities than your own, you often had to install the driver for the printer you intended to use for the actual printing, with a "dummy" printer that didn't exist on your setup, and select the "dummy" as default - in order to get the font selections that would be available when you took the files to your print shop.

It's still considered a "best practice" to do critical setup with the intended print driver installed and selected, but the full set of "installed fonts" will usually be shown if you're using TrueType fonts, regardless of what printer you have selected as long as it's a "TrueType capable" one. If you actually print to a printer with limited font handling features, the print drivers now most often used may "alias" to something other than the specific font(s) you think you've set up to use, and it's not always obvious they're doing it. It can still cause problems if you're dealing with a high-speed high-volume print shop, so it's still a good idea to be "really fussy" about having a "clean" font installation in any such case.

The "font aliasing" is not specifically a Word thing. It can happen with any program that prints from Windows. The most "sensitive" program I've seen is probably Pagemaker, where using a "wrong" font in a Word document can corrupt the whole Pagemaker setup when the document is imported to Pagemaker for page layout. (And downloading a web document with an "embedded" font that has a name the same as, or very similar to, your good one can mess up your whole setup.) This is not a problem that most people should worry about, but is something to talk to your printer about if you're working something like large projects with book publishers.

John


01 Mar 04 - 03:28 PM (#1127161)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: clueless don

Thanks, JohnInKansas, for your additional comments. I didn't understand everything, but that's my fault.

I don't have a live example to hand, but a situation that seems to crop up a lot is that I have a document that was created by someone else, and there are a number of indented sections (are these "paragraphs" in Word talk? I'm talking about one or more sentences without "hard returns", to use WordPerfect language), and one of the sections is indented differently than the others. "Why is it doing that?", I ask. Highlight the offending section and change the tab/indent? Doesn't seem to work. Indent settings seem to come and go (as you scroll down through the document) like will o' the wisps.

I had a case recently where the "automatic numbering" feature had apparently been used (once again, a document created by someone else), and one of the numbers was in italic. How to make it non-italic? You can't select it! Bah!

I'm not really trying to turn this thread into a Word help session for me, but rather am trying to convey why people (such as myself) hate Word!

Don


01 Mar 04 - 04:36 PM (#1127206)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

Don
You sound as though you are getting cuaght in the bullets and numbers feature.
Although you have a Numbering and Bullets buttons on the Formatting Toolbar, the best way to see what is happening in your document is to place your cusor in the area where you have this problem, and then select the Format menu and then select the Bullets and Numbering menu choice. A dialog box will appear, and you will see which choice has been made. You can change it to what you want.

The other problem is that so many people do not know how to understand the ruler, with its tab settings. If the Bullets and Numbering is not the problem, its likely to be the tab settings on the ruler. Once again, place the cursor in the offending area and then click on Format, then Tabs. Click on any of the tab positions and you will see below that waht type of alignment is beeing used as well as leaders.

Most people don't understand all the Format menu choices. They are the key to most of the formatting problems within the document. If you haven't really spent time in that area, I suggest that you take some time out and study that area. It will pay huge dividends.

Even better find an advanced teacher who can give you cross training between one application and the other.
The only way anybody learns a new product is to stop using the old product and only use the new product.
I can rememeber when I was managemment accountant for Europe based in Amsterdam. I was responsible for bringing WordPerfect and Lotus into the company. I banned all the secretaries from using the old application after they went on a two day training course. The crafty devils were still using the old app. When I realised what was happening, I took the old apps away completely and left them only with WordPerfect and Lotus. I made myself available to help anybody who coudn't master how to do a task. Within a month, they didn't look back. In fact they formed a group and set weekly/monthly meetings to pass on all the new things thet they were learning. Problems were over. They didn't complain anymore. They loved WP.
The same applies when you have to Switch from WP to Word. Its tough but you have to stop using the old application or you will never learn how to use the new application. All you will do is moan about all the bad points within Word. Once again, I have seen the same happen with these 2 apps. After a short while, the secrataries loved Word and never ever wanted to go back to WP.

As a teacher, I have taught WP/Word both to Advanced level, and Lotus123/Excel again to advanced level. Every so often, it turned into pure consultancy. How do you think teachers learn to get the best from each app. Why they get the books out and study and practice. It no good saying one product is better than the other. Its a case of rolling your sleeves up and getting on with it.


01 Mar 04 - 09:50 PM (#1127401)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas

clueless don -

If you're seeing odd breaks that don't make sense, my first suspicion would be that you're in "normal" view where the real format doesn't show up. The first thing to do is switch to "print layout" view, so that you actually see how the document is laid out, and turn on that & "view all" toggle, so that you can see if there may be some stray tabs, soft returns, extra spaces, etc., inserted somewhere. Even in this modern age, you do find people using tabs to indent rather than setting the paragraph format. The problem with doing this is:

If the document isn't made to a self-standing template (few are) it's layout may update to the "normal" template on the machine where you open it. Any change in margins, spacing, font size, etc., may make the lines wrap so that the tab someone typed in now comes in the middle of a line. This could give you an "odd" break.

People also quite often throw in an extra space or few. This is usually inadvertent, but you do still find a few people who observe the "double space after periods" rule that was common in typewriter days. If you look closely at a Word (or any other "modern processor") document, you'll see that most proportional fonts have a longer space between sentences than the space between words within a sentence. This is built into the individual fonts, so isn't always the case; and it often takes a good eye to see the difference; but it's usually there.

The "grammar check" in Word will sometimes, but not always, tell you about repeated spaces (or repeated words), but when people get in a hurry, they can click the "ignore" button to get through the checks and it doesn't get "corrected," or they may have set up Word to "ignore grammar."

Tabs and indents generally apply to whole paragraphs, so if you're getting a "flyer" that seems to be indented oddly, it's likely that there is an "end of paragraph" that you're not seeing. Turn on "view all" - the & button. (And I'd recommend working "layout" problems in "print layout view." - the 3d button from the left in the lower left had corner of the Word window, or "View - Print Layout" on the toolbar.)

The "indent" for a paragraph can be "keyed" with Ctl-M to move the first line of a paragraph in (to the right), or Ctl-Shift-M to move it back to the left. If you haven't made other changes to the paragraph format, the whole body of the paragraph will move with the first line. You change the amount of "hang" or "indent" for the paragraph using Ctl-T to move all except the first line farther to the right, or Ctl-Shift-T to move all except the first line back to the left. You can't move anything outside the "page margins" using the quick keys, so sometimes you have to "synch" the hang and the indent to get things to line up. To get everything up against the page margin, the paragraph body and the "hanging first line" almost have to get there at the same time.

This may seem a little "counterintuitive" at first, but it actually works quite well. If you click on "Format - Paragraph" to see how the paragraph format is described, you find two boxes labelled left and right under a line that says Indentation. The first two boxes are not the paragraph indentation - they're the paragraph margins in language normally used in discussing paragraph layout. These two boxes tell how far this paragraph is "inside" the page margins you have set for the whole document (using "File - Page Layout" on the toolbar). A little to the right of these "paragraph margin" boxes is one with the label "Special." You choose "first line" if you want the first line of the paragraph indented farther to the right. You choose "hanging" if you want the body of the paragraph moved farther to the right (relative to the start of the first line - which makes it look like the first line "hangs out" to the left of the paragraph body).

If you do it in the "Format - Paragraph" dialog box, you can set paragraph margins outside the document margins. For example in the "left" box, set -0.5", and in the "Special" box set "hanging" with a "hang value" of 0.5". The first line of the paragraph will start a half inch outside (to the left of) the page margin, and the rest of the paragraph will align with the page margin.

You can also set "general alignment" in the "Format Paragraph" box, but Ctl-L makes things align on (or relative to) the left margin (Left justify). Ctl-R gets Right justify, with straight right edges. Ctl-E cEnter justifies, (with slightly ragged edges down both sides.) [Ctl-C was already used for "copy."]
Ctl-J is the full Justify, which adjusts the spacing between words to make both sides even.

If you get into "Print Layout" view, and turn on the "Show All" toggle, it's usually not too difficult to figure out why something doesn't look the way you think it should.

John


02 Mar 04 - 01:19 AM (#1127424)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

I have to say that you know your stuff John :-)


02 Mar 04 - 02:16 AM (#1127438)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas

Practice - practice - practice. (And hang around either with people who do know their stuff, and are willing to share - or with the ones who make all the mistakes so you have to do a lot of research.)

There are still a few things that continue to puzzle me, but I know the answers are easy if I wasn't too lazy to really wring the d... thing out.

And I forgot to mention, in the paragraph formatting thing, that the "quick keys" Ctl-M and Ctl-T have stayed the same; but the "un-M" used to be Ctl-N instead of Ctl-Shift-M; and the "un-T" used to be Ctl-V, instead of Ctl-Shift-T; so some users somewhere back in Word 6 or thereabout may have to look them up. I think the change was about the time Win98 hit the street.

John


02 Mar 04 - 09:19 AM (#1127635)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: clueless don

Thanks, once again, to The Villan and JohnInKansas for your input. Much helpful stuff there.

When I first switched to WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS from MultiMate Advantage II (before that, it was the Wang Word Processor), I *hated* WordPerfect. I cursed its name. But after I learned to use it, I was delighted with it, and couldn't imagine going back to MultiMate. So why don't I think the same will be true for the switch from WP to Word? Well, maybe because I've been using (or trying to use) Word for several years now, and it isn't getting any better.

Part of the problem is that we weren't given a manual. WordPerfect had a very good manual that I consulted frequently. I have since gotten a third-party manual for Word, but I find it hard to use. One problem is that Word has decided to use new terminology. Things like "hard space" and "hard hyphen" are called something else by Word. I can't ask "how can I do thus-and-so", because it isn't *called* "thus-and-so" in Word.

So maybe I need to get training. But I don't have *time* to get training. I have work to do!

Some specifics: JohnInKansas, I'm one of those people who space a paragraph with the tab key (and I also create tables with the tab key if I can, rather than using one of those Word tables.) And I always put two spaces after a period. I'm willing to consider that learning a new way to space a paragraph might be useful (and that I need to learn to use the Table function with more facility.) But the notion that we are no longer supposed to put two spaces after a period infuriates me. When was *that* memo issued, and why wasn't I copied?

I have always used "normal" view, so I will see if using "page layout" view helps me. Thanks for the tip!

JohnInKansas, when you say "turn on that & 'view all' toggle", do you mean the "show/hide" button, which looks like "¶"? I don't have a button that looks like "&".

And finally, JohnInKansas, are you saying that when I get a document from someone else, I not only need the document, but I also need the *template*? Oh, the humanity!

Thank you again everyone, sincerely, for taking the time to address some of these Word problems!

Don


02 Mar 04 - 12:43 PM (#1127786)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere)

John. It is Word 97, came with the old Works word processor (version 4.5), as well, unlike the newer version which I think only has Word. A friend has that one, and has had it for a couple of years. I don't go into the old processor at all now. It wasn't bad though - I can't remember anything I couldn't do with it that I wanted to. It's just that most documents I get from outside home are in Word, and it's easier to work in the same program.


02 Mar 04 - 01:56 PM (#1127845)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

Hey Clueless Don, I think you should change your name to Expert Don now. :-)

Hows the brain?


02 Mar 04 - 06:12 PM (#1128004)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas

Don - sorry, I miscoded amp instead of para. Yes, I meant the ¶ button.

Actually, most of the experienced users I know just go to Tools - Options and set the View tab stuff to always show all the "format" characters. They won't print, even if you have them "showing" when you print the document, so it doesn't affect the output - but it lets you see what's going on in the document.

If you go to Tools - Options, on the View tab, at the bottom, there's a section for "Outline and Normal Options." If you put a number in the "Style Area Width" box, something in the range of 0.7 to 1.0 usually, in Normal view you get a space down the left side of the window that shows what paragraph styles are applied to each paragraph. Usually, the paragraph that "looks different" will have a different "style name" shown there, and you can often fix it just by changing the style to match the other paragraphs.

If you set up a paragraph style that has the first line indent you want, you won't need to insert the tab at the start of the paragraph to make it indented. It will be done for you automatically, as long as you continue to use that style. You can also "indent" the whole paragraph (set margins different than the page margins), with or without a different "hang" or "indent" for the first line. If you "style" the paragraph, and leave off the starting tab, you can change all the paragraphs that have that "style" in a document at the same time just by "editing" the style.

Typewriters, with a few exceptions, didn't have "proportional" fonts in which the widths of individual characters can vary to improve the appearance and readability. In most, if not all, proportional fonts, the "period" has an extension of the character cell width to make the space that follows it a little wider than for other characters. This makes the double-space after a period "redundant," and they really should not be put in when you're using a modern word processor. Some word processors also "recognize" the difference between periods and decimal points, so that even though you use the same key to enter both, if it's followed by a space and an uppercase letter, it's a period, but if it's followed by a number it's a decimal point with a different spacing. Document appearance, and control over editing, is greatly improved by leaving out the double spaces and letting the wp program take card of this sort of stuff.

(The exception is that if you are deliberately using a monospaced font, like Courier, you might consider putting the double spaces back in. An example would be where you're using the <pre> tag to post "aligned text" here, to simulate a table.)

You don't have to send a template with a document, since a "document template" is part of the Word document file. That's one of the reasons an "empty" word .doc is several KB in size before you start typing. Definitions for all of the styles used in the document are "contained in" the document file.

The problem is that all paragraph styles are "based on normal," and if you have a different Normal.dot on your machine than was on the machine where the document was written, or if you have created paragraph styles with the same names as those the author used but with different characteristics, if you update styles in the document, "applying" the style definitions on your machine, you may get a different result than the author did.

If you click on Tools - Templates and Add-Ins, you'll see a box for "Automatically update styles." If that box is checked "on," Word may "automatically" re-apply the styles on your machine to the new document when you open it. If it finds styles in the document that are not already on your machine, it may add them to your normal.dot template. Most users should not turn on this feature (personal opinion).

If you are working with others on documents where consistent format and appearance are necessary, it is critical that you should all use the same normal.dot, and usually should create a separate "document" template where you keep the paragraph styles specific to the document. Any changes to either must be "coordinated" throughout the group. To be really safe, you should always "remove" that set of templates, and put a generic normal.dot in place when working on "non-group" stuff, to avoid the templates being changed inadvertently. You don't normally need to worry about this if you're working alone, or on less formally structured stuff.

So far as I've noticed, Word uses "names" for the control/special characters that are consistent with UNICODE character names. If you go to Word Help, and put "search" or "wildcards" into one of the search boxes, you should get a list of the "special characters" that will include "what word calls them," along with how to find and replace them using Edit Find and/or Edit Replace in Word. You use the "^" character as a tag to show that it's a "code" for what you want to find.
^p finds paragraph marks,
^t finds tabs.
(You could replace all those "intitial tabs" you've used to indent paragraphs by searching for ^p^t and replace with ^p.)
The "hard space" is called a non-breaking space (^s) which is consistent with Unicode and html, where you code it &nbsp;.
The hard dash is a nonbreaking hyphen (^~).
The "soft hyphen" is called an "optional hyphen" and marks where a word may be broken if it comes at a "wrap." It normally doesn't display "unless needed," but you can search for them using "^-" for your "search code."
You can search for any character by ANSI value using ^0nnn, where nnn is the "ANSI Number" for the character. (The leading zero is a "formal part" of the code, but can usually be omitted.)

You can Find: any character (^?), any letter (^$), any digit [number character] (^#), but you can't use these latter wildcards in the Replace box.
You can search for something, and paste the clipboard contents in to replace it by using ^c in the "replace with" box.

In help, you click on options to print the item you're looking at. I keep a copy of the search "wildcards" hanging on the wall next to my workspace.

It should be noted that generally Search will not find anything that's inside a textbox or inside a frame, unless you click inside to search there.

John


03 Mar 04 - 04:32 AM (#1128283)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan

How many people use the "Select Browser Object" button just below the vertical scroll bar.
Its that little circle between the double up arrow and the double down button.
A very useful tool for those people with complex and large documents, when searching for an object such as page, section, comment,footnote, endnote, field, edits, graphs, table etc

Once you have selected the type of search you want, you then use the double up and down arrows until you find what you are looking for.

Used to teach this a lot in my advanced courses.


03 Mar 04 - 04:50 PM (#1128677)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage

Villan, I have a chapter I've been working on where that would have been useful. I used to use a great feature in the dinosaur WordStar to search for things in a document, but have gotten out of the habit, and have overlooked this redundant tool. I'll give it a try--though what I usually do is go to "find" in the Edit menu and just type in the word I want and skip through the appearances until it lands on the one I want.

SRS


04 Mar 04 - 02:37 AM (#1128886)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas

I seldom use the select browser object button, but then I seldom have many "objects" - or so many of them (usually images) that it's too many steps to just "browse."

On a complex document, if you know in advance a few places you may want to go back to, you can "Insert - Bookmark" to give yourself specific places to home to. "F5" is the "go-to" quick key, and gives you the option to go to the same selection of "objects" as the button: page, section, bookmark, image, etc. (You can also open it with "Edit - Go To.") When you choose "bookmark," it gives you a list of the ones you've set, so you can click and go directly to a specific one without having to "browse" until you find it. The "gimmick" with bookmarks is that to delete a bookmark you choose "Insert - Bookmark" (rather counterintuitive). When the list comes up, you select one, and then click the "Delete" button. You can "move" a bookmark simply by re-inserting one, using the same name at a new place in the document.

I'll repeat the warning that in earlier versions of Word you should never put a Bookmark at the start of the document. I'm not sure whether they've fixed it in the newest versions, but I'd avoid it anyway. You don't really need one there, since that's where Ctl-Home takes you. (And Ctl-End takes you to the end of the document.)

If you open the "Go-To" box and select "Section," your choices are "previous" or "next." I'll note that either choice always goes to where the section begins, and if you're in the last section, and choose "next," you go to the start of the last section.

SWMBO* was about to post a comment here, when she discovered that when the cat rests his chin on the escape key it deletes everything in your reply box; so I think she's abandoned the effort. I believe she was going to comment that, in addition to the "Help for Word Perfect Users" in the Word Help file, there are two "check boxes" on the "General" Tab in "Tools - Options." One is called "Help for Word Perfect Users" and the other is "Navigation Tools for Word Perfect Users." I haven't actually looked at what they do, since I've been able to avoid Word Perfect for quite a long time, but they might be useful to those with more recent experience.

(*She is the professional user in our business - I'm just tech support.)

John


04 Mar 04 - 10:28 AM (#1129080)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage

A professional user with a cat in her lap? A pussy on the keyboard? An escapist cat? A keyed up pussy? What exactly are you trying to say here, John?


04 Mar 04 - 12:07 PM (#1129141)
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas

SRS -

Would you believe "All of the Above?"

She keeps a rather high-watt reading lamp on next to her keyboard, and the three cats seem to enjoy taking turns napping in the warm spot. One of the others quite often sleeps on top of the #3 monitor, which is seldom used but usually on and warm.

(When she's actually "working," we all just go hide somewhere.)

The "large-un" happened to roll over and lay his chin on the edge of the keyboard just as she was getting ready to submit.

She did also mention a comment about "if you use TrueType fonts" that might deserve some "expansion." Recent versions of Office really "balk" at using Type 1 (Adobe) fonts. Until fairly recently, though, many print shops would not accept work using TrueType fonts, and at least a few publishers still insist on Adobe.

The TrueType bias is a Windows thing, not just something that applies to Word. There is no good reason to use anything other than TrueType for most purposes; but if your work requires you to use Type 1 fonts, it is essential (opinion) that you install Adobe Type Manager and use it to handle the Type 1 fonts. Windows "sort of" lets you install Type 1 fonts without it, but will constantly attempt to substitute its "native" TrueTypes if you try to work with them using just the built in Windows features.

There's another check box in Word Tools - Options, on the "Save" tab, where you can choose "Imbed True Type Fonts." If you check this box, your documents will "contain" the True Type fonts you used to make them. It makes the file a little larger, but assures that any reader will see the typefaces you used, even if you used a TrueType "face" that they don't have, or don't have "turned on," on their machine.

Unfortunately, if an imbedded TrueType happens to have the same name as one of your Type 1 fonts, opening the document can "turn on" the substitution of the TrueType font, which may replace (or just thoroughly corrupt) your Adobe font in subsequent work on your machine - if you're using only the Windows features for handling your Adobe fonts. It's less of a problem if you use TypeManager.

Web downloads are a common source for "imbedded font" documents, and you can sometimes "acquire" a corruption of your Type 1 fonts from html documents, if the CSS imbeds a TrueType font.

This is NOT a problem for most users, but is worth noting if you're working with a fussy publisher or print shop. (Even if you're using WP.)

John