Archive for July, 2009

WordPerfect Universe, aka WPU

One of the best places on the Internet — if not the best place — to find answers to your WordPerfect questions is WordPerfect Universe, a user-to-user support group. The site, located here (www.wpuniverse.com), consists of forums where registered members can post “how-to” or troubleshooting questions and can offer advice about any of the programs in the WordPerfect Office suite (meaning primarily WordPerfect, Quattro Pro, and Presentations). WPU, as it is affectionately known, originally was run by WordPerfect macro guru Gordon McComb. Although I’m the owner and principal administrator at this point, Gordon — whom we have reverently dubbed the “Founder” — still drops by from time to time to share tips and join in one of the numerous side conversations.

We do require registration, but that’s more or less a formality. A few years ago, after a deluge of registrations by spammers, we decided to start “validating” new members. The process doesn’t take long — essentially, the administrators check to make sure that each registrant has a legitimate reason for visiting the site — and once you’ve been approved, you can post immediately. Under normal circumstances, you’ll get answers fairly quickly, although weekends and holidays can be slow.

There are a number of very knowledgeable regulars who lend the site an air of gravitas. Some of these folks, like the venerable Charles Rossiter, are C_Techs, volunteers who work directly with (but are not employees of) Corel Corporation, the company that owns WordPerfect. Others, such as Barry MacDonnell and Roy Lewis (to name just a couple), are simply highly skilled, talented users who have developed — and continue to develop — a repertoire of wonderfully functional macros to automate people’s work. Still others, foremost among them the prolific Laura Acklen, have shared their expertise through compellingly written WordPerfect books and articles and also offer valuable tutorials on their own web sites. (I’ve provided links in the “Recommended Sites” section to Barry’s Toolbox for WordPerfect site and to Laura’s WP Writer site.) These are but a few of the people who grace WPU with their expertise and ingenuity.**

At WPU, we pride ourselves on being an unusually friendly, polite, and civilized place, a genuine community. You’ll occasionally get a crusty reply from someone who’s having a bad day — or who has forgotten, momentarily, how confusing computers can be for “newbies” — but that’s the exception to the rule, and can be taken with the proverbial grain of salt. Most folks have a genuine desire to help. And if a reply goes over your head, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification, a simpler explanation, or even step-by-step instructions.

We recommend that new members fill out a profile that lists, among other basic information, the version of WordPerfect they are using. Beyond simply knowing the version, we request the release number (sometimes called the build number), information that can be critical in diagnosing and resolving problems. You can find the release number by clicking the Help menu, About WordPerfect. For example, the version I use at home most of the time is X3 (13), and specifically, release 13.0.0.470. If members include this type of information in their profile, it helps us troubleshoot various issues.

The forums that get the most traffic probably are the How Do I…? and Troubleshooting forums, but the Macros & Merges forum is quite active, too. There’s also a forum for people who are still using a DOS version of WordPerfect (closely monitored by WP for DOS mavin Edward Mendelson, who maintains an awe-inspiring site that deals exclusively with DOS versions), as well as a forum for installation and upgrading issues, one covering other programs in the suite besides WordPerfect, one where people can list their favorite tips and tricks, one for commenting on tech news, and even one for a quarterly newsletter (highlighting selected threads that have broad appeal).

Although I fully intend to continue posting WordPerfect tips in this blog, be sure to visit WPU if you have a specific question or problem that I haven’t addressed here. The signal advantage of a site like WPU is that when you post your question there, you get the benefit of the collective wisdom of the group, which is always far greater than that of any individual. (For example, I know a great deal about features used in formatting legal documents, but I am not very macro-literate. By contrast, there are some regulars on WPU whose virtuosity with macros will take your breath away.) Plus, it’s a very safe environment in which to ask questions.

So if you need assistance with WordPerfect (or with one of the other programs in the WordPerfect suite), do stop by and sign up. It’s free, it’s easy, and once your membership has been approved, you’ll have full access to a huge repository of WordPerfect knowledge.

See you there!

**Apologies to the myriad others who contribute tremendously to WPU but whose names I haven’t mentioned here. You know how much I value you!

July 31, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Adding “groups” to the QAT (Word 2007)

Did you know that you can add entire “groups” (as in groups of commands on various tabs of the Ribbon) to the Quick Access Toolbar (the QAT)?

For instance, you can navigate to the Home tab, right-click within the bottom border of the Paragraph group, click “Add to Quick Access Toolbar,” and voilà! You’ll see a new button on the QAT that contains a drop-down replica of the Paragraph group. Now you can have easy access to all of the commands in that group regardless of which tab is at the forefront.

You can do the same with the Page Setup group, the Table group, the Navigation group in the Header & Footer tab, and so forth. (For obvious reasons, it’s unlikely that you would want to add more than three or four groups to the QAT, but the ability to add groups certainly gives you some great options.)

To remove a group icon (or any other icon) from the QAT, simply right-click it and click “Remove from Quick Access Toolbar.”

Thanks to Donna Payne of Payne Consulting for this very cool tip, which she mentioned in passing at a presentation she gave for LegalTech L.A. last month.

July 25, 2009 at 4:52 pm

WordPerfect menus and the Property Bar (all recent versions)

This post was prompted by a search someone performed a couple of days ago that used the terms “restoring WordPerfect menus.”

You might not realize that WordPerfect comes with a variety of different menu sets — so that people can use menus from an older version of WordPerfect or from a recent version of Word — and that it is possible to change which menus are displayed merely by right-clicking somewhere within the menu bar. In fact, people sometimes manage to switch menus by accident, which can be rather disorienting.

To restore the menus you’re accustomed to seeing, right-click within the menu bar and click to select the one you normally use.

On a related note, clients sometimes ask (and we sometimes see posts on WordPerfect Universe asking) why the context-sensitive toolbar known as the Property Bar is no longer visible. As mentioned in a previous post, to display the Property Bar — and any of the myriad other toolbars that come with WordPerfect — click the View menu, Toolbars… and click to check the box next to the bars you want to show, then OK out of the dialog.

Remember to scroll all the way down to see the range of toolbars that are available to you. You might discover something that will be useful to you on a daily basis!

July 24, 2009 at 10:21 am

Another way to add the file name and path (Word 2007)

In a previous post, I suggested using the method for inserting the file name and/or the file name and path that worked in versions of Word prior to Word 2007. I was under the impression that, like its predecessors, Word 2007 came with built-in Quick Parts entries (formerly called AutoText) that allowed you to insert codes for the file name and/or for the file name and path.

It’s possible that I was mistaken. I’m not 100% sure, because I’ve imported my AutoText entries from Word 2003 into Word 2007, which might explain why I have access to the codes for the file name / file name and path via Quick Parts.

If you can’t find Quick Parts entries for the file name and/or the file name and path and you can’t import them because you don’t have an earlier version of Word, not to worry. There’s another way to insert codes for the file name and/or for the file name and path — and you can use it to create your own Quick Parts entry if need be.

Here’s how:

Position your cursor where you want the code to appear. Then click the Insert tab, Quick Parts drop-down, Field (or simply press Alt I, F). That will open the Field dialog. At the left side, you’ll see a list of fields.

Press the letter “F,” which will take you to the first field that starts with “F.” It should be FileName, but if not, press “F” again until FileName appears in the list and is highlighted.

Before clicking OK, take a look at the upper right-hand side of the Field dialog. Note that there is a checkbox labeled “Add path to field.” If you want the code to include the full path (the exact location of the file in the computer, consisting of the drive letter, folder, and any subfolders), check this box. If you want the code to include only the file name, don’t check the box. Either way, OK out of the dialog. Word will insert a code for the file name (and, if you checked the “Add path” box, the path).

If you haven’t yet saved the document on your screen, you’ll see only DocumentN, where “N” represents a number (it will vary depending on how many documents you’ve opened already in this session of Word). Once you save the doc and give it a name, the field code will change accordingly. (If for some reason it doesn’t, click within the code and press F9 or select the entire document by pressing Ctrl A and then press F9. F9 is the keystroke to update codes in Word documents.)

To turn the code into a Quick Part, do the following:

First, decide if you want to change the font size or the font face. Select the code and make any changes you like. Then, with the code selected, click the Insert tab, Quick Parts, Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery. When the dialog appears, give your entry a short name that is easy to remember, such as “path” or “filename” (without quotation marks). Case doesn’t matter; Quick Parts aren’t case sensitive.

You can type a description if you like (to remind yourself what the Quick Part does), but that’s optional. Note that Quick Parts entries are saved by default to a template called BuildingBlocks.dotx; if you prefer, you can save your entry to a different template. (You might want to save your entries to the normal.dotm template, if only because that template is less prone to corruption than the BuildingBlocks.dotx template. Either way, be sure to make backup copies of your important templates from time to time, since corruption can result in a loss of your customizations.**)

When you have finished, click OK to save the Quick Parts entry.

To insert the file name or the file name and path, simply position your cursor in the appropriate place, type the name you assigned to the Quick Part entry (path or filename or whatever you chose), and then press F3. F3 is the “expander key” that works with all Quick Part entries. (This is a carry-over from previous versions, which used F3 to expand AutoText entries.)

For people who want a code for the file name or the file name and path to appear in all documents, note that you can edit your default template (normal.dotm; each user has one) to add the code. It’s common practice to insert the code in a footer. Just be sure to open the actual template, rather than a document based on the template, if you want to make the code available globally in all new documents.

**Your user-customizable copy of the BuildingBlocks.dotx template is located here:

Windows XP — C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Microsoft\Document Building Blocks\1033 (assuming you are using the American English version; if not, the number will be something other than 1033)

Windows Vista — C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Document Building Blocks\1033 (with the same caution as for Windows XP)

July 21, 2009 at 4:11 pm 1 comment

A few more keyboard shortcuts (Word, all recent versions)

In the previous post, I mentioned Ctrl Q, which will strip out all formatting you have applied manually to a paragraph via the Paragraph dialog. It’s important to note that Ctrl Q will not work on paragraphs to which a style has been applied. When a style has been superimposed on a paragraph, use Ctrl Shift N (for Normal) to clear the formatting. Ctrl Shift N reapplies the Normal paragraph style — in other words, the default settings.

Many people are unaware that you can easily increase the font size one point by selecting text and pressing Ctrl ] (close bracket). Each time you press that key combination, the size will increase by an additional point. To decrease the font size one point, press Ctrl [ (open bracket).

Ctrl > (close chevron) and Ctrl < (open chevron) work the same way, except that they change the font size by two points if the existing font size is 12 points or larger.

Ctrl Shift Spacebar (or is that Space Bar?) inserts a hard (non-breaking) space, useful when you want to keep two words or other bits of text together on one line. For example, you can use a non-breaking space between a person's title and her last name (e.g., Ms. Berinstein) so that the title isn't dangling on the line above the name. Some people like to keep the month and day together in dates (e.g., July 17).

Ctrl Shift – (hyphen) creates a non-breaking hyphen, sometimes used to keep telephone numbers on the same line (555-1212).

Pressed for time at the moment, but stay tuned.

July 16, 2009 at 10:11 pm

A few nifty keyboard shortcuts (Word, all recent versions)

Everybody loves keyboard shortcuts! They allow us to automate our work and accomplish tasks easily and quickly. So here are a few of my favorite keyboard shortcuts in Word. The ones I’ve posted here work in all recent versions, from Word 2007 back through Word 97 and possibly even earlier. I’m presenting them in no particular order.

Ctrl F6 — cycles through all open documents.

Shift F5 — puts the cursor back at the last editing position.

F7 — runs the Spell-Checker.

Ctrl H — Find and Replace. Note that you can use this dialog to find and replace formatting marks as well as characters, words, and phrases.

Ctrl M — indents the paragraph your cursor is in from the left. Each time you press Ctrl M, the paragraph is indented one additional tab stop. To decrease the indent by one tab stop at a time, press Ctrl Shift M.

Ctrl T — creates a hanging indent. Works like Ctrl M in that each time you press that key combination, the indent increases by one tab stop. Ctrl Shift T decreases the indent.

Ctrl Q — removes (from the paragraph your cursor is in) all paragraph formatting that you applied via the Paragraph dialog. That includes alignment, indentation, line spacing, before and after spacing, line and page breaks (such as Widow/Orphan settings), and tabs. In effect, Ctrl Q restores the default paragraph format.

Ctrl Shift * — displays the non-printing characters (spaces inserted by pressing the space bar, tabs, paragraph symbols, end-of-cell markers in tables, etc.). Press Ctrl Shift * a second time to hide the non-printing characters.

Ctrl Delete — deletes the word to the right of the cursor. (The cursor must be on the first letter of the word.)

Ctrl Backspace — deletes the word to the left of the cursor. (The cursor must be to the right of the last letter of the word.)

I’ll post additional Word keyboard shortcuts, as well as selected WordPerfect shortcuts, soon.

July 11, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Fixed!

The problem with the Amazon page for my Word 2007 book has been fixed as of this afternoon.  It’s now possible to buy the book on Amazon once again.

As I’ve remarked before, you can visit the Lulu page to look at the preview and then order from Amazon, where the shipping charges generally are lower.

Either way, I would appreciate it if you would let your contacts who might be interested in the book know that they can purchase it from either Lulu or Amazon.  The Amazon page is located here:

Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Office Word 2007

Thank you for your patience! (And thanks to the folks at Lulu and Amazon for their persistence in getting this thing worked out.)

Thanks, too, for reading my blog. I’ll try to post more substantive tips over the weekend.

July 10, 2009 at 3:00 pm

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Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

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