Archive for December, 2009

Happy New Year!

Best wishes to all of my readers for good health and happiness — as well as financial security, peace of mind, contentment, and the warmth of family and friends — in the new year. I hope that 2010 is your best year to date.

I also hope that the coming year bestows upon all of us the benefits of a more peaceful and environmentally sustainable world.

Thanks again to everyone for your support and patronage in 2009! I look forward to working with you — and, I hope, helping to resolve any lingering Word and WordPerfect issues that continue to perplex you — next year.

P.S. Do keep checking back for new substantive posts. I’m planning to add a couple over the long holiday weekend. I’m also contemplating whether to allow reader comments, although I’m not sure I’ll have time to respond at length.

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December 31, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Need a California pleading template for Word 2007?

Word 2007, unlike prior versions, doesn’t come with a Pleading Wizard. That fact has left some users in the lurch — especially people who are migrating to Word from WordPerfect. As a result, we periodically see requests on the web for a Word 2007 pleading paper template.

We happen to have a few different templates available, including a couple that use 24 points for double spacing and 12 points for single spacing. (One “suppresses” the page number on the first page; the other doesn’t.) As we prepare to offer the templates for sale — for a modest fee — we’d like to assess the demand therefor.

Hence, we’ve added a new poll that attempts to gauge the level of interest in buying a (simple) California pleading template for Word 2007. You can find the poll on the Polls page. We would appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to respond (no hurry — just whenever you get a chance).

Many thanks for your feedback. To read more about the pleading templates, see this press release on the CompuSavvy web site.

In the meantime, we wish you all of the charms of the holiday season, as well as good health and contentment in the coming year!

December 24, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Does WordPerfect have a “Track Changes” feature? Well, sort of…

Many people who use MS Word are accustomed to turning on the “Track Changes” feature when they want the program to mark revisions (insertions, deletions, and moved text) automatically as they type. This feature is highly customizable. It allows each user to select specific font colors, underlining styles, and other font attributes for text that is redlined, stricken, or moved. For example, I have set my Track Changes options so that insertions appear in blue with double underlining and deletions appear in red with a strikeout line (also in red).

Another convenient aspect of Track Changes is that when someone (whether the document author or a reviewer) positions the mouse pointer over revisions, a pop-up indicates who made the change, as well as the date / time and the nature of the modification.

Word users who also occasionally work in WordPerfect sometimes ask whether WP has a comparable feature. The short answer is, “sort of.”

The feature in WordPerfect that most closely resembles Track Changes is called “Document Review.” It serves some of the same purposes as Track Changes, but — be forewarned — not all of them. Nor does it work exactly the same way.

Before you test the feature, be sure to make a copy of your document, for two reasons: (1) so that you don’t accidentally overwrite a critical file, and (2) so that you have the option of keeping sequential drafts of the doc for purposes of comparing the drafts later on if you wish.

Once you have created a backup, open it into WordPerfect and click the File menu, Document, Review. You will see a dialog box that allows you to act as a reviewer or as the document author. Your first impulse might be to click “Author.” However, even if you are the author of the document, you can — and might want to — work on the doc as a reviewer. The advantage of doing so is that your revisions (insertions and deletions) will automatically appear in color as you work on the document — emulating, at least to a certain degree, the way that Track Changes works. If, instead, you choose to act as the author, your modifications won’t appear in color, but you will be able to go through the document and selectively accept or reject changes that other people have made.

To enable the quasi-Track Changes mode, click the “Reviewer” button. Doing so will open a Reviewer Toolbar that features a drop-down list of reviewers, plus a few buttons. The buttons at the left side of the toolbar let you (1) select a color for insertions or deletions, (2) enable or disable markings in the margin to flag lines that contain changes[1], and (3) display insertions and deletions in the normal text color (similar to the “Final” display option for tracked changes in Word). In addition, there are two buttons at the right side of the toolbar: one to close the toolbar and one to invoke WP Help (which is context-sensitive).

If your name is not already in the Reviewer List box, you’ll see a User Name box and a User Initials box. Type your name and initials. Then open the color picker and select a color. Make sure not to choose a color that has been selected by another reviewer (if any) in the list. (You can select a different color later on if you decide you don’t like the original color you chose.) Then go ahead and edit the document to your heart’s content. Make sure to save the revised document afterwards.

The first thing to point out about Document Review is that, whether you are working on the doc as an author or as a reviewer, your display options are significantly more limited than they are in Word. Your insertions and deletions always appear in the same color, differentiated only by the existence of strikeout lines through the deletions. (Individual reviewers can, and usually do, have their own unique color.) As mentioned above, you can change your revision color, but you can’t apply one color to insertions and a different color to deletions. Nor can you apply other font attributes, such as bolding, italics, underlining, or double underlining, to your changes.

Although WP Help appears to suggest that you can alter the appearance of insertions, deletions, and moved text, any changes you make via the File menu, Document Compare, Settings will apply only if you use the the Document Compare feature itself. They don’t appear when you are using Document Review.

Another difference between Word’s Track Changes feature and WP’s Document Review feature is that pop-ups with information about a particular revision and the person who made the change appear only when you are acting as a reviewer. If you click “Author” in order to view and accept or reject modifications that others have made, you won’t see any pop-ups. However, each reviewer’s markings display in his or her distinctive color, and you have the option of displaying only one particular reviewer’s changes (rather than changes made by all reviewers) by clicking the “View annotations from” drop-down and clicking that reviewer’s name.

When you review a document as the author, you will see a somewhat different Reviewing Toolbar — one with more commands than those on the toolbar displayed for reviewers. In addition to the familiar icons for toggling margin markings on and off and for displaying revisions in the normal text color, there are buttons for moving to (and selecting / highlighting) the previous annotation (WordPerfect terminology for an insertion or deletion) or the next one; for inserting (i.e., accepting) the current (selected) annotation, for inserting all annotations in the document, for rejecting (i.e., deleting) the current (selected) annotation, and for rejecting all annotations. At the right side of the toolbar, you will see Close and Help buttons.

As in Word, the revision marks — and the Reviewing Toolbar — will appear whenever you open a document that has gone through the Document Review process. The only way to make the markings (and the Reviewing Toolbar) disappear permanently is to review the document as an Author and accept or reject each individual modification, close the Reviewing Toolbar, and save the final draft.

If you haven’t accepted or rejected all of the revisions but the markings aren’t visible, it’s possible that you have closed the Reviewing Toolbar. To reopen it, simply click the File menu, Document, Review, then click Author.

Despite its inherent limitations, the Document Review feature can be useful. It allows you to mark insertions and deletions automatically as you type, rather than going back and manually adding strikeout and redlining (which, of course, you can do at any point — even in a document that has undergone a Document Review — by selecting the text and then applying the appropriate marks via the Font dialog or via the redline and strikeout icons on the Legal Toolbar[2]). Also, it lets the author circulate a document to various people for review and subsequently accept or reject modifications suggested by those reviewers.

The point is that Document Review isn’t 100% comparable to Word’s Track Changes feature, so it’s important to keep your expectations in check.

For a relatively lengthy discussion of the Document Review feature, see this WordPerfect Universe thread . It’s more than two years old and involves WordPerfect X3, but as far as I know, the conclusions (and instructions) remain valid.

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[1] By default, WP uses a “greater than” symbol (>) as the margin marker. If you want to use a different character, click File, Document, Review, and click to put a check in the “Place marker in margin of lines with edited text” box. When you do so, the “Marking character” box — normally grayed out — will become available. Type the character you’d like to use, then click either the “Reviewer” or “Author” button. (Don’t click “Cancel,” or WP will revert to the default character when you enable the mark margins feature.)

[2] To display the Legal Toolbar or any of the other toolbars that come with WordPerfect, click the View menu, Toolbars, locate the toolbar you want to use (you might need to use the scrollbar), click to put a check in the box next to the toolbar’s name, then click OK.

December 19, 2009 at 2:20 pm 1 comment

A few useful (but obscure) Word 2007 options

There are several default settings in Word 2007 that new users often want to change but have trouble locating. To make that task easier, here is a list a few of the configuration options my clients ask about most frequently. It’s far from comprehensive, and both the items I’ve chosen to discuss and the order of the list are somewhat random. However, the list should help you track down some of the key settings that Microsoft has tucked away in places you wouldn’t necessarily think to look.

Each of these settings can be found by clicking the Office button, then navigating to and clicking the Word Options button at the very bottom of the fly-out menu (under Recent Documents). If you prefer keyboard shortcuts, you can press the key combination Alt F, I. (In earlier versions of Word, most configuration options are located on various tabs within the Options dialog, which you invoke by clicking the Tools menu, Options.)

In Word 2007, the Word Options are grouped into categories and subcategories. Clicking a category in the navigation area at the left side of the screen produces several subcategories for that category. Depending on the category, you might need to scroll down to see all of the subcategories.

Remember to click OK before exiting the Word Options. Otherwise, Word won’t save your modified settings.

Options Listed Under “Popular”

When you first open the Word Options, you’re taken to the “Popular” category. One of the choices there that people sometimes want to disable is the Mini Toolbar. That’s the toolbar that, by default, pops up automatically when you select text — at first appearing as a faint, ghostly presence, and then solidifying when you move the mouse pointer over it. Many people like it, but if you don’t, simply uncheck it and OK out of the Word Options.

Options Listed Under “Display”

Clicking the “Display” category on the left takes you first to the “Page display options” subcategory.

My clients sometimes ask how to turn on the option that shows the top of a virtual page, including the margin area (i.e., where any header would appear), rather than hiding that portion of the page and having the first line of text appear immediately below the Ruler (if the Ruler is displayed). That is the setting at the top of this subcategory, the one labeled “Show white space between pages in Print Layout view.” To enable it, click to put a check in the box, then OK out.

Note that even with this option enabled, it’s possible to hide the white space by accident. If you are certain that you turned the option on but you’re not seeing white space between pages, move the cursor to the top of the virtual page — into the slim area between the document and the Ruler or whatever is immediately above the document — and, when the mouse pointer becomes a double-headed arrow (one pointing down and one pointing up), double-click. That should display the white space again. (Double-clicking in that area toggles between displaying and hiding the white space.)

It’s unlikely that you’ll want to change the other default settings under “Page display options,” but give them a quick glance just in case. Keep in mind that if you check any of the choices under “Always show these formatting marks on the screen,” those non-printing characters will display at all times — even if you click the paragraph symbol (pilcrow) in the Paragraph group on the Home tab in an effort to toggle them off. This is a potential “gotcha” to keep at the back of your mind.

Options Listed Under “Advanced”

There are a handful of settings listed in the “Advanced” category that you might want to change.

The “Editing options” Subcategory

One of these, hiding demurely in the middle of the “Editing options” subcategory, is “Use the Insert key to control overtype mode.” Surprisingly, this setting is turned off by default — which makes Word 2007 different from previous versions of Word and from nearly all other Windows programs, in which the Insert key toggles between Insert mode (where new typing bumps existing text over to the right, rather than replacing it) and Typeover or Overtype mode (where new typing actually erases existing text).

Upon reflection, it makes sense that Microsoft chose to disable this feature by default, considering how commonly people press the Insert key and end up overwriting existing text by accident. Still, considering what a radical departure this change represents, many people are caught off guard by it. If you want to enable the option, making Word 2007 behave more like traditional Windows programs, just click the first checkbox. Watch out, though: The second checkbox (labeled “Use overtype mode”) makes Typeover / Overtype the default, which is neither the norm nor the mode that most people prefer.

The “Cut, copy, and paste” Subcategory

Perhaps the most common question I get from clients about configuration options is how to disable the “Paste Options” buttons. By default, these little guys pop up whenever you paste text within a document or between docs. They’re designed to make it easy for you to control the formatting of pasted text — to ensure that it appears in the same format as the original text or in the same format as the text in the location where you’re pasting it — but, judging from my clients’ reactions, a lot of people find the buttons more annoying than useful. If you agree, click to uncheck “Show Paste Options buttons” and OK out.

The “Display” Subcategory

The Recent Documents list in Word 2007 allows for the display of a much larger number of docs than in previous versions of Word (where the maximum number was nine). If memory serves, the default setting is 20. You can change this setting via the “Display” subcategory of the “Advanced” Word Options by using the arrows (“spinners”) or by simply typing a higher or lower number under “Show this number of Recent Documents.”

Another useful option that you can configure in the “Display” subcategory is the one labeled “Style area pane width in Draft and Outline Views.” When you type a number higher than zero — and usually greater than 1 (meaning 1″) — Word will show the styles in use in your document in a narrow area in the left margin when you switch to Draft view. There are other ways to display the styles in your document (for example, you can add a button to the Quick Access Toolbar [QAT] that shows the style of the paragraph your cursor is in[1]), but this method has the advantage of showing all the styles in the document at a glance.

Another highly requested option that is located in the “Advanced” Category under “Display” is one that I’ve written about elsewhere in this blog, namely, the one that allows you to display a second set of “control buttons” (Minimize, Maximize / Restore, and Close) that affect individual documents, rather than the program itself. This setting is confusing for two reasons: (1) because the default setting hides the second set of control buttons — such that large numbers of people accidentally close Word when they meant to close a specific document; and (2) the wording of the option doesn’t give any indication whatsoever that the setting affects the control buttons.

The option is labeled “Show all windows in the Taskbar.” When it is enabled, as it is by default, each open document is displayed in the Windows Taskbar, which is well and good. However, the trade-off is that the second set of control buttons — the ones that affect the document rather than the program — is hidden. To display the document control buttons, you have to uncheck this option. But be aware that when you do so, individual documents will no longer display in the Taskbar.

Only you can decide which of the two alternatives you prefer. If you decide you’d rather see the document control buttons, consider adding a “Switch Windows” button to the QAT so that you have any easy way of displaying (and moving among) your open documents. (See footnote [1] below for instructions on adding buttons to the QAT.) Of course, you also have the option of using the “Switch Windows” command at the right side of the View tab, and if you like, you can cycle among your open documents by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl F6.

Although this list isn’t exhaustive, I hope that it goes a long way toward helping you reconfigure Word to make it work the way you want it to.

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[1] To add a “Style” box to the QAT: Right-click the QAT, then click Customize Quick Access Toolbar…. When the Word Options opens, navigate to the “Choose commands from” drop-down on the left and click it, then select “All Commands” (the default is “Popular Commands”). Scroll down about 5/6 of the way until you find “Style” (not “Styles,” plural). Click to select it, then click the “Add” button toward the center of the screen. To move the style box left or right on the QAT, click the up (left) or down (right) button. Then click OK to save your settings and close the Word Options.

To add a “Switch Windows” button to the QAT: Right-click the QAT, then click Customize Quick Access Toolbar… When the Word Options opens, navigate to the “Choose commands from” drop-down on the left and click it, then select “View Tab” (the default is “Popular Commands”). Scroll down until you find “Switch Windows.” Click to select it, then click the “Add” button toward the center of the screen. To move the style box left or right on the QAT, click the up (left) or down (right) button. Then click OK to save your settings and close the Word Options.

Note that you might find it useful to move the QAT below the Ribbon, if you haven’t done so already. When you do so, it will expand all the way across the screen, allowing you to add quite a few icons to help you carry out the tasks you perform most frequently. To reposition the QAT, right-click it and click Show Quick Access Toolbar Below the Ribbon.

December 12, 2009 at 2:17 pm

My Lyon 2010 calendar is now on Amazon!

The good news is that my calendar is available on Amazon — you can buy it via this link. The bad news is that, although they just posted the description, there aren’t any previews available on the Amazon page.** However, you can preview four images from the 12-month wall calendar on the Lulu.com page. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the main advantage of buying from Amazon is that its shipping costs typically are lower than Lulu’s, although Lulu does offer discounts from time to time, particularly on weekends.

I’ll repeat the description here:

A paean to Lyon, France, showcasing the city’s natural beauty as well as some of its architectural landmarks and monuments. Photos of the historic town center known as “Vieux Lyon,” with its cobblestone streets and medieval towers, alternate with serene images of a sprawling park at the north end of the city and of the majestic Saône River. Toward the end, the calendar depicts some of the shimmering displays that dazzle tourists and residents alike during the Festival of Lights every December. Both American and French holidays are listed.

All photographs © 2006/2008 Jan Berinstein.

PLEASE NOTE: Proceeds from the sale of this calendar will be split 50:50 with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Please let your contacts — Francophiles and others — know about the availability of the calendar on Amazon.

I think the photos capture the essential charm and scenic majesty of Lyon. I hope you enjoy them.

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**Addendum as of 12/15/2009: I’ve just uploaded three additional images from the calendar to the Amazon page, in essence creating a preview. I might add one more at some point in the next couple of days. Also note that Lulu has provided a number of coupon codes on this page; be sure to look at the entire page. These particular coupons expire on December 24th.

December 10, 2009 at 11:19 am


© Jan Berinstein 2009-present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of one or more articles posted on this blog -- i.e., without express written permission from the blog’s author -- is strictly prohibited. You may use brief excerpts and/or links, provided that you give full, accurate, and prominent credit to Jan Berinstein, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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