Archive for January, 2010

Create a keyboard shortcut to insert a table row (Word 2003 / 2007)

Neither Word 2003 nor Word 2007 comes with a keyboard shortcut to insert a table row above an existing row. However, you can create your own keyboard shortcut for this function. To set up a key combination that will insert a table row above the current cursor position**, do the following:

Word 2003

Click the Tools menu, Customize, then click the “Keyboard” button.

When the Customize Keyboard dialog appears, locate “Categories:” on the left-hand side of the dialog, scroll down if necessary, and click to select “Table.” Then on the right-hand side, under “Commands,” scroll down and click to select TableInsertRowAbove.**

Click to position the cursor in the “Press new shortcut key” box and then press any key combination you like, such as Alt Insert – the key combination that inserts a table row above the current row in WordPerfect. If the key combination is already assigned to another feature or function, Word will so indicate (see “Currently assigned to,” a little more than halfway down the dialog box). You can choose to override the existing assignment or select a different key combination.

When you have inserted the key combination you want, the “Assign” button will become active, and you can click it. Then Close/OK out of the dialog box.

Word 2007

Either click the Office Button, Word Options, Customize or right-click the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) and click Customize Quick Access Toolbar.

Then, navigate to “Keyboard Shortcuts” in the lower left-hand side of the Word Options screen and click the “Customize” button.

When the Customize Keyboard dialog appears, locate “Categories:” on the left-hand side of the dialog, scroll down if necessary, and click to select “Table Tools, Layout Tab.” Then on the right-hand side, under “Commands,” scroll down and click to select TableInsertRowAbove.**

Click to position the cursor in the “Press new shortcut key” box and then press any key combination you like, such as Alt Insert – the key combination that inserts a table row above the current row in WordPerfect. If the key combination is already assigned to another feature or function, Word will so indicate (see “Currently assigned to,” a little more than halfway down the dialog box). You can choose to override the existing assignment or select a different key combination.

When you have inserted the key combination you want, the “Assign” button will become active, and you can click it. Then Close/OK out of the dialog box.

Now you can insert a new table row with just a couple of keystrokes!

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**To insert a table row below the cursor position, use the TableInsertRowBelow command instead.

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January 23, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Temporary Hard Returns (THRt) in WordPerfect

Every once in a while, WordPerfect users find that the program refuses to perform a particular task and instead inserts a mysterious code that looks like so: [THRt]. This instruction, known as a Temporary Hard Return, can’t be deleted, but you can make it disappear — and make your document behave — by doing a few tweaks.

There are a few different reasons WP inserts a Temporary Hard Return code. Usually it means that some code that follows the THRt needs to be placed at the beginning of a line or on a new page.

An obsolete article from the Corel Knowledge Base provides an example that might help clarify how THRt codes work. (Try to ignore the fractured English, which is taken verbatim from the article.)

[THRt] Codes Appear in a Document and Cannot be Deleted
Article ID: 19484
Revision Date: November 02, 1998

Text inserted on a line followed by a paragraph formating code (IE., Table, Columns, etc) cause a THRt codes to appear in a document. This code cannot be deleted.

The THRt code is a Temporary Hard Return Codes. It is a paragraph formatting codes which act the same as [SRt] Soft Return codes. The code was entered by the program because whatever formatting follows that code must appear at the beginning of a line. This is working as designed.

For example: If the word “Test” is typed and a table is created directly after the word “Test” (with the cursor on the same line) a [THRt] code will be inserted after the word “Test.” This is because WordPerfect requires a table to begin on a new line. WordPerfect will remove the THRt code when the formatting is changed or in this instance the table is moved to a new line.

© Corel Corporation

WordPerfect also sometimes inserts a THRt if you type a word that is too long for the space allotted (such as in a narrow column) and you don’t have hyphenation turned on. It might help to turn on hyphenation (Tools menu, Language, Hyphenation, check the “Turn hyphenation on” box, and click OK) or bump the lengthy word down to the next line.

In other situations, changing or deleting the formatting that precedes the THRt code should remove the THRt code — because it no longer has a reason to exist. If that doesn’t help, try inserting a regular hard return [HRt] (by pressing the Enter key) or a hard page code [HPg] (by pressing Ctrl Enter) so that the stray formatting code that is causing the problem moves to the beginning of the next line or the next page.

January 17, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Function keys acting funky? An F-lock keyboard could be the culprit…

Recently, a client of mine called me into his office and plaintively asked why he couldn’t get a certain familiar keyboard shortcut to work. I tried the shortcut myself, to no avail. Then it came to me: “Maybe he’s using an F-lock keyboard.”

I examined the keyboard and quickly discovered the notorious F-lock key.[1] One quick press, and the keyboard shortcut in question again worked as expected. The client was thrilled, and I was relieved.

Not all keyboard problems have such a simple solution. However, if the key combos that you rely on to perform your daily tasks suddenly stop working, suspect the F-lock keyboard. It’s easy to test and, if that is indeed the culprit, easy to fix.

Introduced by Microsoft in 2001, the F-lock keyboard gives users the option of changing the way the function keys — as well as keys such as Insert, Num Lock, Prnt Scrn, Scroll Lock, and Break — operate. Sounds useful, no? In theory, the idea that people can remap their keyboard by pressing a single button makes a certain amount of sense. The problem is that Microsoft chose to make the alternate keyboard (the one with the remapped keys) the default, requiring users to figure out (1) that the unexpected change in functionality is by design — i.e., nothing is broken, and (2) how to restore the conventional functions to the F-keys and the others that Microsoft has modified.

To make matters still more confusing, the default setting is considered “Off” rather than “On” (it might help to think of the standard functions being turned off unless you deliberately press the F-lock key to turn them back on again). And even after you restore the conventional settings by pressing the F-lock key, the keyboard might revert to the alternate settings if there’s a power surge or if you have to disconnect and reconnect the keyboard for some reason.[2]

Here is a list of the function key commands that go into effect when the F-lock key is “Off” (i.e., the default state of the F-lock keyboard):

F1 — Help (same as the standard setting)
F2 — Undo
F3 — Redo
F4 — New
F5 — Open
F6 — Close
F7 — Reply (to e-mail)
F8 — Forward (e-mail)
F9 — Send (e-mail)
F10 — Spell
F11 — Save
F12 — Print

When you purchase an F-lock keyboard (or a computer that comes with one), you’ll likely receive a disk that contains Microsoft’s “IntelliType Pro” software that allows you to remap the function keys yourself. I have no personal experience with this software, so I don’t know how user-friendly it is or isn’t.

There are also a few hacks available, but I don’t recommend them for anyone other than advanced users — such as IT people — who understand (and are able to repair) the potential negative consequences of such hacks. (CAUTION: If you do decide to attempt a hack, it’s a good idea to back up the Registry and/or set a restore point beforehand so that you can roll things back to their previous state if something goes wrong during your experiments.[3]) Remember, the easiest fix is simply to press the F-lock key, which will toggle between the conventional F-key functions and what Microsoft refers to as the “enhanced” functions. If for some reason that doesn’t work (and it’s worth trying twice just to make sure[4]), it’s possible that something else is causing the problem.

For more information about the F-lock keyboard, see the links below:

F-Lock (short but helpful Wikipedia article)

Resolve unexpected Function (F1 – F12) or other special key behavior (Microsoft Knowledge Base article)

Microsoft Keyboards — F-Lock Key (Microsoft MVP Jason Tsang’s helpful post, which includes information about a couple of available hacks)

Function Keys (Older thread on WordPerfect Universe that deals with the F-lock keyboard and one possible hack)

new keyboard (Another older thread on WPU with userful information and links)
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[1] The F-lock key typically is located at the upper right side of the keyboard. However, there are several different F-lock keyboards in circulation, and the location of the F-lock key — as well as which specific alternate commands are available — depends on the make and model of your keyboard. Note that Logitech, Viewsonic, and other manufacturers besides Microsoft also make F-lock keyboards.

[2] This problem is less of an issue with the newer F-lock keyboards, which tend to retain the user’s preferred settings even after a power loss.

[3] If you don’t know how to back up the Registry and/or set a restore point, you probably shouldn’t attempt a keyboard hack. If necessary, your IT person probably can do it for you.

[4] Should the keyboard not work as expected, you might try closing out of all open programs and shutting the computer down, unplugging the keyboard, reattaching it, and rebooting.

January 16, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Word 2007 pleading templates now available for a low introductory price

Bargain alert!

For a short time — between now and February 15, 2010 — we will be offering our basic pleading templates for Word 2007 for sale for the low introductory price of $9.50 each. After February 15, the price will go up to $15.00 per template (still a very reasonable sum for such an essential item!).

Note that this price applies only to our simple 24-point templates (you can choose between one that “suppresses” page numbering on the first page and one that doesn’t do so). The templates are not interactive, and they don’t contain codes for the file name and path. However, they do include a California Rules of Court-compliant footer (incorporating a page number code and the requisite horizontal line, plus a placeholder for the short document title) that is easy to modify to suit your needs. And, upon request, we will change the jurisdiction from the default — Los Angeles County — to the county of your choice.

If you are interested in buying a basic pleading template, drop us a note at our primary business address or at templates AT compusavvy DOT com. We’ll provide more information and instructions for completing the purchase. In the meantime, we will make images of both templates available on the CompuSavvy web site (and will provide a link here**) so that you can get an idea of what they look like before deciding to buy.

Please allow a few days for us to process your request.

_________________________________________________________________________
**Here is what the template with the page number “suppressed” on the first page looks like: Pleading With “Suppressed” Page Number

And here is what the template with the page number on all pages looks like:
Pleading With Page Number on All Pages

January 9, 2010 at 11:47 am

A workaround for X-refs not displaying when the Style Separator is used (Word 2007)

Last week, I received an inquiry from a lawyer who said his firm was experiencing a perplexing issue with Word 2007. The firm uses numbered heading styles plus style separators for “run-in” paragraphs — paragraphs where the text immediately follows the heading (that is, it starts on the same line as the heading rather than a line or two below).

A style separator is a sort of “hidden” paragraph symbol that tells Word to treat the text that follows as if it were in fact part of a different paragraph. That allows you, in effect, to apply two paragraph styles to the same paragraph. For example, you can format the beginning of a paragraph with the Heading 1 (or Heading 2, etc.) style, while applying Normal or Body Text to the remainder of the paragraph.[1]

The main advantage of using a style separator is that the text following the heading isn’t automatically pulled into the Table of Contents, a common problem with documents that contain run-in paragraphs. However, there is a glitch in Word 2007 — I’m not certain if prior versions behave the same way — whereby paragraphs that employ both numbered headings and a style separator seemingly aren’t displayed in the Cross-Reference dialog, preventing users from inserting a cross-reference to one of the numbered paragraphs.[2]

After a little research, I discovered a workaround (which was suggested by Word MVP Suzanne Barnhill). When you are working with numbered paragraphs, by default the Cross-Reference dialog opens with the “Reference type” drop-down (on the left side of the dialog) showing “Numbered Item.” However, when you click the drop-down, you’ll see additional reference types; the second one is “Heading.” If you choose that option, the numbered paragraphs that use style separators magically appear. You then can use the “Insert reference to” drop-down on the right side of the dialog to choose the appropriate option — “Heading number” if you wish to refer to the paragraph number or “Page number” if you wish to refer to the page on which the paragraph appears. (Watch out: The default is “Heading text,” which may or may not be the choice you want. Presumably most people intend to insert the heading number / paragraph number.)[3]

Note that when you change the “Reference type” to “Heading,” the Cross-Reference dialog won’t display numbered paragraphs that do not have heading styles applied to them. That shouldn’t be a major issue, though. You can switch back and forth between or among “Reference types” while inserting cross-references. The result will be the same as if all of the numbered paragraphs — including those using a style separator — appeared together in the dialog box.

This workaround seems like a simple and elegant solution to the problem. I am indebted to Suzanne Barnhill for the tip, which she proffered in an exchange in one of the Office KB Community forums.

Another workaround is to bookmark the headings that use style separators and then select “Bookmark” as the “Reference type.”[3] But this solution is somewhat more complicated and time-consuming than the first one. Also, because you can’t use punctuation (including periods) in bookmark names, you don’t have the option of using a logical name such as “Par2.3” (though you could substitute something such as “Par2point3”). Still, the bookmark workaround does work and is worth keeping in mind should the “switch reference type” solution not be suitable in certain circumstances.

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[1] To insert a style separator at the cursor position (you normally place it immediately after a heading), press Ctrl Alt Enter. Alternatively, you can add a style separator icon to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) by doing the following: Right-click the QAT and click “Customize Quick Access Toolbar…,” then use the “Choose commands from” drop-down toward the top left of the Word Options screen to select either “Commands Not in the Ribbon” or “All Commands.” In the box below the “Choose commands from” drop-down, scroll about 7/8 of the way down and look for “Style Separator.” Click to select it, click the “Add” button, use the “Move Up” or “Move Down” buttons at the right side of the screen to move the icon to the left or right on the QAT if you wish, then click OK to save your settings.

[2] You can open the Cross-Reference dialog from either the Insert tab, Links group or the References tab, Captions group.

[3] To create the bookmark, select the heading or insert the cursor between the paragraph number and the style separator — not after the style separator! — and click Insert, Bookmark, then give the bookmark a name and click “Add.” When you go to insert a cross-reference to a bookmarked paragraph, click the “Reference type” drop-down, select “Bookmark,” click the bookmark you want to use, make sure “Insert reference to” is showing the appropriate option (probably “Paragraph number”), and then click the “Insert” button.

January 3, 2010 at 6:22 pm


© 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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