Archive for February, 2010

Creating Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts in WordPerfect (recent versions)

In WordPerfect, you can set up your own customized keyboard shortcuts. Click Tools, Settings, Customize, and click the Keyboards tab. Select the keyboard you wish to edit (if it isn’t selected already), and click the Edit button. The Keyboard Shortcuts dialog will open.

On the right-hand side of the dialog, you will see a drop-down list of Feature categories that corresponds roughly to the existing menus in WP. Below that is a list of specific features in the category that is displayed in the “Feature categories” drop-down. Note that when you click on a feature, WordPerfect provides a short description of that feature below the “Assign Feature to Key” box.

Assigning a Key Combination

To assign a keyboard shortcut to a feature, first select the appropriate Feature category from the drop-down list, then scroll to find the feature you wish to use. For instance, if you want to assign your own keyboard shortcut to Paste Special – Unformatted Text, click the drop-down and select the Edit category (because the Paste Special – Unformatted Text is on the Edit menu), then scroll down until you find the Paste Unformatted Text command in the feature list.

Highlight that command, then navigate to the “Choose a shortcut key” list on the left-hand side of the dialog and scroll until you find a key combination you like. (If that combination already belongs to another feature, you can click the “Remove Assignment” button, but be sure to give that some thought before proceeding. Sometimes removing an assignment can have unexpected consequences.) Select the combination and click the “Assign Feature to Key” button, then OK out of the dialog.

It’s always a good idea to test to make sure your custom keyboard shortcut works as expected. Also, be sure to create at least one backup copy of the underlying template (usually your default template; see the next section of this article and footnote 1) — and, preferably, store one of the copies on a CD or an external drive — in case the template becomes corrupted or something untoward happens to your computer.[1] (And yes, that’s the voice of experience talking.)

Copying Keyboard Assignments to a Different Template

Keyboard assignments are stored in your default template (each user has his or her own), but you can copy a customized keyboard to a different template if you wish. To do so, click Tools, Settings, Customize, Keyboards tab, then click Copy.

When the Copy Keyboard(s) dialog appears, click to select the keyboard you wish to copy, and the Copy button will become active. Then use the “Template to copy to” list to locate the template to which you want to copy your custom keyboard settings.

If you don’t see the appropriate template in the list, use Windows Explorer to locate the template and copy it into your default template folder. (To determine your default template folder, click Tools, Settings, Files, then click the Template tab. Your default template folder will be shown in the box at the top of that tab. To see the full path more clearly, click the “View All” button, which displays all of your default file locations.)

Adding Keyboard Shortcuts for Symbols

The above steps work great for assigning keyboard shortcuts to features and functions, but how do you add a keyboard shortcut for a symbol, such as a paragraph sign (pilcrow) (¶) or section sign (§)?

It’s not difficult. Click Tools, Settings, Customize, and click the Keyboards tab as before, but when the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog opens, select the Keystrokes tab on the right-hand side of the dialog instead of the Features tab.

You will need to insert the symbol to which you wish to assign a keystroke into the “Type the text…” box. For the paragraph symbol, turn on the Num Lock key on your keyboard, then hold down the Alt key and, using the numeric keypad, press and release the number 2, then the number 1, and finally release the Alt key.[2] (Alternatively, you can click Insert, Symbol orpress Ctrl W and insert the paragraph symbol directly from the Symbols dialog.) Once you have inserted the symbol into the box, you can proceed to assign a keystroke as described in the previous section.

Printing a List of Key Assignments (Keyboard Shortcuts)

Click Tools, Settings, Customize, Keyboards Tab. Make sure the keyboard you use is highlighted / selected, and click the Edit button. On the lower left-hand side of the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog, there is a button labeled “Print Report.” Click that button to print a list of built-in keyboard shortcuts and custom shortcuts that you (or other users of your computer) have created.

Note that the list will print single-spaced, bunched up, and without formatting. However, you can export the list as a CSV (comma separated values) document, then insert it into WP and format it.

In the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog above the “Print Report” button, you’ll see an “Export to File” button. Click the button and save the file to any folder you like. Next, from a blank screen, click Insert, File, locate the file in your computer, select it, and click Insert. When the file opens, you can change the line spacing and use Find and Replace to substitute Hard Left Tab codes for the commas. (First, however, click Format, Line, Tabs, clear all tabs, then set a single left tab at, say, 3″. That way, when you replace all the commas with Hard Left Tab codes, all of the commands will be aligned at that one tab stop.)

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[1] For instructions on backing up your default template and other important WordPerfect files, see this FAQ post on the WordPerfect Universe web site.

[2] If you are using a laptop, you might need to use the Function key with the Numeric Keypad.

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February 21, 2010 at 1:51 pm 1 comment

Low prices extended for pleading templates

Until February 15, I had been selling my California pleading templates for $9.50 each. Instead of raising the price of an individual template to $15.00 (as I originally planned to do), I’ve decided to charge $10.00 for a single template and $12.50 for both templates — one without a page number code on the caption page and one with page number codes on all pages.

If you are interested in purchasing one or both of the templates, please send me a note at my templates AT compusavvy DOT com address. Let me know which template you want (or if you want both of them) and whether you would like me to change the jurisdiction from Los Angeles County — and if so, which county to use as a substitute. Please allow a few days for me to fulfill your order.

Thank you!

February 18, 2010 at 10:54 am

“AutoComplete” revisited / Quick primer on Quick Parts (Word 2010 and Word 2007)

Quite by accident, I discovered this afternoon that the AutoComplete function, which was removed from Word 2007 (with the notable exception of dates, names of months, and names of days of the week), has been restored in Word 2010.

How AutoComplete Works

In versions of Word prior to 2007, AutoComplete worked in conjunction with AutoText, a feature that lets you insert boilerplate text with just a few keystrokes.[1] If you created an AutoText entry and assigned it an abbreviation that was at least four characters long, an AutoComplete prompt appeared when you typed the first four characters of the abbreviation. You could press the Enter key to insert the AutoText entry or simply keep typing if you didn’t want to invoke the AutoText entry. (Alternatively, you could press F3 to expand the abbreviation after typing the first few characters, a method that works in Word 2007 and 2010 as well as in older versions.[2])

What’s nice about AutoComplete is that you don’t have to remember every abbreviation for every AutoText / Quick Parts entry you’ve ever set up. (Quick Parts is the new name for AutoText, first used in Word 2007. People sometimes use the alternate term Building Blocks, but I prefer Quick Parts.) In Word 2010, the AutoComplete prompts are enabled by default, but you can turn them off if you like. To do so, click the File drop-down at the left side of the screen (also referred to as the “Backstage View”), navigate to and click “Options,” then click to select the “Advanced” category in the Word Options navigation bar. The first set of configuration options you’ll see on the right are the “Editing options”; locate the “Show AutoComplete suggestions” checkbox toward the bottom of that section and click to uncheck the box, then OK out of the Word Options.

Microsoft originally indicated that, for AutoComplete to work, the AutoText / Quick Parts entry must be saved to your normal.dotm (the macro-enabled NORMAL template for Word 2010 / Word 2007) and it must be in the AutoText gallery in the Building Blocks Organizer (check the Insert tab, Text group, Quick Parts, Building Blocks Organizer).[3] However, they have updated that information since I first published this post in February and now say that as long as an entry is saved in a template other than BuildingBlocks.dotx — regardless of which gallery it’s in — typing the abbreviation should trigger the AutoComplete prompt.

It’s worth pointing out that Quick Parts entries created by using the “Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery” option at the bottom of the Quick Parts drop-down are saved in the BuildingBlocks.dotx template by default. (If you create the entry by using Alt F3 instead, it will be saved in the normal.dotm template.) However, you can click the “Edit Properties” button and change the template where the entry is saved.

If you have difficulty getting AutoComplete to work, try re-creating the entry from scratch, making sure to save it in a template other than BuildingBlocks.dotx.

A Quick Primer on Quick Parts

Quick Parts (formerly known as AutoText) is a fabulous, time-saving feature. As mentioned above, it gives you a quick way of inserting boilerplate text — which can be heavily formatted and can include automatic numbering codes, among other handy automation tools — with minimal keystrokes. Many people use Quick Parts for signature blocks, headings for interrogatories or other discovery, standard paragraphs used in contracts, and even short phrases or company names that recur throughout their documents. Those are just a few of the many possibilities.

Here’s a quick primer in case you have never used this feature. (These steps should work in both Word 2010 and Word 2007, except that AutoComplete isn’t available in Word 2007.)

First, type the text, format it, and insert any field codes you wish to use, such as a SEQ code for an automatic number in discovery headings. Once you’ve done so, select the text. NOTE: Depending on the situation, you might or might not wish to include the paragraph symbol / pilcrow that follows every paragraph in Word, or even the blank line underneath, when you select text. For instance, it can be useful to select everything up to and including the blank line immediately under a heading so that expanding the abbreviation inserts both the heading and some additional space where you can start typing.[4]

With the text selected, click the Insert tab, Quick Parts, Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery… or, alternatively, simply press Alt F3 to open the “Create New Building Block” dialog. In the “Name” field, type an abbreviation. Remember that the abbreviation must be at least four characters long to trigger AutoComplete. Also, make it descriptive and easy to remember, such as “ROGG.” Triggers for Quick Parts / AutoText are not case sensitive, so it doesn’t matter whether you use CAPS, lower case, Initial Caps, or mIXED cASE.

To ensure that you can use AutoComplete in Word 2010, click the “Save n” drop-down and choose “Normal.dotm” (or any template other than BuildingBlocks.dotx). Type a brief description if you wish (an optional step), then click OK.

Now test the new Quick Parts entry by typing your abbreviation. If you are using Word 2010 (and you haven’t disabled AutoComplete), you should see a prompt after you type the fourth character of your abbreviation. At that point, press Enter to insert the Quick Part entry. Or, if you prefer, just press F3, the expansion key for Quick Parts and AutoText in all versions of Word.

Remember, too, that you can insert Quick Parts directly from the Building Blocks Organizer. Locate the one you want to use, click to select it, then click the “Insert” button.

Organizing and Backing Up Quick Parts

Because the Building Blocks Organizer is pre-populated with dozens of entries and is somewhat difficult to wade through — especially since the window is a fixed size — you might want to delete some of the built-in entries. Unfortunately, you must delete them one at a time.

In addition to deleting entries, it might help, at least a little, to sort the items in the Organizer. As in many other Windows programs, you can sort by column by clicking on a column heading. So, for example, clicking the “Name” column sorts the Quick Parts alphabetically by name, and sorting the “Gallery” heading sorts alphabetically by the gallery in which the Quick Parts are stored. But unlike in other Windows programs, a second click on a column heading won’t sort in reverse order (i.e., you can’t click the “Name” column once to sort from A to Z and then click a second time to sort from Z to A).

Customized Quick Parts entries are stored in a template called BuildingBlocks.dotx. Be sure to back up (and make a copy of) that template periodically. It has a tendency to get corrupted.

Actually, there are two Building Blocks templates that come with the newer versions of Word; one is user-customizable and one isn’t. Each user has his or her own customizable copy. That’s the one to back up. You can find it in the following location:

In Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Microsoft\Document Building Blocks\1033 [5]

In Windows Vista:
C:\Users\[UserName]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Document Building Blocks\1033[5]

Not sure of the path in Windows 7. I’ll update this post if/when I locate that information.

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[1] See the section entitled “A Quick Primer on Quick Parts” for more about what AutoText / Quick Parts entries are, why they’re useful, and how to create them.

[2] The F3 key appears to expand abbreviations for AutoText / QuickParts entries even if you type only two or three characters of an abbreviation — as long as you have only one AutoText / QuickPart entry that uses an abbreviation that starts with those two or three characters.

[3] See, for example, this recent exchange on Microsoft’s TechNet site. Note that apparently there is a glitch that prevents AutoComplete prompts from appearing if the horizontal scroll bar is visible. I don’t know whether Microsoft will fix this (fairly minor) bug prior to the formal release of Word 2010 in June.

[4] Figuring out whether to include any extra space in the selection takes some thought and practice. Fortunately, it’s easy to replace an existing Quick Part entry. When you create a new entry and assign it the same name as one in the Organizer, Word will ask if you wish to redefine the existing one. Just be careful not to click “Yes” unless you’re certain you want to overwrite the old entry.

[5] The “1033” at the end of the path is the language code if you are using American English. This portion of the path will be different if you are using a language other than American English. (U.K. English is 2057; Canadian English is 4105; Australian is 3081; etc. For a complete list, see this MS article.)

February 6, 2010 at 4:56 pm 1 comment

To my friends in Canada

It recently came to my attention that folks in Canada can’t obtain my book through Amazon. The reason, as it turns out, is too convoluted to go into here (it has to do with a rather complex arrangement between Lulu and Amazon), but rest assured that you do have another option: You can buy the book directly from Lulu (by clicking this link).

Amazon’s shipping charges tend to be lower than Lulu’s, which is why I often recommend that people order the book through Amazon. Note, however, that Lulu frequently offers discount coupons — typically on weekends — that can help offset the higher shipping costs. You actually can save a fair amount of money by using a coupon code when you check out (if one is available).

In fact, there’s one in effect through midnight tonight (February 3): Use the word SHADOW on checkout for 15% off any order. The offer expires at midnight, but if you miss that one, be sure to check the Lulu site periodically for other discounts (especially on weekends).

I’m looking into the possibility of doing things a little differently when I publish the Word 2010 book so that people in Canada can order copies from either Amazon or Lulu. In the meantime, my apologies for the inconvenience — and thanks very much for understanding.

February 3, 2010 at 5:49 pm

My article on preparing for a WordPerfect to Word conversion…

…is now available on the e-LegalTechnology web site. You can find it by clicking this link.

February 2, 2010 at 8:34 am


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