Archive for October, 2010

Highlighting text in Word and WordPerfect

As you probably know, it is easy to change the text color in both Word and WordPerfect (either via the Font dialog or by clicking a prominently featured toolbar button). In addition, both programs provide quick access to a virtual highlighter pen that you can use to flag the reader’s attention.

In the newer versions of Word, there is a highlighter icon in the Font group on the Home tab.[1] Using it is fairly straightforward: Select some text, then click the icon. If you wish to use a color other than the default — yellow — select the text again, but this time click the arrow to the right of the icon, which will open a drop-down that offers 14 other colors (ranging from pale gray to shocking pink and even includes black). You can apply multiple highlighter colors within the same document, although you can’t actually combine hues or create a hybrid. (In other words, applying blue on top of yellow doesn’t produce green — it just changes yellow to blue.)

You also have the option of applying highlighting without selecting the text first. Just click the icon, and the mouse pointer will turn into a highlighter pen. While the pen is active, you can highlight text in various portions of your document by dragging it across the text and then releasing the left mouse button. To turn the pen back into a regular pointer, either click the highlighter icon a second time or open the drop-down and then click “Stop Highlighting.”

Word comes with a built-in, memorable keyboard shortcut for adding (or removing) highlighting: Ctrl Alt H.

There are a couple of different ways to remove highlighting. One is to select the text, then click the icon button again (assuming you haven’t changed colors since you first highlighted the text). Alternatively, select the text, then open the highlighter drop-down and click “No color.”

One caution: The “Clear Formatting” button in the Font group does not remove highlighting.

In WordPerfect, highlighting works more or less the same way. You can select text and then click the highlighter icon or, alternatively, click the icon and drag the highlighter pen across text. WordPerfect provides a greater variety of color choices than Word. In fact, if you like, you can click the “More…” button at the bottom of the drop-down and make use of the color wheel to create your own custom hues.

There’s another way to apply highlighting in WordPerfect: Click the Tools menu, Highlight, then click “On” (which should put a checkmark next to the “On” command). Doing so will highlight selected text or, if you haven’t selected any text, will transform the mouse pointer into a highlighter pen that you can drag over text, as in Word.

In order for this method to work, the “Print/Show” command on the Highlight submenu must be checked, too. If “Print/Show” is not checked / enabled, any highlighting you apply will be hidden. (The ability to hide highlighting, rather than removing it altogether, can be very useful in some circumstances — such as when you want the shading to appear on screen but not in the printed document.)

To remove highlighting, just click anywhere within a block of highlighted text and click the icon again. (You don’t have to select the entire highlighted portion.) Also, WordPerfect has two additional options for removing highlighting that are not available in Word. One is to turn on Reveal Codes (by pressing Alt F3 or clicking the View menu, Reveal Codes), and then delete either of the two Highlight codes. The other is to click the Tools menu, Highlight, then click “Remove.”

There is no built-in keyboard shortcut for the highlight feature in WordPerfect. You can add your own, however. To do so, click the Tools menu, Settings, Customize (or right-click a toolbar, then click “Settings”), click the Keyboards tab, make sure your keyboard is selected, then click “Edit.” When the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog appears, navigate to the right-hand side and click the “Feature categories” drop-down. Select “Tools.” Below the drop-down, in the “Assign a feature to the shortcut key” box, scroll to “Highlight On/Off” and click to select it.

Next, navigate to the left-hand side of the dialog and scroll through the “Choose a shortcut key” box until you find a key combination you like — such as H Alt Ctrl (which is the same shortcut that Word uses). Click to select it, then click the “Assign feature to key” button at the right side of the dialog. Click “OK” to save your settings, then click “Close.”

[1] In Word 2002 and Word 2003, the highlighter is found on the Formatting toolbar.

October 31, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Only 2 weeks until Office 2010 beta expires

The witching hour is near. Just two weeks from today — on October 31 (Halloween) — the beta version of Office 2010 will go “poof!” Its demise is unlikely to be marked with a puff of smoke or similar theatrics, but it will stop working as of November 1, 2010.

In order to continue using Office 2010 after the expiration date, you’ll need to do one of two things: (1) download a trial version (good for 60 days); or (2) buy a retail version of the suite (or of individual components thereof, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint — which are, in fact, sold separately).

Microsoft has made available a confusing array of versions of the Office 2010 suite. You can find a list on the company’s Office 2010 pricing information page. You’ll note that Microsoft offers two different sets of prices for each edition of the suite. One is the “estimated retail” price (and it is, in fact, just an estimate; you might be able to do better if you buy the software at a major office supply store or order it from Amazon or a similar site), and the other is the price for the software if you use a “Product Key Card.”

As always, do your due diligence before making a purchase. Although at first blush it appears that the Product Key Card will get you a better price, looks can be deceiving. In fact. the retail price can end up being a better bargain because the license included with most retail versions permits you to install the software on up to three different computers. whereas with the Product Key Card, you will be able to install the suite only on a single machine. For more information, see this post (“Office 2010 – comparing the value of box and Product Key Card”) on the Office Watch site, as well as this one (“No savings with the Office 2010 Product Key Card”).

To compare the different editions of the suite, take a look at this page on Microsoft’s site, and some of the links thereon.

If you decide to download a trial version from Microsoft, you will need to create a (free) Windows Live account — assuming you don’t have one already — and provide your contact information. After doing so, you will be taken to a page that has a link to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Office 2010 trial; be sure to read the FAQs — or at least skim them — prior to starting the download. Also, you should uninstall the beta before downloading the trial version.

Depending on which version you download, the downloading method you use, and the speed of your connection, it could take several hours to complete the process. There is a chart on the FAQs page that estimates the various download times.

Once you have downloaded the trial version, you’ll need to activate it. There is a FAQ that explains how to do so.

The trial period will run from the date you activate the software. As the deadline approaches, you will see a pop-up whenever you start one of the programs in the suite, reminding you that you will need to convert to (purchase) a full retail version shortly. If you don’t buy a full version prior to the expiration of the trial, the software will go into “Reduced Functionality” mode. That is, it will remain on your computer, and you might be able to open the programs, but you won’t be able to create new documents or save any modifications to existing ones. (Microsoft says the software will act like a viewer rather than an editor.)

One very important caution: When you install (set up) the software– whether the trial version or a full retail edition — go slowly and pay close attention, especially if you have one or more earlier versions of Office that you wish to keep on your computer, in addition to Office 2010.[1] In particular, watch carefully to see if you are presented with the option to “Upgrade.” Unless you are certain that you want to remove the earlier version(s), do not accept the “Upgrade” option! If you accept, the installer will replace your prior version(s) with Office 2010, and you will not be able to reinstall those older versions unless you have the original installation disks.

Instead, choose the “Customize” option. When you do, you will be presented with three choices, including one labeled “Keep all versions” (or something similar).[2] Make sure to select that option before proceeding.

[1] Various versions of Office can coexist on the same machine, with one notable exception: You can have only one version of Outlook at a time, so you will have to choose the version you prefer at the time of installation. Again, go slowly and methodically so that you don’t accidentally remove software you intended to keep.

[2] The other two choices involve removing older versions of the office suite or individual components thereof.

October 17, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Watch out! Fake LinkedIn invitations look like the real thing

If you receive a LinkedIn invitation that appears to be genuine, but you don’t recognize the sender — or even if you do — double-check to make sure it’s legitimate before clicking on the link to accept the invitation. One way to test is to position your mouse pointer over one of the links. The pop-up should reveal whether the sender is associated with LinkedIn or not.

I received such a fake invitation a few days ago. At first, I thought it was the real thing because the name of the purported sender was similar to that of an acquaintance. However, I soon realized that something was amiss. A couple of days later, a friend forwarded a link to an article on Office Watch that describes the scam.

Here’s the Office Watch article. Note that there’s nothing in the article that indicates that clicking the link will trigger a virus or other malware, but it’s always best to play it safe in these situations. So if you’re uncertain, avoid clicking any link in the message until you’ve satisfied yourself that the invitation is legit.

If you do receive a fake message, simply delete it.

October 3, 2010 at 10:28 am 1 comment

Comparing Documents (Redlining) in WordPerfect


WordPerfect’s Document Compare feature enables you to compare different drafts of a document so that you can distinguish between them at a glance (a process commonly known in the legal profession as redlining or, sometimes, blacklining).[1]  It automatically performs a comparison of two drafts and inserts special marks into a third, separate document, highlighting text that has been added to, deleted from, and/or moved in the more recent draft.[2]

Differences Between the Document Compare and Document Review Features

This feature differs from the Document Review feature, a collaboration tool whereby a document author circulates a draft to other staff members (reviewers).  The reviewers mark up the draft — their insertions and deletions remain visible, with each person’s revisions displayed in a different color — and the author then goes through the document and accepts or rejects the proposed changes.   For more about the Document Review feature, see my prior blog post on that topic.[3]

The two features can be used independently of each other.  However, in recent versions of WordPerfect, the Compare Documents dialog offers two choices: “Compare Only” and “Compare/Review.” If you choose the “Compare/Review” option, the software will run a comparison first and, immediately afterwards, give you an opportunity to go through the redlined version and accept or reject revisions that other people proposed in a previous Document Review session.

Important:  Make a Copy of the Document Before Revising It

Whenever you are working on a document that you anticipate re-drafting — i.e., you are likely create and compare multiple drafts — be sure to make a copy of the document and then modify the copy. (And do that each time you revise the document.) Otherwise, you’ll end up overwriting the first draft, and you won’t be able to run a comparison later on.

There are a couple of ways to make a copy of the document.  One particularly easy method is to use File, Open (you can click the File menu, Open; or click the Open File icon in the toolbar; or press Ctrl O), select the document, and click the “Open as copy” button.  When the document opens, immediately click File, Save As and give the document a new, easily identifiable name such as “File name – second draft.” (It’s essential to indicate the draft number somewhere in the file name so that you can tell which draft is which.)

Once you have saved the document with a new name, you can begin editing it.  After you have finished your revisions, save the document but leave it open on your screen so that you can compare the modified draft with the earlier version.

To begin the process, click the File menu, Document, Compare.  A Compare Documents dialog will open.  At this point, you have the choice of (1) running the comparison immediately or (2) reviewing and, perhaps, changing some of the configuration options prior to comparing the drafts.

Configuring the Display of the Redlined Draft (Settings)

If you like, you can change the way that inserted, deleted, and moved text will appear in the redlined copy of the document by clicking the “Settings” button.  Click either “Compare Then Review” or “Compare Only” (depending on which feature you want to use). The former invokes a “Compare-Then-Review Settings” dialog with limited options; the latter invokes a more elaborate “Document Compare Settings” dialog box.

The “Document Compare Settings” dialog contains several different tabs.  The Options tab lets you do any or all of the following: (a) insert a page summarizing the changes that have been made in the later draft (this option is enabled by default); (b) list changes in context or without any context; (b) include or exclude headers and footers and/or comments in the items to be compared; and (d) mark entire words even though only one character has been changed, or mark just the character itself.  (CAUTION:  Marking changes by character sometimes leads to confusing results.  If you are not happy with the results of the comparison, try changing the marking precision.)

The Insertions, Deletions, and Move tabs allow you to specify how you would like insertions, deletions, and moves to appear in the redlined document.   You can specify text colors, appearance (bold, italic, underline, etc.), whether to enclose altered text in brackets, and how to display deleted text.

WordPerfect provides various options for displaying deleted text (Full Text, Abbreviated, No Text, and Character). When you select an option, the preview box shows how deleted text will appear in the redlined document, which can be very helpful.

You can choose to have WordPerfect dislay moved text at its original location as well as the new location, at the new location only, or not at all.  (Note that WP marks “small changes” as insertions or deletions, rather than as moves.)

The Redline Method tab allows you to specify whether, and how, WordPerfect should mark the margins of the document to indicate that text has been inserted, deleted, or moved.

Comparing Drafts

After you have configured the settings to your liking, you are ready to run the comparison.

Note that the name of the document on your screen is displayed at the top, under the words “Compare current document.”

Navigate to the “With:” box. That box displays the name of the document draft that WordPerfect will compare to the current (on-screen) document.  By default, the name of the current document appears there, too.  Obviously, you’ll need to change that before proceeding; otherwise, you would simply end up comparing the draft to itself. To insert the name of the prior draft, click the browse button on the right-hand side of the box, which open a “Select File” dialog.  Locate the older document draft, click to select/highlight it, and then click “Select.”

Click either “Compare Only” or “Compare and Review,” depending on your preference.  WordPerfect will run the comparison.

By default, the program will create a new, third document containing the revision marks. That’s a very smart idea, particularly if you intend to make further changes to the document (i.e., more drafts).  However, if you prefer, you can change the configuration options – prior to running the comparison – to display the revision marks in the current document.

When WordPerfect finishes generating the redlined document, save it immediately with a name that identifies it as a redlined copy (such as “File name Redline 1″ or “File name Redline 2″).

You can repeat this process each time you create a new draft of the document.  Just remember to save a copy before beginning the next round of revisions.  Also, always make sure you are comparing the appropriate drafts.  It’s possible that you’ll want to compare the fourth draft to the third draft (for example), but sometimes you might want to compare the fourth draft to the first (original) draft. In the latter case, be careful to click the “Browse” button to the right of the “With” box and navigate to the first draft. You get the idea.

Inserting Redlining and/or Strikeout Marks Manually

Incidentally, as you might know already, WordPerfect also enables you to apply redlining and/or strikeout marks manually. Just select the text, then either (1) click the Format menu, Font, and then click to check either the Redline or Strikeout option in the Font dialog box; or (2) click the redlining or strikeout button (as appropriate) on the Legal Toolbar. If you don’t see a Legal Toolbar, click the View menu, Toolbars, scroll down and click to put a check in the box to the left of “Legal,” and click “OK.”

Removing Redlining and/or Strikeout Marks

If you want to remove redline markings from a generated redlined draft or from a document to which you have manually applied redlining and/or strikeout, you can do so by clicking File, Document, Remove Markings. The Remove Markings dialog provides four options: (1) remove manually applied redlining and strikeout marks, (2) remove manually applied strikeout only, (3) document compare deletions only, and (4) all document compare markings. Click the option you prefer, then click “OK.” After WordPerfect removes the markings, be sure to save the “cleaned” document.


[1]  CAUTION:  Because of a bug in certain releases of WP11, 12, and X3, some users might notice inaccurate results after running a document comparison. Fortunately, this bug was fixed in WordPerfect X3, Service Pack 2, so if you have that release of WPX3 or a later version of the program (WPX4 or WPX5), you shouldn’t experience a problem.

If you have an older version that produces odd results when you compare document drafts, try the following workarounds:  (1) Turn on the Ruler; and/or (2) adjust your zoom (magnification) to a custom width, rather than Margin width or Page width.

For more information (and a link to Service Pack 2 for WordPerfect X3 — which you don’t need unless you have the first release of WPX3), see Corel Knowledge Base Answer ID 759644.

[2]  Ordinarily, “redline” or “redlining” refers to text that has been added / inserted; “strikeout” refers to text that has been deleted.

[3]  Document Review is the closest feature WordPerfect has to the Track Changes feature in Word, but it doesn’t work quite the same way.

October 2, 2010 at 2:24 pm

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