Archive for January, 2011

The line and page breaks options in Word

Word’s Paragraph dialog box consists of two tabs: (1) Indents and Spacing (by default, this tab is at the forefront of the dialog) and (2) Line and Page Breaks. In this post, I briefly explain the four main options on the Line and Page Breaks tab: “Widow/Orphan Control,” “Keep with next,” “Keep lines together,” and “Page break before.”[1]

It is worth remembering that these formatting options are part of the Paragraph dialog box. That means that each option applies to an entire paragraph.

Thus, “Keep lines together” tells Word to maintain the entire paragraph—all of its lines—as one unit on a single page. In other words, you use this setting to avoid splitting a paragraph across pages. When the option is checked (enabled), if the whole paragraph won’t fit at the bottom of one page, Word bumps it to the next page.

Note that this choice is different from Widow/Orphan Control. With “Widow/Orphan Control” checked (enabled), Word will allow paragraphs to split across pages, but won’t permit a single line of a paragraph to dangle by itself at the top or bottom of a page. Instead, it moves the paragraph down so that either (1) the last two lines of the paragraph appear at the top of the following page or (2) the entire paragraph begins on a new page.

Keep with next” also differs from “Keep lines together.” Whereas “Keep lines together” refers to the lines of a single paragraph, “Keep with next” refers to two successive paragraphs. That is, when “Keep with next” is checked (enabled), Word will attempt to keep the paragraph to which the setting has been applied in close proximity to the subsequent paragraph, and if the subsequent paragraph is on the next page, Word will bump the current paragraph to the next page, as well.

People typically use this setting to keep a heading on the same page as the body text that comes after the heading. Note, however, that you usually have to apply the “Keep with next” setting to both the heading and the blank line below the heading, because Word considers the blank line a separate paragraph that requires its own formatting. If you apply the setting only to the heading, it will keep the heading together with the blank line but it won’t keep the blank line together with the text immediately below.

CAUTION: “Keep with next” sometimes causes text to move around within your document for no apparent reason! If text won’t stay where you type it, put the cursor into one of the meandering paragraphs, open the Paragraph dialog, and look to see whether “Keep with next” is checked. If it is, uncheck it. You might have to select the entire document, or several paragraphs, and then uncheck that option.

Page break before” means exactly what it sounds like. When this option is checked (enabled), Word will insert a page break before the paragraph to which the setting has been applied. Of course, you can achieve a similar result by pressing Ctrl Enter (the keyboard shortcut for Page Break).

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NOTE: This post is a revised and shortened version of a tutorial about the Paragraph dialog that appears in both my Word 2007 book and my Word 2010 book.

[1] You can apply one or more of these options to a single paragraph or to consecutive paragraphs. To do so, either click somewhere within the single paragraph or select the consecutive paragraphs, then launch the Paragraph dialog (perhaps the simplest method, the keyboard shortcut Alt O, P, works in all recent versions of Word), click the Line and Page Breaks tab, click to check the option(s) you wish to enable, then click “OK” to save your settings.

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January 30, 2011 at 9:42 pm 1 comment

Laura Acklen’s new WordPerfect Office book

Laura Acklen’s new book, WordPerfect Office: The Complete Reference Guide, has been published and is available from this page on Corel’s online store.

The 672-page manual is an authoritative work covering the major programs in the WordPerfect Office suite (WordPerfect, QuattroPro, and Presentations). It contains material of value to both beginners and experienced users. In addition to instructions for working with letters, reports, labels, budgets, and slideshows (among other types of documents), the guidebook presents tips to help WordPerfect users improve compatibility with MS Office and explains how to create PDFs from within WordPerfect — as well as how to import PDF documents into (i.e., convert them to) WordPerfect.

Acklen, a renowned WordPerfect expert and author of several other books about WordPerfect (and Word), says she wrote the book using WordPerfect X5 — the latest version of the word processor.

Corel has listed the book for $49.99, plus shipping and handling costs.

January 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Amazon listings for my Word 2007 and Word 2010 books

As some of you know, there have been problems with the Amazon listings for my Word 2007 and Word 2010 books since January 11, 2011.[1] The Word 2007 book suddenly appeared with the designation, “Currently unavailable,” and the “Add to Cart” button disappeared. As for the Word 2010 book, the listing vanished completely, and people who tried to find the book by using the URL / link that has existed since the book’s publication last May were taken to a dead page with a “404 – Not Found” error message.

These issues resulted from certain changes that Lulu, the publish-on-demand (POD) company that prints and distributes my books, made behind the scenes. Although it’s clear to me that Lulu acted with good intentions, the changes broke the links to many authors’ Amazon listings, including mine.

After authors complained, Lulu and Amazon responded by setting up completely new pages for the books. It’s not an ideal solution — for one thing, some of the new pages have not been updated to include the existing customer reviews, and relevant information about the books is missing and/or inaccurate — but at least it provides a way for people to buy the books from Amazon. (The books are available for purchase from Lulu, as well, although Lulu’s shipping charges tend to be higher than Amazon’s. Thankfully, the links to the Lulu pages remain intact, which means that people have an alternate purchasing option.)

I had hoped that Lulu and Amazon would restore the original Amazon listings, but that appears increasingly unlikely. However, I remain hopeful that they’ll get the new pages updated within the next few days. In particular, they need to transfer the customer reviews from the old pages to the new ones. Also, if they are not going to restore the old pages, they should minimize confusion by removing the old pages altogether.

To make it easy for you to locate the books on Amazon, I have created new links (“tiny URLs”), as follows:[2]

Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2010:

You can click this link to go directly to the Word 2010 book’s new Amazon page, or enter the URL http://tinyurl.com/W2010Legal2 (note the “2” at the end).

As an alternate, you can use http://tinyurl.com/W2010Am (for “Amazon,” of course).

Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Office Word 2007:

You can click this link to go directly to the Word 2007 book’s new Amazon page, or enter the URL http://tinyurl.com/W2007Legal2 (note the “2” at the end).

As an alternate, you can use http://tinyurl.com/W2007Am (for “Amazon”).

Please don’t use the old links, even though the original Amazon page for the Word 2007 book hasn’t been taken down yet.

I’d be grateful if you would let your contacts know about the new links, in case they are interested in purchasing one (or both!) of my books. (Presumably the links will continue to work indefinitely. I’ll update the blog if the links change again.)

Many thanks for your patience, understanding, and support! I so appreciate your patronage.

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[1] Note that I have deleted all of my prior (recent) posts on this issue as a way of making the blog less repetitive and less cluttered.

[2] I have updated the links for the books here on the blog and also on my main (CompuSavvy) web site, but it could take a while for the new information to propagate.

January 22, 2011 at 2:22 pm

WordPerfect Tables, Part IV: Gridlines and Guidelines and Borders, Oh My!

One of the most confusing aspects of working with tables in WordPerfect derives from the existence of two different types of non-printing table borders, in addition to regular table and/or cell borders that do print.[1] Worse, the non-printing borders have similar names. They work somewhat differently, however. This post will draw the major distinctions between the two.

Gridlines

Gridlines are faint gray dotted lines that show the outlines of tables and table cells. They do not print. Gridlines come in handy when you are working with a table that does not have printable borders. Without those borders, it can be difficult to determine the precise location of table cells so that you can enter text, formulas, dates, and so forth in the appropriate place. Gridlines give you a way of navigating through the table.

To turn gridlines on (or off), click the View menu, Table Gridlines, and click once to toggle between “on” and “off,” depending on whether a checkmark appears to the left of the command. (If the checkmark appears, gridlines are on; click to remove the checkmark, which will turn the gridlines off.)

So far, so good. But things get more complicated.

Guidelines

Like gridlines, guidelines are faint lines indicating the outlines of tables and table cells; also like gridlines, they do not print. They serve the same purpose as gridlines: to help you figure out where your cursor is within a borderless table (or, for that matter, a borderless cell).

To turn guidelines on or off, click the View menu, Guidelines…, and, when the Guidelines dialog appears, click to check or uncheck the “Tables” option, then click “OK” to save your settings. (Note that this dialog also provides the means of enabling or disabling guidelines for other document structures, including margins, columns, and headers/footers.)

Differences Between Gridlines and Guidelines

Up to this point, the two types of non-printing table borders sound alike. What are the major differences, and when should you use one or the other — or both?

If your table has no printable borders whatsoever, you won’t be able to see the table and/or cell outlines without enabling gridlines or guidelines. In this situation, it doesn’t particularly matter which of the two you choose to turn on. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to activate one or the other in order to view the outlines.

But if your table has at least some printable borders, enabling gridlines will have the effect of hiding those borders. In other words, the gridlines will display, but the printable borders will not. (The borders will print either way, however.) This “either-or” modality can be very confusing, especially since most people are accustomed to a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) view of their documents. My personal preference is to turn gridlines off so that I know what the printed document will look like.

Enabling guidelines, by contrast, retains the WYSIWYG view. That is, it does not affect the display of printable borders in your table. With guidelines on, you can see the printable borders and, in any portion of the table that lacks such borders, you can see the non-printing cell outlines. To me, this configuration — guidelines on, gridlines off — is the best of both worlds.

Of course, individual needs and preferences will vary. Only you can decide what works best for you.

This discussion should help, but if you’re still confused, create a table that has printable borders and experiment by turning gridlines and guidelines on and off in various permutations (be sure to test the effects when one type of non-printing outline is off and one is on).

Default Settings for Gridlines

Whether gridlines are on or off by default depends on a configuration option under the Tools menu, Settings, Display (Document tab, Show… Table gridlines). So if you disable gridlines via the View menu, Gridlines and you believe the gridlines are still on, take a look at the default setting. If the Table gridlines box is checked, click to uncheck it, click “OK” to save your settings, and then click “Close.”

Problems Displaying the Non-Printing Outlines / Further Information

As mentioned earlier in this post, if you have turned off both gridlines and guidelines, you won’t see either type of non-printing border. However, even if you have enabled one or the other, the table/cell outlines might not be visible (or they might be extremely faint). There are several possible causes of the problem: the screen resolution, the zoom (magnification) settings, the use of Draft view rather than Page view, or the use of an LCD monitor.

For further information about (and workarounds for) these issues, as well as for a much more detailed discussion of table gridlines, guidelines, and borders generally, see this lengthy post on Barry MacDonnell’s Toolbox for WordPerfect site.
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[1] I don’t know why there are two such features. My guess is that table gridlines predated guidelines, probably going back all the way to WordPerfect for DOS. To my mind, it seems logical to assume that the ability to display and manipulate (drag) margin guidelines became increasingly important as WordPerfect evolved and the Windows versions became predominant. I would have to do a considerable amount of research to know for certain, however.

January 15, 2011 at 2:26 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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