Archive for April, 2011
There is a favorable review of my Word 2010 book in the current (April 2011) issue of Wisconsin Lawyer magazine. To read the review, click this link: Wisconsin Lawyer April 2011: Book Reviews
Please pass the link, as well as information about how to purchase a copy of the book, along to anyone you know who might be interested. Many thanks!
After you have generated a Table of Contents in Word, you might notice that the TOC entries appear in the wrong font, that they are indented more (or less) than you want, that there is too much (or not enough) white space between the entries, and/or that something else doesn’t look quite right. These elements of the TOC—the font face and size, the tab settings, the line spacing, the before and after spacing, and so forth—are determined by TOC styles that come with the program. In other words, they were designed by programmers at Microsoft whose ideas about how a TOC should look aren’t necessarily well suited for the legal profession.
Fortunately, you can modify any one or more of these styles and save your modifications—either in the particular document open on your screen or, better yet, in the template on which your document is based. If you save the style changes to the underlying template, all documents you create in the future that are based on that template will reflect those changes.
There are nine distinct TOC styles, each representing a different heading “level.” The TOC 1 style (which affects level 1 headings) positions the generated headings flush with the left margin; the TOC 2 style positions level 2 headings one tab stop in from the left margin; the TOC 3 style positions level 3 headings two tab stops in from the left margin; and so on. In many other respects, the nine built-in styles share similar formatting. However, modifying the formatting of one TOC style doesn’t affect the other eight styles, so don’t be surprised if you make some changes to the TOC 1 style and the generated TOC still doesn’t entirely meet your expectations. You might need to alter three (or more) of the styles in order to get precisely the look you want.
There are two ways to modify TOC heading styles. The first way is to use the Styles Pane, as follows:
1. First, insert the cursor into a heading in the generated TOC whose style you wish to modify.
2. Launch the Styles Pane (using either the dialog launcher or the keyboard shortcut Ctrl Alt Shift S).
3. Scroll down and look to see which TOC style is active — that is, which one appears within a thick blue border. That is the one you will modify.
4. If you can’t see the TOC style in the Styles Pane, click the Options… button at the lower right side of the pane and make sure that the Select styles to show drop-down displays “All styles.” To make it easier to find styles, also make sure that the Select how list is sorted drop-down is set to “Alphabetical.”
5. Click the “New documents based on this template” radio button—otherwise, your choices about the way that styles are displayed in the Styles Pane will be saved only in the current document—and click OK to save your settings.
6. When you locate the TOC style in the Styles Pane, right-click the name, then click Modify. That will open the Modify Style dialog.
7. Click the Format button and then click the appropriate button for the setting you want to change (e.g., Font, Paragraph, Tabs, etc.), and make all desired changes. (To modify the line spacing, the before spacing, and/or the after spacing, click the Paragraph button.)
8. Remember to click (enable) the New documents based on this template radio button if you want your changes saved to the template (for use in other documents), as opposed to saving them just in the current document.
(CAUTION: Even though Microsoft configures the TOC styles so that by default, the “Automatically update” box is checked, that option can cause problems, so it’s a good idea to uncheck it. When “Automatically update” is enabled, any manual / direct change you make to the formatting of a paragraph to which the style has been applied actually redefines the style, which can produce unexpected results.)
9. After you click the New documents radio button, click OK.
10. All instances of the style in your document should change to reflect the modifications you have made.
The second method you can use to modify TOC styles is to click the References tab, navigate to the Table of Contents group, and then:
1. Click the Table of Contents drop-down, Insert Table of Contents, Modify.
2. Select the TOC style you wish to change and click Modify again.
3. When the Modify Style dialog box opens, follow steps 7 through 9, above.
Table of Authorities Styles
There are two styles that determine the appearance of the generated Table of Authorities (TOA): (1) a TOA Heading style, which affects the formatting of the TOA section headings (Cases, Statutes, Miscellaneous, and so on); and (2) a Table of Authorities style, which affects the formatting of the various TOA entries themselves.
To modify one or both such styles, you can use either of the methods outlined above for modifying a TOC style. Specifically, you can:
(1) right-click the style name in the Styles Pane, click Modify, and then follow steps 7 through 9 in the section about modifying TOC styles, or, alternatively,
(2) navigate to the References tab, Table of Authorities group, and then:
 If for some reason the style doesn’t update, you can click Ctrl Shift S to open the Apply Styles box and click Reapply. Word should offer you two choices: (1) Update the style to reflect recent changes and (2) Reapply the formatting of the style to the selection. To ensure that the document reflects the modifications you’ve made, choose (1).
It has taken two weeks, but both the Word 2010 book and the Word 2007 book appear to be available for purchase on Amazon again. (Earlier today, a Lulu representative indicated that the book listings probably would be restored sometime tomorrow.)
I still don’t know what happened or how they fixed the problem, so I can’t be certain it won’t happen again. At least for the time being, you can buy the books on Amazon as well as on Lulu. Please pass along the good news to anyone you know who might be interested.
Thanks for hanging in there with me!
In December of 2010, I wrote about the use of “mnemonics” as a means of finding your way around the Ribbon in Word 2007 / Word 2010. By way of introduction, I said:
In the context of computer software, the term “mnemonics” (or “mnemonic”), derived from a Greek word that means something like “of memory,” typically applies to an underlined letter in the name of a drop-down menu; you can open a specific menu by pressing the Alt key plus the mnemonic (i.e., the underlined letter in that menu’s name). After you open a menu, you might notice underlined letters (mnemonics) in some of the command names. Once the menu is open, simply pressing a mnemonic — without also pressing the Alt key — executes a particular command.
Lately, I have been relying more and more on mnemonics to perform a variety of tasks in WordPerfect, too. Although I still use function keys to a certain extent (especially for tasks such as indenting text, finding and replacing text, switching to a different open document, printing, and toggling Reveal Codes on and off), mnemonics work well in specific circumstances. They’re convenient, they’re fast, and they’ve become second nature in much the same way as the other keyboard shortcuts I’ve used on a daily basis over the years.
One of the many nice things about mnemonics is they give you more control/precision than using the mouse. That fact can be important for anyone — novice or expert user — who has ever attempted to click a specific command, only to make a slight extra motion at the moment of the click that results in an unintended (and unwanted) action.
Mnemonics come in especially handy if you share a computer with someone who uses a different keyboard from the one you prefer. For instance, I use the DOS-compatible keyboard in WordPerfect — I’ve tried switching, but it’s too confusing after more than two dozen years of habituation — whereas my job-share partner uses the standard Windows (CUA) keyboard. Using mnemonics obviates, at least to some extent, the need to memorize a second set of keyboard shortcuts. (In recent years, we’ve resolved that issue by using two different versions of WP at work, but that solution isn’t always practical.)
The key to using mnemonics is to start by pressing the Alt key. Note that when you do so, one letter of the name of each menu — i.e., the mnemonic for that menu — will appear to be underlined. Pressing that key opens the menu. (Mnemonics are not case sensitive.) When the menu opens, simply press the underlined letter of the menu command to execute the command.
In some cases, pressing the underlined letter of a menu command opens a dialog box. When that happens, you can make a choice by pressing an underlined letter — sometimes you have to press the Alt key at the same time — or by moving from field to field with the Tab key. Once you’ve made your choice, press Enter to execute the command and close the dialog.
Don’t be concerned if it sounds complicated. It isn’t. With a little practice, you will become accustomed to it, and your fingers will go to the right keys without your having to think about it.
Here is a list of some of the mnemonics I use most often:
Change Line Spacing
Alt R, L, S, change the setting (you can simply type the digit 1 or 2 for single or double spacing), press Enter.
Change Page Margins
Alt R, M (Margins), then:
Press B to change the bottom margin
Press T to change the top margin
Press F to change the left margin (yes, it’s counter-intuitive)
Press R to change the right margin.
First, select the text, and then press:
Alt E, V (Convert Case), followed by:
U = UPPER CASE
L = lower case
I = Initial Caps
Insert Current Date as Text
Alt I, D (Date), Enter
Insert Current Date as a Code (That Will Update)
Alt I, D (Date), Alt K (“Keep…current”), Enter
Change Zoom (Magnification)
Alt V, Z (Zoom), then press:
1 = 100%
w = Page Width
O = Other (then type a custom magnification, such as 95 or 120)
And press Enter.
Set up an envelope
Select (or position the cursor to the left of) a name and address in a letter, then press:
Alt R, V (Envelope).
To print the envelope, press P.
Close a File
Alt F, C (then press Y to save changes or N to discard changes).
Give mnemonics a try. I think you’ll be favorably impressed.