Archive for May, 2015

Bypassing “Backstage” when opening and saving docs in Word 2013

One of the most striking differences between Word 2013 and Word 2010 has to do with basic file-management tasks, including opening and saving documents.**  Those tasks were simple and straightforward, and worked more or less the same way, in nearly every version of Word prior to Word 2013.  To open a document, mouse users clicked a File menu (or a File tab), then chose “Open”; keyboard users pressed the key combination Ctrl O (or Ctrl F12).  Those methods produced an Open dialog within Windows Explorer (in all versions of Windows to date), where users could navigate to a specific folder and open the document of their choice.

In earlier versions of Word, users also could click the File menu or File tab in order to review and choose from a list of recently used files.  In Word 2010, it’s extremely easy to find recent files – and recently opened folders, as well – by clicking a separate, clearly labeled “Recent” category in the File tab’s Navigation Pane.[1]

To save a document for the first time in an earlier version, mouse users clicked a File menu (or a File tab), then chose “Save” or “Save As”; keyboard users pressed Ctrl S (or F12).  Those methods produced a “Save As” dialog within Windows Explorer, where users could navigate to a specific folder in order to save the document in that location.

In Word 2013, the processes for opening and saving documents have changed somewhat.

First Launch – Opening a Blank or Existing Document

When you launch Word 2013 for the first time, the program opens to what Microsoft calls the Backstage view, essentially a full-screen version of the traditional File menu.   (I sometimes refer to the Backstage view as “the File menu on steroids.”)  This “start screen” is very different from the new blank document that users ordinarily see when they launch an older version of Word.  And it can be somewhat confusing, especially on first use.  Already disoriented by an unfamiliar opening screen, people sometimes wonder how to start a new document, or even how to open an existing document.

Essentially, there are two choices:  You can start fresh by clicking a large blank document icon or you can retrieve an existing file by clicking “Open Other Documents.” There’s also an option to open a Microsoft-supplied template (not commonly used by people in the legal profession).

Once you’ve actually opened a document, you’ll also be able to select from a list of Recent Documents, but there won’t be any such documents displayed when you first start using the program.  Indeed, you’ll see a message in the File tab’s Navigation Pane, below “Recent,” stating that you haven’t opened any documents recently, and referring you to the “Open Other Documents” command.

Open Other Documents

When you click “Open Other Documents,” Word takes you to another portion of the Backstage view, the Open screen.  Again, this behavior is not what most people are accustomed to; in earlier versions of Word (as well as in most other Windows programs), clicking “Open” produces the Open dialog within Windows Explorer.

In order to open a document, Word 2013 needs to know where you’ve stored it.  So it asks you to choose among three possible storage locations:

  • OneDrive
  • Computer (or This PC, if you use Windows 10)
  • + Add a Place

OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud (web-based) storage system (previously called SkyDrive), is available for use with Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.X, and Windows 10.  (It is built into Windows 8.1 and later.)  You have to set up a OneDrive account first.  Once you have done so, you can save files to the cloud and then open them for editing – either within Word on your everyday computer or within a browser-based “lite” version of Word on any computer that has Internet access.

NOTE:  Word 2013 is configured to save files to OneDrive by default (although with this default setting in effect, the program will still prompt you for a “Save” location each time).  However, if you prefer to save to your computer by default, you can change this setting by doing the following:

  • Click the File tab, then choose Options.
  • When the Word Options dialog opens, click the “Save” category at left.
  • With “Save” highlighted, you should see a category at the right labeled “Save documents.”
  • Navigate to and check “Save to computer by default.”
  • Save your change by clicking the “OK” button (do not close the Word Options by clicking the “X” in the upper right-hand corner, or Word will not save your modified settings)

NOTE TOO:  Changing the default save location in Word 2013 changes it in Excel 2013 and PowerPoint 2013, as well!

+Add a Place – Typically, this option is for adding Office 365 SharePoint (if you / your organization subscribe[s] to Office 365 and use[s] SharePoint) or another OneDrive account.  In theory, it’s also possible to add a location such as DropBox, but doing so is somewhat complex and is beyond the scope of this article.

Bypassing the Backstage View When Opening an Existing Document

Opening an existing document takes you to the Backstage view, not to the Open dialog in Windows Explorer.  That happens regardless of whether you click File > Open, press Ctrl O, or press Alt F, O.

However, there are a couple of ways to bypass Backstage and go directly to the Open dialog in Windows Explorer:

  • Click the Open icon on the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT);[2] or
  • Press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl F12.

Recent Documents

After you have opened one or more documents, those documents will appear in the Backstage view as “Recent Documents.” But unlike in Word 2010, there is no “Recent” category in the Navigation Pane; instead, you will find Recent Documents under “Open.”[3] When you click “Open,” you’ll see the same choices outlined above (OneDrive, Computer / This PC, and +Add a Place), along with up to 50 recently used documents.

The default number of Recent Documents displayed on the Open screen is 25; to change that number (the maximum is 50), do the following:

  • Click the File tab, Options.
  • Click the Advanced category.
  • Scroll to Display and choose (click to check) “Show this number of Recent Documents,” then type any number between 1 and 50.
  • Finally, click “OK” to save your changes and close the Word Options dialog (CAUTION: Do not click the “X” in the upper right-hand corner of the Word Options dialog, or the program won’t save your changes).

Quick Links to Recent Documents

In addition to viewing recent documents when you click “Open,” you can display a few recent docs directly within the Navigation Pane.  An advantage of doing so is that you have easy access to a small number of your recent docs from anywhere in the Backstage view – i.e., without having to click “Open.”

To enable this option, do the following:

  • Click the File tab, Options.
  • Click the Advanced category.
  • Scroll to Display and choose (click to check) “Quickly access this number of Recent Documents.”
  • You can change the number of recent docs to show in the Navigation Pane by typing any number between 1 and 20 (the default, I believe, is 4). Note that the higher the number, the more difficult it will be to see the entire list without scrolling.
  • Finally, click “OK” to save your changes and close the Word Options dialog (CAUTION: Do not click the “X” in the upper right-hand corner of the Word Options dialog, or the program won’t save your changes).

One more point about working with recent docs:  After you have opened one or more documents, you’ll also see a list of Recent Documents within the initial Backstage view “start screen” whenever you launch Word.

Saving Documents

The saving function has changed dramatically in Word 2013.  Perhaps the most obvious manifestation of this change is that “Save As” does not take you directly into the Windows folder structure, even if you have configured the program to save to the computer by default.    (See above, under “Open Other Documents.”)

Instead, Word takes you to a full screen “Save As” menu, where you can choose among Computer (This PC), OneDrive, and +Add a Place (on the left); click a recent folder (on the right); or click “Browse” (bottom right) to navigate to a folder that isn’t already displayed.  Note that “Save As” brings you to this screen even if you have chosen a specific default folder in the Word Options (File, Options, Save, “Default local file location”).

Bypassing the Backstage View When Saving

If you prefer to bypass the Backstage view and save documents by going directly to the “Save As” dialog in Windows Explorer, you can configure Word to do so by default.   Just do the following:

  • Click the File tab, Options.
  • Click the “Save” category. You should see a “Save documents” section.
  • About halfway down that section, you will see an option labeled “Don’t show the Backstage when opening or saving files.” By default, it is unchecked (disabled).  Click the checkbox to enable it.
  • Finally, click “OK” to save your changes and close the Word Options dialog (CAUTION: Do not click the “X” in the upper right-hand corner of the Word Options dialog, or the program won’t save your changes).

Changing this setting will bypass the Backstage view each and every time you click File, Save As.

If you prefer, you can bypass Backstage by using the keyboard shortcut F12 for Save As.  Or you can add a “Save As” icon to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) by doing the following:

  • Click the File tab, Options.
  • Click “Quick Access Toolbar.”
  • In the command list under “Popular Commands,” scroll down to “Save As.”
  • Either double-click the “Save As” icon or single-click it and then click the “Add” button toward the center of the Word Options screen.
  • Finally, click “OK” to save your changes and close the Word Options dialog (CAUTION: Do not click the “X” in the upper right-hand corner of the Word Options dialog, or the program won’t save your changes).

For some reason, clicking the “Save As” icon takes you directly to the “Save As” dialog in Windows Explorer.

_______________________________________________________________

**For the most part, the information in this post also applies to Word 2016.

[1]  When I refer to the “Navigation Pane,” I’m speaking of the blue or black vertical band / menu that runs along the left side of the File tab / Backstage view.  It contains commands for working with files, including Open, Save, Save As, Close, and Print.  Each of those commands, in turn, produces a full-screen menu of options.

[2] In Word 2016, clicking the Open icon on the QAT actually takes you to the Backstage view, unless you have configured the Word Options to bypass Backstage permanently when opening or saving documents, as described in the “Bypassing the Backstage View When Saving” section of this post.

[3] Another change:  Recent Folders, which in Word 2010 appears in the “Recent” category along with Recent Documents, is found under “Save As” in Word 2013.

NOTE:  This post has been updated as of November 27, 2015.

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May 21, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Five tips for working with Reveal Codes in WordPerfect

Long-time WordPerfect users swear by Reveal Codes, a quick and easy way of viewing the formatting instructions – codes – that are inserted into a document when you perform common tasks such as pressing the Tab key, setting page margins, inserting a footnote, applying bolding or italics, and so forth.  When I teach novices how to use WordPerfect (and yes, I still have WordPerfect training clients, including a few newbies), I introduce Reveal Codes by comparing it to an X-ray of the document.

The feature is incredibly useful for troubleshooting because it’s easy to see coding errors – usually meaning an incorrect or misplaced code.  With Reveal Codes enabled, it’s a simple matter to delete or move any codes that are causing problems.

For the benefit of both WordPerfect veterans and relative newbies, here are a few advanced tips for working with, and getting the most from, Reveal Codes.

Customize the Reveal Codes Display

To make Reveal Codes easier to see – something that can be especially important for novices or, for that matter, anyone who works at a computer screen for long periods of time – you can change the font face, font size, and/or font color within the Reveal Codes window.  You can even change the Reveal Codes background color so that the text and codes stand out more clearly.

To make any or all of those changes, do either of the following:

1.  Click the Tools menu > Settings…, then click Display, and click the Reveal Codes tab; or

2.  With Reveal Codes displayed, right-click anywhere in the Reveal Codes screen, then choose Settings…

Either of those methods will take you to the the Reveal Codes tab within the Display Settings dialog.

From that screen, you can click the Font button to change the font face and/or size.  To change the font color, click the button labeled “Text.” To change the background color, click the button labeled “Background.”  Hint:  You can click “More” (at the bottom of the background color drop-down) to choose a custom color.  For me, a pale orange or yellow background works nicely to set off the text and codes, especially if I make the font size a little bigger than the default setting.

Change the Size of the Reveal Codes Window

It’s easy to resize the Reveal Codes window so that it takes up less – or more! – of your screen. Simply position your mouse pointer over the top “edge” of the Reveal Codes window and, when the pointer changes into a double-headed arrow, left-click and drag up or down.

Remember, to toggle the Reveal Codes window on or off, you can press Alt F3 or click the View menu, Reveal Codes.  (If you use the DOS-compatible keyboard, you have the additional option of pressing F11.)

Also, although it’s hard to see, you can toggle Reveal Codes on or off by left-clicking the tiny horizontal bar at the very bottom of the vertical scroll bar (at the right side of your screen).  Note that this task works even if your mouse pointer appears to be a double-headed arrow, not the usual arrow shape.

Double-Click Codes to Open Dialog Boxes

Even experienced WP users are often surprised to learn that double-clicking a code in the Reveal Codes window usually opens a dialog box with more advanced formatting options.  For example, double-clicking a margin code opens the Page Setup dialog; double-clicking a tab code opens the Tab Set dialog; double-clicking a Hard Return code opens the Paragraph Format dialog; double-clicking an Outline code opens the Bullets & Numbering dialog, where you can choose a different outline style; and double-clicking a Para Style code for an automatic numbered paragraph opens the Styles Editor (so that you can change the indents of the paragraph and/or the number itself or make other formatting changes).

Needless to say, this function can come in very handy.

Try double-clicking a few different codes to see which dialog box appears.

Delete Codes by Dragging them Out of the Reveal Codes Window

Most experienced WordPerfect users know that you can delete codes from within the Reveal Codes window by pressing the Delete key (when the cursor, shown as a red rectangle, is to the left of a code) or by pressing the Backspace key (when the cursor is to the right of a code).  But not everyone knows that you also have the option of deleting a code by left-clicking it and dragging it up and out of the Reveal Codes window.  (Releasing the left mouse button when the mouse pointer is anywhere in the document editing screen will delete the code.)

Remember that with “paired” codes such as font attributes (bold, italics, underlining), you can delete either the the “On” code or the “Off” code.

View Expanded Codes

With some codes, positioning your cursor to the left of the code expands the code and displays more detailed information than you normally see.  That is true for margin codes, TOC codes, and TOA codes, among others.

If you would like to see the complete details by default – as opposed to simply when you click immediately to the left of a code – go into the Display Settings dialog by doing either of the following:

1.  Click the Tools menu > Settings…, then click Display, and click the Reveal Codes tab; or

2.  With Reveal Codes displayed, right-click anywhere in the Reveal Codes screen, then choose Settings…

Then check the box labeled “Show codes in detail,” and click “OK.”

Once you have changed that setting, you’ll see the expanded codes in the Reveal Codes window regardless of your cursor location.

 

May 17, 2015 at 8:04 pm

Quick Tip: Bypassing the “Backstage view” when launching Word 2013

In case you don’t have time to read the entire lengthy post on this topic, here’s a condensed version.  Follow these steps to bypass the “Backstage view” (the full screen that appears when you click the File tab) and go straight to a new blank document when you launch Word 2013:

  • Click the File tab, then click Options.
  • When the Word Options dialog opens, you should see a Navigation Bar at the left (with “General” highlighted in blue) and, at right, the “General options for working with Word.”
  • Locate the section labeled “Start up options” at the bottom of the General options screen.
  • The very last choice, “Show the Start screen when this application starts,” is what causes Word to open to the Backstage view. It is enabled (checked) by default.  To disable that option, uncheck it.
  • Finally, click the “OK” button at the bottom right side of the Word Options dialog.
    CAUTION: Do not close out of the Word Options by clicking the “X” at the top right side of the dialog, or Word will not save your changes.

The next time you open Word, it should take you directly to a blank document screen, not to the Backstage view.

May 11, 2015 at 11:26 am

Bypassing the “Backstage view” when launching Word 2013

Whether you are upgrading from an earlier version of Word or moving straight from WordPerfect to Word 2013, you’ll notice fairly quickly the rather unusual way the program handles basic tasks, including common file-management functions such as opening and saving documents.[1]  But even before you open or save a document, you’ll experience a dramatic difference from the way most Windows programs work.  Indeed, the very first time you launch Word 2013, you’ll encounter what Microsoft refers to as the “Backstage view” (and what I like to call “the File menu on steroids”), the screen that ordinarily appears when you click the File tab in modern versions of Microsoft Office.  That is because unlike most Windows programs, Word 2013 typically opens not to a new blank document but to the Backstage view.[2]

Even long-term users of Word might be perplexed by the Word 2013 “start screen.”  How do you get to a blank document?  Does the Backstage view appear every time you launch Word?  Is there a setting you can change to make the program open to a blank document instead?

In my experience, people who are new to Word 2010 (the first version of Word that used the Backstage view) often can’t figure out how to return to their document after clicking the File tab.  In fact, sometimes they accidentally close the document, or even exit from Word, while trying to escape from the Backstage view.  (I teach newbies that there are at least three ways to get back to the document editing screen in Word 2010:  You can click any tab, click the document icon at the right side of the “Info” screen, or press the Esc key.)

To me, the process is even less intuitive in Word 2013 than it is in Word 2010.  For one thing, you can’t see the tabs from the Backstage view in Word 2013, and there is no document icon to click.  Thankfully, pressing the Esc key still works, and you also have the option of clicking the left-pointing arrow (enclosed in a circle) at the top of the Navigation Pane within the Backstage view.  Although the arrow isn’t labeled, Microsoft clearly intends it to serve as a “Backbutton.

In addition, after you have opened / saved at least one document, the Backstage view displays an icon for a new blank document.  So you do have the option of clicking that icon to go to a blank document. That works fine, but requires an extra step simply to start a new document.

Does that mean you have to click the “Back” arrow or press the Esc key (or click the “Blank document” icon) every time you open Word – even if you just want to start working on a new blank document?

Not at all.  You can, in fact, configure Word 2013 to open – by default – to the familiar blank document screen we’re accustomed to seeing in nearly all Windows programs.  Here’s how:

  • Click the File tab, then click Options.
  • When the Word Options dialog opens, you should see a Navigation Bar at the left (with “General” highlighted in blue) and, at right, the “General options for working with Word.”
  • Locate the section labeled “Start up options” at the bottom of the General options screen.
  • The very last choice, “Show the Start screen when this application starts,” is what causes Word to open to the Backstage view. It is enabled (checked) by default.  To disable that option, uncheck it.
  • Finally, click the “OK” button at the bottom right side of the Word Options dialog.
    CAUTION: Do not close out of the Word Options by clicking the “X” at the top right side of the dialog, or Word will not save your changes.

The next time you open Word, it should take you directly to a blank document screen, not to the Backstage view.

Exiting From Word

Incidentally, exiting from Word works differently in Word 2013, as well.  You will notice that there is no “Exit” command on the File tab (i.e., in the Navigation Pane of the Backstage view).

So how do you close out of Word?  This once-simple task can be especially confusing because many law firms “locked down” the red “X” in the upper right-hand corner of the Word 2010 screen in order to prevent users from accidentally exiting Word rather than merely closing a document (in Word 2010, if you have only one document open, clicking the red “X” closes both the document and the program).  As a result, some users aren’t accustomed to using that method to exit from Word.  Rather, they got into the habit of clicking the File tab, then clicking “Exit” – a choice that isn’t available in Word 2013.

There are at least four different ways to exit from Word 2013:

  • Click the “X” in the upper right-hand corner of the Word program window (it’s not red in this version); or
  • Press the key combination Alt F, X; or
  • Press the key combination Alt F4; or
  • If it’s available, click the “Exit Word” icon on the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT).

The “Exit Word” icon is not displayed on the QAT by default.  To add that icon, do the following:

  • First, either right-click in a blank area of the QAT and choose “Customize the Quick Access Toolbar” or click the drop-down arrow to the right of the last (right-most) command on the QAT and then click “More Commands.”  NOTE:  When you hover over the drop-down, you’ll see the label, “Customize Quick Access Toolbar.”
  • When the Word Options dialog appears, navigate to the drop-down (toward the top left) labeled “Choose commands from.”
  • Click the drop-down, and instead of “Popular commands,” choose “File tab” (or, if you prefer, “All Commands”).  Wait a couple of seconds.
  • Next, position your cursor in the command list below the drop-down and scroll to “Exit.”
    TIP
    :  If you selected “All Commands” in the previous step, click to position your cursor within the command list, then press the letter “E” to move quickly to the first command that starts with that letter.
  • Either double-click “Exit” or click once and then click the “Add” button toward the center of the screen.  Either of those steps will add the “Exit” icon to the box on the right side of the screen, which displays the icons that have been added to the QAT.
  • Once you have added the “Exit” icon, you can change its position on the QAT by clicking it, then clicking the Up or Down arrow at the right center side of the screen.  The Up arrow moves icons to the left on the QAT; the Down arrow moves icons to the right on the QAT.
  • When everything is to your liking, click the “OK” button at the bottom right side of the Word Options dialog.  CAUTION:  Do not close out of the Word Options by clicking the “X” at the top right side of the dialog, or Word will not save your changes.

Now you can click the “X” on the QAT to exit from Word.  (As always, you will be prompted to save any open documents that you have revised but not yet saved.)

____________________________________________________________

[1]  In an upcoming post, I will provide instructions for bypassing the Backstage view when opening and saving documents in Word 2013.

[2]  The Backstage view appears by default when you open Word 2013, but if your firm has changed the default setting, you might indeed see a new blank document when you launch the program.

May 8, 2015 at 3:50 pm


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