February 20, 2009

Know Your Boundaries

Do you use MS Word's Print or Web Layout Views? If so, do you ever find yourself trying to guess how close you are to the text boundaries you've set with your margins?

Let's consider this situation: You're trying to place a graphic within your document and you don't want it to be in the margins. So, where exactly is the edge? You could "eyeball" it and guess based on the rulers. You could scroll the document up so that you have the top ruler to help with the placement, but wouldn't it be easier if you could just see where the margins are right on the document?

I'm all for that, so let's see what we can do!

In older versions of Word, you need to go to the Options window (Tools menu), View tab.

In Word 2007, you need to access the Options via the Office Button, Word Options button (bottom right hand corner, below the recent documents list).

You now need to locate the Show Document Content section of the Advanced Options.

Everyone is now looking to check the Text boundaries or Show text boundaries option (the exact name depends on the version of Word you're using). Then click OK.

Voila! natural cialis Your document now looks something like this on your monitor:

Notice that the margins are now clearly marked. It's time to kiss your placement difficulties goodbye!

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34 timesaving mouse tricks for Word users

  • Date: June 22nd, 2007
  • Author: Jody Gilbert

This information is also available as a PDF download.

Keyboard shortcuts are a mainstay for most Word users who are trying to streamline their work. Even brand-new users start slinging around Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V soon after mastering the intricacies of scrolling. But keyboard shortcuts are often nonintuitive and hard to remember. (What mnemonic would you use to recall that Ctrl+E centers document text or that Ctrl+T produces a hanging indent?)

That’s where mouse shortcuts — the unsung hero of built-in functionality — can take up the slack. Users probably know the basic moves: Right-click on an item to display a shortcut menu, double-click to select a word, triple-click to select a paragraph. But Word has quite a few additional mouse tricks up its sleeve. This overview will help you (and your users) learn some easily remembered techniques to gain quick access to a host of Word options.


Action Result
Double-click an indent marker on the horizontal ruler Opens the Paragraph dialog box
Double-click the vertical ruler (in Print Preview) or the gray area of the horizontal ruler Opens the Page Setup dialog box
Double-click a tab marker on the horizontal ruler Opens the Tabs dialog box
Double-click the style area Opens the Style dialog box. (To display the style area, make sure you’re in Normal view, choose Tools | Options | View, and enter a value in the Style Area Width text box.) This is a particularly neat trick for those who prefer setting lowest cost cialis style options in a dialog box instead of in the task pane.
Double-click a section break mark (visible in Normal view) Opens the Page Setup dialog box with This Section selected in the Apply To drop-down list. “This” refers to the section above the section break mark you clicked on.
Double-click a paragraph properties mark Opens the Line And Page Breaks tab in the Paragraph dialog box. The mark is a small black square that appears to the left of a paragraph that has the Keep Lines Together, Page Break Before, or Keep With Next option enabled. (The display of Formatting Marks must be turned on to see these marks; you may need to click Show/Hide ¶ on the Standard toolbar to turn on the display.)
Double-click a number in a numbered list Opens the Numbered tab in the Bullets And Numbering dialog box
Double-click a bullet in a bulleted list Opens the Bulleted tab in the Bullets And Numbering dialog box

Objects and pictures

Action Result
Double-click the frame of a text box Opens the Format Text Box dialog box
Double-click an AutoShape Opens the Format AutoShape dialog box
Double-click a WordArt object Opens the Edit WordArt dialog box
Double-click an embedded object, such as an Excel worksheet or PowerPoint slide Opens the object for editing
Double-click a picture Opens the Format Picture dialog box
Double-click a control (check box, command button, etc.) Launches the VB Editor and open the properties and code window for that item

Miscellaneous tasks

Action Result
Hold down Ctrl and click within a sentence Selects sentence
Hold down Ctrl and drag selected text or an object Creates a copy of the text or object
Double-click the split bar at the top of the horizontal scroll bar Splits the window into two panes; double-click the top border of the lower pane to remove the split
Double-click in the header or footer area (in Print Layout view) Activates the header or footer; double-click in the main text area to return to it
In Print Layout view, click between pages Shows or hides the white space between them
Double-click an unused area beside any toolbar Displays the Customize dialog box
Right-click on any toolbar Displays the toolbars list
Double-click a footnote/endnote marker Jumps to the corresponding footnote/endnote (and vice versa)
Double-click the top border of the Reviewing Pane Closes the pane and returns you to the main text area
Double-click the right border of the Document Map or Thumbnails pane Closes the pane
Double-click the document title bar Toggles between maximized and restored window size. (Little-known related trick: The same thing happens if you double-click the gray square at the intersection of the horizontal and vertical scroll bars.)
Double-click a Move Table Column marker (those little dotted squares you see on the horizontal ruler when you’re in a table) or the Table Move Handle (the four-headed arrow that appears at the top-left corner of a table in Print Layout view) Opens the Table Properties dialog box
Click the Table Move Handle Selects the table
Double-click the plus symbol next to a heading in Outline view Expands or collapses the heading’s subordinate text

Status bar tools

Action Result
Double-click the status bar anywhere to the left of the REC item Opens the Go To dialog box
Double-click REC on the status bar Opens the Record Macro dialog box
Double-click TRK on the status bar Turns track changes on and off. (Right-clicking on TRK will bring up a shortcut menu of additional options.)
Double-click EXT on the status bar Turns extend selection mode on and off
Double-click OVR on the status bar Turns overtype mode on and off
Double-click the Spelling And Grammar Status icon on the status bar Checks document spelling and grammar. (Right-clicking will bring up a shortcut menu of additional options.)
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Lightning-quick mouse tricks for accessing Word formatting options

  • Date: December 16th, 2008
  • Author: Jody Gilbert

There are shortcuts… and then there are shortcuts. These tricks may be the absolute fastest way to open the dialog boxes you need for certain Word tasks.

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If you spend a fair bit of time hopping into dialog boxes to tweak the appearance of your text or documents, there are some double-click tricks you might find useful. Here’s a sampling of the most common ones. (For a more comprehensive list, see 34 timesaving mouse tricks for Word users.)


  • To open the Page Setup dialog box, double-click on the horizontal ruler (the gray part) or the vertical ruler (any part).
  • To open the Paragraph dialog box, double-click on an indent marker on the horizontal ruler.
  • To open the Tabs dialog box, double-click on the horizontal ruler (the white part). This will also set a tab at the spot where you clicked. If you don’t want to set a new tab, you can click an existing tab marker.
  • To access bullet or number options, double-click on a bullet character or number in a bulleted or numbered list.
  • To open the Table Properties dialog box, double-click the Move Table Column marker (those little dotted squares you see on the horizontal ruler when you’re in a table) or the Table Move Handle (the four-headed arrow that appears at the top-left corner of a table in Print Layout view).
  • To open the Page Setup dialog box with This Section selected in the Apply To drop-down list, double-click a section break mark. “This” refers to the section above the section break mark you clicked on.
  • To open the AutoShape dialog box, double-click on an AutoShape.
  • To open the Format Picture dialog box, double-click on a picture or clip art object.
  • To open the Format Text Box dialog box, double-click on the frame of a text box.
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February 19, 2009

Enhance your pictures in Word by applying a simple border

Borders aren’t just for tables and text — they can add polish and prominence to the pictures in your documents as well. Here’s a look at this simple design trick.

Using Word’s Borders And Shading Dialog box, you can quickly add a border and/or shading to any image in your document. For example, say you want to add a border to the clip art shown in Figure A.

Figure A

clip art

Follow these steps:

  1. Click to select the picture.
  2. Go to Format | Borders And Shading. (In Word 2007, on the Home tab in the Paragraph group, click the down arrow of the Borders And Shading tool and select Borders And Shading.)
  3. On the Borders tab, click Shadow under Setting.
  4. Select Dark Blue from the Color drop-down list (Figure B).

Figure B


  1. Select 4-1/2 pt from the Width drop-down list and click OK.

The specified border and shadow will appear around the clip art as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

picture border

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Create a simple invoice template in Word

  • Date: November 25th, 2008
  • Author: Jeff Dray

Here are the basics steps involved in setting up an invoice using a Word template — along with a sample template you can download and customize.

When it comes to performing calculations in a Word document, we tend to think of embedding or linking an Excel worksheet — but this can be overkill. Sometimes, a better approach is simply to insert a table in a document and perform the calculations in it. Word tables have a number of applications: staffing rotas, timetables, pricing charts, quotations, and the one I use most, invoices.

It’s easy to create an invoice that includes your business details, contact information, and logo, along with a table that itemizes the costs, parts, and labor; automatically calculates the totals and taxes; and presents a total amount payable. You can even include Fill-in fields to automatically prompt for customer information. Once you set up this invoice framework, save the blank form as a template, and you’re in business.

To generate an invoice, you just create a new document using the template, fill in the customer information, and enter the invoice amounts in the table. You can then update the fields that calculate tax and totals and print the invoice. To help you get started, I’ve created a sample invoice template that you can customize to fit your needs. Let’s look first at some template-building basics; then, I’ll explain how to modify and use my sample template.

Laying out the heading

The first step in building an invoice template is to design the heading you want to use for it. Once you’ve created a heading, save it so you can use it for other marketing material, such as flyers, price lists, and announcements.

AutoText tip

One convenient way to preserve an element such as a heading is to save it as AutoText. Just select the items that make up your heading and press [Alt][F3]. When Word presents the Create AutoText dialog box, enter a name and click OK. Then, whenever you need to insert the heading in a document, just position the insertion point marker where you want the heading to appear and type the AutoText name. By default, Word will offer to auto-complete the name, and you can press [Enter] to insert the heading. If this feature is turned off, just type the AutoText name and press [F3].

Creating the body of the document

Think about the wording you’re going to use in your invoice. Be careful not to fall into grammatical errors that can make you and your business look unprofessional. In my template, I used an automatic Date field so that each invoice I create from the template will be correctly dated.

Planning and inserting the table

When you’re ready to add the table to your template, display the Tables And Borders toolbar. As with the other toolbars available in Word, you can switch on this one from View | Toolbars. Most of the table options can be reached from this toolbar.

Decide how many rows and columns you need in your table. You can always insert extra rows, but it is nice to start out with something you don’t need to alter too much. Once you have planned the layout, click on the Insert generic cialis 10mg Table button. You will see a dialog box where you can select the number of columns and rows in your new table.

Entering the calculations

Look at the Tables And Borders toolbar. There’s a funny symbol at the bottom-right. This is the AutoSum button. By clicking in an empty cell below a column that will contain values, you can use this button to perform simple addition. When you click AutoSum, Word will insert the function { =SUM(ABOVE) }.

Should you wish to add a calculation for sales tax or VAT (UK), insert a formula field. First, click in the next cell down and choose Field from the Insert menu. Then, click the Formula button and enter a multiplication expression. For instance, to apply a 4 percent sales tax, enter the formula =B6*1.04 , as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

formula field

The formula multiplies the total, which, in this example, is in cell B6, by 1.04. You can alter this formula for use in your locality by changing the figure after the * symbol. For example, to apply the UK rate of sales tax (VAT, or Value Added Tax) of 15 percent, your formula would be =B6*1.15.

The cells in a Word table work in the same way as those of an Excel worksheet. The drawback is that the table does not display column and row labels. Remember that the columns are represented by letters, from left to right: A,B,C, etc. The rows are numbered from the top down. Figure B shows a table with those labels superimposed, to help you visualize this layout.

Figure B

table labels

Saving the template

When you save your invoice document, remember to save it as a Word template, with a .dot file extension. (Go to File | Save As and choose Document Template (*.dot) from the Save As Type drop-down list.) This will make it available from the File | New command.

Modifying the sample template

To put my sample invoice template to work, first open it and replace the heading and company information with your own. (To open the template for editing instead of creating a new document, you’ll need to right-click on it and choose Open.)

You might find it useful to work with field codes displayed so that you don’t accidentally delete any fields. You can toggle the display on and off for the entire document by pressing [Alt][F9]. Figure C shows the sample template with field codes displayed. Notice the Fill-in fields that prompt for an invoice number and customer information. Nice to have, but not essential when you create your own template.

Figure C

modifying the template

You may need to alter the calculation to reflect your own rate of tax, as discussed earlier. You may also want to modify the Fill-in field prompts to ask for different customer data. For instance, you might prompt for town, county, and post code rather than city, state, and zip code. With field codes displayed, simply edit the text that appears in quote marks within the Fill-in fields.

After you’ve modified the template, save it in the desired folder. If you want it to be listed with other templates when you create a new document, be sure to place it in your default location for templates.

Putting the sample template to work

When you want to raise an invoice for your personal services, open a new document using this template, fill in the customer information at the prompts, and enter the appropriate invoice charges. Select the table and press [F9] to update your calculations. Then, save and print the document and send it to your client. You can also copy the data into reminder letters, should your client fail to settle an account promptly.

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