BOOT CAMP 015
WORD PROCESSING PART 2:
Word processor programs like Microsoft Word have a number of
powerful presentation tools, which can give your CVs, letters, faxes, reports
and newsletters extra visual impact, to make them look as though they were
professionally created. The trick is not to try and re-invent the wheel; you
can save yourself a lot of time and trouble by using the ready-prepared
document and page templates that are included with your word processor. Some of
them contain Wizards; they are simple helper programs that enable you to
customise the template to your own specifications, so they can be easily
All of the tools can be used retrospectively, which means
you can concentrate on keying in the text first, and worry about what the
document looks like afterwards. That’s important, always check spelling,
grammar and anything else that may affect the length of the copy, before you go
any further. If you make a lot of changes after the layout has been finished it
can easily mess up your design.
Two of the most effective enhancements are to add bullet
points, or numbers, to draw the reader’s attention to important items. It’s
incredibly easy, just highlight the block of text you want to emphasise or
itemise, click on the appropriate toolbar icon and numbers or bullets will
magically appear. It is also easy to enclose a block of text in a frame or
border; simply highlight the chunk of copy you want to pick out, select the Tables
or Borders icon on the toolbar, specify line width and style then click OK.
One of the most powerful features in Word and Word Pro is
the facility to illustrate documents with graphics and pictures. Your word
processor almost certainly came with a library of clip-art images. There you
will find a good assortment of general-purpose logos and illustrations, but
there’s nothing to stop you designing your own, or use images filed on your PC
and downloaded from the Internet.
There are several ways of importing an image into a
document. The exact method varies from one word processor to another, but the
basic techniques are usually the same. If you haven’t already done so you will
need to select the word processor’s page layout mode; select a zoom or
magnification setting that will allow you to see at least half to two thirds of
the page. If you choose a full-page display, and you’re using a small monitor
(14 or 15 inches), you won’t be able to read the copy or see the images
clearly. This will also show you exactly what the finished page will look like
when it is printed out.
Using the cursor or mouse pointer decide where you want the
illustration to go on the page. In Word 7 images are chosen using the Picture
option on the Insert menu. From there you can search through the Clip Art
library. Incidentally, additional clip art can be downloaded free from the
Microsoft web site by clicking on the browser button in the bottom right hand
of the dialogue box and there’s tons more of it to be found spread around the
Internet. Otherwise you can search for a specific image file, located elsewhere
on your computer, using the familiar directory tree.
When the image has been found click on it and it will be
imported into the open word processor document. Initially the picture will be highlighted, so that it can be
moved around the page using the mouse pointer, and if necessary re-sized, by
clicking, holding and dragging on one of the squares on the corners of the
Alternatively, load the image into the Windows 95 Paint
program (filed in the Accessories folder) or any other paint-box or image
program that you may have. From the Edit menu, copy the
image to the Clipboard, then return to the word processor and paste it into the
document, from where you can position and re-size it.
Word Processors like Microsoft Word have a powerful text
wrapping facility that can run the words around the picture. On Word 7 it is
located on the Format menu under the heading Object, though it only appears
when an image has been highlighted. Click on the Wrapping tab, and from the
selections presented, choose how you want the text to surround the picture.
It’s actually a lot easier than it sounds; nevertheless, it pays to do a few
dry runs, before trying anything too ambitious.
Having grasped the basics it’s time to do something useful
with your word processor. Next week we’ll be looking at how to prepare a
Copyright-free pictures, icons and cartoons supplied with
your word processor, or available separately, that you can use to illustrate
A ready prepared document layout. Microsoft Word has lots to
choose from, including simple personal letters, fax headers memos and invoices.
To customise them to your own needs simply change the sample text.
A self-activating program that guides you through a simple
set-up routine for a particular feature or application
A common cause of Windows 95 crashes or lock-ups is too many
programs running at the same time. You might be lucky and get a warning that
something bad is about to happen – a slow running program is a sign of
impending danger -- but you can keep an
eye on what is happening, and possibly prevent a crash, using a simple utility
called the Resource Meter. It is quite well hidden; From the Start button
select Programs, then Accessories and click on System Tools. Double click on
Resource Meter and a small bar-graph icon will appear on the Taskbar, next to
the clock. Placing the mouse pointer over the icon will give you an instant
readout of the percentage of resources being used, better still click on it and
a set of three bar graphs will appear. Problems can occur when any of the three
meters fall below 25%. If than happens you should close one or more programs,
not forgetting to save any open files first.