Word is the world’s most popular and at times frustrating word processor. Here are some more Top Tips from the Boot Camp archive to help you to tame Word and make you more productive.



The bright white desktop can become a quite tiring on the eyes after a few hours. You can of course jiggle the brightness and contrast settings on your monitor but a far better solution is to give your blank pages a light grey tint. Open Word (or any word processor for that matter) and load a page of text, so you can judge the effect. Next, from the Start button select Settings, Control Panel and the Display icon. Select the Appearance tab and click into the area marked Window Text. Next click on the Color box and choose the Other option. This will bring up a colour palette, select grey or white from the block of colour options and use the slider to the right of the multi-colour panel to adjust the level. Click OK and if necessary re-adjust until you are satisfied with it. The tint only applies to the display and will not affect the way documents look when they are printed.



There's a hidden feature in Word 97 and 2000 that automatically scrolls the page or document you're watching. It's really handy for reading long documents, or you can use it to turn your PC screen into a teleprompter or autocue, for displaying speeches and scripts. It was originally designed to be used with 'wheel' type mice but it works on any standard two or three button mouse. Click on Customise on the Tools menu, select the Commands tab, scroll down the list and highlight 'All Commands' in the Categories window. In the right hand Commands window find, single click and hold on Auto Scroll, drag and drop it onto a toolbar and a button will appear. Close Customise and click on the Auto Scroll button, you can vary the speed and direction using the arrows that appears in the left hand scroll bar.



Here's one for the many fans of Word 97 and 2000's labour-saving keyboard shortcuts. As you may have discovered there is no master list of shortcuts in Word Help and tracking down a specific command -- there are more than 200 of them -- or finding out if a particular one even exists, can be a frustrating and time-consuming business. Wonder no more, here's an easy way to print out a complete list of Word shortcuts and commands, to keep by your PC for quick reference.

Go to the Tools menu and click on Macro then Macros. In the 'Macros In' drop-down menu select Word Commands, now move your mouse pointer to the Macro Name pane and highlight ListCommands, click Run and in the dialogue box that appears select Current Menu and Keyboard Settings and click OK. A new document will open, with a table showing all of the available commands and shortcuts. Just use Save As to give it a name and print it out. Be warned in its raw form it runs to around 10 pages (12pt text) but with a little judicious editing of the commands you'll never need or use it can be trimmed to a more manageable 5 to 6 pages.



If you regularly need to switch between two settings on your printer (i.e. portrait and landscape mode, etc.) when printing from different applications, you can avoid a lot of messing around by making Windows believe you have two or more printers. Open the Printers folder in My Computer and click on Add New Printer and follow through the installation procedure for your existing printer. At the point when Windows asks the printers name change to default, Printer 2 for example. When the setup is complete right-click on the new printer icon, select Properties and change the settings as required. Now all you have to do is select the new printer in your application's Printer Setup dialogue box, or simply drag and drop the file onto the Printer 2 icon.



In Word 97 and 2000 there's a useful hidden facility called Random Word. Every so often you might want to create a block of text quickly, to test out your faxing or E-mail facilities, or produce dummy text to check a page layout. You can of course copy and paste text from another document but Random Word is far quicker.  Simply type in the following: =rand() and press Return. Word will then generate three paragraphs, each containing the sentence 'The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog', five times. You can alter the number of paragraphs and sentences by inserting numbers into the brackets. For example,  =rand(6,8) generates a text block of 6 paragraphs, each containing 8 sentences.



This Word Basic macro for Word 97 saves your current document, then makes a backup copy on floppy disc. It assumes your hard disc is drive C: and you're backing up to a floppy in drive A. From the Tools menu click on Macro, then Macros, give it a name and click on the Create button. The Word Basic window opens and you will see a flashing cursor after the words 'Sub' (and before the word End Sub). Type in the following text, observing all line breaks:


Dim strName$, Ini$

Dim ch


strName$ = WordBasic.[Filename$](1)

ch = Len(strName$) - 1

While Mid(strName$, ch, 1) <> "\" And Mid(strName$, ch, 1) <> ":"

ch = ch - 1


strName$ = Mid(strName$, ch + 1)

WordBasic.PrintStatusBar "Backing Up" + WordBasic.[Filename$](1) + " To " + Ini$ + strName$

WordBasic.CopyFile WordBasic.[Filename$](1), "A:\" + strName$

WordBasic.MsgBox "Boot Camp Backup Complete"


To assign the macro a button on the toolbar (or keyboard shortcut) click on Customize on the Tools menu, select the Commands tab, scroll down the list in the left hand window and click on Macros. Drag and drop your new macro onto a toolbar. Select an icon using the same procedure for macro recording.

Unfortunately this WordBasic macro only works with Word 97. Word 2000 tries unsuccessfully to translate it into VisualBasic, so we are indebted to Daily Telegraph Science Correspondent Robert Uhlig for coming up with this version for Word 2000. Again copy it exactly as is, line for line, if you want to use another backup device, maybe a CD-R/RW or Zip drive simply change the drive letter in the line: ‘ChangeFileOpenDirectory "A:\"

Sub Allsave()


' Allsave Macro

Dim Pathroute

Pathroute = ActiveDocument.FullName

ChangeFileOpenDirectory "A:\"

ActiveDocument.SaveAs FileName:=ActiveDocument.Name, FileFormat:= _

wdFormatDocument, LockComments:=False, Password:="", AddToRecentFiles:=True, _

WritePassword:="", ReadOnlyRecommended:=False, EmbedTrueTypeFonts:=False, _

SaveNativePictureFormat:=False, SaveFormsData:=False, SaveAsAOCELetter:= _


ChangeFileOpenDirectory "C:\"

ActiveDocument.SaveAs FileName:=Pathroute, FileFormat:= _

wdFormatDocument, LockComments:=False, Password:="", AddToRecentFiles:=True, _

WritePassword:="", ReadOnlyRecommended:=False, EmbedTrueTypeFonts:=False, _

SaveNativePictureFormat:=False, SaveFormsData:=False, SaveAsAOCELetter:= _


StatusBar = ActiveDocument.Name & " saved in active directory and on backup drive"


End Sub


Next week – Windows security




Two types of disc used in CD-ROM recorders, CD-R is a record-once format, where data cannot be altered once it is on the disc, CD-RW is a read/write format, where data can be added and erased. Both types of disc can be read in most recent read-only CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives


A sequence of frequently used commands, used to automate a repetitive task


Text based programming languages used to create macros

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