Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Formatting

Is formatting your absolute favorite part of writing? No? Mine either, however I have I must admit that the more I do it, the less I loath it (okay, it actually doesn't bother me at all anymore). Half the battle with formatting is knowing how to do it, and not just how to do it, but all the short cuts that make it work with as little effort as possible. I personally use Microsoft Office, and while I love this program, it defiantly takes some know-how to get from basic user status to proficient at using it.

I think my number one tip to formatting is to utilize the "Style Gallery". When I first started using Microsoft Word, this tool was so foreign to me. I thought that it was predetermined by Microsoft and we had no say in the matter. Yet, that is just entirely not true! You can update, rename, and/or remove the default settings to match each document that you work on, and then create any other quick styles that you might need or want. This makes formatting changes as simple as one click. When you are using the quick styles, you no longer have to highlight the section that you want to change, then choose your font, size, spacing, and/or text style. All you have to do is highlight the text and click your quick style.

The style gallery is probably my number one formatting friend. Here are a few more helpful tips on the quick style gallery:
Word 2007 Style Tricks
Quick Style Gallery
How to apply a style in Microsoft Word

Note: I use Office 2007, and most of the links provided cover that as well.

Another tool that I am learning to use is the automatic tables of contents which is a beast of it's own burden.

What about you? Do you have a favorite formatting tool that you can share with us? Or any tips on using one?

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