Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
Mysteriously Moving Margins in Word

In Microsoft Word 2008 (and older versions), if you put your cursor in a paragraph and then move a tab or indent marker in the ruler, the change applies to just that paragraph. If your markers are closely spaced, you may have trouble grabbing the right one, and inadvertently work with tabs when you want to work with indents, or vice-versa. The solution is to hover your mouse over the marker until a yellow tooltip confirms which element you're about to drag.

I recently came to appreciate the importance of waiting for those tooltips: a document mysteriously reset its margins several times while I was under deadline pressure, causing a variety of problems. After several hours of puzzlement, I had my "doh!" moment: I had been dragging a margin marker when I thought I was dragging an indent marker.

When it comes to moving markers in the Word ruler, the moral of the story is always to hover, read, and only then drag.

 
 

Cougar Slinks Into View

Send Article to a Friend

Those who regularly visit the Web site of the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) have seen hints about the next version of HTML, codenamed Cougar. Last week, the W3C updated and consolidated those scattered hints by releasing them in a public draft of HTML 4.0. This release is important because it codifies a wide array of tempting new features. Many of these features will work only in new browsers, and Microsoft has already announced plans to support them in Internet Explorer 4.0.

<http://www.w3.org/Press/HTML4>

Forms gain many improvements in HTML 4.0. Publishers can assign keyboard shortcuts to form elements and set a tab-order for form elements such that users can press Tab to move among them. Forms can have generic buttons that publishers program with scripts, and forms can utilize a new item that prompts for a file name to be uploaded. Publishers can also set elements to be disabled until they are appropriate (for example, a Submit button might be disabled until a form's mandatory elements were completely filled out, a feature that will likely be welcomed by every Web user on the planet).

Other highlights of the draft include a new script element for adding client-side scripts; grouped columns and rows in tables which make for faster perceived presentation of a table, plus sections of a table that can scroll within a fixed header and footer; and a new character set, ISO-10646, which is a character-by-character equivalent to Unicode 2.0. (Unicode contains 38,885 characters which come from 25 different scripts, including Arabic, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Katakana, Thai, and Tibetan.)

<http://www.unicode.org/>

I recommend that Web publishers take time to read the actual draft, which strikes me as more reader-friendly than much of the W3C's previous Web publications.

<http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-html40-970708/ contents.html>

 

READERS LIKE YOU! Support TidBITS by becoming a member today!
Check out the perks at <http://tidbits.com/member_benefits.html>
Special thanks to Robert, David Haupt, Darol Joseff, and John Trapp
for their generous support!