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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.


Panorama II Clarifications

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Well, no one's perfect, and I missed a few things in my review of Panorama II last week. My overall comments stand, but there are a few things I feel the need to clarify.

It is easy to display the results of calculations on forms using what Panorama II calls an auto-wrap text object and a variable merged in with the text. I can't believe I didn't realize that, especially since I have used formulas in auto-wrap text objects for creating intelligent addresses that know not to include a space for company name if there is none present.

One cool feature that I forgot to mention is Smart Dates. Panorama II knows how dates relate to each other, so you can enter dates like "May 21" or "3/17" and have Panorama II expand into that the date format you are using in that particular field, even adding the current year automatically. Neater yet is the ability to enter "last Tuesday" and have the program figure out the proper date. It can be easier to remember a relative date than the absolute date, and it's always nice to have Panorama II enter the current year for you if you wish.

Jim Rea of ProVUE explained the rationale behind the Design Sheet to me. Apparently, ProVUE assumes that most people will use the Field Properties dialog to define and modify fields at first, but once a user becomes more comfortable in the Panorama II environment, he or she will prefer to use the Design Sheet, which is much faster and more efficient for making multiple changes. I must be abnormal, then, because I've almost never used the Field Properties dialog. Maybe if I had read the manual more carefully... :-)

Information from:
Jim Rea, President of ProVUE -- ProVUE on AOL


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