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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.

 

 

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Watch Adam's Hacking the Press Talk from C4

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Back in the late 1990s, I came up with an idea for a presentation that I, as a non-programmer, could give at the MacHack programmers conference. I called it "Hacking the Press," and it was designed to explain to software developers running their own businesses how to work with the press. It was always big fun to give, since I made sure to ask for an open-ended block of time, and my session usually went at least 3 hours, or until people stopped asking questions. I later turned some of the contents of the talk into a series of articles, and I've heard from many developers over the years that my talks and articles were helpful to them as they launched products. But with the demise of MacHack (and its renamed form, ADHOC), it had been a while since I'd given the talk.

That's when I got email from Wolf Rentzsch, with whom I'd shared a room one year at MacHack and who was the mastermind behind the C4 conference for independent developers that served much the same need as MacHack (see "C4 Conference Rethinks MacHack," 2007-08-20). Wolf wanted me to reprise my Hacking the Press talk at C4, and I jumped at the chance. I had a great time at C4, but I didn't attempt to describe the sessions in great detail, given that many of them were over my head anyway. Since then, however, Wolf has gradually been releasing the videos of the talks on Viddler, and the video of my talk is now up for viewing along with the rest. Be sure to watch Wil Shipley's talk on marketing as well, if only for his opening joke about the iPhone (I disagree with some of Wil's advice, but it's a hilarious talk).

 

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