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Book cover  The Word Book for Macintosh Users

Tonya Joy Engst
50 Hickory Road
Ithaca, NY 14850

607/227-0903 (voice)
425/699-5104 (fax)
tonya@tidbits.com


I wrote this book while working at Microsoft as a Support Engineer, so the text is informed by an insider's knowledge of how users tend to get stuck, and when Word is likely to misbehave.

Reprinted Introduction

This book comes to you as a culmination of two years, eight months of my professional life, which I spent supporting Word via the phone and electronic mail, answering some thirty questions each working day. As a result, I have a pretty good idea of the questions about Word 5 that people want answers to, and--fortunately--I also know a great number of the answers. In writing this book, I attempted to answer many, many questions, and to share my knowledge and experience.

Why Does This Book Exist?

What makes this book special is that I have written it in an effort to be truly useful. In my mind, truly useful means I give you the whole story. Time and time again, this book goes the extra mile (or paragraph) to tell you what you need to know to make it all work, regardless of what features you must use. For example, just telling you that clicking on the Print button prints the document doesn't begin to tell you what to do when the document prints out wrong or doesn't print at all. Just documenting what the buttons and menus do doesn't explain how to combine their functions to make a great document that looks the way you want it to.

In an effort to be truly useful, in addition to giving you specific steps for installing Word, personalizing Word, creating documents, formatting documents, and printing documents, I point out the places where you are likely to get stuck. If you need a free patch to the program or a new converter in order to avoid problems, I tell you that you need one and where to get it. If there is a better, faster way to do something, I let you know. If a feature doesn't always work the way it is supposed to or is not as stable as it would be in an ideal world, I give you a warning and offer suggestions for what to do about it. I've tried to write the book as though I were chatting with you in person - anticipating your questions and problems, and pointing you towards the best way to use Word.

The book focuses on what you want to do, regardless of what features and commands you use. You don't have to know the name of a command in order to find out how to use it. All you have to know is what you want to do. For example, chapter 13, "Boxes, Borders, and Lines" explains not only how to use the Border command, but also how to make boxes and lines when the Border command doesn't work, using a grab bag of tricks including as tab stops, PostScript code, and typesetting formulas.

If you know what you want a document to look like, but aren't sure how to express what you want in words, check out the Great Documents section, which displays numerous sample documents, complete with brief bits of information about how to create a similar document and references to the chapter sections where you can find detailed information.

What Software Do You Need?

This book assumes that you have some version of Word 5, which means you could have Word 5.0, 5.0a, 5.1, or 5.1a. In all cases, if a procedure has different steps depending on the version, the book points out the differences so that you don't get lost. If you have Word launched, you can find out your version by selecting About Microsoft Word from the Apple menu.

Warning: Word 5.0 and 5.1 both have free updates available that fix problems. 5.0's update fixes a problem with fonts spontaneously changing; 5.1's update fixes a problem with headers and footers disappearing. See appendix B to find out how to get a free update.

Word 5 works with System 6.0.2 or later, and the book covers specific information that you need to know, based on what version of the System you have. Most of the System 6 differences come up in the first few chapters, which discuss basic Mac operations, using fonts, and setting up printer software.

Where to Start

You could of course curl up and read the book from cover to cover, but more likely you only have time or interest for the chapters that will help you the most. If you aren't comfortable with using a Macintosh, start with chapter 1, "Macintosh Basics." No matter how much you want to plunge into Word, without a solid understanding of what's going on from the Macintosh angle, you are shooting yourself in the foot before you even get to the starting line. If you need information about a specific topic, look in the table of contents or index. Try the Great Documents section (the part with pages and pages of document examples) if you want to browse for ideas.

If you already have a basic handle on using Word, check out these sections to find out about the top ten things to know about Word:

  1. Don't type the same thing over and over; instead, add it to your glossary and then to the Work menu. See chapter 6, "Word's Controls and Appearances"; sections "Browsing in the Library - Setting up and Using the Glossary" and "Creating a New Menu - The Work Menu."

  2. You can assign keyboard shortcuts to any command in Word, whether the command shows on the menu or it is hidden elsewhere. See chapter 6, "Word's Controls and Appearances"; section "Setting Up a Custom Keyboard Shortcut."

  3. There are four ways to add page numbers to a Word document and four ways to remove page numbers. The easiest way to add a page number is through the Section dialog box. See chapter 12, "Page, Paragraph, and Line Numbers"; section, "Inserting Margin Page Numbers with the Section Dialog Box."

  4. Using tabs to make columns of text is hopelessly outdated (and takes extra effort). Use tables instead. See chapter 7, "Putting Elements in Their Place"; section "Making Tabular Columns."
  5. When you install or re-install Word, it's important to get the Installation Folder right. See chapter 5, "Word Installation"; section "Step 5: Choosing the Installation Location."
  6. Margins apply to the entire document, but you can move text in relation to the left and right margins by changing the indent. Drag the triangles (Indent markers) on the Ruler to quickly change the indent. See chapter 6, "Word's Controls and Appearances"; section "Indent Mode."
  7. To change the default font, select Default Font from the Font menu. To change the default style, modify the Normal style. See chapter 9, "Quick Formatting with Styles"; section "The Normal Style."
  8. Use the Standard heading styles. They tie right into the Outline view and into making a table of contents. They are probably Word's most compelling feature. See chapter 9, "Quick Formatting with Styles"; section "Using Styles in Outlines and Tables of Contents."
  9. If you want to merge addresses onto mailing labels, use one of the templates that comes with Word. See chapter 18, "Form Letters, Mailing Labels, and Other Merges"; section "Making Labels."
  10. If you need to know how to type a special character, use Key Caps or the Symbol command. See chapter 2, "Macintosh Fonts"; section "Using Fonts."

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Last updated 27-Sep-01.