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Book cover  Word 6 Starter Kit

Tonya Joy Engst
50 Hickory Road
Ithaca, NY 14850

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

 


I authored this book after I left Microsoft's employ, during the beta test period for Word 6. The book helps users ramp up quickly on a variety of Word's features.

Reprinted Introduction

Welcome to the Word Starter Kit! Word has about ten million features, and this kit explains the ones most people will want to use most often. For example, since you must install Word before you can use it, this kit comes with detailed installation instructions.

Who Should Use This Starter Kit

This kit is for anyone who owns Microsoft Word 6 or plans to buy it soon. According to my publisher, this book should be for beginning to intermediate users. I took this to mean that the book should be the most helpful to people who are new to computing, or who are new to Word, or who have only reached an intermediate level.

I decided that if I wrote a book that served the needs of someone totally new to the Mac and Word, that the book would bore people who have seriously used their Macs for more than a month. As a result, Macintosh beginners should plan to supplement this book with a book about basic Macintosh operations.

If you are a network administrator or MIS person, and you need help installing Word over a network, setting up templates and macros for your staff, or understanding group editing features, this book won't cover all the bases for you.

How to Use This Starter Kit

Instead of having traditional chapters, this book has Steps. If you read all the Steps (or at least the ones having any relevance to your life), you can consider yourself officially started with Word.

If you are the sort who likes to check off list items, note that each Step begins with a list of sub-steps. Feel free to check them off as you learn them. As you read each Step, you will probably notice many italicized words. To find out what an italicized word means, look it up in the Teaching Glossary at the back of the book. Or, if you have a Mac handy, use the version of the Teaching Glossary that comes on the disk (called the Teaching Disk). The disk version has lots of examples and hypertextual links.

The Steps and the Disk

Here is a quick summary of what you can learn from this Kit:

"Step 1, Installing Word" walks you through the installation process, explains what (and where) software gets installed on your hard disk, and makes special suggestions for people upgrading from Word 5.

"Step 2, Before you Begin Using Word for Real" explains the fundamentals of launching and quitting Word, with details on opening, saving, and closing documents.

"Step 3, Using the Tools" starts by explaining how to tell Word what to do and finishes with a look at a few key concepts that come up over and over as you use Word.

"Step 4, Typing and Editing" guides you through typing, moving, and editing text. If you use Word for serious writing, you'll want to be familiar with the techniques and tools in this Step.

"Step 5, Setting up a Document" covers fundamental ways of setting up a document: page formatting, styles, outlines, master documents, and automatic chapter numbering.

"Step 6, Formatting Type" explains how to change the appearance of text. It discusses mundane formats, such as bold, and explains less common options, such as small caps and drop caps. It also discusses WordArt, which can twist type into different shapes.

"Step 7, Positioning Things on a Page" looks at formatting from the perspective of a paragraph or column. Along with basic paragraph formatting, it covers tabs, tables, snaking columns, and frames. You can even find out how to make text overlap other text and shapes.

"Step 8, Miscellaneous Manuscript Things" discusses numbering and organizational options such as tables of contents, indexes, cross-references, hypertext, and automatic captions.

"Step 9, Making a List" offers steps and tips for setting up, numbering, and sorting lists.

"Step 10, Graphics and Borders" explains how to import graphics from other programs and how to make your own graphics. It also explains how to move graphics between layers.

"Step 11, Customizing Keyboard Shortcuts, Menus, and Toolbars" helps with customizing keyboard shortcuts, drop down menus, and toolbar buttons.

"Step 12, Macros," explains how to record a macro and how to use the Organize dialog box to share it with someone else.

"Step 13, Form Letters and Other Mail Merges," gives steps and information so you can set up form letters of all sorts, and merge to labels and envelopes.

"Step 14, Printing," explains the basics on how to print from Word, complete with details on special printing features, printing to disk, background printing, printing labels, and printing envelopes.

The appendices have tips for converting documents in and out of Word format, for finding more help, and for using the Teaching Disk that came with your Starter Kit.

Refer to the Teaching Glossary whenever you want more information about an italicized term. The Teaching Glossary has a lot of information and I believe it is an excellent glossary for a book. The Teaching Glossary on the disk takes advantage of being a computer file, and it is way better than the book version. I hope you'll check it out.

The Teaching Disk that comes with this Kit includes a few useful files. The disk version of the Teaching Glossary explains and shows what terms used in the book mean. A few templates supplement text in the book and provide custom toolbars with buttons that you might not discover easily. The disk also includes a document listing contact information for third-party products that enhance Word (such as Spelling Checkers, fonts, and programs that enhance specific features). Appendix C, "Using the Teaching Disk" has more information about the disk.

Twenty New and Useful Word 6 Features

If you are fairly familiar with Word 5 or with features expected in a state-of-the-art word processor, check out this list of twenty new and useful Word 6 features (collect the features and trade them with your friends). If you haven't used word processors a lot, don't worry if you don't understand everything in the list, because it's all explained in the Kit.

  1. System information: To find all sorts of details about your Macintosh, choose About Microsoft Word from the Apple menu.
  2. Templates: Templates store not only pre-typed text or graphics, but also special styles, macros, and toolbars (look up Template in the Teaching Glossary).
  3. Shortcut menus: A shortcut menu offers quick access to commands relating to an item showing onscreen (see Step 3, "Using the Tools").
  4. Character styles: Character styles add a new dimension to formatting type (see "Step 5, Setting Up a Document").
  5. Automatic captioning and caption numbering: These features save a lot of time for people who need to make captions (see "Step 8, Miscellaneous Manuscript Things").
  6. Cross-references: You can make a cross-reference to many different document elements (see "Step 8, Miscellaneous Manuscript Things").
  7. Bulleting and numbering: Special commands simplify bulleting and numbering lists (see "Step 9, Making a List").
  8. Drag and drop across window boundaries: Use this feature to move text and graphics between documents (see "Step 4, Typing and Editing").
  9. Framing: This feature is more complex and flexible than ever before (see "Step 7, Positioning Things on a Page").
  10. Layers: Word now has three layers (like sheets of clear plastic set on top of each other). Use layers to make things overlap (see "Step 10, Graphics and Borders").
  11. Table cells taller than one page: This may sound trivial, but thousands of people had problems with tall table cells in earlier versions of Word (see "Step 7, Positioning Things on a Page").
  12. Hypertext: If you find yourself producing documents that will be read onscreen, consider using the GoToButton field to make hypertextual links (see "Step 8, Miscellaneous Manuscript Things").
  13. Macros: Macros help you automate what Word can do (see "Step 12, Macros").
  14. AutoCorrect: This feature makes Word automatically fix common typos (see "Step 4, Typing and Editing").
  15. Fields: Think of a field as a blank space that Word fills in (look up Field in the Teaching Glossary).
  16. Password protection: You can lock others out of your documents (see "Step 2, Before you Begin Using Word for Real").
  17. Wizards: Wizards set up complex documents for you (see "Step 2, Before you Begin Using Word for Real").
  18. Different page orientations in the same document: This may sound trivial, but it took programming talent to add this feature to Word, and it was a frequently requested feature for older versions of Word (see "Step 5, Setting Up a Document").
  19. Chapter and page numbers: Word's numbering features have become far more capable (see "Step 5, Setting Up a Document").
  20. Twisting type into different shapes: A feature called WordArt enables you to do all sorts of wild things with type (see "Step 6, Formatting Type").

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Last updated 27-Sep-01.