Oh, my Word! Tips on Word’s little mysteries.

also: Don’t forget our IT@IH 1.1 and IT@IH 1.2 courses!

Have you enjoyed watching Shawn’s Corner so far? Have you thought about how these segments wouldn’t be possible without computers?  To celebrate our love-hate relationship with computers, let’s take a gander at FORMAT PAINTER(it’s that little paintbrush) in Word.  Because you know how it is, you have a document looking like you want it and then you cut and paste something into the document—and then you have a mess, different fonts and sizes!  It’s not difficult to get everything all looking the same.

So today, four Word mysteries will be highlighted, solved and resolved.

This little paintbrush will make your cutting and pasting so much easier!
  1. As mentioned before, Format Painter, the little paintbrush.  The way you use this is quite like a paintbrush. So click on that paintbrush.  Then click on the formatting you LIKE.   Only after that should you click on the problem text. Funnily enough, it’s a bit counterintuitive, in that we like to tackle what’s wrong, but embrace the formatting you like and then go and touch up what you hate.  Try it a few times and you’ll like it!
.dotx files are master files you can use as a template
  • On the same topic of formatting, why not make all of your worksheets look similar—create your own persona, your own style and stick with it.  Believe me, doing this is not boring, it gives your class materials a “feel” to them.  So, take a look here at the template I created for our school using our logo, the font we use, the size & color of the title and the size & color of the text.  Once you have it all the way you want it, then go to file menu (where you save on PC) and scroll down to “Save as Template” or “Modelo” in Portuguese.  It’ll be saved!  It has an extension of .dotx  The next time you make some materials, open it!  The good thing is you can never erase the original because it creates a new file every time.
Tight or “justo”
  • Like we talked about a few weeks ago, there is a way of keeping your pics stay where you want them in Word.  It’s called “Tight” or “Justo”.  The easiest way to find this is to double click on a picture OR right click on the picture and look for “Format picture” or, in more recent versions, you might only see a picture of a dog or a rainbow with lines around it.  Find the one where you can see there are lines all around.  This means that the text (and other pictures for that matter) will go around it.  For every version of Word out there, the process is essentially the same, but not exactly.  That’s why you’ll have to take a look on your computer, but if you get the idea of the concept, you shouldn’t have difficulty in finding how to get your text to wrap around the picture—and keep pictures from jumping around when you add more.
As long as you select the text you want to designate the language for, you can mix several languages in one document and use spellcheck!
  • Last but not least, let’s not forget spellcheck. And since we are language teachers, we have a trickier time of it. Most people get their computer formatted for their native language and that’s it, but in our case, even the same document might have two languages in it.  So, if you are like me and want to do that final check, first select all the text or the part that it’s in the language you are going to check. Or even before you start, which is better yet!  Then when you go to Review (or Tools on some computers), then you can do Spelling & Grammar check.

And there you have it, some quick tips on mysteries of Word. Most times in Shawn’s Corner, we have been focusing on how to make the most out of technology at home so that we can prepare for classes.  We’ll carry on with giving tips on technology and “paper” resources again in September.  For now, in the next few weeks, we hope to see you at our centre in Foz for our IT@IH 1.1 (beginner) and IT@IH 1.2 (intermediate) courses!

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