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How to work in Microsoft Word
Microsoft word is a popular word processor developed by IBM in 1964. This made it possible for text corrections and changes to be done on a document, and a clean print can be taken, without having to retype the entire document. The first word processor software was Easy writer developed by John Draper for the Apple-II computer. This article gives the commands available in MS Word and describes how powerful a tool it is for preparing documents.
The word window:
If MS Word is installed on our computer, it can be started as Start>All Programs>Microsoft Word. It is possible, however, that we may have to go to the folder of MS Office after programs to open MS Word. This depends on how the software is installed. When we start MS Word, a blank word window comes on the screen.
The important parts of the word window is as follow.
1. The title bar at the top gives the name of the document.
2. The menu bar opens up options for each menu.
3. The tool bar provides buttons for features such as opening or saving files, printing etc. and for changing fonts, sizes, paragraph, alignment etc.
4. The scroll bars enable us to see portions of the documents that are not visible on the screen by moving up, down, right or left.
5. The status bar gives information about the document, and the current location of the cursor.
Typing and correcting mistakes:
The text is typed in the work area. You can move the cursor around in the typed material by using the arrow keys, or the mouse.
*To correct any error we need to take the cursor to the mistake, delete it, and type the correction.
*To delete a portion of text, select it by pressing the left button of the mouse, and dragging it over the text to be deleted. Then press delete.
*To add matter at any place, take the cursor to that place and type the matter. It gets inserted in place. However, if we have pressed the Insert key before typing, and the new matter will replace the existing matter. To get back to insert mode, press Insert again.
Cutting, pasting and copying texts:
A very useful facility available on a word processor is that portions of text can be cut out from one place and pasted at another place. Or text can be copied from one place to another. Cutting, pasting and copying can be done in the same document or in another document.
To cut a portion of text, select it, and then click on the cut icon. Alternately after selecting the text, go to the Edit menu and click on Cut. The selected text disappears, it goes to the clipboard.
To paste the text, move the cursor to the place where you want the text to be. Click on the paste icon. Alternatively, press paste on the edit menu. The text appears. Sometimes you may want to copy a portion of text from one place to another, without deleting it. Instead of cut, use the option copy. The rest of the procedure remains the same.
Saving and retrieving:
To save your work, select save under the File menu. If you are saving the work for the first time, a Save As dialogue Box appears. Type in the file name you want to give to the document and click on 'Save'.
To retrieve a document, select open under the File menu. Give the name of the document in the box under file name, or select the name from the list of files displayed. Click OK and your document appears on the screen.
The New command in the File menu will open a fresh document.
Making printed matter look better:
Bold, italics and underlined.
To make a portion of the matter bold, italics or underlined, first select the matter using the mouse. Then apply the respective icons on Tool bar. To remove any of the these, select the matter and press the icon again.
Changing font and font size:
To change the font, select the text, go to the Font menu in the Tool bar, and click on the arrow. A list of fonts drops down. Select the font you want.
To change the font size, select the text and go to the size menu on the Tool bar. Click on the arrow. Select the font size you want. Font size is measured in points.
Justification (Alignment) of matter:
The matter to be justified (aligned) is first selected. The icons on the Tool bar can be used for left justification (alignment the matter to the left), right justification (alignment the matter to the right) or centering the matter.
Pictures can be imported into the word document from paint, from Clip Art or from other software. To import from paint, go to the paint and draw the picture. Now select the picture using the selection tool. Go to the Edit menu and click copy. A copy of the picture goes to the clipboard, minimize the paint window. To insert the picture on the word document, take the cursor to the place you want the picture to appear. Go to the Edit menu and select Paste. The picture gets pasted in the document. The picture is enclosed in a box. It can be dragged to a new place or its size changed. When you are satisfied, click away from the box to fix the pictures.
Giving page numbers:
Go to the Insert menu and select page numbers. A page number window appears. Specify where you want the page numbers to appear and press OK.
Printing the matter:
Switch on the printer. Go to the File menu and select print. Or simply click on the printer icon in the Tool Bar. The print box appears on the screen. Specify the pages you want to print and the number of copies you want, and press print. Your printer will do the rest. To exit from word, select the Exit command from the File menu.
We can make changes in the page layout as we learn more about word.
If we look at any general print out of a word document, we can see there are blank spaces on all sides of the typed matter. The page looks neat when there are sufficient spaces. These spaces are the margins-the top margin, the bottom margin, the left margin and the right margin.
These margins are set by words on its own. Such settings, which are fixed from before, are called default settings. However we can change these settings to alter the layout of the page.
Changing the margin alters the amount of text you can have on a page. Changing the left and right margin alters the number of words you can fit in a line. Changing the top and bottom margin alters the number of lines you can have in a page.
To change the margins select the File menu and click on page setup. A screen appears. The margin values of 2.54cm (1"), 2.54cm (1"), 3.17cm (1.25"), 3.17cm (1.25") are the default values on the right of the screen is given a preview of the page with the margins.
Change the margins one by one by pressing the arrows next to each. See how the pages preview changes. Set the left and right margins to 10cm (2.54") each and click OK. Notice that the left and right margins are indicated on the top rule line of the word window.
Go to the File menu and select print preview. A window appears showing the document as it will appear in print. Notice the changes in the number of words that fit in a line. After the margins have been altered.
Adding a Header and Footer:
In several books that we may have read, a line at the top gives the name of the book or the chapter. Usually the page number is given at the bottom, below the text.
The line at the top, above the text is known as the header, and the line at the bottom as the footer. It is usual to have a header in a long document of several pages.
A header can be added to a document by selecting Header and Footer from the View menu. Boxes appear at the top and bottom of the page. A bar giving options also appears.
Designing in a word processor:
Word processor is more than just typing. You can create various types of documents in a word processor, including brochures with pictures, or a book cover design.
Suppose we have to design a book. Let us design a back cover for it. While designing, we will learn lot more about what a word processor can do.
Take any book which is more than 1cm thick. Open it out and place it face down on a table. You can now see the full cover of the book. Notice that there are three distinct columns.
• The first column is the back cover of the book. It may contain a description of the book or book reviews. It may also have the name of the publisher and the price.
• The second or Centre column would have the name of the book and author. Notice, however the title of the book is vertical here, and not horizontal as on the other columns. This is because this portion appears at the place where the pages are bound. This portion is known as the spine of the book and is narrow. The name of the author may be given vertically or horizontally in smaller font size.
• The last column is actually the front cover of the book. This has the title of the book, the author's name, and mostly a photograph or graphic.
Notice one very important thing about the cover. When you look at the complete cover, you will notice that its width is grater than the length. In all printing that we have done so far, the width of the page was smaller than the length. And to print the book cover you will be using the same paper. The length of the paper should therefore accommodate the width of the book. Let us see how this can be done.
Changing page orientation:
There are two ways to print on paper. The most common is when the width of the paper is less than its length. This is called portrait orientation of the page.
The other way is when the width of the paper is more than its length. This is called landscape orientation.
Normally, the computer prints in the portrait orientation. To print a book cover design, you have to change the page the orientation to landscape.
To do this select Page setup from the File menu. The Page setup window pops up on the screen. Select paper size. Under Orientation click on the Landscape radio button. The dot switches from portrait to landscape.
The measurements of the width and height of the paper changes. The paper preview on the right of the window changes to landscape. Click OK. You will find that the size of the work area on the screen also changes.
The next step is to divide the page into three columns. The columns are not of equal width. The Centre column is narrow and depends on the thickness of the book. The first and third columns are equal and depend on the size of the book. Let us take the thickness of the spine to be 2cm.
Using Format menu, select columns. A column window pops up on the screen. Click on the icon for three columns. Now click on the check box in front of Equal column width to clear it.
Using Width and spacing reduce the spacing between the columns to 0.2cm. Reduce the width of the second column to 2cm. Adjust the width of the first and third columns to make them approximately equal. The preview box shows the column as they would appear on the page.
This method may be used to make any number of columns on a page.
The spine-entering text as an object to rotate it:
Here we want the name of the author to appear at the top horizontally, and the title of the book to appear vertically.
To enter the name of the author, take the cursor to the next column. Press Enter to leave some apace from the top. Type in the author's name. Choose the font size so that the name fits in the column width.
To enter the title vertically, it should be inserted as an 'object'. You can then rotate the text that you enter, and make it vertical.
Under the insert menu, select object. The Object window pops up. It gives a list of applications from where objects can be picked up to put in word document. Select Microsoft Word Art and press OK.
Once the font and font size have been selected, click on Update display to put what is inside the frame on the document. Close this window. You are still in Word Art.
Rotating the words:
Click on Rotate button. A special effects window pops up. Under Rotations enter 90 degree and click OK. Click away from the frame to get back to the word document.
Your object is still selected. A box around the object shows that it is selected. Drag the object to place it at the Centre of the second column, below the author's name.
We have just made the spine of the cover. If you are not satisfied, try out other fonts and font sizes.
Scanning a picture:
A scanner is a device for use with a computer. It enables us to transform a printed illustration or a photograph onto the computer. The picture or the book where the picture is printed is placed on the surface of the scanner, and the scan application program is started. The scanner duplicates the image of the page on the screen The scanned picture can be copied and pasted on to a word document, for example in our book design. Or it can be saved for future use.
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