I was an assistant systems administrator for four years, so I do know a fair amount about using programs like Microsoft Office (and Adobe Creative Suite…I suppose that applies if you’re looking at cover design, adding Flash, or making a website).
Anyway, here’s some shortcuts you might find useful if you haven’t already tried them. For Macs, Ctrl is replaced by the Apple key. Questions? Ask me; I’ll even upload screenshots of anything confusing.
- Keyboard Shortcuts
- Ctrl + accent – adds the chosen accent to the subsequent vowel. So pressing Ctrl + ` and then ‘e’ makes è. It also works if you have to press Ctrl + Shift + 6 (^), for instance.
- Ctrl + C – Copy
- Ctrl + O – Open
- Ctrl + S – Save
- F1 – Help
- F12 – Save As
- Ctrl + P – Print
- Ctrl + V – Paste
- Ctrl + X – Cut
- I know some of the shortcuts to change type settings and stuff, too, but I keep forgetting them so they’re obviously not that useful.
- Doubleclicking the header or footer area takes you to the options for it. Doubleclicking anywhere in the text lets you start writing there (or highlights an entire word if your cursor is over one).
- Using the Ribbon
- I really don’t understand why people complain about this. It’s called dumping legacy systems, guys. The ribbon is a much more efficient way of organizing tools, plus it can be minimized to increase your screen space (I don’t; it’s a pain in the arse). Plus, you can scroll through it with your scroll button if you have your cursor over it. (Try it sometime; it’s quite distracting.)
- Try making your own custom style sometime. There is a little bit of a caveat, in that if you want to be able to browse by heading (bottom right beneath the scrollbar, by default set to page but if you click on the circle in the middle you can change it) you have to modify the ones already specified as Title/etc. to make it work.
- Also, Autocorrect/autofill can be set up to take custom words–say you have to keep typing a certain very long word, you can input it so it picks it up.
- You can set autoindents by just moving the top part (or bottom, if you want to float everything except the first line) of the little hourglass thingy on the ruler. To change margins, go for the boundary between the white and darkened space.
- MS Word 2007/8 has an auto bibliography feature. You can input all the fields of a specific source and then have it spit out something in a huge variety of styles–it’s seriously awesome. You may have to convert it to regular text because there are a few conventions it mucks up, but overall what a huge timesaver.
…That’s all I can think of for now. Peace out. (What does that mean, anyway?)