DR. K's WRITING
CHAPTER 3: Microsoft Word
A. Beginning a
Figure 2 shows the
typical Microsoft Word beginning screen. To begin a new document
simply click on either the icon of a blank sheet of paper on the far
left or select "New" under "File". As soon as you have done any work
at all, be sure to save the document by selecting "Save" under
"File". See section II. F. Saving a Document for details.
At this point it would
probably be best to set the margins of the paper by selecting
"document" under the "Format" menu seen to the left. When the margins
come up simply click on any you wish to change, type in the new
margin, and, when all are set, click "Done". You can also select the
font and font size at this point by selecting whichever font and size
you want under the "Font" menu. Then simply begin typing your
document without worrying about what it will look like regarding
spacing, centering, etc.
Since, as the saying
goes, it takes a computer to really foul things up, be sure and save
your document every ten or fifteen minutes and, at least every thirty
minutes, save a back-up to the hard drive. See section II. F. for
B. Editing a
1. Open an Existing
Document: Unless you are able to complete a document at one sitting,
an unlikely and technically bad idea, you will need to "open" a saved
document at some later time. To do so, insert the disk containing the
document into the drive and select either the opening folder icon on
the far left of the menu or "Open" under the "File" menu. When the
"Open" window appears you will need to be sure that you are accessing
the disk and not a folder on the hard drive or the hard drive itself.
To do this click on the "Desktop" button and then, in the scrolling
window, click on the name of your disk. This will list all the
documents on your disk. Simply double click on the one you wish to
open and it will show up.
2. Basic Editing: To
simply change letters or words in the document, use the scroll bar to
move through the document and place the cursor wherever you wish to
make changes. Using the delete key will allow you to "erase" letters
and words and, simply by typing, you can put in new letters or words.
To change larger blocks
of text it is best to use the items under the "Edit" menu as shown
here. To do this move to the beginning of the block of text you wish
to move or delete and click and hold the mouse button. Then simply
move the cursor through the text until you come to the end of the
block you wish to edit. This will show the block of text in black or
highlighted. Now go to the "Edit" menu and select "Cut". The block of
text will disappear.
To move the text to
another place in the document, simply use the scroll bar to move the
cursor to the new location and, using "Paste" under "File", insert
the block into the new location.
If at any point in this
process you make a mistake, stop immediately and use the top two
commands under "File" to attempt to correct the error. However, this
will work only if nothing else has been done since you made the
3. Editing the
appearance: The majority of such changes are best made using the
various icons at the top of the document. Simply put the cursor where
you want the change to occur or highlight the text to be changed and
then click on the appropriate icon. The former will change anything
you type after that point. The latter will change whatever is
highlighted. The following descriptions of the icon functions start
at the top row at the left and move to the right before beginning
again at the left of the second row as illustrated in figure 3.
(Note: by clicking and holding the ballooned question mark on the top
right, you can activate balloon helps. These will tell you what each
icon does by simply placing the cursor on the icon and waiting a
second or two.)
Changing font type: by
clicking on the down arrow alongside the current font name a variety
of fonts will be available. Simply drag down to the one you wish and
release the button.
Changing font size:
simply click on the down arrow alongside the current font size and
select the font size desired.
Bold: click on the
Italics: click on the
Underline: click on the
Superscript: click on
the up arrow
Subscript: click on the
Tables, Graphs and
Drawing will be discussed in section VIII. "Advanced Microsoft
visible: click on the paragraph sign
Number of columns: click
on one, two or three column variations
Format Style: "Normal"
will usually appear here but you can create set styles that can allow
you to make your own custom paragraph styles.
Text alignment: allows
you to select, in order, left justified, centered, right justified or
Vertical Spacing: allows
you to select, in order, single, one and a half, or double
allows you to select the spacing between paragraphs.
Tab setting: Normally,
hitting the "tab" key will automatically move the cursor by half inch
increments as shown on the ruler. The tabs can be set however you
wish by clicking and dragging one of five tabs to the desired place
on the ruler. In order, the tab icons allow the user to move text to
flush left, center, flush right or align around a decimal point. The
last option allows you to create a row of vertical lines at that
point. Note that once you enter a tab all the half inch tabs to the
left of that space become inoperative.
Setting the ruler: three
icons that allow you to make changes to the ruler.
Ruler: by clicking and
dragging on the horizontal arrows you can change the margins of a
given portion of the paper and, with the assistance of the tab icons,
C. Spell Checking a
Under "Tools", shown to
the left, are several items of assistance in the process of final
editing of your paper. "Spelling" allows you to spell check a single
word, a highlighted section or the entire document. To do a word or a
section simply highlight the word or section. To correct the entire
document simply place the cursor at the beginning of the document. To
correct a section from the middle of the document to the end, simply
place the cursor at the beginning of the section. Now, select
"Spelling" under "Tools" and a window will come up and the program
will begin spell checking. Any word thought to be incorrect will show
up in the "Change to:" box. Alternatives will show up in the
"Suggestions" section. If one of these is the word you wish simply
click on it and click on "Change". If you wish to correct it
yourself, simply click on the "Change to" box and type in the correct
spelling. If you know the word is correct you can tell it to "Ignore"
or "Ignore All" if the word is one that will crop up a lot in your
document. If you realize you have made a mistake a lot simply click
on "Change all" and all instances where that word is misspelled will
If a word or number is
repeated, you will see an additional option called "Delete". Clicking
this will remove the second instance.
If you ever make a
mistake in clicking on a button and it fails to correct a word, it is
best to stop and "Close" the spell checker to correct the mistake. By
selecting "Spelling" again the program will continue spell checking
from that point.
D. Grammar Checking a
As with spell checking,
Microsoft Word allows you to grammar check either individual
sentences, sections or the whole document. Due to the nature of what
the program is doing, this is a slower process and you may not want
to do the whole thing at once. By highlighting a section or placing
the cursor in a particular place and selecting "Grammar" under
"Tools", the grammar checker will come up.
If there are
misspellings in the section, the grammar checker will automatically
switch to correct that first.
Each sentence will be
analyzed at a time and will show up in the "Sentence" box while
suggestions to correct the grammar will be displayed in the
"Suggestions" box. By clicking the appropriate button you can
"Ignore" that suggestion in that case, "Change" it to the suggestion,
move to the "Next Sentence", "Ignore the Rule" throughout the
section, "Close" the grammar checker or "Explain" the grammar error
it has identified. Finally, "Options" allows you to tailor the
grammar checker to your liking.
E. Using the
Microsoft Word offers a
fairly complete thesaurus that assists you in finding similar words
so that you do not keep repeating the same one in your document. To
use it, simply highlight the word and select "Thesaurus" under the
The thesaurus window
will show the word you have highlighted in the "Replace" box with the
word you select in the "With" box. If the word has multiple meanings
they will show up in the "Meanings for" box. By clicking on the
meaning you are using a variety of synonyms for that meaning will
show up in the "Synonyms" box. Click on one to select it and click on
"Replace" to use it.
F. Saving a
It is vital that you
consistently save your document as you are typing it!! To do so,
simply select "Save" under "File". If you have already named the
document it will instantly save the document under that name and to
the location you originally selected.
If you have not named
the document, the "Save" window will appear. The top box is the
location to which the document will be saved. To change this click on
the "Desktop" button. In the large box below the "Location" box will
appear the options you have. Click on your disk to select it. Now
your disk name will appear in the "Location" box and all the files on
the disk will be in the large box below it. Click on the box below
"Save current document as:" and type in the name of the document.
Click on the "Save" button and the document will be saved.
If you wish to save this
document as something other than a Microsoft Word document then click
and hold on the "Save file as type:" box and a variety of options
will appear. Slide down to the option desired, release and then click
"Save". This is particularly important if you wish to use the
document on your own IBM-compatible or if you are using a computer
with a version of Word different from the ones in the Science
computer lab. Word can open documents made on versions below the one
being used. It cannot open documents made on versions higher than the
one being used.
While you should not
permanently save anything on the computer's hard drive, unless it is
your computer, it is a good idea to create your own temporary folder
for each session and immediately save a copy to that folder. Then,
ever thirty minutes or so, save a copy to that folder. To do this
select "Save as" under "File". This will allow you to select a new
location, your own folder on the hard drive, and then save the file
under the same name. At the end of your session on the computer,
after you have quit Microsoft Word, eject your original disk and put
in your backup disk. Then simply open your folder on the hard drive
and drag the backup of your document to your back-up disk. To
complete the process, drag your folder off the hard drive and into
the trash, remembering to "Empty trash" using the "Special" menu
You can also
use "Save as" if you wish to create an alternative version of your
document. This is helpful if you wish to make a major change but are
not sure if it will turn out to be better than the original. Simply
use "Save as" to rename the document, i.e.. version 2, and save it on