Microsoft Word

The educational technology and digital learning wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A personal story

I (Daniel K. Schneider) rarely use Microsoft Word and when I have to I find it extremely difficult to produce moderately good looking text, e.g. of the kind that would be expected in a self-published textbook. In addition, Word does things to me I didn't ask for, e.g. create new styles, change language, indent captions to the left, renumber items.

With a program like Adobe FrameMaker I can quite easily achieve what I want (I also manage to do this with formatting software like Latex or DocBook). A real word processor does not try to do things it is not told to do. Also, I don't know anyone who even has a moderately good working knowledge to do things efficiently with these products. Therefore I sometimes will write down a few Word tricks I learn. I am particularly interested in:

  • Having word executing my orders without helping me
  • Creating larger text elements efficiently, e.g. vignettes with titles, paragraphs of various forms and appropriate numbering, or figures that include a title, automatic number of the caption...
  • Page Headings
  • Producing a document that is not too ugly (like most of the Word documents I must bear to look at).

Btw. I got the same problems with Open Office. Actually I like it even less, their double style management feature is utter crap. But their drawing program is great (and you can import these to either Word or FrameMaker).

How to use word articles

I started to write down a few tips for both Word version that I use:

Generic tools

  • Wordcleaner from Textism. Online form to get rid of word-specific stuff in HTML files generated by Word (save as html first).