Tag Archives: styles

Shrink Files by Deleting Unused Styles

Word files can get bloated, taking up far more MB than they should. If you’re dealing with a book-length manuscript full of tracked changes and comments, that bloat can bog down the computer and lead to failures, glitches, and basic Office malfeasance.

Continue reading Shrink Files by Deleting Unused Styles

Turbo Boost Manuscript Styling with This Simple Macro for MS Word

Like many manuscripts, this imaginary sample has a standard sequence of content that can be styled automatically with a macro applied on each heading line: head, first paragraph, subsequent paragraphs.

Styles have many wonderful uses, so it behoves any editorial process to use them. We’ve looked at several ways to apply styles, now we’ll look at a macro that will apply several styles in one click!

Continue reading Turbo Boost Manuscript Styling with This Simple Macro for MS Word

Quick Tricks for Applying Styles to Word Documents

Styles are applied to many good ends, in Word: production workflow, ebook coding, and making restructuring easy, to name a few. There are several easy ways to apply styles, too!

  • Styles area of the Home ribbon
  • Styles panel
  • Format painter
  • Keyboard shortcut
Continue reading Quick Tricks for Applying Styles to Word Documents

Try This! Restructure Using Styles

In this exercise, you’ll practice applying Styles and using the Outline View.

Heading levels must be indicated in the manuscript in some way. Heads can’t simply be formatted as body text—even boldfacing will help the designer as much as the editor. And the reader absolutely needs them.

Continue reading Try This! Restructure Using Styles

Working with Tables: Aligning Numbers

Left and right alignment aren’t going to cut it when aligning numbers in tables. Best practice to align numbers on the decimal. Aesthetics dictate that the numbers also be centred. Tab settings make this process elegant, and the ruler makes it intuitive. See it in action in the demo video at the end, and read the steps below.

  1. Select the cells whose contents you want to align by clicking and dragging across them.
  2. On the ruler (revealed via the View ribbon), click the left corner edge several times to change the tab mark selection to “decimal align” (the up arrow on a point, shown at right).
  3. Click on the ruler to place the tab.
  4. Click on the tab mark and drag it along the ruler to adjust its placement.

Word is not a layout tool, but sometimes, it is what you have to use. Compositors also appreciate having table formatting close to ideal, so editors end up tweaking alignment frequently.

Check out all the other posts in this series about Working with Tables and download your free multimedia ebook of them all!



Got a gnarly Word problem? Submit your problem and we’ll try to answer it in the Q&A thread.



© This blog and all materials in it are copyright Adrienne Montgomerie on the date of publication. All rights reserved. No portion may be stored or distributed without express written permission. Asking is easy!

Working with Tables: Aligning Cell Borders

Sometimes column edges don’t align. There are a number of ways this can happen. Sometimes fixing it is easy, and occasionally, its the very opposite of easy. To make this task easier, be sure that the cell borders are visible, then try the fixes shown in the demo video at the end of the written instructions.

Drag the edges of the cells

resize pointer (double-headed arrow)
The resize cursor.
  1. With no table contents selected, hover over the border between cells until you see the “resize” cursor (shown here).
  2. Click and drag either until the cell borders line up or until it snaps to a location. Sometimes it’s not possible to make the edges line up exactly on the first try, but now you can select the other misaligned part and snap that border to the same point as the first.

From then on, the edges you’ve aligned should move as one entity.

Drag the markers on the ruler

  1. On the View ribbon, select the Ruler option.
  2. Click in the cell you want to change.
  3. On the ruler, click on the gutter marker between columns and drag it to the desired location.
Grab the gutter marker on the ruler to resize columns.

Troubleshooting

If a row is shorter than the others, it will not behave well. Split cells or recreate the row so that the right and left edges align with the table. (Shown in the video demo below.)

Sometimes, it feels impossible to get cell borders to align so that they create a single smooth column. The fastest fix is to insert a new row and drag the contents over, then delete the problematic row. Do watch out, though: deleting problem areas can “move contents up/left” in a way that messes up the rest of the table. On rare occasions, creating a fresh table and transcribing contents (via click and drag) is the fastest method.

demo video: https://youtu.be/ZLqpO3hbrKY

Check out all the other posts in this series about Working with Tables and download your free multimedia ebook of them all!



Got a gnarly Word problem? Submit your problem and we’ll try to answer it in the Q&A thread.



© This blog and all materials in it are copyright Adrienne Montgomerie on the date of publication. All rights reserved. No portion may be stored or distributed without express written permission. Asking is easy!

Working with Tables: Making them Pretty

Place the cursor within a table in Word and a Table Design ribbon will appear (shown below). In the middle of that ribbon, you can choose from dozens of looks for the table. Most publishing workflows ask for simple tables with minimal “design” to them. Most style guides prefer the least possible formatting, barely even borders or “rules”. So we’ll focus on working within those parameters.

Access this panel of design options for your table by clicking the arrow at the bottom right of this group on the ribbon (in Windows) or hovering over the middle of the group and clicking the arrow tab that pops up (Mac).

If, instead, Word is the design tool (common for internal office reports and proposals, for example), start by selecting one of the options on that ribbon that fits the design specs; most likely, pick an option that from the design “theme” of the product. After that, the rest of this post applies to you, too.

Use Styles for Contents

The problem with changing the font and alignment of table contents is that if the cell contents are still set to Normal style, you’ll lose all that manual finessing the second any change is made to Normal (such as changing the alignment or first line indent) or if Normal style is “reapplied” somewhere in the document. It’s better to set table contents in their own style. So, select the whole table and create a new style for Table body, Table heads/stubs, and any other style it needs to use.

Then, you can set attributes for the table contents such as a smaller hanging indent for bullets or smaller font size by modifying each of those Styles.

Set the Borders

On the Table Design ribbon, click the Borders icon at the right edge and apply borders (rules) to the rows and columns according to your document’s requirements. Pay attention to which cell the cursor is in, as borders are applied to that cell only. To apply borders to a whole column or row, select it first.

To Indent Cell Contents

To manually indent table contents or insert a tab space within a table cell, hitting the tab key doesn’t work. That just jumps the cursor to the next table cell! To indent contents of a cell, either move the slider on the ruler or hold down the option key, then hit the tab key. (Windows users should hold the alt key then press tab.)

Set Alignment of Contents

Left, right, or centre alignment of table contents can be set from the Home ribbon, as with any other content. It’s also possible to set margins, an indent, a hanging indent, and more on the ruler. Just drag the related element (discussed in a coming post).

To align numbers, it’s most useful to use the “align on decimal” option on the ruler.

Check out all the other posts in this series about Working with Tables and download your free multimedia ebook of them all!

In the coming Word Wrangling Wednesday posts, we’ll talk about tidying up cell border alignments, creating spanning heads, and the like.



Got a gnarly Word problem? Submit your problem and we’ll try to answer it in the Q&A thread.



© This blog and all materials in it are copyright Adrienne Montgomerie on the date of publication. All rights reserved. No portion may be stored or distributed without express written permission. Asking is easy!