Top Tips and Hints


Who writes History? Family History?

Have you ever thought I'd like to index that?
But that means getting a pencil and paper and going through and noting down the occurrence of certain words or people. That's too hard.
Well Microsoft have made it much easier. But unfortunately they have not been consistent in the method to be used.
Select the name you want to add to your index
Click on Insert

On one of my computers - we select Reference (this step is missing from my laptop)
This brings up Index and Tables
Clicking on this brings up a dialogue box
Usually the Index tab is current. (If it isn't click on it.)
We want to mark the item for inclusion in our index, so click on Mark Entry
This brings up a dialogue box called Mark Index Entry
Click on the Mark button

All that remains to do is tap Enter.
Now you will see that the selected text is enclosed in inverted commas inside curley brackets with XP

Let's do that again.

Well you say that's going to take forever. Yes and if you insist on using the mouse you'll end up with RSI. More likely you'll give up. A pity.

Who uses the ALT key?

I repeatedly hear people ask for a list of short cuts. Well you have to learn them or have the list handy to look up when you want to use it.
That's not needed with the ALT key the short cuts are marked for you.
Select the word or phrase you want to add to your index.
We want Insert so hold down the ALT key and press the underlined letter in Insert It's the I.
This brings up the menu

In Office 2003 select the References by pressing the underlined letter. In this case its N
In some cases this step is missing
This brings up Index and Tables. Again press the underlined letter which is D
If the dialogue box doesn't show the index tab select it by pressing underlined key ie X
We want to mark the entry so hold down the ALT key and tap the underlined letter K
This brings up the Mark Index Entry dialogue box and we want to Mark the entry so again hold down the ALT key and tap M
Then complete the process with a tap on the Enter key

That's a lot of work. Yes but after you've done a bit you learn the key strokes and you can do it much quicker than with the mouse
If you decide that you prefer all your entries to have a capital then yo can click on the word and make any editing you wish. Another case is where you he someone's full name, but you want the index to have the surname first.

To create the index
Make sure the entries are hidden ie make sure that the symbol is not highlighted
Go to the end or wherever you want the index to be.
Begin the first part of the process ALT I, N, D
This brings up the dialogue box. Make sure the index tab is current
Then select number of columns for the index. The default is 2. I prefer 1.
I also prefer to have the page numbers right aligned so tick that box.
Click OK

It's a good idea to set up the page format that you want your index to take before hand.
You may find that you have made a mistake perhaps you've chosen a misspelled word.
You could just edit the index. You can go back to the entry in the text and correct it there.
But then you will need to recreate the index.
Just select it and go through the create index procedure.
You will get a box asking you if you really want to create a new index. Click OK

This is a bit back to front.
We might also want to have a table of contents at the beginning
Go to your text and wind the headings you wish to be in your table.
Select them and then go to style box and Select the heading type HEADING 1, HEADING 2, HEADING 3

When all are marked with a style
Start your process ALT I, N, D
Make sure the TABLE of CONTENTS tag is selected and The format you wish. I prefer the default
From Template Make sure the Show page numbers is ticked
Do you want the page numbers right aligned ?
How many levels do you want to show?
You might need to use Options if you have used a different style of heading.
Modify sets the formatting for the table. Click OK And your table of contents will be there.
Again before you make it make sure that you have hidden all those formatting symbols

Word 2007 is lightly different
References is on the ribbon
If we press ALT we get the letters coming up and we can see that References is S
we see that Mark Entry is ALT+ N, this brings up the dialogue box,
Most of its contents we can ignore At the bottom we see that Mark is the next move so ALT +M and then Enter. And the entry is marked.

To create Table of Contents
Mark your table entries with the required style Home (ALT+H)
Then go to References ALT+S
Table of Contents ALT + T

Haven't worked out how to set the entries so heading 2 and heading 3 are included can't find them in any of the style boxes. So there's some homework for users of 2007 and 2010

Indexing and Tables of Contents are not difficult. Indexing is best done as you create your document rather than as a big job at the end.

I'd suggest that you add index markers to your work as you do it even if you don't presently intend to index it later You may change your mind. It's best done in short bursts rather than having to do a whole document.

Contributed by Donald Estell

Want to enhance your PC's performance

When PC desktop's are setup correctly, they enhance the results obtained from a PC. Unfortunately it is an area that is ignored by most computer users. The desktop configuration is allowed to evolve in a random manner with no focus on tuning it to meet the needs of the user.

When configuring a PC desktop, a number of factors need to be considered:

While each of these items only has a small impact, when they are combined and recur numerous times, the total impact can be a significant factor in work output from a PC.

Contributed by Brent Roberts.

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