Friday, August 15, 2008

Talk the talk, Speak the Word

Shauna Kelly has been a Word expert for a long time. She's written an article Word for Executives - 5 tips for senior executives whose team members use Word.

She says:

Be nice to your staff: Avoid confusing your staff by talking about a 'template' when you really mean something else.

Be nice to your staff: If you have to edit a document that someone else has worked on, press Enter once at the end of every paragraph. If you press Enter twice you'll get an empty paragraph. A document should not be littered with empty paragraphs.

Be nice to your staff: If you have to edit a document that someone else has laboured over, don't muck up the styles. NEVER click on the font or font-size drop down lists in the toolbar or ribbon. NEVER apply bold or italics to a whole paragraph to make it look like (eg) a heading.

Be nice to your staff: Don't expect your people to be able to come up with un-systematic numbering. Don't expect people to be able to skip numbers or repeat numbers. Don't ask for blue heading numbers in chapter 1 and green numbers in chapter 2. This is not the time for creative whims of fancy. Stick to simple, sequential and systematic.

Be nice to your staff: Avoid asking for a special footer on one page in the middle of a document. To do so, your staff will have to create a separate section for just that page. And, the author will have to re-arrange the section breaks whenever material is added to or deleted from the document.

Be nice to your staff: Don't ask people to create silly page numbering (eg repeating a page number, or having a different format for different parts of the document).

Be nice to your staff: If you're editing a document that someone else created, do not, ever, press Enter Enter Enter Enter to get 'past' a picture. The problem is that the picture is floating. Make it an in line picture.

Most things work in Word most of the time

Word has lots of bugs. I could name hundreds if I didn't have real work to do. But you can reasonably assume that most features of Word do work properly most of the time.

Aside from that, she has a good guide to outline numbering

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