Welcome to Anne Denniston’s Blog Page

I am so glad you got here.

I usually add a post every week related to the things that concern me: editing, formatting and Excel – but those topics are fairly wide-ranging and varied.

  • Click here to see an alphabetical list of the posts.
  • The categories are in a dropdown list on the right.

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MSWord Page Layout

Page Layout

In earlier lessons, you learnt about Shortcuts, Navigation and Options. Now you are almost ready to learn how to change the Letter to Format so that it will print out like the Letter Example below.

Learn about margins
Use the Reveal Formatting pane

1.        Learn about margins

This is how the margins are set up. See how the arrows show where the measurements apply. The header takes up the upper part of the top margin and the footer takes up the lower part of the bottom margin.

Illustrates a page with body text and top, bottom, left and right margins. Shows the spacing of header and footer from text and page edes.
A page showing top, bottom, left and right margins, with header and footer.

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2.  Use the Reveal Formatting pane

Place your cursor in the paragraph whose formatting you want to see, press Shift+F1, and the Reveal Formatting pane opens on the right of your screen.

The Reveal Formatting pane featured in an earlier blog post.

Click here for a PDF of this lesson.
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– Display settings

Butterscotch Pie

Butterscotch Pie

Delicious butterscotch filling in a biscuit crust flan, topped with whipped cream.

This photo comes from Handle the Heat with Tessa Arias but Mum’s is similar

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 4½ tsp corn starch
  • ¾ tsp vanilla essence
  • ½ tsp salt
  • baked 23-cm pie shell (see Biscuit Crust Flan)
  • 1½ cups scalded milk
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • walnut halves for decoration

Utensils

  • Mixing bowl for dry ingredients
  • 2 bowl/cups for beating eggs
  • Egg separator (useful but not essential)
  • Measuring tsp, Tbsp
  • Double boiler
  • Egg beater (electric)
  • 23-cm pie dish

Method

  1. Mix sugar, flour, corn starch and salt thoroughly in top of double boiler.
  2. Add ¾ cup of scalded milk.
  3. Stir over direct heat till smooth.
  4. Add remaining milk then place over boiling water and cook with frequent stirring for 15 minutes.
  5. Beat egg yolks well.
  6. Stir in a little of the hot mixture and pour back into double boiler.
  7. Cook for 3 minutes longer, stirring constantly.
  8. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla and stir till well mixed.
  9. Beat egg whites till stiff and fold into hot mixture.
  10. Pour immediately into cooled pie shell.
  11. When ready to serve, spread lightly with whipped cream and decorate with walnut halves.

Abbreviations / Volumes / Temperatures
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Borscht

Borscht or Cold Beetroot Soup

Enjoy the delicious taste and beautiful colour of cold beetroot soup on a hot summer’s day.

The beautiful colour of borscht – cold beetroot soup from Russia

Ingredients

  • 2-3 bunches beetroot
  • 2 onions
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 litres water
  • 2 beef cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp per person yoghurt/sour cream
  • chives for sprinkling

Method

  1. Peel and chop raw beetroot and onions.
  2. Melt butter till very hot.
  3. Throw in beetroot and onion.
  4. Stir for at least 10 minutes but do not brown.
  5. Add water and beef cubes.
  6. Cool for 60 minutes exactly.
  7. Add salt and pepper.
  8. Liquidise.
  9. Serve with dollops of yoghurt or sour cream and sprinkles of chopped chives in each soup bowl.

Abbreviations / Volumes / Temperatures
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MSWord Options 3 – Personalise Display Settings

Options – Personalise your Display settings

MSWord allows you to personalise many settings under File – Options – Advanced. Scroll down the Advanced settings to see what is available. Below I explain the Display settings.

To personalise your Display settings:

  1. Go to the File tab and select the Options button.
  2. In the left pane of the Word Options dialog box, select the Advanced option.
  3. Scroll down to see the Display block.
    Note the position of the slider in the vertical scroll bar shown in the illustration below.
The Word Option’s dialog box showing the Display block

Show this number of recent documents. – Enter the number of items, between 1 and 50, to display in the Recent Documents list. After you press Ctrl+o, Pinned and Recent documents are displayed in the Open pane, shown below. Note that the recent documents are labelled “Today” and not “Recent”.

Recent and Pinned documents are displayed in the Open pane.
  • To remove a file from the Recent Documents list, right-click on the filename and select Remove from list from the drop-down menu.
  • To clear all the entries from the Recent Documents list, right-click on the last filename in the list and select Clear unpinned items from the drop-down menu.
  • To pin a document to the top of the list, select the filename and click on the ‘pin’ in the centre of the highlighted area, as shown below.

Quickly access this number of Recent Documents – Enable the Quick Access Recent documents list

Show this number of unpinned Recent Folders – (Added in 2013)

Show measurements in units of Select the measurement unit that you want to use for the horizontal ruler and for measurements that you type in dialog boxes. As you can see in the illustration, I use “Centimeters”.

Style area pane width in Draft and Outline views  Type a positive decimal, such as 0.5, in the box to open the style area, which displays the names of the styles applied to text. To close the style area, enter 0. I use “3 cm”.

Show pixels for HTML features Select this option to use pixels as the default unit of measurement in dialog boxes that are related to HTML features.

Show shortcut keys in Screen Tips Select this option to display keyboard shortcuts in the Screen Tips that appear when you hover your cursor over an item in a toolbar.

Show horizontal scroll bar – Select this option to display the horizontal scrollbar at the bottom of the document window.

Show vertical scroll bar – Select this option to display the vertical scroll bar on the right of the document window.

Show vertical ruler in Print Layout view – Select this option to display the vertical ruler at the left of the screen. Select the Ruler check box in the Show/Hide group on the View tab of the Ribbon to display the horizontal ruler at the top of the screen.

Optimize character positioning for layout rather than readability – Select this option to display character positioning accurately as it will appear in the printed document with respect to blocks of text. However, spacing between characters may be distorted so, for better on-screen readability, leave this option unticked.

Disable hardware graphics acceleration – Hardware graphics acceleration is enabled to move all graphics and text rendering from CPU to GPU (a chip on your graphics card) for better performance. However, it increases the burden on the graphics card. If you experience crashes, slowness, blurred text and cursor hanging when running Office, turning off hardware graphics acceleration should solve the problem.

Update document content while dragging – This option allows you to see what the document content will look like when you drag an object with text wrapping, or when you move, resize or rotate objects.

Use subpixel positioning to smooth fonts on screen – It just seems sensible to have this option enabled.

Show pop-up buttons for adding columns and rows in tables. I find this very annoying because it gets in the way of my cursor.

To see all the MSWord Options, go to Better Solutions.com. They have taken a lot of trouble to present the information so that it is easily accessible.

Click here for a PDF of this lesson.
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– Display grey field shading
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Boiled Pudding

Boiled Pudding with Jam (Anna Wynne)

Steamed jam pudding
This is a steamed jam pudding from Food.com but Granny Wynne’s boiled pudding is similar

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 60 g butter
  • 60 g sugar
  • 60 g jam
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp bicarb
  • Holsum for greasing the pudding bowl

Preparations

  1. Use the Holsum to grease a pudding bowl (a Pyrex mixing bowl is fine).
  2. If the bowl does not have a lid, have handy foil or a cloth big enough to cover the bowl. Have handy enough string to tie the cover on. If the bowl does not have handles, use the string to make a handle over the top of the bowl so you can lift it safely out of the boiling water.
  3. Prepare a pot of boiling water big enough to hold the pudding bowl. The water should not come higher than 2,5 cm below the rim of the bowl. It only needs to come slightly higher than the level of the pudding batter inside the bowl.

Method

  1. Rub butter into flour.
  2. Add sugar then jam.
  3. Dissolve bicarb in milk.
  4. Add to mixture and mix well.
  5. Pour into the pudding bowl.
  6. Tie a cloth cover onto the bowl with string.
  7. Put the bowl into a pot of boiling water.
  8. Steam for 2½ hours. (‘Steaming’ here means ‘keep the pot simmering’.) Top up the water as necessary.
  9. Serve hot with hot custard or cream.

Abbreviations / Volumes / Temperatures
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The art and science of editing 2

Editing is an art and a science

Why does an editor make changes?

Icon representing the science of editing - white arrows in the corners of a black square, all pointing diagonally outwards.

The science of editing

I make changes for various reasons.

Typography.

Sometimes I make changes for typographic reasons – for instance, to lengthen previous paragraphs so there is not just one line at the bottom of the page (a widow) or to shorten the text so there is not just one line at the top of the next page (an orphan).

Plain language

Sometimes it is to change text into plain language. For instance, I remove unnecessary adverbs (words ending in -ly that describe verbs). Often, I remove unnecessary clause connectors (like that).

Icon representing the art of editing - white arrows in the corners of a black square, all pointing towards the centre of the square.

The art of editing

Grammar, rhythm, assonance and alliteration

Sometimes it is to correct grammar, sometimes to improve rhythm, sometimes to create assonance (same sounds) or alliteration (same first letters).

I should be able to justify every change I make, if the client queries it. It is their work, not mine.

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The art and science of editing 1

Editing is an art and a science

When do you keep using the same word and when do you use a synonym?

Icon representing the science of editing - white arrows in the corners of a black square, all pointing diagonally outwards.

The science of editing

Consistency

The science of editing is primarily about consistency. It is even better to be consistently wrong than to be sometimes right.

Terminology

One place where editors need to be consistent is in terminology. However, editors need to keep a subtle balance between keeping a document consistent and stopping it from being boring.

Repetition

Using the same word repeatedly is necessary in training and academic documents because, if the author keeps using alternative words or terms, trainees and readers lose the thread of their arguments. I spend more of my time taking extra terms out of a client’s work (to make it consistent) than adding them in (for variety).

Synonyms

However, sometimes I do use a synonym for variety. That’s where the art of editing comes in. It is hard to explain – and confusing for my clients.

Icon representing the art of editing - white arrows in the corners of a black square, all pointing towards the centre of the square.

The art of editing

Variety

Sometimes I just feel the text needs to use another word for variety. I often link it to the original word in some way. If the client has too frequently used the word “characteristics”, I might say “characteristics (or traits). Such traits….”

Logic

But I must use the science of editing to think about it and be sure I am doing the right thing. I cannot change the terminology when the client is in the middle of making a point about it – but the new term can be the start of a new point.

I should be able to justify every change I make, if the client queries it. It is their work, not mine.

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MSWord Options 2 – Display field shading

Options – Display grey field shading

The Collins Dictionary says “A field is an area of a computer’s memory or a program where data can be entered, edited, or stored.” MSWord has fields such as date and author fields that it stores in its File Properties.

You cannot change the text in a field because it changes back as soon as you print the document.  You therefore need to be able to see fields so that you do not change them by mistake.  Word allows you to display the fields with a grey highlight.  In order to do so:

  1. Go to the File tab and select the Options button.
  2. In the left pane of the Word Options dialog box, select the Advanced option.
  3. In the right pane, under the heading, Show document content, change the Field Shading to “Always”, as shown below:
Word Options dialog box - Advanced > Show document content
Word Options > Advanced > Show document content

If you want to change a field in the text, you must first “lock” it (Ctrl+Shift+F9) and then make your change

OR

Go to the Properties pane where the field originates and change the text there.  Go to the File tab, Info option to see the Properties pane on the right. Click in a field in the right-hand column of the Properties pane to add or change text.

If you cannot see the property you want, click Show All Properties, as shown below.

Word Options > Info > Properties > Show All Properties

Six more properties are displayed, as shown below, highlighted by an orange border.

The Properties pane has two columns. The fields are in the right-hand column and the field names are on the left.

Click here for a PDF of this lesson.
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– See hidden text
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Get started with indexing

Indexing for beginners

Example of an index
Example of an index

Indexing is not a quick or simple process but it is very logical and can be very satisfying.

Advice from the Chicago Manual of Style
Automarking
Manual indexing
Automatic indexing

The Chicago Manual Style

The complexity of the indexing enterprise is shown by the fact that the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual Style (CMS) has 64 pages about indexing (I have not seen the 17th edition). The list of entries in Chapter 16 on Indexes shows the many things that have to be considered. CMS very kindly allows free downloads of the 53-page Indexes chapter from the 15th edition.

However, MIT and the Wiley have simple documents that introduce the concepts a beginner needs to know about: how to handle names, abbreviations, compound terms and cross-references. (The documents refer to older versions of CMS and expect you to make manual lists. Don’t worry about the manual lists. They are not necessary because of the computer tools we have today.)

Automarking

Some people think you can get Word to automatically mark your text for the index (automarking) but automarking does not happen without previous input from the author or editor. Here is an Indexing Example document.

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Practise

I suggest you download this one-page Indexing Example document to practice on. Create two versions, one for manual indexing and one for automatic indexing.

Things to think about

  1. Think about whether you will have capital letters for main entries. For example, in a book about composers, I might put PURCELL as the main entry so that composers stand out in the index.
  2. Think about whether you will have italics for other entries. For example, Dido and Aeneas is in italics to show it is a the title of a published work or collection.
  3. Think about saving space in the index. For example, I could have two separate entries for “University of Natal” and “University of KwaZulu-Natal”, but the repetition of “University of” could have made both names wrap onto two lines (4 lines). Instead, I made two main entries under “University” with sub-entries for “Natal” and “KwaZulu-Natal” (3 lines).

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A. Create index entries manually

  1. Go through the first Indexing Example document and see what words or terms you think should be in the index. Select them and manually mark them by pressing Alt+shift+x.
  2. The Mark Index Entry dialog box pops up. Experiment with its different options. Mark All is a very useful timesaver in a larger document.
  3. You can make more than one entry for one item. For example, in the Indexing Example, I entered Dido and Aeneas on its own and as a sub-entry under Purcell.
  4. You can create cross-references in the form of see and see also references. However, you still have to mark all the cross-referenced terms as though they were the main entry so that the index picks them up. For example, “Simon” in the second paragraph has a see reference to “Montiya, Simon”, plus an entry for “Montiya, Simon”.

Generate the index and check it

  1. Once you have marked all the important words,
  • put your cursor at the end of the document and generate the index (Reference tab > Index group > Insert Index. The Index dialog box pops up. Choose the Classic template. Select Indented or Run-in type. Specify the number of columns).
  • Go through the generated index looking for errors of sense and spacing.
  • Go to the error. (The index tells you the page number)
  • Make hidden text show. (Ctrl+* )
  • Correct the error. You can type between the curly brackets. For example, you can change the order of words or type in sub-entries after a colon (with no space on either side of it).
  • Regenerate the index.
  • Recheck.
  • Repeat until you have corrected all errors in the index.

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B. Create automatic index entries

On the second version of your practice document, use a word usage list and then a concordance. You need the concordance in order to use Word’s Automark option. I have attached instructions for creating a word usage list and then a concordance to help with indexing single words. Then you can generate an automarked index (Reference tab > Index group > Insert Index. The Index dialog box pops up. Select Indented or Run-in type. Click the Automark button). But you still have to go through the text to see what terms and connections (see and see also references) should be made.

Generate the index and go through looking for errors of sense and spacing, as in A.7 above.

Format the automatic index

After all that, when you are certain there will be no more changes to pagination, you will still probably have to convert the whole index field to non-field text (Ctr+shift+F9) because there will be corrections that you have to make manually in order to comply with institutional requirements.


Note: This post is written with apologies to professional indexers. It is taken from my personal experience and not from any formal training.

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Find emails with Outlook’s search folders

Outlook’s search folders help find emails

Can’t find that email?
Don’t give up – read on

Outlook’s search folders are useful for finding emails. They keep your unread mail and your emails from selected addresses in separate folders for quick and easy consultation, no matter where you might have filed them. The emails are not moved there, just displayed.

Unread emails

Right-click on the Search folders folder and left-click on the New Search Folder button that pops up.

The New Search Folder dialog box pops up. Select the option you want, in this case Unread Mail, as shown below:

The New Search Folder dialog box - Reading Mail - Unread mail
New Search Folder – Reading Mail – Unread mail

That may be enough for you, but I prefer my unread mail to be even more prominent so I added the folder to my Favourites.

Add to Favourites

Display the folder amongst your Favourites by right-clicking on it and choosing the Add to Favorites option from the drop-down menu shown below:

The right-click options for Outlook folders
The Add to Favorites option is third from the bottom of the drop-down menu

The Unread Mail folder is added to the Favourites folder at the top left of the screen in the Folder Pane, as shown below.

Outlook's Favorites folder at the top of the Folder Pane
The Favorites folder at the top of the Folder Pane

You can go even further and make Outlook open in the Unread Items folder.

Open in the Unread Items folder

To make sure you do not forget any of your unread emails, you can make Outlook open in the in the Unread Items folder instead of your Inbox.

Go to File > Options > Advanced. In the right-hand pane of the Outlook Options pop-up, the second group from the top is called Outlook start and exit. Click the Browse button and select the Unread Mail folder, as shown below. 

The Outlook Options dialog box: File > Options > Advanced > Outlook start and exit
File > Options > Advanced > Outlook start and exit

Emails from certain people or organisations

Right-click on the Search folders folder at the bottom of your email folders and left-click on the New Search Folder button that appears.

The New Search Folder dialog box pops up. Select the option you want, as shown below (drag a corner diagonally to enlarge the image):

New Search Folder - Mail from People and Lists - Mail from and to specific people
New Search Folder – Mail from People and Lists – Mail from and to specific people

If you select one of the Mail from People and Lists options, click the Choose button to tell Outlook the address you want. The Select Names: Contacts dialog box pops up.  If you don’t have the email address amongst your contacts, you can type or paste it into the From or Sent To textbox, as shown below:

The Select Names: Contacts dialog box
The Select Names: Contacts dialog box

Now you will be able to see all the mail to and/or from that address under the name highlighted in the Search Folder. You can right-click on the name to change it or customise its contents, as shown in 1.c.

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