6 timesaving tips for Word 2007

Unleash the power of Word 2007 with these quick tips

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5. Give yourself some extra room between paragraphs.

If you're someone who likes to make notes between paragraphs while you edit or revise a document, or if you want to add new text to a single-spaced outline, give yourself a little extra room to work in by automatically adding a line of space between your paragraphs.

Select the whole document by hitting Ctrl-A, then hit Ctrl-0 and a new empty line will appear after every paragraph. Select All again and hit Ctrl-0 to make the extra lines go away. (This tip works in earlier versions of Word as well, except hitting Ctrl-0 a second time doesn't remove the extra spaces.)

6. Add random placeholder text.

Sometimes you need to add random text to a document as part of a demonstration or to get a feel for a new layout. The designer's standby is lorem ipsum, a block of Latin derived from Cicero's De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum (On the Ends of Good and Evil).

The lorem ipsum text has no meaning for modern readers, which makes it perfect for not being distracted by what the text says, so you can instead focus on what it looks like.

Place your cursor where you want the random text to start and type:

=lorem(<i>x</i>,<i>y</i>)

where x is the number of paragraphs you want to insert and y is the number of sentences each paragraph should contain. When you hit Enter, Word will insert the desired chunk of text. For example, =lorem(1,4) generates this:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Maecenas porttitor congue massa. Fusce posuere, magna sed pulvinar ultricies, purus lectus malesuada libero, sit amet commodo magna eros quis urna. Nunc viverra imperdiet enim.

Prefer your dummy text in English? Word 2007 will also insert English text, drawn from a Word 2007 tutorial, by replacing lorem with rand, like this:

=rand(1,4)

(Interestingly, in earlier versions of Word, the =rand function inserts repetitions of the classic typesetter's dummy sentence, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." The tutorial text that Word 2007 uses is longer and more varied.)

Both =lorem and =rand are handy ways of generating natural-looking text at blazing-fast speed.

I hope these tips save you some time next time you use Word 2007. Some of the features mentioned here were available (in some form or other) in earlier incarnations of the program, but if you didn't go digging through layers and layers of menus, you'd have never known it. New or old, though, all these functions can be useful to anyone who works with Word.

And there are probably further functions yet to be discovered -- I'm still looking for that Write Article button I just know has to be hidden in there somewhere.

Logan Kugler is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who has written about technology and business for more than 30 national magazines, including MacLife, PC Magazine, Success and Advertising. Age.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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