Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Smart Quotes
I use Word as my word processor even when creating articles for email publication. Sure, I could just type in the compose window of my email program, but it does not have the same level authoring tools as Word. I use the spelling checker, the grammar checker, and the Alt+click access to the research task pane frequently. I am actually typing this blog entry in Word right now! One thing Word does to make the document professional looking causes an issue in my email program—the way it automatically converts a double-quote to left and right quotes. Each copy and paste would require manually fixing the odd character caused by the left and right quote. With one checkbox entry in Word, the problem is solved.

Tools > AutoCorrect Options > AutoFormat As You Type, then uncheck "Straight quotes" with "smart quotes"

Friday, September 15, 2006

Quick Dates in Word
Typing a date is not difficult to do, and Word makes it easy by auto completing it. Type Feb and a screen tip pops up asking if you are typing February. Just hit the Enter key and you are done. If you know the current date, you can just type it. If you do not, Insert > Date and Time… opens the Date and Time dialog box where you select from various date formats.

However, there is an even easier way—use the shortcut Alt+Shft+D. Today’s date will be placed at the insertion point in the default date format (mm/dd/yyyy unless you have changed it). To change the default format, Insert > Date and Time…, select the desired format, and then in the lower left corner click Default.