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Thread: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

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    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    You might have seen my other guide, which is also still a work-in-progress, about the basics of teaching as an ALT. This guide is specifically about how to use MS Word effectively to make high-quality worksheets. I'll be posting tutorials for most of the basic tasks needed to make a worksheet.

    Feel free to ask any questions about MS Word and worksheet making as I might be able to help. My tutorials are specifically for MS Word 2010, which is what's installed on my work computer, but I think the features are pretty similar to other versions. If you're stuck using MS Word 2003 for some reason, I can still help since that's what I have installed on my home computer.



    Table of Contents

    1. Intro

    2. Optimizing MS Word
    - Enable bilingual support (popup hints)
    - Change default language
    - Change default fonts
    - Change default margins
    - Disable invisible grid (*fixes alignment issues)
    - Change default paragraph options
    - Disable annoying auto-corrections
    - Change default table settings

    3. Templates

    4. Text Editing
    - Basics (size, color, bold, italics, etc.)
    - Word Art/Special Effects
    - Insert Symbols
    - Add readings above Japanese text
    - Scaling
    - Kerning/Positioning

    5. Spacing, Margins, & Layout
    - Adjust line spacing
    - Adjust margins
    - Change sizes & orientation
    - Use columns

    6. Images
    - Finding images via Google search
    - Insert images from a file
    - Change alignment
    - Make background transparent
    - Make pictures black & white
    - Special effects

    7. Text Boxes
    - Insert textboxes
    - Change line & fill colors/make transparent
    - Change alignment
    - Make compact textboxes

    8. Tables
    - Insert tables
    - Change line & fill colors/make transparent
    - Change alignment
    - Fit text in small cells

    9. Auto-shapes & Lines
    - Insert auto-shapes & lines
    - Change line & fill colors/make transparent
    - Resize
    - Change alignment
    - Fit text neatly in speech bubbles

    10. Reserved
    11. Reserved
    12. Reserved

  2. #2
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    2. Optimizing MS Word

    First things first, I highly recommend adjusting some default settings on Microsoft Word if you're given a personal computer to work with. It will save you a lot of work later by not having to adjust the settings manually every time you open a new document.

    (2-1) Make Microsoft Office Bilingual

    If you, like most ALTs, are given a computer with a copy of Microsoft Office installed in Japanese, then it might be hard to navigate at first and be frustratingly difficult to use windows with a lot of options written in Japanese text. Fear not! There is an incredibly easy way to turn on English pop-up tips that essentially translate everything for you if you hover over the text with your mouse.

    The best part is that once you save, the popup hints will remain in English which applies to all Microsoft Office programs, including Excel, Publisher, and Powerpoint. Sadly this won't change anything else on your computer, so you're stuck with a Japanese operating system.

    Download tutorial: 1 Turning on English Popup Hints.doc

    (2-2) Start Typing in English by Default

    Although this isn't necessarily a high priority change, I list it first because you need to do it now before you change anything else. Why? Because changing the default language completely resets any other default preferences you change (excluding pop-up hints).

    Why change it? When you open up a document in the Japanese version of Word, any text you write will be automatically converted into Japanese text. To switch to English, you have to hit the language change key. From that point on your document will remain in English until you hit that key again. If you're always typing in English, then making it default is a time-saver.

    (Note that for whatever reason switching to English will change the default size of your document from "A4" to "Letter". It also changes all measurements from millimeters to centimeters, so you'll need to use measurements like 1.5 cm rather than 15 mm for margins. I include instructions for reversing these changes in the file below. To my knowledge, these are the only additional changes that occur and they're easy to fix.)

    Download tutorial: 2 Changing Default Language.doc


    (2-3) Change Your Default Fonts

    Click the arrow on the "Font" window and you'll see two dropdown menus for fonts. You can designate a default font for both Japanese text and English text. Whichever font you want to use is up to you. I recommend "MS ゴシック" for Japanese over the default "MS明朝" because I think it blends better with most sans-serif English fonts. I've written up an analysis of worksheet-friendly fonts here that might help you decide a good default font. I personally use Calibri, but other fonts are perfectly valid choices. Be sure to hit "Save as Default" and select the option "'Normal.dotm'テンプレートを使用したすべての文書(A)" instead of the first option, which will only change the settings for the current document.

    Download tutorial: 3 Default Fonts.doc

    (2-4) Change Your Default Margin Settings

    Margins are another area that I recommend changing. You will probably have to adjust these every time you make a worksheet depending on how much space you need, but it helps to have the defaults set to a more reasonable size. I have mine set at 20 mm all around. I would avoid going smaller than 15 mm for the left margin if you usually hole-punch your worksheets, but sometimes you need as much space as possible. The minimum for margins is around 8mm before you'll encounter error messages warning you that your document might not print properly.

    Download tutorial: 4 Default Margins.doc


    (2-5) Disable the Invisible Grid

    A lesser known feature of MS Word is that it automatically makes your text snap to an invisible grid ensuring text looks spaced neatly when you write. This is fine for regular documents, but it makes it a pain to format any worksheets that require precise positioning. I recommend turning off the "grid" function by default. There is an option to disable this in the paragraph setting window, but for some reason you cannot set this to default (trust me, I've tried). What you can do is disable the grid entirely in the "Page Setup" window (same one used to adjust margins). Click the "Document Grid" tab and select "no grid". Don't forget to hit the "Set as default" button and click OK when it asks if you're sure.

    Download tutorial: 5 Disable Grid.doc

    (2-6) Change Default Paragraph Settings

    If your text has strange spacing, the problem is probably fixable in the paragraph settings window. Leaving it on the default settings will usually cause Word to create large gaps between paragraphs, which is fine for documents but annoying for worksheets. You can also change the default text alignment here if you want. I switched mine from "justified" to "left", for example. Also, you can control how much space the "tab" key will insert for indents.

    Another thing you can change in this window is how Japanese and English text behaves together. Click the "Asian Typography" tab to see more options. You don't need to turn them off by default, but if you constantly have problems with extra spaces between Japanese and English text or spaces between Japanese text and numbers, you can disable that formatting here.

    Download tutorial: 6 Default paragraph options.doc

    (2-7) Disable Other Annoying Features

    There are a few more features in Word that can be annoying and interfere with formatting. These are tucked away in the "AutoCorrect Options" window. To get there, click "File" and open the "Options" window. Under the "Proofing" section, you'll find a button to open the "AutoCorrect Options" window. Enable/Disable things however you prefer.

    I personally recommend disabling automatically replacing "Straight quotes with smart quotes" and "hyphen with dash". For some reason you have to uncheck the boxes in two places to make sure to disable this function.

    Why disable them? For one thing, "smart quotes" often break and orient themselves in the wrong direction. They also don't render properly if you copy/paste text from Word to virtually any other program, including internet browsers. I simply find them unnecessary and more hassle than they're worth. As for dashes, I can't think of a single time that I wanted to automatically change a hyphen to a dash, but I can think of many times when I had to fight with autocorrect to undo the change. Same goes for autocorrecting the capitalization for the first words in a sentence or cell.

    You might also want to disable lists, hyperlinks, and ordinals, but that's up to you. Remember that these settings can be changed at any time, so you can undo anything you decide you don't like.

    Download tutorial: 7 Disabling annoying autocorrections.doc

    (2-8) Change Default Table Settings

    This isn't something you need to change right away, if ever, but I include it here just in case. In order to change the default settings for tables, you have to open the "Style" window and click "Manage Styles". Here you'll find a list of many different text styles that you might use in a document. You can tweak and customize any of the styles on this list, but let's just focus on the "Table" section.

    The first option is the one that affects the design of tables as a whole, so click that one. (The other options let you choose which colors display as default background shades.) Here you can change the thickness and color of table borders, adjust the way text aligns, and increase or decrease the minimum amount of white space that appears between text and the lines of the table. That last option might be the most useful, since reducing the default size from 1.9mm to 0.5mm will give you a lot more space to work with. Just don't set the value to zero unless you want text to be right up against the lines, which can make it difficult to read.

    Download tutorial: 8 Default table options.doc


    (2-9) Disable Compatibility Mode on Start-up

    This may not be an issue for you, but on every work computer I've used so far the default setting for documents was to open them in compatibility mode. Compatibility mode disables a few fancy editing functions, mostly pictures and text effects, and saves documents as ".doc" instead of ".docx". There's nothing wrong with that, especially if your home computer doesn't have a recent version of Microsoft Office installed, since older versions or alternative word processors often display .docx files incorrectly. But if you want to have the full settings of MS Word 2010 available to you by default, it's very easy to change it.

    Download tutorial: 9 Disable Compatibility Mode.doc


    What settings can't be set as default?

    So far I've only found a handful of settings that can't have their default settings adjusted. One is the phonetic guide ("ruby") settings window. I've written up a guide to troubleshoot issues with the phonetic guide settings here. The other major un-default-able features are textboxes and "smart objects". You can sort of change them, but the process is tedious and settings for textboxes also are applied toward objects, so setting the fill/line to invisible by default would be inadvisable. I'll talk about work-arounds in the Textbox section of this guide.
    Last edited by Ebi; June 13th, 2015 at 23:22.

  3. #3
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    3. Templates

  4. #4
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    4. Text Editing

    - Basics (size, color, bold, italics, etc.)
    - Word Art/Special Effects
    - Insert Symbols
    - Add readings above Japanese text
    - Scaling
    - Kerning/Positioning

    Troubleshooting Phonetic Guide (Ruby) Issues:

    Explains how to fix errors with default readings, fix offset/size problems, fix line spacing problems, and changing settings for multiple phonetic readings at once

    Download tutorial: Troubleshooting Phonetic Guide Problems.doc
    Last edited by Ebi; June 13th, 2015 at 23:19.

  5. #5
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    5. Spacing, Margins, & Layout
    - Adjust line spacing
    - Adjust margins
    - Change sizes & orientation
    - Use columns

  6. #6
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    6. Images
    - Finding clipart via Google search
    - Insert images from a file
    - Change alignment
    - Make background transparent
    - Make pictures black & white
    - Special effects

  7. #7
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    7. Text Boxes
    - Insert textboxes
    - Change line & fill colors/make transparent
    - Change alignment
    - Make compact textboxes

  8. #8
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    8. Tables
    - Insert tables
    - Change line & fill colors/make transparent
    - Change alignment
    - Fit text in small cells

  9. #9
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    9. Auto-shapes & Lines
    - Insert auto-shapes & lines
    - Change line & fill colors/make transparent
    - Resize
    - Change alignment
    - Fit text neatly in speech bubbles

  10. #10
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    10. Reserved

  11. #11
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    11. Reserved

  12. #12
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    12. Reserved

  13. #13
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    Feel free to comment!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    Awesome, keep it up
    Need a website hosted? ITIL runs on webhosting provided by BigWetFish. They're really great - check them out at bigwetfish.com. Sign up using the link and you'll also be helping ITIL with commission!

  15. #15
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    I've revised the defaults section and added two new tutorials there. I also added one that explains how to fix a lot of the annoying issues Word has with the phonetic guide system ("ruby") for Japanese words. If you ever type in Japanese in Word, it might be worth taking a look since I don't think the fixes are very obvious. The rest of the text editing section is almost complete so I'll post that soon too.
    Last edited by Ebi; June 13th, 2015 at 23:32.

  16. #16
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    Okay, I found out today that I actually have the X32 english install files for Office 2007,10, and 13. Now I just need to find a place to put them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  17. #17
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    Nice! Knowing my work computers I still won't be able to install them because of the admin settings, but I'm sure it will be a great resource for most people.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    Okay, I found out today that I actually have the X32 english install files for Office 2007,10, and 13. Now I just need to find a place to put them.
    98% sure I have the 2013 Office English pack. Can you send me the MD5 to check?

  19. #19

    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    Does anyone know if it is possible to turn on English popup hints on Word 2003?

    I got into the options but even my JTE can't seem to find an option for English.

  20. #20
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebi's Guide: MS Word Tech Support

    To my knowledge, nope. And I was very thorough in my search. Is that what you're stuck using?

    I have Word 2003 on my home computer and you have my condolences...

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