Friday, January 11, 2013

Tricks for Using Word

I use Word all the time, but I cruised past useful functions for years that I couldn't live without now.

When I was writing my about making my U-Pick Sign, I thought maybe I should point out some of my favorites that you might not know about. Of course, I realize I might just be technologically clueless and you totally know all about this stuff, but at worst you'd just yawn and move on to another blog.

What I was missing all those years was that little "x" icon in the lower right corner.    So type something profound in Word ("Go, Niners!"  "Bob Marley Rules" "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star)
Highlight it and then click that little "x" and a whole new world opens up.  It's really little but the arrow is pointing at it.

Click--Oh look!
Effects like Emboss and Engrave and Outline and Shadow.  I use Outline for my sign-making--why waste printer ink when all you want is the outline anyway?  Outline and Shadow made my U-Pick sign lemon-squeezy easy.  Even though lemons weren't listed.

And did you know you can make your font any size, not just the options provided like 28, 36, 48, 72?  Try typing something wild like adding a 1 in front of the 72.  172 pts., please.  Hit Enter and...
Cool, huh?

The other incredibly useful feature for signs is the Character Spacing which is the other tab that appears when you click the little "x".  The default spacing is fine for most applications but it's helpful to spread your letters out to fill your horizontal space.  'Cause sometimes you have the perfect font size in height but it's waaaay too squishy side to side. 
So click on Expanded from the Spacing menu, then click the little up and down arrows to gradually get the right size.

I pumped this one up by 10 points.
It's a fairly subtle change.  But it makes signs easier to paint when all your letters aren't crowding up.  Just sayin'. 

Have fun with it.

Bring joy,

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