Microsoft Word, simple as it may seem, comes with many technicalities when it comes to formatting documents. Tables, images, special characters, etc., are just some of the things we encounter in Desktop Publishing. The following are some shortcuts that can come in handy during the formatting process.
- Special Characters
Sometimes, we have to type in letters that are not always present in the English alphabet, which consists of 26 letters. There is the ñ from Spanish, the à from French, or the ö from Swedish. Of course, the different Alt codes of each of these special characters are available for viewing; you only need to look for the one you need and type away (alt+231 produces “ç”). There is also the option of browsing the symbol window in Word and searching for the character you need, but unfortunately, this method takes time.
Instead of typing combinations and browsing for characters, there is an easier and quicker solution. If for example, you need the letter û, you only need to hold Ctrl + Shift+ ^(6), then type u to produce the letter. Another example is the letter ø; this is achieved by holding Ctrl + / then typing o. You just have to keep in mind what needs to be added. It’s that easy!
- Copy Formatting
Copy Formatting is when you copy the specific settings of a text and apply it to another. For example, your text is set as Italic and Bold, and you would like to apply the same settings to another set of text. This is incredibly useful when consistency is needed in a document you are formatting.
Given that your sentence is:
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
Highlight the text you wish to format.
Then, press Ctrl + Shift + V to paste the settings.
- Merge and Split Cells (Merge: Alt + A + M; Split: Alt + A + P)
Look at the following table:
In formatting a table like the one above, one might need the aid of shortcut keys to merge and split cells. During the desktop publishing process, you might chance upon a complex table that consists of a multitude of rows and columns that need to be constructed from scratch. In this case, knowing the shortcut for merging and splitting cells will be of great use.
- Find and Replace (Ctrl + H)
Instead of looking for a certain text in the document and manually combing through the pages one by one, the Find and Replace tool is incredibly useful for identifying what you are looking for in the document. It also has its special uses. You can specify the settings of the text you are looking for, be it the style, formatting, color, etc.; you can also change the setting of the text you’ll replace, which makes aiming for consistency in your document easier.
- Paste Special (Ctrl + Alt + V)
Paste Special shares similarities with the fourth item on this list. Before pasting images or texts on the document you’re working on, Paste Special offers you options to choose from. It can copy the settings of the area in the document you are about to paste, paste the text as it is without changing its format, or paste it as an image.
Here at Lexcode, Microsoft Word is one of the many programs our team of Desktop Publishing artists is adept with. We use the said basic program in formatting some of the local and international documents we handle. And along with other programs, we strive to provide the best DTP services we could possibly offer.
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