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Tips for Creating GREAT Word-Processing Files

Highlights from "The Mac Is Not A Typewriter" by Robin Williams
by

Kevin Carver

on 4 December 2013

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Transcript of Tips for Creating GREAT Word-Processing Files

Tips for Creating
Great
Word Processing Files

Robin Williams Rules - Part 1
Make good use of
white space

Never
use the space bar to align things (Use
tabs
or
tables
to accomplish this)

Only
one
space after punctuation

Be consistent with fonts and spacing

Be creative with
borders
and
shading
Robin Williams Rules - Part 2
Watch out for
widows
and
orphans

A
widow
is a single word (or portion of a word) left hanging on the last line of a paragraph.
An
orphan
is a final line of a paragraph which gets bumped to the next column or page.

Use special characters where appropriate

Ex: Hold left ALT, type 0233, release ALT to get the é symbol.
Word allows you to insert symbols in order to get these and many others: ¢ ° ÷
Robin Williams Rules - Part 3
Use
real quotes
; reserve ' & " for feet & inches
Use 0 for zero and O for oh; same for 1 and l

Avoid using ALL CAPS
Never underline; it's ugly and hard to read.

Use
italics
,
boldface
, or alternate fonts
Use
bullets
rather than dashes for lists

Avoid abbreviations
Make use of different fonts - within reason!
Serifs
Serifs
are the
little lines
on the ends of characters.

Use serif fonts for paragraphs/sentences. You'll see fonts like
Times New Roman
used frequently in books and magazines.

Use sans serif fonts for titles, lists, headings, etc. You'll see fonts like
Arial
and
Helvetica
used for chapter titles and newspaper headlines.
Dashes
Regular dashes are used for words like one-half, mother-in-law, etc.

En dashes (the width of the letter n are used to signify durations and for compound adjectives: Monday–Friday, 9 AM–5 PM, Halifax–New York flight, pre–Vietnam war period

Em dashes—so named because they are the width of an m—often replace colons or parentheses. Impress your students—use different dashes as appropriate!
Robin Williams Rules - Part 4
Use the features of Word to create subscripts, superscripts, real fractions, etc.

When placing text inside a box, don't crowd it. Leave plenty of room on all sides.
Full transcript