About Me

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Frisco, CO, United States
Hi, I'm Joel Levy owner of PC Applications. I have been providing quality Windows and MS Office Training and Consulting services to Central Colorado for over 16 Years. I have been specifically teaching computer classes since 1993 and bring incredible enthusiasm in a relaxed, laid back style that makes the learning fun and enjoyable. My personable teaching style makes it easy to understand concepts of how the software works, not just what buttons to click. My experience in working with Windows and ALL of the MS Office Applications at ALL levels allows me to explain things from a broad perspective comparing and contrasting MS Office features. Check out our website www.pcapplications.com

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Word: Basic but Important

Hello again. I guess it's time to put in a word about Word. So I'll start at the beginning...

I taught a Word Level 1 class last week and and once again was reminded as to how some of the most basic concepts about how an application works are missed sometimes when people just "jump into" working with an application and "fumble around" (these are the terms I am told by users, I didn't make it up).

When I teach a Word Level 1 class, one of the first things that is taught in the class is about the "Show/Hide" button. It's the paragraph symbol button. It's in the Standard Toolbar in 2003 and earlier versions and a button in the Paragraph Command Group of versions 2007 and later.

What does the button do (it is NOT on by default)? Well, it shows or hides non-printing characters (dot's for spaces, paragraph marks for paragraphs, right arrow for tab spacing, etc.) Non-printing means the characters don't print but show you the "data" in the document such as spaces.

How many of you after typing something have wondered "is that one or two spaces there???" If Show/Hide were on, just count the number of dots as one dot is one space (zoom in if you need to see it better, like 250%). You all know that one creates paragaphs in Word and the document starts with one blank paragraph (with Show/Hide on you see one paragraph mark in the upper left of the blank document). Honestly, I don't know how someone can confidently work on a document without Show/Hide on or at least turn it on every now and then to see what's there or not there. White space in a document is hard to interpret without this feature; several things can cause white space such as spaces, tabs, indents, alignments, etc. Show/Hide makes it obvious as to what is creating the white space. Do you "see the white", har har.

I hope this gives you some insight and opened your eyes as to what the Show/Hide button in Word is about, no pun intended.

Stay tuned, I'll have more to tell you about in the near future.

Take care in the mean time until next time. Joel