Saturday, January 31, 2015

Plain Language

Twaddle free




THE WHITE HOUSE
June 1, 1998

MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

SUBJECT: Plain Language in Government Writing
"The Federal Government's writing must be in plain language. By using plain language, we send a clear message about what the Government is doing, what it requires, and what services it offers. Plain language saves the Government and the private sector time, effort, and money."

The Plain English Network
Plain language can be understood by YOUR reader at first reading. It doesn't mean writing for a certain grade level - it means organizing and writing for your reader. Writing in plain language saves time and money for writers and readers.

Introducing Plain Language

Plain language matches the needs of the reader with your needs as a writer, resulting in effective and efficient communication. It is effective because the reader can understand the message. It is efficient because the reader can read and understand the message the first time.

Also:
LegalWriting.net
Plain language produces clear, concise, and readable documents


And then for no reason ,other than most writing is twaddle, here's a review of:

How Mumbo-jumbo Conquered the World:
A Short History of Modern Delusions
by Francis Wheen.




It's entitled: "Twaddle unswaddled".
Appropriate or not, it is fun to say.


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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Labels by Merging

Demos


As part of their series of demos, Microsoft has information on creating mailing labels from a database, or mailing list.

Create labels with mail merge

Here is another entry concerning some of the fine points.

More label info

Also, if you place a graphic in the first cell, it will be duplicated in each box.


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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Index Concordance

Order!


Creating a Table of Contents can be easy if you use Styles. Word will automatically insert a TOC when you place the insertion point and then use Insert>Reference Index and Tables and choose Table of Contents.
(2007+  Reference Tab>Table of Contents group)

An Index or Concordance can be more difficult.

In a larger document, you may want the reader to be able to locate key words. You could go through the whole document and mark each word you want included, but there is an easier way.
  1. Make a list of the important words.
  2. Create a two-column table in a new document.
  3. In the first column, enter the word or phrase.
  4. In the second column, enter the index entry
    (If you need a sub-category, type the main entry followed by a colon (:) and then the sub category.)
  5. Save the file.
When it comes time to create the Index, place the insertion point, go to Insert>Reference Index and Tables. Choose Index and then AutoMark. (2007 – Reference Tab>Index group) Browse to the location of your Index file. Word will now automatically use your list to mark the main document and insert an Index.

Also: Word for Word:
An Index or a Concordance for Your Book?

Microsoft KB:
How to create a table of contents and index with field codes in Word


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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Troubleshoot

Problem solvers



If you have trouble opening a Word document, or it is not working well, try these suggestions:

FIRST
Delete all of Word's temp files.
  1. Go to Edit>Replace
  2. Make sure to include all of your local drives in the search and that "include subfolders" is checked.
  3. Search for:
    *.tmp
  4. Then delete all these temp files.
Word leaves shards of temp files wherever the document file was stored. Word's temp files start with a tilde (~), so in most cases you can delete: ~*.* SECOND
  1. Use Edit>Find to locate Normal.DOT.
  2. Rename it (Normal.OLD) or delete it. Word will create a new copy when it restarts.
The only caveat here is be careful that you don't have important macros stored in Normal.DOT. If you rename, you can recover them. THIRD
If that does not correct the problem, try this next step:
  1. Go to Start>Run and type:
    winword.exe /a
    (Note that there is a space before the /a)
  2. Then press ENTER. This starts Word without any add-ins, global templates, or Normal.DOT.
    Look in Tools>Templates and Add-ins to see if there are any files that can be un-checked.
If you need even more help, go to: 
Knowledge base: How to troubleshoot problems that occur when you start Word or when you work in Word


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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

VBA, Named Arguments

An easier read


Use named arguments for cleaner VBA code.

Most likely, you use positional arguments when working with VBA functions. For instance, to create a message box, you probably use a statement that adheres to the following syntax:

MsgBox(prompt[, buttons] [, title] [, helpfile, context])


When you work the MsgBox function this way, the order of the arguments can't be changed.

Therefore, if you want to skip an optional argument that's between two arguments you're defining, you need to include a blank argument, such as:
MsgBox "Hello World!", , "My Message Box"


Named arguments allow you to create more descriptive code and define arguments in any order you wish. To use named arguments, simply type the argument name, followed by :=, and then the argument value.

For instance, the previous statement can be rewritten as:

MsgBox Title:="My Message Box", _
Prompt:="Hello World!"


(To find out a function's named arguments, select the function in your code and press [F1].)


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Thursday, January 08, 2015

Word Math

An Add-in, of course


Microsoft has a downloadable add-in for Word called Microsoft Math.


"To use the add-in, open Word 2007+, type Alt-= to create a RichEdit math object, type an equation or expression, and right-click on the equation to see options for solving and graphing within Word."



Math Add-in


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Monday, January 05, 2015

Merge to More Than One Document

Custom content



In the Data Source, include a field for the type of letter the recipient requires.

In the Main merge document, enter IF fields, such as:

{IF {MERGEFIELD "LetterType"=1} {INCLUDETEXT "C:\\Project\\Letter1" \* MERGEFORMAT} ""}
{IF {MERGEFIELD "LetterType"=2} {INCLUDETEXT "C:\\Project\\Letter2" \* MERGEFORMAT} ""}


  • The curly brackets { } cannot be entered from the key board. Either use Insert>Field, or Ctrl+F9.
  • Word uses spaces in the If..Then..Else statement.
  • The last two quote marks "" are "empty" , so nothing will be entered.
  • Notice the \\ in the path statement. A path is not needed if the Main document is in the same folder as the letters.
  • To see the field codes, use Alt+F9 to toggle the view on and off.
Letters 1 and 2 can have completely different texts, formats and layouts. One can be an invitation to a sale, the other can be a dunning letter. (To carry over different formatting, leave out the \* MERGEFORMAT switch)

After setting up the main document for mail merging, insert all of the fields you want to merge.

Copy the individual fields and paste them in the correct locations in Letter 1 and 2.

Go back to the main document and erase all of the text and fields EXCEPT for the IF statements.

Letters 1 and 2 do not have to be set up a merge docs, or connected to a data source. Their text will be inserted in the Main document depending on the field type.


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