Editor's Blog: Leslie's Favorite Word Shortcuts

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Editor's Blog: Leslie's Favorite Word Shortcuts


Last week I had a little too much fun (and whiled away a little too much of the workday) coming up with a list of 10 things that make me happy on my Mac. Today I'm in a more businesslike mood.


That's probably because I have just spent that last hour digging through the recently shipped Mac|Life special issue: The Ultimate Mac How-To Handbook (available on newsstands soon). It's a fabulous collection of brand new and greatest-hits how-tos for getting more out of your Mac. And, lest you think it's all about work, there is a ton of cool stuff for working with music, video, and photos. But, because I'm a word/Word dork, I turned first to the how-to tantalizingly titled "Be More Productive with Microsoft Word" (p64).


One of our frequent freelancers (and former staffer) Cathy Lu contributed to this section, and she also wrote a collection of productivity tips included in our "Make Your Mac Your Own" feature in the February 2007 issue (p29). As far as I'm concerned, Cathy is a Word guru. She makes me (who lives and dies by shortcuts and customization tricks in this app) look like, well, an amateur. For example, Cathy saved me much hair-pulling by explaining how to create a custom toolbar in Word. See, in Word for Windows (go ahead, gnash your teeth), the keyboard shortcut for Save As is F12. In OS X it's...nothing. That's right, nothing. Now, I am not so dim that I didn't know I could set my own custom key command (Tools > Customize > Customize Keyboard). In OS X, as you may know, the default key command to call up the Dashboard is F12. And, of course, I know I can turn that off, too (System Preferences > Dashboard & Expose). But here's my problem: I'm so weirdly obsessive that I wanted to have it both ways - a fast way to get to the Save As command and using F12 to call up the Dashboard.


So I just made my own damn toolbar in Word. Which saves me way more time than the F12 key ever did. Here's how to do it:


Go to Tools > Customize > Customize Toolbars/Menus. Under the Toolbars tab, click New and give your new toolbar a name. Look at how pretty: It's a tiny empty toolbar that you can remake in your own image! Click the Commands tab and go through the list to add your desired commands to the toolbar by dragging them onto the toolbar. Once you're done, click OK and drag your new toolbar to the top of your screen. I've turned off all the other standard Word toolbars so all I see is my custom one. It makes me so happy! (Which, makes me feel kind of like I need to get out more.)


I use key commands for things like cutting and pasting, but the Paste Special feature requires you to click the toolbar, so I added it to my custom toolbar to avoid having to go up to the Edit menu every time.


The other custom tip I learned a long time ago and like to share with anyone I know (especially those whose files I have to open and edit at some point) is how to turn off some of Word's truly annoying auto features - particularly the one that makes a Web link a live Web link. I am a freak, I know, but I prefer cutting and pasting rather than launching websites from within Word. And, of course, I must have "smart" (curly) quotes and apostrophes turned on. (Except when I'm writing a blog post in Word, of course, since it's too much trouble to do the HTML formatting for curly quotes.)


To customize those and other AutoCorrect options, just go to Tools > AutoCorrect > AutoFormat As You Type. I advise turning off all the automatic formatting things that Word does to be "helpful." Personally, I don't like my software trying to predict what I want to do. I may be in the minority, but that's how I feel. Remember: Whatever you turn off (or on) here, you must also turn off or on under the AutoFormat tab as well.


For more great Word tips - plus another few dozen tips and 32 projects you can do on your Mac - be sure to check out the Ultimate Mac How-To Handbook!





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I finally have found a way of decluttering the Word toolbar accumulation that works if you hve an extended desktop. Simply move the toolbars you don't want to see or use regularly to the extended desktop area.


Max Casebeau

Dear Mac life ,

I noticed your Bee pic on one of your pages. Suggest you look up Honey Bee on Mr Google. They are disppearing at a very fast rate.

There does'nt seem to be any reason for it. On the other hand, Yellowjackets are building nests in the southern part of the United States. SEVEN Queens to an abandoned car. They practically covers everything !

Suggest you put in a small stories like this to keep MAC life readers aware that their MACS can perhaps save the climate, (have a Mac mini and it has down loaded 420,000
articles from Mr. Google in 9 months. Thats 1700 stories
a day that are impacting the planet. See (built with a Mac).

I find it interesting that Mr APPLE is'nt taking an ad
next to Mr HP in Mac Life.

Best Regards
Max Casebeau,
Director CEEI.( Center for Environmental Education and Information.

PS CEEI owns 10 macs ( all have have hard drive space to monitor e-mail, photo shop, & store e-mail. ).CEEI would like to be in contact with other Mac users that see "It's OK to save the Planet".We work with the schools.

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