Well documented

Date: Tuesday September 11, 2007
Posted in: writing

Just a few pointers when using Microsoft Word

Headers and Footers

If you go in “View” “Header and Footer”, two word fields will show up at the top and bottom of your page. Here you can put all of your information that you wish to include on each page in a protected text box. Things like your title, your name, your word count and the page numbers can be put in this field and when you “close” it, it isn’t affected by the rest of your document as you type. It is unchangeable until you “View” “Header and Footer” again. Inserting page numbers is a bit tricky, but I see that when I started typing ‘Page’ it gave me an option in a callout box of choosing “Page x of y'” which automatically formats your page numbers. Otherwise, the Header/Footer task bar that pops up has a way to do it manually, if you fiddle with it, I’m sure you’ll figure it out.

Document Map

In microsoft word there is a function under View called Document Map. I set my Document Map up with Chapter Headings to navigate around my WIP. If you want to set it up with Chapter headings you will need to View/ Toolbar/Formatting to see the Headings function on your toolbar.

Set up your chapter headings, by selecting say “Chapter 1″ and formatting it as a Header from the Header drop down list. Once you have all your Chapter headings set up, when you look at your Document Map, you can click on each chapter and skip from one to another.

In my chapter heading, I put the Chapter #/Word Count/Grade level/short description. That way, I can skip to the chapters that need work with one click instead of having to read through.

I usually get the first couple of chapters going, then do a rough sketch of the other chapters.This helps me get a sense of my story as a whole. I guess it’s kind of an outline, but changes if need be depending on the unexpected turns my story takes as I’m writing. It’s immensely helpful keeping me on track and helping me to work out the plots and subplots. Especially when I know where I need to end up. (ie the thrilling conclusion-haha) Where my ideas need fleshing out, I insert the marker EXPAND in blue. That way, I can do a Edit/Find for the word EXPAND and know immediately the areas that need attention.

Readability Statistics

If you use Microsoft Word, you can use the Flesch-Kincaid index inherent to the program. Select the portion you would like to grade and select “Tools” and “Spelling and Grammar” from the drop down menu. Once the S & G tool has gone through your selection, you will get a large window with all the stats. At the very end is the Flesch-Kincaid grade level score.

And now, dear friends, you know how truly anal I really am.

Peace, out!