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Today's post is about Word. Here are a few of the most requested terms calling for attention from your feedback and comments. Some of them are pure definitions, while others explain the difference between two or more related things (you'll see what I mean).
Again, some of you know these like the back of your hand (although why you spend so long staring at the back of your hand, I have no idea), while others are gently relieved to now know that those brown spots are of course not age spots; they're sun kisses.
— A header is a little identifier that runs across the top part of your document. In a book, it may be the name of the chapter. A header provides quick information about a document in a predictable format. Headers are flexible, too: You can have different ones on odd and even pages; have a different one on just the first page of the document; and even use section breaks (which I'll get to in a minute) to create distinct document sections with different headers.
— Now a title is the actual title of your document — what you're calling it, and what you're typing up there in great big letters for all to see. Normally it isn't something that appears on every page (unless it's one of those books that uses a header to give the title and then the chapter name, too … but I'm just trying to confuse you).
— A footer is like the header except that it runs across the bottom part of your document. (Head … foot … get it?) As with the header, it is flexible in the same ways. You can use footers for page numbering, date and time, just about anything you want to appear on every page (or just the first page, or on every other page, or whatever). How you apply headers and footers depends on which version of Microsoft Word you're using. Check Office.com and locate your version of the Word support site.
— A footnote is also some text at the bottom of the page, but it's not something that you can program to happen automatically, like a footer. A footnote refers to something that you've written within the body of the text on that same page. Maybe it adds a little bit more of an explanation, or names the author of a quote you used. Again, it's more than just a footer, which adds very little space at the bottom of your page.
— A page break is where, well, one page ends and another begins. If you need a page to end artificially, that is, before the text has reached the bottom margin, you can insert a page break and start a new page. This is great for you students who want your term papers to appear longer (but you never heard that from me).
— Now, section breaks are a bit different. They can divide your document into sections and then format each section the way you want. For example, with a Continuous type of section break, the top section of a page in your document can be a big block of text with a few different headings, while the bottom half of the page can be two columns of information. Stay with me now. You can even do a Next page section break, which adds a section break and starts the new section on a new page; you can use an Odd page or Even page break, which starts a new section on the next odd-numbered or even-numbered page.
— No, it's not a little piece of leather or laminated paper that you stick inside your book to know at what page you left off. (Well, actually it is that, but not in this case.) In Word, it is sort of like a regular bookmark in the way that it identifies a place in your document that you mark for future use. I like to use bookmarks when creating a big term paper. For each chapter I write, I assign a bookmark to it: Unbelievable Chapter 1, Remarkable Chapter 2, Invigorating Chapter 3, and so on. Then, when I'm somewhere in the document and I want to be invigorated all over again, I can go to the Bookmark dialog box, pick the bookmark for Chapter 3 that I created, and hop to it. (Of course, this is a completely fictitious account of how I use bookmarks because I finished my term paper writing long ago and never plan to return…EVER.)
— No, this is not a tennis term. (And no, I don't know that because I'm a tennis player. I am not a tennis player. When I was 12, I traded baby-sitting a tennis instructor's kid for tennis lessons. One day the little brat I was baby-sitting ran into the house with the garden hose on full blast. I chased him out and into the cul-de-sac…where he was promptly hit by a car and set in a body cast for five months. Needless to say, I never learned to play tennis. It has, shall we say, bad connotations for me.) Default simply means what's already been set up. When you open a Word document the first time after you've installed Word, the font that shows up is the default font. The margins are set by default, certain toolbars are on by default. The great thing about default is that you do not have to accept it. Go ahead! Customize away! Bring the hose into the house! Say goodbye to default! Say goodbye to tennis lessons! Join the swim team instead!
If you want to go deeper into Word, I suggest you check out the Word blog, curated by Leslie and Joannie, both of whom have been around a LONG time and know the ins and outs of anything having to with Word (and other things, too, but that's none of your business).
Crabby's Find of the Day: Joyce Sloane, the beloved maternal powerhouse of The Second City, and the woman who found and nurtured such comedy giants as John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Chris Farley, and Bill Murray, died Thursday, according to Kelly Leonard, the vice-president of The Second City.
Not finding the help you need from the various channels you've tried? Microsoft Answers is where you're most likely to solve your nagging problem. I explain all about it here, & I strongly suggest—yes, my finger pointed right at YOU—that you consider heading over there.
Can you have a header on just the first page of a document, but not on the following pages? I need to use two columns on the rest of the document, but need the header to go across the entire page?