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Now that you understand some of the basics of fonts, let's take a crack at some basic font etiquette and practices:
When you install new fonts, each font will work only with the computer you've installed it on. If you share Office documents with other people (why keep all that goodness to yourself?) or plan to use or view your documents on a different computer, the new fonts you've so carefully chosen might not be displayed the same way on the other computer, leaving you (and your audience) bitter and perplexed.
What's the fix? You can either install the new font on the other computers you plan to use, or if you're using a TrueType font in Word or PowerPoint—and most likely you are—you can embed the font; that saves the characters with your document. Read about how to embed fonts in PowerPoint: Doug Thomas blogged about this last July. (I blogged about limiting your carry-on baggage by embedding, too.)
Avoiding font security hassle while traveling
Serifs are the little "tails" at the end of the stems of some letters in a particular font, such as Times New Roman and Georgia. Sans serif fonts don't have the tails (kind of like my Australian shepherd, although he did have a little stump). Examples of these are Arial and Tahoma:
When you're trying to figure out whether to pick a serif or sans serif font, consider whether this is for an on-screen job or a print job. I've read a bit about this and have gotten some conflicting information, but what I concluded was that a serif font is easier to read in print, while a sans serif font is better when reading something on the computer. The theory is that serifs form a visual guide, or train, which helps the reader's eye follow the type and read groups of words, rather than single words one at a time. And while this works great for print, it doesn't work as well for the screen.
(As usual, your results may vary. I'd like to hear YOUR take on it.)
I'll make this short and sweet:
(See more of David Salaguinto's Office OFFline comics—all created using Microsoft Visio, by the way.)
For Monday: Getting and (and installing) new fonts andinformation about creating your own fonts.
Crabby's Find of the Week: Would you shock me for a buck? Studies say you would.
Not finding the help you need from the various channels you've tried? Microsoft Answers may have the answers to your nagging problem.
Crabby, while admittedly not the most exciting topic, it is somewhat hip. So much so that Independent Lens, shown on PBS, did an entire special on Helvetica. They even have a mini-quiz online that matches personality type to font type. Perhaps they should have added another dimension that includes astrological signs in the equation. Here is the link to the quiz: www.pbs.org/.../quiz.html
Fonts aside, how about a blog that gives some "help" for the "help" feature? I'm trying to figure out how to have Excel filenames appear in my taskbar because I'm working on a project requires working with 10 spreadsheets in separate sessions across two widescreen monitors set up as extended desktops. I have the taskbar options set to not combine applications in a single button so that each spreadsheet session appears as a separate button. The challenge is that most every other application including Word and PowerPoint are formatted as follows:
<Application Icon><FILENAME> - <Application Name>
However, Excel button format is:
<Application Icon><Application Name> - <FILENAME>
and unfortunately the buttons have the full Excel application name listed as "Microsoft Excel" and of course the filename really doesn't even appear on the button and there is no way to make it fit. HELP!!! I have ten spreadsheets open and have to use one of the Windows 7 Aero features to navigate spreadsheets instead of just seeing the filename on a taskbar button. Okay so I'm guessing there is some jump or pin thingy for this, but nothings as fast and easy as just clicking on the taskbar button to bring a spreadsheet to the foreground.
So here's where things went from bad to worse: I went into backstage to see if there was a setting for displaying JUST the filename on the taskbar and couldn't really find a setting that matched. I did find a setting under Advanced, Display with a checkbox and it was labeled "Show all windows in the Taskbar". So I went to use help and of course context sensitive help doesn't exist so I'm thinking I'll just enter the entire setting label "Show all windows in the Taskbar" in the new Help Search screen. No luck, no direct match found. Perhaps it's in the Help Table of Contents....no luck, the title "Table of Contents" turns out to be a misnomer. There are no direct matches between Excel feature, functions, settings, etc. and table of contents headings, instead there are only quasi-correlations.
Very perplexing and I think worth a blog or two. Being an old-timer, I've always found direct, contextual help to be the quickest and most direct answer when I'm attempting to invoke a feature or setting.
Hi Tim - Yes, I see EXACTLY what yo'ure saying: In the taskbar only Excel displays "MIcrosoft Excel" and THEN the filename, which takes up extra space. It's like, "Yeah, I KNOW it's Excel: I know the green icon and anyway, I created the file so I should know in what program I created it in!" Very annoying. Even more annoying? I don't know, off the top of my head, if that is even changeable. However, I'm to go talk to a very nice Frenchman named Jean Philippe who will be the most likely person to have an answer.
Tim: I talked to J.P. and tried things out on my own. I can't reproduce what you're seeing on a Windows 7 machine. When ONE file is open, yes I see what you're seeing. But when MORE than one is open all I see is the icon and a file name for each of the files open.
J.P. said it must be a Windows XP behavior, what you've explained to me. So ARE you using Windows XP? If so I have a solution for you: UPGRADE to Win 7....
Thanks so much Crabby for researching this sticky wicket. The operating system is Windows 7 64-bit and when you launch individual instances or sessions of Excel, each instance of the application appears in the taskbar with <Icon>Microsoft Excel - <Filename>. However if one instance of Excel is launched and then multiple spreadsheet files are opened from that one instance, then the taskbar labeling for all subsequent files changes to <Icon><Filename> - Microsoft Excel.
So that may beg the question, why not just open a single instance of Excel and then open remaining 9 files from within that instance? Answer: I have a 24" & 28" external monitor running on extended desktop and the sheets I'm working with are quite wide, however I can easily manage to have 4 spreadsheets partially visible at all times, and in addition to have the spreadsheets open, I also have a CAD program and a few PDF files open. All of the open windows are relevant to the project that I'm working with and it's a matter of creating and culling data from the open files and placing the data into one or more of the other open files (did I mention that I didn't used to be cross-eyed).
Okay, so I understand that not everyone works this way and Excel is great for office pools and fantasy football and such with both only requiring a single spreadsheet. Unfortunately my clients are not interested in either. On the other hand it's curious that this labeling anomolay is only inherent in Excel which indicates that perhaps this has something to do with the way that Excel is coded and not so much to do with the operating system constraints.
Hopefully this makes sense and provides added information that will perhaps yield some solution options.
Have a great day,
Got an answer for you, Tim: If you open multiple instances of Excel Applications and then files form file menu this would give the name as 'Microsoft Excel - Name of the workbook' in the taskbar.
If you open multiple workbooks in the same Excel Application, it gives only the names.
What you want to do is not a standard Excel behavior, nor is there an option that needs setting to do this, but that is not to say it cannot be done.
Open the VBE (Alt + F11) and open the immediate window (Ctrl + g) and copy this into the pane that opens and press enter.
Code: Application.Caption = ActiveWorkbook.FullName
Crabby, I like working with Futura in Excel 2007 spreadsheets. When I click on the cell that selects the entire spreadsheet and then choose the font I want, it obviously responds as planned. However, when I enter data in a cell, withn that same worksheet, after changing the font to what I want, it reverts back to Arial - the default. How do I keep a "lock" on the font I want? (sounds rhymey...)
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