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Mysticgeek, a blogger over at The How-To Geek’s realm, posts a step-by-step tutorial to creating flow charts with presentation-worthy looks in Microsoft Word 2007. If you’ve got an eye for design, you can add shadows, 3-D effects, and subtle colour shading to your boxes and lines, but if you’re just looking for basic flow chart functionality, you’ll only need to make it halfway down the post. Lacking a copy of Office 2007? Check out a free online tool like Project // DRAW, or do it on paper with a five-minute flowchart template from blogger John Richardson. Create A Flow Chart In Word 2007 [Mysticgeek’s Realm | The How-To Geek]
Dennis O’Reilly digs into the full-screen mode in Microsoft Office apps and shows how you can still keep your most-used options and tools close at hand, despite the lack of menus and toolbars. The two basic suggestions are to learn the Alt+letter shortcuts to your oft-used functions, or use Office’s custom toolbar creator to compile your must-haves into one side-mounted toolbar. O’Reilly’s a bit stuck on Office 2007, however, which doesn’t offer the same menu access from its full-screen mode—but maybe some of our uber-productive users have their own methods for getting the most from full screen. If so, share your tips in the comments, or head to the Workers’ Edge link for more tips on navigating and working inside full-screen mode. Broaden your view in Word, Excel, other Office apps [CNET blogs]
Seeing a giant Word file arrive in your inbox can leave one feeling like it’s the last chance to cram before a test—you just want to find the portions with relevant information in them, in context. The How-To Geek blog shows how to use Word 2007’s AutoSummarize feature, creating a new document that scores sentences by the occurrence of certain words and using whatever percent of the original’s length you want. It’s a mighty helpful tool for students, and for anyone whose co-workers tend to, say, get lost in their own verbiage. Easily Summarize A Word 2007 Document [The How-To Geek]
Zoho Writer, part of one of Lifehacker’s favorite (and underhyped) webapps, has added a bunch of new features, and many of them add to the online office app’s appeal to even grizzled Microsoft Office veterans. Most significantly, Zoho now exports to the Office 2007 .docx format, and its creators promise import is coming soon. Also, when exporting to Word formats, headnotes, footnotes, headers and footers will be retained with proper formatting. FInally, a 10-language thesaurus is available for right-click use, and users can create groups of users to share documents with, rather than entering individual email addresses each time. Pretty nifty stuff, and another good reason to check out Google Docs’ main competitor. Zoho Writer Update: DocX Support, Thesaurus, Group Sharing & More [Zoho Blogs via CyberNet]
Linux only: Expand OpenOffice.org’s document opening, saving, and conversion powers to Office 2007 documents with the OpenXML Translator, a free plug-in intended for Ubuntu systems (although other Debian-based systems might be able to use it as well). Grab a package for your 32- or 64-bit system, install it (hitting the via link if you need help with that) and OpenOffice will be able to read and save files to the .docx format. Conversion from Microsoft Office-authored files remains hit-and-miss, but it’s a nice step forward for the free and open-source office suite. The OpenXML translator is a free download for Linux systems only. OpenOffice.org OpenXML Translator [via Hacktivision Lite]
Windows only: The latest editions of Microsoft Office might have made some welcome interface and functionality improvements, but the newer .docx file formats can leave your co-workers (and your other computers) struggling to open its files. Free conversion utility Docx2Rtf can take whatever Office 2007 (or OpenOffice) files, and then display them for copying or save them as Rich Text Format, the standard nearly every text editor can understand, as well as PDF if you want. The conversion isn’t always perfect, due to RTF’s limited special characters and images, but Docx2Rtf can make it easy to send out documents to recipients across the computer spectrum. Docx2Rtf is a free download for Windows systems only. To convert older Word documents, try using Google Docs as a go-between.Docx2Rtf [via Freeware Genius]
Students banging out their final papers this semester with Microsoft Word 2007 will be interested in this tutorial on creating and managing references, courtesy of Microsoft. The references tab on Word 2007’s new ribbon offers a slick way to enter your sources and choose a style to display them, from APA to Chicago to MLA. As I write my paper, all of the citations that I have been inputting are stored in this awesome tool called the source manager, which can be accessed by clicking “Manage Sources.” This means that instead of my list of books I have been poring over going into the ether I call index cards, all of my work is stored in one little handy database. Enter incredible time savings.
From the Bibliography drop-down, choose whether you want a bibliography or works cited section and Word automatically generates and formats it for you. Handy.Final paper time [The Microsoft Office Word Team’s Blog]