Doing it wrong without knowing it!
American consumerism has produced products and packaging. Products have produced consumer debt and packaging has produced consumer frustration.
Have you ever come across a package that is difficult to open and hard to use? I have! But then by accident or by rare intuition, I will either eventually come across some fine print that explains “how to,” or just figure it out. Then the package opens and is more readily usable.
For example, those little fluted paper ketchup cups at the fast food place? You can dip one fry, maybe two. Unless! Unless you use it right. The fluting is meant to be spread out so that you have a flat surface. This video, How to use a Ketchup Cup Properly, shows you how. It’s great!
Admittedly, there’s very little tech involved in ketchup cups. But what’s important at the start is the concept: doing it wrong without knowing it. Because that happens all the time to all of us. And the biggest tech culprit is application software – programs like Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint and Outlook.
Here are 10 ideas – tools, if you like – that were meant to make your use of application software, like Word, more productive and less frustrating. These examples, originally presented in an article by Hubspot Inbound Marketing, referred to online Google software Google Docs. But they are broad enough in 10 instances to apply to MS Word. I’ll favor MS Word unless the tool is unique to Google Docs.
- Templates – There are many typical situations where you can benefit from someone else’s starting point. Examples: resume, project proposal, business letter. Word allows you (File/New) to search online for templates by browsing through categories that produce hundreds of examples, from business cards to invoices under the business category, or thank you letter to return address labels under the personal category.
- Navigation Sidebar – Navigation pane in MS Word is helpful for creating an interactive outline of your document and helps to keep track of where you are and move around your document. The Navigation pane is found under the View tab, 2nd grouping.
- Clear Formatting – When pasting text from an online location there can often be unwanted hidden characters which cause problems. Under the Home tab the Paste function has a drop-down that includes Keep Text Only. Right clicking on the document will present the same function. Sometimes, however, only Notepad is strong enough to strip out the unwanted formatting. Paste the text into Notepad and then copy back into your document with formatting cleared.
- Research tool – Under the Review tab MS Word has a Thesaurus, Translate, Spelling, Dictionary and Word Count as well as document comparison tools. To activate the Research panel select Review tab and Language. Because Google Search is a key element for any online searching, the Google Docs Research function is much more robust and easier to use, not requiring switching between tabs.
- Suggestion Mode – this feature is unique to Google Docs, although it is similar to MS Word Comments (next). In Google Docs you can suggest an edit to the content.
- Comments – When working as a team on a document, there is often occasion to ask a question about content clarity, exclusion, restating or simply comment for interaction. Comments taken into the text can be tracked when changes are made.
- Footnotes – Under the Reference tab, MS Word has a full selection of footnotes, citations, captions, index, table of contents and authorities. This tool easily handles a task that would be extremely difficult if done any other way.
- Revision History – When your team document receives a comment it is date stamped in Google Docs. To go back into the history of the comment you would look at each change under Revisions. MS Word provides an undated record of text deleted or added is recorded, formatting changes are noted, all changes are indicated at the point of change.
- Voice Typing – This feature is not directly available in MS Word, although the Text to Speech feature will read your written text back to you. Windows has a feature called “Windows Speech Recognition” which will allow you to speak text to a WordPad document or fill in an online form. Google Docs has a feature where a built-in microphone will allow you to dictate your content, using your voice to type. The voice typing feature is more readily available with your iOS or Android mobile device.
- Keyboard Shortcuts – MS Word has many excellent keyboard shortcuts, too many to list here. But here are three that came up in the Google search “MS Word keyboard shortcuts 2016,” plus a bonus fourth, and… if you click on the link, pages and pages of MS Word keyboard shortcuts.
- Ctrl + shift + > will increase the font size of the selected text, using < will decrease
- Ctrl + g allows you to go to a page, bookmark, footnote, table, comment, graphic or other location
- Ctrl + Delete will delete one word to the right of the cursor
- Ctrl + K will allow you to insert a hyperlink behind the text you select.
There is a right way to do it. Sometimes the initial learning curve makes it seem more labor intense. But getting through the trial period makes the doing of the thing the “right way” well worth the time to learn.
Did I leave you behind still amazed at the ketchup cups? Then you will find this video as helpful as the first. It might seem a bit silly in spots, but there are 2-3 real gems to be discovered. Or was it just me?!
10 Things You’ve been Doing Wrong Everyday (by Crazy Russian Hacker!)
:10 eating cupcake
:58 tic tacs
1:48 coke package
2:20 eat Pomegranite
4:12 – Saran Wrap & Tin foil
5:39 – meat on sandwich
6:55 – cooking egg in onion ring
8:14 – cooking bacon for sandwich
9:34 – peeling banana
10:14 – eating Oreo cookies