Category Archives: Program

Word Processing: 10 Cool Keyboard Tricks

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While editing a manuscript, I found a need to make the process faster with the use of hotkey (keyboard shortcuts), wildcards, and some keyboard tricks to get things done.

These work only in MS Word.

Doing this

Does this

Pressing the dash key 3x will create a horizontal line in your document

== =

Pressing the equal key 3x creates a double line in your document

Ctrl   H

Opens the Find/Replace feature.

Ctrl  E

Aligns text and graphics to center

=rand(08,10)

Type this in your document creates random text if you ever need to add random text.

^p^p

^p

Using Find/Replace, put ^p^p in Find and ^p and this removes manual spaces between paragraphs

Ctrl  SHIFT  m

Inserts a comment where you put your cursor in the document.

SHIFT  F7

Pressing these two keys open the built in Thesaurus. You can often find synonyms by RIGHT-CLICKING over a word. You will choices of words to use.

LEFT CLICK

The mouse

Clicking a word twice will highlight the word. Click three times, and you select the entire paragraph.

 

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Google Drive for Writers

driveforwritersToday I want to share with you some elements of the free Google service known as Drive. This is something like a cloud drive (you can backup files) but also an online program suite. I will be discussing mostly the Docs features.

Google Drive includes:

Docs– This is an online word processor that is compatible with Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, and even Microsoft Works.

Sheets– A spreadsheet compatible with Office, Open office, and Works.

Slides – A presentation service that easily integrates into web sites or shared with others. Compatible to open files from Office and OpenOffice.

Forms – A service to create and compile information from forms. Includes easy to use templates, click and build features, and saves data to the drive for access later.

Drawing– This includes an online service to create or edit graphics. Saves as PDF, JPG, SVG, and PNG.

docs

Google Docs works similar to most word processors, including formatting, templates, and printing. You can open and save, change file formats, and share/collaborate with others online. This also includes revision history. (Saved my butt when I ‘lost’ an entire chapter of a book I was writing).

You can also add ‘add-ons’ which improves function;

Table of Contents – Creates a table of contents that runs as a sidebar.

EasyBib- Bibliography creator

Speech Recognition- So you can talk instead of typing. This works great for those who have issues with typing for long periods of time.

Mind mapping- This is a great tool to plot stories or brainstorm ideas.

ProWritingAid- This is not free, but as an add on that works in the Docs. It corrects grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Screenplay formatter- For the script writers out there, this add on helps with formatting your doc.

Saves in these formats:

DOCX – Document Microsoft Word file

ODT – OpenOffice Document Text file

RTF – Rich Text Format, works with any word processor

PDF- Portable Document Format, used for downloading files and eBooks

TXT – Text. Very simple with very little formatting but can be read by every word processor.

HTML/ZIP – Hypertext Markup Language is what web sites are built. Often used to upload to publish books.

EPUB – EBook file format that can be read by tablets and smart phones. This is new and is an industry standard.


Google drive can also

Cloud Storage– Back up photos, documents, etc. to your cloud drive. This includes 15 GB free, and you can pay $1.99 monthly for 100 more GB.

Collaborate with others–  Not only can you share files with others, they can view or even edit them. You can also share LIVE with others. Some authors now share their writing in real time for fans to check out their process. Share via email or link on your blog. You can even embed files too

Share anywhere– Google Drive works on PC, Mac, smart phone, and tablets.

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Formatting Manuscript and Helpful Writing Links.

SimpleLPCLogo copyWith my writer’s group, I often write up a newsletter for the members so they get the information we covered, but also to share with the members who couldn’t join, to catch them up on the topic.

Today’s meeting was all about manuscript formatting.

Manuscript formatting for standard publishing:

Always remember to follow guidelines, but these are the suggested standard formatting list of your manuscript.

Writer’s Digest: What Are the Guidelines for Formatting a Manuscript? This covers some of the basics to formatting your document. Remember, you’ll also need a synopsis and letter if you want to publish through a publishing company.

A Step-by-step Guide to Formatting Your Book’s Interior (Createspace.com) E-publishing and print-on-demand for Amazon marketplace. With e-publishing, you need to format correctly in order for the pages to view correctly on e-readers. Createspace also provides templates specific to the size books you want to use.

Click here to view templates you can download.

The Basics of DIY (Do It Yourself) E-Book Publishing by Writer’s Digest provides lots of tips to follow for publishing, to help decide how to publish but also the basics on how to publish.

Find and Replace Tips for MS Word- (Includes how to find and replace manual indents, double spaces, and more)

Find: ^t (this code will find all manually indents in your manuscript)

Replace (leave blank)

This will delete all manual indents

Want to know more things you can do with Find/replace? Click here.


Programs:

Chapter-by-Chapter:

This program provides a way to organize your MS Word documents (also works with OpenOffice) to sort files into chapters. You can then have the program assemble all files into a single Word file to publish. Unfortunately, this does not work with Mac computers.

https://sites.google.com/site/sebberthet/chapter-by-chapter

Need a quick tutorial on how to use the Chapter-by-Chapter? Check out my YouTube Video;

  Dropbox.com

Dropbox is one of many ‘cloud drives’ which are used to back up and share files. What I love about Dropbox is that it is easy to use and can synchronize files between smart phones, computers, and the Internet so you can always get your files.

http://www.dropbox.com

Want to learn more about the other cloud drives? Here is Top 10 Personal Cloud-Storage Services you can choose from. 

Web Site: https://www.openoffice.org

OpenOffice is a free software suite that includes a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation programs. This is free and works with MS Office documents.

“Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row”- Ray Bradbury

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A Productivity Tip

AWJ Productivity TIps

Since I am a person who can get easily distracted, I’ve been trying some new techniques with focusing for productivity. The goal is to find some methods that will help train my brain to stay on tasks for longer periods of time, as well as provide the breaks needed to avoid burnout.

CaptureProductivity Timer. I downloaded a Google Chrome browser extension called Strict Workflow. There are other timers that can shut off the use of distracting sites like Pinterest (my addiction) and Facebook. What I like is that you can program the extension for the time increment you want. I picked 25 minutes of work, 15 minutes for breaks. You can also edit the list of web sites.

When the extension is active, you are unable to view the distracting web sites until your break.

This extension also utilizes the Pomodoro Technique. You can read more about it at Productivity 101: A Primer to the Pomodoro Technique on Lifehacks.

Journal Record Keeping– Another tool to keep me focused is using a small notebook on my desk to keep track of everything I do. Although I have a to-do list, often through the day other things come up to either distract or demand my attention.

I write the distractions in red so I can return later in the day to work on them.  I write the demands in blue so I can see how much in the way of family, phone calls, business clients, volunteer groups, and other things in my life are also taking me away from my main objectives.

I also add post it notes for new tasks to do that can stick to my desk for a later time.

So far, I’m finding my days very productive, my brain getting more focused, and things are getting done.

What tips do you use to focus and get things done? Post in comments.

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