Tag Archives: ms word

Writer Tech Trouble

pcillustratorThe other day I had some issues with my computer. It’s not a huge problem for me because I know how to take them apart and fix them, or get into the DOS settings and troubleshoot. Since the computer is vital to writers, I felt I’d share some tips that might help you out if you have problems and don’t want to lose your work.

Set your word processor to save every few minutes.

MS Word- autosave tutorial

OpenOffice autosave tutorial

Back up your file to a cloud drive. I also recommend backing up to a USB periodically. I use my Dropbox folder as the My Documents folder on my computer. This way, if I get a crash and need to format or get a new computer, everything is already saved and synced through the Internet.

Dropbox (free) If you sign up via the link, I get more space. If you sign up, you can get more space by getting people to sign up too.

Icloud- (free) If you have an iPhone, you probably already have an icloud account.

OneDrive (try for free) If you use MS Office, you may already have an OneDrive account.

Be sure to have your antivirus software update regularly. This means not only to update ‘definitions’ but also the program itself. Make sure settings scan the computer regularly.

Avast antivirus (free)

AVG antivirus (free)

Install anti-malware. I recommend Malwarebytes or Spybot. You can also install these programs on a USB drive and run a scan from the drive.

Malwarebytes (free)

Spybot (free)

Corrupted files. Sometimes with word processors, the file you save gets corrupted.  

MS Word document recovery.

OpenOffice documents recovery.

Make boot discs for your computer. A boot disc helps with fixing problems with the computer with a simple restart of the system. How to do this will depend on the version of Windows you have, and sometimes even the make/model of the computer.

How to create repair discs for your computer.

How to make bootable USB, CD, or DVD to install Windows using a ISO file.

If you have any questions, please leave in comments or email me at frootbat31@yahoo.com.


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Word Processing: 10 Cool Keyboard Tricks


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


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



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.


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.


The mouse

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


Find these useful? Share with your friends, subscribe, or leave a comment to let me know. If you have any questions or ideas you’d like me to post a blog about, leave me a note.

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How to create an index (MS Word)


I write mostly non-fiction, which doesn’t often utilize the element of an index. If you write non-fiction, however, or intend to some day, this post might help.

What is an index?


Non-fiction books often require the author to establish one, and old-school publishing may ask you to include an index or list of words to be included. This can also cost you money.

If you self-publish, you want to create the index so your reader and cross reference information.

This video shows a basic tutorial on how to create and edit an index in MS Word;

I recommend you browse their channel playlists for more tutorials that are helpful for writers.

Click here for a PDF that includes a basic outline on how to add an index.

But don’t worry, Openoffice (free word processor and office software suite) can also can create indexes much the same way. Here is a PDF document which shows you how to add index, but also table of contents.

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My Top Writing Tools

wordpen Writing should be simple; its storytelling. You have a story inside, which needs to be put to paper. How you do that varies, and I’ve found over the years I can even complicate things, but here are some tools I use for writing; Some of them, I’ve mentioned previously, but you should also find some useful links in this post:


Word processing- MS Word. I tried OpenOffice and even Scrivener, but return to Word because I know how to use it without needing to learn how to use it. I know the word count feature, all the formatting features, and set it up so my macros and default settings are geared towards my personal goals on publishing writing.

How to create Macros in MS Word

How to set defaults in MS Word

How to create auto backup documents in MS Word

Backup- This is so very, very vital for any writer to understand the importance of backing up their work. For starters, I set the Word program to save every 3 minutes instead of the default 10 minutes. You can also opt for backup file copies to be made as well. I backup to Dropbox, but also every week, I backup to a USB Flash Drive .

Dropbox also allows me to access my writing on any computer, and even my phone. Its free.

How to set auto-recovery in MS Word.

Chapter-by-chapter A very useful, and free program that enables me to organize the chapters of my novel. Each chapter becomes a document, and this program allows me to use find-replace through all the documents in the novel. It also keeps track of word counts for each document.

This works alongside of MS Word, and other word processors. This way, you don’t have to do any change to file formats.

Thesaurus Although MS Word has a synonym finder in the program, this site which sits on my toolbar in my open browser, is readily available to look up just that right word. The same site also includes a dictionary.

Ambience– I use iSerenity.com and coffitivity.com for background noise.

Writing checking sites– I prefer Paperrater.com which checks for spelling, grammar, word choice, and style. By no means is it my only method for revision, but it offers some insight. Just remember any program can be stupid with words and context. I use it online, but you can also download the program.

Evernote.com provides me with organizing my writing. I use it for blogs, but also novels, short stories, and even writing prompts. You can use on the computer, tablet, or phone.

How to use the site is pretty easy. You make folders and then add files. Your options include text, graphics, and even video or sound media.

These tools are all optional, of course, but I found them useful over the years. Nothing takes the place of good old fashioned sit-your-butt-down-and-write method. Winking smile


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