Saturday, February 18, 2012

New to this Blog?...Let me Explain What I've Been Up To...

After Pattie said something to me about the readings she was getting on the blog, I started watching the statistics. There's a lot more reading of this blog than there has been in the past.

Since I'm posting about several topics and interspersing MS Word table instructions, I thought you might need a bit of background on my blog postings. I'm a technical writer by profession, and as a result, a heavy user of MS Word. I keep seeing Word sessions in many of the conference schedules. They can be as short as one hour or sometimes longer. Learning everything you need to know about using Word in such a short period of time isn't easy.

A little more than a year ago, I started posting bits and pieces about using MS Word with particular emphasis on how a genealogist would use Word to do many tasks, including writing a book. Through the year I've covered creating a template from scratch, using styles, and lots of other tasks. My thinking was that if my readers learned a little bit a few times a week that at the end of the year they would be getting along with Word much better than they had in the past. Based on my email, a few meetings with blog readers, and the steady increase I've had in readership, I seem to be meeting my goal of making Word easier for people to use.

One additional note...I've endeavored to explain why things work in Word, how many functions in Word are connected to other functions, and why you might care to learn to use this function or that one. One of my problems with my own profession is that you get good instructions to do a task, but if you don't know why you would care to do the task, why would you bother to learn it? I try to give you real world applications for how a genealogist would use functions in MS Word.

So, if one of your ambitions is to produce a book using MS Word, please read the sections labeled Template. If you read the posts in order and complete the instructions, you'll find that you wind up with a 26 page template that is ready for execution...that is, you adding your personal text to produce a book.

Also notice that as posting became more complicated, I started numbering the parts so that they could be read in order. You see that happening right now with the use of tables.

So, if you're new to this blog and staying a while to read, welcome, and thank you for your time and attention. I hope you find it useful. If you have questions, post a comment or write to me at I'll send you a link to a posting or do my best to answer your question.

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