December 2006, V5#12: Computer Saturday, Dec 27 2008 

99.9% of the books we produce are from Microsoft Word. However, it will depend on what the focus of your book is, as well as what software you are familiar with, and how much work you want the software to do for you. For instance, if the book is to contain many charts, a program that is geared toward generating these charts would be important. If you are working toward mainly fact oriented and are hoping the program will organize a manuscript, a program such as Family Tree Maker might be best. If you are looking for word processing and are familiar with the Corel family of products, you may not want to learn Microsoft Office. If you are wanting to go with fancy margins, clip art, photos, charts, tables, graphic elements on each page, etc., Microsoft Publisher may be the way to go. The bottom line, like so many other decisions comes down to you. It’s hard to beat making a wish list (I want the program to be able to…) and then looking for a product that fits best. Other factors, besides current software knowledge may be cost for new software, compatibility (if looking toward a hybrid or e-book).

Overall software we utilize most (remember, this doesn’t mean they are the best for you):

Manuscript: Microsoft Word (other Office programs such as Excel, Access, Publisher, and FrontPage can be helpful or used with Word, depending on project.)

Photographs: Adobe Photoshop

“Genealogy” Program (Charts, etc.): Family Tree Maker

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November 2006, V5#11: Computer Saturday, Dec 27 2008 

Do you find yourself typing (or modifying) the same kind of letter over and over? Reduce the chance of mix ups through cut and paste or saving over old file copies by making a template. In many Windows based programs it is fairly simple. Make the “cookie cutter” basis that you will be using over and over again. This even works well for non raised letterhead! Next, choose “save as”. When you have the save as dialog box up, go to the bottom boxes and click the down arrow (right side) for the file type. From the pull down list that just came up, choose template, or .tmp, check the file name (change it if you want), then OK. Now, next time you want to use the text, click the “file” pull down menu and choose new. Selections may come up on the right side of your screen, or you will get a box that allows you to choose from templates. Choose the template and off you go! When you open a template, modify it and are ready to save, it automatically assumes you are not modifying the template, but producing a file in the default format – such as .doc for Word.

September 2006, V5#9: Computer Saturday, Dec 27 2008 

(Mis)Spelling with Microsoft

While this trick may work with other programs, it seems to work like a dream in most MS Office programs. Do you have a word that seems misspelled but you don’t want to run the spell check? Right click the word, a option menu will pop up with several alternatives. Just click the correct on and the word will be fixed without having to run spell check.

August 2006, V5#8: Computer Saturday, Dec 27 2008 

Does it seem like every document or web page you open has smaller text then the last? If your mouse of choice has a wheel (“wheel mouse”), you may be in luck. In at least Microsoft Word and Internet Explorer, this trick works like a dream (most of the time): When you want to see the text larger on a page or document you are viewing, be sure your mouse pointer is somewhere on the “page” in question, hold down your control key and move your wheel away from you (while holding the mouse still). This should zoom the text in direct relation to how far you move the wheel. The reverse is true if moving the wheel toward you. Try this in your favorite program – it might work there too!