Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Word for Writers
In This Chapter
Creating an outline in Word
Adding topics, subtopics, and text topics
Demoting and promoting topics
Rearranging topics in an outline
Printing an outline
Making a master document
Using the thesaurus
Pulling a word count
The word processor is the best tool for writers since the ghostwriter. Seriously, I don’t need to explain
to anyone the horrors of using a typewriter. The mere dawn of the word processor, back in the
primitive, steam-powered era of computing, was a welcome relief. Heck, I remember being overjoyed at
being able to backspace and erase text, ecstatic at the concept of word wrap, and floored by the miracle
of on-the-fly spell checking.
Writing words in a word processor doesn’t make you a writer any more than working with numbers in
a spreadsheet makes you a mathematical genius. Even so, beyond its basic word processing abilities,
Word comes with an armada of tools for making a writer’s job easier. Whether you’re writing your
first guest piece for the church newsletter or crafting your 74th horror-thriller, you’ll enjoy Word’s
features for writers.
Organize Your Thoughts
All writers I know use an outline to organize their thoughts. In the old days, you put the outline on a
stack of 3-by-5 cards. Today, you put it on a computer, which is far easier to use and will never get
mixed in with grandma’s recipes.
Word’s Outline feature allows you to group ideas or plot elements in a hierarchical fashion. You can
then shuffle topics around, make subtopics, and toss around notions and concepts to help get your
thoughts organized. Even if you’re not a writer, you can use Word’s Outline mode to create lists, work
on projects, or look busy when the boss comes around.