I’m that rare beast, an editor who loves working with MS Word. It wasn’t always like that. For many years, Word and I had a troubled relationship and the program caused me a lot of grief. Luckily, I shared an office with colleagues who were younger and smarter. They kindly stepped in whenever I lost parts of my document, forgot to track changes, struggled to set up page numbering and so on.
But then I went freelance. With no colleagues around to sort out my software problems, I was forced to improve my skills. Happily, before I went solo, a colleague who was renowned as a Word wizard had shared her secret with me, ‘I don’t know all the answers’, she said, ‘I just Google things’. That was a revelation, and over the next few years, I followed her advice.
It worked. I got better at Word, and now I actually run training courses in the program, much to the amusement of my former colleagues . . .
For those who aren’t fortunate enough to share an office with Word experts, I’m developing a series of videos. They’re designed to help you unravel some of the mysteries of Word and its add-ins. In particular, they will help you to discover those things that you don’t know you don’t know (Donald Rumsfeld’s famous ‘unknown unknowns’)!
The first video concerns fields – what they are and how to add, update and view them. Please let me know what you like about the format or the content, and what I could do better. And if you would like more of these tips, please sign up to the Cadman Training newsletter.
I work in Word 2013, and if you're using another PC version of Word (07, 10 or 16), the steps will be similar. For Mac users, the main difference is in the instructions for viewing fields. To view fields, follow these steps:
Word > proofing > view > show > field shading [deselect ‘field’] > [select drop-down ‘field shading > ‘always']
Click here or on the image to watch the video.
Very comprehensive and straightforward presentation. Perhaps slightly slower would make it easier to take in.
Thanks Norman, will go a bit slower in future videos
I really loved this as Word’s ‘fields’ was a real gap in my knowledge. In fact, I have saved it and will go through it more slowly. For me, it’s not really that you speak too quickly – as I can always pause it to ‘catch up’ – but there is a fair bit of information in the whole video and too much information to take it all in, in one go. So I just listen to one bit and then pause it and do something else; and then afterwards when I feel like another tip go in and listen to the next bit. I will certainly be watching ALL your Word video tips. If you’d like any ideas for future video tips: something on the formatting around numbering – which I have never completely mastered – would be fabulous. There are also things that happen sometimes with the spacing above or below lines which although you can usually change it manually when you need to, at times it just doesn’t let you change that spacing, so a bit of a lesson about that stuff would be excellent.
Hi Sally-Anne, thanks for the feedback, and for the ideas for further tips. Glad you found the video helpful.