Tuesday, July 20, 2004


Making Documents Fit

category : office XP and office 2003 : Word

It's not unusual for me to be working with multiple documents open at once. I need this document to check those numbers; I need to see how we edited this version so I can use consistent language in that report; etc. Although Word lets you arrange the screen so that you can see two documents open at the same time (choose Window > Arrange All), Word divides the window horizontally, with one document on the top and the other on the bottom. That just goes nowhere with me. I can't see enough of the text to really do anything with it (unless of course I reduce the size to 50% and then what good is that?). So my tradition is to manually resize the windows and position them side-by-side in the work area. That enables me to easily scan back and forth, left to right (the way we read) rather than moving top to bottom.

The only problem with this is that the text is wider than the window, meaning I have to scroll the document back and forth to get a good read. To solve this, I tell Word to reflow the text to fit the size of the document window, whatever size it may be. This saves me lots of trouble and frustration and lets me fly through eyeball comparing documents. (There is of course a document comparison feature in Word 2003, but that's a subject for another post.) To have Word reflow the text of your document so it fits within the resized window, choose Tools > Options and in the bottom of the View tab, in the Outline and Normal Options section, click Wrap to Window and click OK.

Simple, elegant, and fast. Just the way I like it. :)

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