Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Free e-book produced in Word 2007

Well, in case I haven't raved enough about Word 2007, let me tell you how I spent a few blissful hours yesterday. Several years back, I researched and wrote a detailed book for the parents of teenagers who were feeling at a loss about how to handle all the changes going on in their teenagers' lives. The changes might be outward things, like green hair and piercings, or attitude changes (like, "yesterday my child thought I was smart, and today apparently I'm an idiot!"), or inward changes in how the teenager sees, makes sense of, and engages the world (or not).

Yesterday I felt a bolt of inspiration and found the old Word files I'd originally used to write the book. I opened the master copy in Word 2007 and scanned the file. It was a boring, text-only document, one that at the time I had used as the text source for the final files I composed in InDesign.

I paged quickly through the document, doing a few edits, updating some info and examples, and doing a search-and-replace for the title of the book. I added a cover page and some up-front content; and then tried on a few themes (by choosing Themes in the Page Layout tab). After I found one I liked, I used the Styles in the Home tab to apply different styles to the special elements--tips, tables, and more--throughout the book. I added a TOC and a footer; I checked the citations. I then created a PDF of the file (by clicking the Microsoft Office button and choosing PDF or XPS in the Save As list) and uploaded the file to my server space.

The result--a totally updated, revised, and reformatted 200-page book in less than three hours! If that's not convincing evidence that the new themes and styles features in Word dramatically simplify life, I don't know what is. :)

By the way, please feel free to download the book and share it with anyone you know who might be interested.

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