Sunday, April 19, 2009


Office 14 wish list item #23

It's possible that I'm a bit of a pushover, but I really do love Office 2007. I've worked with Office since Word was DOS-based (no kidding--and at the time I thought the Windows version would never catch on!) and Office 2007 really does live up to a lot of the promise we heard about when it first came out of the blocks.

But. I've been working on a presentation this morning (something I enjoy doing but don't get the chance very often) and I'm almost done, but the chart legend on a new custom chart I created is giving me fits. For all the easy, find-what-you-need context-driven features in Office 2007, the text controls for charts need to be welcomed into the new, inclusive Office UI. I'd rather not have to select each individual element and go through a different text process for changing and applying custom formats.

To get the kind of font change you want in the legend, for example, you have to right-click the text item (there's no Legend Text choice in the Format Legend dialog box, for some reason), choose Font, and then make your choices from an imposter Font dialog box. The whole thing just seems weird to me. And it wouldn't let me select all the legend items at once--I had to do it one at a time.

Yes, it may seem like small potatoes, but the process is clunky and counter-intuitive, and I just spent way too much time trying to get the chart legend to look the way I want (and now, complaining about it. LOL!)

Leaning into the next is an important part of human progress, though, so I guess it's time well spent. :)

Friday, April 10, 2009


Special projects call for special fonts

I'm working on something really fun right now and wanted a special look for a couple of elements, and Word's regular fonts--while fine for most things--just weren't doing it for me. It's been a while since I added any new fonts to my system, so I had to remember how to find what I needed and install the fonts so they'd be available in Word. Here's a quick refresher in case it's not something you do often, either:
  1. Find and download the font(s) you want to add.

    Note: With just a little searching online this morning I found Fontspace, which has thousands of free fonts of all different types.

  2. Unzip the font file to whatever folder you'd like. (Just make sure you can find them when it's time to install.)

  3. Display the Control Panel and go to the Fonts window. In Windows XP SP2, it's easier to find Fonts by using Classic View; in Vista, just type Fonts in the search box and you're there.

  4. Click File and choose Install New Font.

  5. In the Add Fonts dialog box, navigate to the folder where you saved the files when you unzipped them, click the fonts you want to install in the List of Fonts (in the top portion of the dialog box), and click OK.

Windows installs the fonts and then takes you back to the Fonts window. Close it and go take a look in Word. Yup, they're there.

Simple, right? Enjoy your new look! It's spring, after all. :)

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