Stories by George Campbell

Browse Instantly in Long Documents

Moving around in long documents can be time-consuming and imprecise. Microsoft Corp. Word's instant browsing feature helps you minimize your page-scrolling.

Add Pizzazz to Documents by Using Edge Effects

Looking for a fast, easy way to highlight text and graphics in your document? Apply borders to set material off and add impact. Here's a guide to the formatting associated with text borders in Microsoft Corp.'s Word and Corel Corp.'s WordPerfect. For additional tips on creating page borders and borders around objects, check online at

Use Tables to Enliven Document Formats

Give your documents more impact by using Microsoft Corp. Word or WordPerfect tables to make page layouts more colorful and captivating. You can create colors and alignments in tables that would take a long time to do with text boxes and graphical tools.

The Future Is Here: Self-Typing Text

We all type the same things over and over in the course of our work. Whether it's a signature block in a letter or a piece of boilerplate text, there's no reason to type a recurrent set of words or paragraphs. By using the automated text-entry systems in Microsoft Corp.'s Word 97 and 2000 and in WordPerfect 8 and 9, you can reduce duplicated effort and speed up your work. You can insert formatted text quickly by selecting an entry from a list or by typing an abbreviation and pressing a key. Here's how to latch on to these valuable tools.

Speed Your Formatting by Painting It

One overlooked feature in Microsoft Corp. Word and Corel Corp. WordPerfect lets you copy the formatting (fonts, colors, boldface, and so on) of a selected area of text and apply it to other parts of the document. Word calls this feature Format Painter, while WordPerfect calls it QuickFormat. Whatever the name, it's a great way to save time when formatting a document. Here's how to use it:

Build Automatic Return Addresses in Word

The envelope and labels dialog box in Microsoft Corp.'s Word 97 and 2000 (Tools*Envelopes and Labels) automatically fills in a return address for you. But where does that address come from? And what if it isn't the one you want to use? You can select it and type in a new address each time you use that dialog box, but if you want to change the default address for some reason (say you move or you've inherited the PC from another employee), you'll have to take a different route:

Word Processing

If you need to send a document as an e-mail attachment but want to make sure the recipients can't modify it, you have two options. One is to save the file as Read Only. To do this in Microsoft Corp.'s Word 97, select File*Save As*Options, and then put a check in the Read-only recommended box; in Word 2000, choose File*Save As, select Tools*General Options in the Save dialog box, and click the Read-only recommended box. Alternatively, you can make the files Read Only by right-clicking their icons within a Windows folder, selecting Properties, and clicking the Read-only box.

Word Processing

Sometimes you need to say something striking in a document to get the reader's attention. Why not dictate a voice comment directly into what you are writing, so the reader will really prick up their ears? It's easy to do, as long as you have a microphone connected to your PC. Just remember to use voice comments sparingly, because sound objects can be quite large and will significantly increase the file size. For example, a 3.5- second voice comment will add about 75KB.

Take Your Customized Word Processor with You

You can find additional word processing tips at We welcome your questions and tips and pay $50 for published items. George Campbell ( is a contributing editor for PC World. Visit his Web page at