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Quick Word tips and tricks

May 22, 1998
Web posted at: 1:32 PM EDT

by George Campbell

(IDG) -- If you're printing all your Word documents rather than reading them on screen, you're wasting paper. But pressing Page Down or clicking the scrollbar repeatedly to review a document is a pain.

If you have one of Microsoft's slick IntelliMouse devices, you can scroll by moving the thumbwheel. But even if your mouse is only ordinary, an undocumented command in Word 97 can automatically scroll a document for you, letting you adjust the speed to suit your needs. Here's how to take advantage of this cool feature:

  1. With the document loaded in Word, select Tools, Macro, Macros from the menu.

  2. In the Macros dialog box, first select Word Commands from the 'Macros in' list, then choose the AutoScroll option from the 'Macro name' list, and finally click Run.

  3. To control scrolling speed and direction, position the hourglass pointer over the vertical scrollbar. Move it to the top half of the scrollbar to scroll up, or to the bottom half to scroll down. The farther the pointer sits above or below the middle of the scrollbar, the faster the scrolling will occur. To stop scrolling temporarily, position the pointer over the middle of the scrollbar. To turn off AutoScroll, you need only click the left mouse button.

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If you use this handy feature often, you may want to place the command on a toolbar for convenience. Here's what to do: Select Tools, Customize, click the Commands tab, select All Commands in the left-hand box and AutoScroll in the right-hand box, and then drag and drop the command onto a toolbar.

AutoScroll even lets you turn Word 97 into a teleprompter. With a loaded document, select View, Full Screen. Press Alt -T to display the Tools menu; then follow steps 1 and 2 above. The AutoScroll bar will appear to the right of the clean document screen, enabling you to control scrolling as described above.

Dress Up Word 97's Tables

Word 97's new table drawing tool makes it easy to customize tables. Here are a few tips for using it:

Create multiple cells of equal size alongside a taller cell by highlighting the cells, then selecting Table, Distribute Rows Evenly. You can use the same simple approach to equalize the width of columns you draw. Just select Table, Distribute Columns Evenly after highlighting the desired cells.

Insert clip art and other graphics into a table cell by placing your cursor in the cell, selecting Insert, Picture, From File, and choosing an image. If necessary, Word will automatically resize the cell to fit the image.

Add text to a cell that contains an image by clicking the image, then pressing the left arrow, Enter , and the up arrow (to type text above the image), or the right arrow and Enter (to type text below).

Center an image in a cell by clicking the image, and then pressing the left arrow to display the normal text insertion cursor. Click the Center icon on the Formatting toolbar to center the image horizontally, and click the Center Vertically icon on the Tables and Borders toolbar to center it vertically.

Add a border to an image within a cell by right-clicking the image and selecting Borders and Shading from the menu. Choose your border style in the Borders dialog box. If you want the same border on several images, set the border for the first, then select each image and press Ctrl -Y to copy the formatting.

Copy Wordy Tables to Excel

Have you ever had to move a table with long cell entries from Word to Excel? When you paste the table into Excel, it looks like a mess. Here's how to make the move as simple as possible. The following steps work in all versions of Office.

  1. In Word, select the entire table; then choose Edit, Copy.

  2. In Excel, place the pointer where you want the table; then select Edit, Paste.

  3. Select the columns that contain the table, then change their width to match their width in Word.

  4. With the table still selected, choose Format, Cells, click the Alignment tab, select Top from the Vertical drop-down list, and check the Wrap text box. Click OK.

  5. To apply one of Excel's prefab formats to the table, select Format, AutoFormat, then choose one of the available formats.

Wrap It Up in WordPerfect

Wrapping text around the box that contains a graphical image looks amateurish compared with the effect you get when the text wraps around the actual contours of the image. Last November's issue contained instructions for doing sophisticated wraps in Word 97, but you can do the same thing in WordPerfect 6.1 and later, with a couple of provisos--namely, the image must have a white background, and you can't control the wrap points.

To do a contour wrap, first type the text that will surround the image; then select Insert, Graphics (version 8) or Graphics, Image (versions 6.1 and 7). Choose Clipart, From File, or Draw Picture from the resulting menu, then select or draw the image (remember that it must have a pure white background). Drag the image into position on the page and resize it if necessary. Right-click the image, then choose Wrap from the menu. Select Contour in the Wrap Text dialog box, then click OK.  


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