Program or Lesson 9:30 - 10:30 AM
One on One Help 10:30-?
In the Library
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|Our weekly program or
lesson is intended
to be of interest to all computer users.
Following the program an allotment of time will
be available for one on one help to those
who want a better understanding of something done during the presentation.
Upcoming EventsWednesday JANUARY 22, 2014 Meeting
9:15 AM Set up your computer
9:30 AM Lesson. Inside your computer. The hardware that makes your computer work.
10:30 AM One on One help
Using a Publisher Program Or a Word Processor
By Jim Cerny, Director, Sarasota PCUG, Florida
November 2013 issue, PC Monitor www.spcug.org jimcerny123 (at) gmail.com
If you use email or a word-processing application (like Microsoft Word or WordPad) you probably have no trouble entering and editing text. But when it comes to putting things exactly where you want on the page, well, word processing programs can become difficult. For example, if you delete a few lines toward the beginning of your document, the rest of the document “moves up” so that no empty space appears in the middle of your text. This is great for email and word processing programs but can be a pain if you wanted to place things on a page and have them stay where you put them. Most editions of Microsoft Office (a set of application programs) contain Word (for word processing) and Publisher (for creating all sorts of wonderful publications). If you do not have Microsoft Office or Microsoft Publisher, you can purchase a cheap publishing program such as “Printshop”, “Printmaster” or “Page Plus” or other discount software. Just Google “cheap publisher software” to find these or others, some are even free. Most publisher-type programs work the same way. The following works for Microsoft Publisher (2003 edition) and is a good example of how such programs are used.
Basically a publisher program works with “objects”, not words. Oh, an object certainly CAN be words (I’ll use the term “text” if you don’t mind), but an object can be anything else as well – a photo for example. Let’s say you wanted to create and print some business cards. You would open the publisher program and first look to see what samples or “templates” the program already has to pick from. Select one that you like and it should open in the program ready for you to change anything you want. Click on the text that you want to replace with your name. A “box” will appear around the text – that is the object, in this case a box that contains text – and within this box you can change the text anyway you like. If you have a long name or if you pick a font that is too large, the result may not fit in the box. The easy solution to this is to drag the box to make it larger. You can change the size of a box (object) by dragging a “handle” at the corner or the middle edge of the box. You can also drag the whole box (not dragging on a handle point) to reposition the box anywhere you like. Whether things fit on the card or in the boxes is up to you. Remember you can make the boxes any size you want, but then you have to make sure the text size will fit in it.
Would you like to insert a photo? Click on “insert” (it will be on a tab or a menu somewhere) and select “photo from file” – this indicates that you have a photo on your computer that you want to insert. A small window should open to allow you to go to the folder you want to find the photo. Just click on the file name to highlight it and click “ok” or “insert”. Now the photo will appear on your business card as an “object” – it will probably be very large, so you need to find the corner handle and drag it to reduce the size of the photo (you may have to use the scrollbars to get to find the handle). With resizing photos dragging a corner handle keeps the photo in the same proportion. Dragging a side handle will distort the photo. What you see on the screen will be exactly what is printed on the paper.
Once you catch on to creating and working with object boxes, everything is easy. Changing what is in once box does not affect the other boxes. But wait, there is more.
If boxes overlap, one box will be on top of the other and will block the one underneath from being seen. Boxes can be filled with any background color, or be “clear” so that what is behind them is visible. You can change the order of the objects to put the one you want on top of the others. Publisher programs also allow you to “draw” anything you want and keep it as an object (like a photo). Naturally different programs will have different options, but each should have a way to get “help” and find out how to use the tools and options you want. Whatever program you use, knowing how to use the “help” option or tab is always a good idea. Most programs do not come with printed manuals anymore.
Ok, once you have completed your fabulous design of your business cards, you will want to print them out. Because business cards are a standard size, they will print ten cards per 8.5 x 11 inch page. It is best to buy the business card stock from an office supply store – you may even find ones with backgrounds already on them. They will be already perforated for easy separation. I always print on plain paper first and then compare the sheet carefully to the cardstock to make sure all fits nicely before I print.
With a little practice you will be designing your own greeting cards, labels, tags, return address labels, invitations, banners, and much more. Along the way you will have learned how to use some graphics tools too, and that’s a good thing. Don’t be afraid to explore the program – see what other templates and options are available to try, you will discover some amazing things. Try designing and printing some creative business cards for your spouse or friend, it will make you look like a printing (and computer) wizard.
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