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"Word Annoyances": Wrestling Word into Submission

June 30, 2005

Sebastopol, CA--At some point, says Guy Hart-Davis, it dawns on most Word users: "Word is trying to help you, and its help is making things worse. Life would be so much less annoying if only you could tell Word how to do things your way." Now, with his new Word Annoyances (O'Reilly, US $19.95), readers can practically eliminate frustration as they take control of their favorite word processor.

Nearly everyone uses Word. "It is arguably the best word processor on the planet," says Hart-Davis, "and it's certainly the most widely used." Of course, that means it has the opportunity to be the most annoying word processor on the planet--and many would say it is.

Hart-Davis has been using Word for more than fifteen years, during which he has seen its capabilities increase steadily and its annoyances increase exponentially. In this smart guide to outsmarting Word, he delivers fixes or workarounds to every Word annoyance he (and anyone he knows) has encountered, and shows readers how to tailor Word to their individual needs and preferences.

Covering most versions of Word--including Word 2000, Word 2002/Word XP, and Word 2003--Word Annoyances provides solutions for hundreds of common and not-so-common editing, formatting, printing, faxing, and scanning problems. Users can say good riddance to Word's greatest annoyances, like the way it automatically creates the same blank document upon startup, continually prompts users to send error reports to Microsoft, offers "File in Use" messages even though no one else has the document open, creates hyperlinks users didn't ask for and don't want, insists on underlining words and sections with offensive and distracting red and green squiggles, forces bigger margins than necessary, adjusts table column widths without user consent, and so on.

Word Annoyances includes stress-relieving, time-saving secrets, such as how to:

  • Best and most efficiently deal with installation issues
  • Prevent (or recover gracefully from) unwanted crashes and shutdowns
  • Dispose of the Office Assistant (either temporarily or forever)
  • Master templates, numbering, graphics, hyperlinks, tabs, tables, forms, and headers
  • Automate common tasks with macros
  • Tame some of Word's wiliest features, such as Smart Cut and Paste, Click and Type, AutoCorrect, and AutoText
  • Mail Merge like a pro
  • Conquer printing, faxing, and scanning with confidence
  • Work with other Microsoft applications (including Excel, PowerPoint, and Access) or Macs--there's a whole chapter devoted to Mac Word
  • Readers will learn not only how to minimize hassles and grief, but also how to maximize efficiency at both home and work by customizing Word to individual preferences and working styles. For example, readers will learn how to create a custom toolbar with all their favorite, most-used buttons or build a dictionary with special terms.

    Word Annoyances is the perfect guide to wrestling Word into submission.

    Additional Resources:

    Word Annoyances
    Guy Hart-Davis
    ISBN: 0-596-009542, 208 pages, $19.95 US, $27.95 CA
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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