Don Edrington    Home   Profile   PC Columnist, San Diego Union Tribune   Free 20Th Cent. Music

The text on this page was created with Google Docs, the free word processing program available at: Google/Drive/Docs.
The computer used was a Google Chromebook.

I Love Working with My Chromebook and Google Drive

Convert All Caps to Upper & Lower Case

Donna Walters called to say she received an MSWord document which had been typed in all capital letters, and asked if there was an easy way to convert it to traditional upper and lower case sentence structure. Yes; by selecting the target text and pressing F3 while holding down SHIFT, all the caps will change to lower case. Press F3 again, while still holding down SHIFT, and the first letter of each sentence will be capitalized. Another SHIFT-F3 will return everything to all caps. However, other capitalization - such as names, places, and titles - will still need to be edited separately.

By the way, basic email courtesy tells us to NEVER SEND MESSAGES IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. All caps are fine for headlines or other key phrases, but are just plain harder to read when used throughout a lengthy letter. Furthermore, ALL CAPITAL LETTERS give recipients the feeling they are being shouted at. Any ALL CAP emails we receive always go to the bottom of the priority list.

Graphics Not Printing with Text

Another frequent MSWord question: "Why don't pictures in my document print along with the text?"

The fix: go to Tools>Options>Print>Include with Document, and checkmark "Drawing Objects."

Making a Document Fit on One Page

Still another MSWord printing problem I frequently hear is: "I typed a one-page document, but a blank second sheet goes through the printer with each print-out."

This sometimes happens when text has had a number of edits which extended it to a second page, and then got pruned back to one page. Unseen on the screen may be a collection of blank spaces at the end of the document that carry over to a second page. Pressing CTRL+END will send your cursor to the actual end of the document, whereupon any unneeded blank spaces can be deleted.

A simple fix for a desired one-page document that overlaps onto a second page is to change your margin settings. Go to File>Page Setup>Margins and change the 1.25" side margins to, say, 1.1". Alternatively, you could choose a smaller and/or narrower font to squeeze everything into the default margins.

The most frequent MSWord complaint I hear is: "I typed the numeral 1, pressed TAB, and typed in some text. Then when I pressed ENTER, a 2 appeared and my cursor tabbed over to line up under the previous text without my asking it to. Now I can't get back to my normal paragraph settings."

Automatic Bullets & Numbering

This is just one of MSWord's many "AutoCorrect" functions. When it sees a single character typed, followed by TAB being pressed, it assumes you want create a list of indented paragraphs beginning with left-aligned sequential numbering (or lettering, such as A, B, C).

This feature can be disabled by going to Tools>AutoCorrect>AutoFormat As You Type and deselecting " and ". Then click AutoFormat and deselect Automatic Bulleted Lists.

If you later decide you want to create some numbered indented paragraphs, type your first numbered paragraph, select it, go to Format>Bullets & Numbering, and make your style choices. Each subsequent ENTER will begin a sequentially itemized paragraph to match the first one. To break the cycle, go to Format>Bullets & Numbering, and choose NONE.

Add to Your Recently Used File List

Frequent users of MSWord should also go to Tools>Options>General>Recently Used File List, and choose 9. This will make your most recently edited nine docs quickly retrievable under File. (The default setting is only four.)

Free Newsletter
Don's Newsletter

If you would like to receive our newsletter just send an email
to Don Edrington at:
and put newsletter in your Subject Line.
  We've been sending out this PC Help Newsletter since 1994
and your email address is safe with us – we don't share it with anyone!
Read Current Newsletter

© Donald Ray Edrington - All Rights Reserved
Top of Page
Mission Statement - Privacy Policy

This page is supported by advertisers who create and post ads here via Google Adsense.