This is a small sample from the book my book "Don't Be Afraid of your PC!".

Using Tables in MS-Word
(This also applies to recent versions of the word processor in MS-Works.)

     The easiest way I've found for creating simple forms of one kind or another is to use the Table utility in MS-Word. As an example, let's make a calendar for the month of September, which can later have notes typed into it or written in by hand.

         Since a single-month calendar tends to be wider than it is high, we'll do a "landscape" layout. Go to File, Page Setup, Paper Size, Landscape. Click OK. The calendar can be made a little larger by reducing the default margin sizes of the page. I'd suggest .6" for all of the page margins.

     Next go to Table, Insert Table. Enter 7 for the number of columns and 7 for the number of rows. Click OK and your basic calendar layout will appear.

(This was originally written in 2000, so the calendar shown below is for September, 2000.)

calendr3.gif - 40800 Bytes

     Click into the far left cell of the second row and type Sun. Use your Tab key to move to subsequent cells and type Mon, Tue, etc. You'll notice that the words aligned to the left side of there cells. They'd look better centered - so let's do that now. Click outside the table to the left of the second row. The row will turn black, meaning all its text has been selected. Click the Center Alignment icon on your toolbar. Voila - centered text.

     Now click into the cell under Fri and type the numeral 1. Tab to the next cell and type 2. Another Tab will jump you to the beginning of the next row, from where subsequent tabs will put you in position to type in the remaining dates.

     You'll notice that the numbers aligned to the left. That's okay because we'll want the space to the right for being able to enter notes later on. Well, depending on the size of the font you've used, you might say, "We could use more space than that for scribbling in notes." Okay, let's add more white space to each cell.

     Put your cursor to the right of the 1 you typed in. Press Enter. Notice how the whole row got taller? Now click to the right of 3 and press Enter again. Repeat this for the cells containing 10, 17, and 24. Now it's starting to look like a real calendar. What's missing is the name of the month at the top.

     Well put that in the top row. But first we have to convert those seven cells to just one.

     Click to the left of the top row to make all its cells turn black. Go to Table, Merge Cells. With the top row now being one wide cell, type September, 2000 into it. Finally, highlight the words and click the Center Alignment icon. As long as you have these words highlighted, why not make them larger and choose another font and/or color for them?

calendr2.gif - 7996 Bytes

     Did you notice that making the text taller increased the height of the cell? Tables are designed so that cell heights will adjust to accommodate the size of the tallest text in any cell of a given row. However, cell widths tend to remain the same unless you tell them to change.

     Cell heights also increase if additional text is typed into them. Type some text into any of the cells in your calendar and watch this happen. Backspace the text out and watch the cell shrink back to its previous height.

     Much more can be done to dress up the calendar, but this should get you started.

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