Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Using Microsoft Word for long documents

This morning I ran the Using Microsoft word for long documents. Again. I've just searched my calendar and I can see that I've run it at least 28 times since December 2007. I wrote the original workshop for Word 2003 sometime in early 2006 when I discovered that students were creating tables of contents manually for 20,000 word documents. I'm sure I've run the session at least 50 times and trained hundreds of students in the process (there can be anywhere between 10 and 45 at a time).

The workshop, and associated workbook, has clearly been helpful, explaining to students how to:
  • use heading styles
  • use captions
  • insert tables of contents and tables of figures
  • use cross-referencing
  • use master and subdocuments (with the necessary cautionary notes with this feature)
I also let them know that Microsoft isn't the only software that enables them to do this kind of thing and that Open Office can do it too.

So I thought I'd put this post up to let others know that you can get Word to do some pretty useful things, especially when writing a long document like a dissertation or thesis. I would put the workbook on here but now I've put a Creative Commons license on my blog I'm not sure I should (so here's a sneaky link instead). Microsoft copyright all the images associated with their Office products so I can't make a Creative Commons version. Strictly speaking I'm not sure I should have created any version at all, but there you go.

So I hope this post means that more people will discover these useful features, and if you have any Creative Commons license advice on the issue I'd be really pleased to hear it.


  1. RE "Microsoft copyright all the images associated with their Office products" - I would have thought it would be covered under fair use for education?

  2. Ah, yes, you're probably right. But I think I still can't creative commons it?

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