Microsoft Publisher Tips

Microsoft Publisher Tips

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Not real thrilled with the color of that drop shadow around your text frame? If you mustchange it to fuchsia, try this: After you've created a drop shadow (Format|Shadow), click onthe Line tool. Click More in the drop-down menu, and you'll get a dialog box with options,including Color. This technique works in any Publisher version. (By the way, we don'trecommend fuchsia shadows, but to each his own.)


Got a problem with losing your Publisher 3 document's drop caps when you import the document into Word to edit it? Well, we're sorry, but there's nothing you can do about it but reapply them after you finish editing the story. To do this, select the paragraph(s) that should have initial caps and go to Format|Fancy First Letter.


If you've upgraded to Publisher 3 and miss the Wizards that were available in Version 2, we'd like to tell you can retrieve them, but we can't. However, we do have a work-around if you still have version 2 on your system. Create a document with the Version 2 Wizard you'd like to use. With the finished document open, choose File|Save As and check the Template check box at the lower right. Then close version 2 and open version 3. Click on the Existing Publication tab, then on the button that says, "Click here to open a publication not listed above." Go to your version 2 folder and open the Template folder. You'll find your new template there.


If you've searched high and low through the Clip Art Gallery and still can't find a graphic you like, don't despair. Instead, see if what you're looking for is part of a border. To search available borders, start by drawing a very small rectangle with the rectangle drawing tool. Then choose Format|BorderArt (in Publisher 2) or Format|Border|BorderArt tab (in Publisher 3 and 97). Scroll through the list until you find something you like. If you give the border a large point size (try 70 points), you'll get a single image in your little rectangle, rather than multiple images in a border shape.


Still searching high and low through the Clip Art Gallery and can't find a graphic you like? Don't even like the border idea we mentioned in the last tip? See if what you're looking for is a letter in a picture font. Draw a good-size text box, make the point size very large (try 150 points) and type in a letter from a picture font, such as Wingdings. To see what symbols are available, go to Tools|Insert Symbol (in Publisher 2) or Insert|Symbol (in Publisher 3 and 97) and select a picture font from the typeface drop-down menu. You'll see all the available symbols for that typeface.


When you create a blank publication, Publisher usually gives you only one page to begin with. It may or may not be entirely blank, depending on the margin and other layout guides you've set up to appear on each page of the document. There are two ways to add a blank page (or two) at the end of your document: Click on the Next Page arrow button in the bottom-left corner of your window to move past the last page in your document, or press Ctrl-Shift-N. In Single Page view you get one new blank page; in Two-Page Spread view you get two pages. Don't want that page after all? Choose Edit|Undo Insert Page(s) or press Ctrl-Z to remove it.


In the last tip we showed you two ways to add page(s) to the end of your document: Click on the Next Page arrow button in the bottom left corner of your window to move past the last page in your document, or press Ctrl-Shift-N. But what if you want a new page somewhere else in your publication? Move to the page or spread that you want to precede or follow your new page. Choose Insert|Page; in the Number Of New Pages text box, enter the number of pages you want to add; click on the radio button that corresponds to where you want the new pages(s) if you're working on a spread: Before left page, After right page, Between Pages. Make a mistake? Delete the pages by choosing Edit|Undo Insert Page(s).


You've highlighted some text for which you want to change the font. Need to get to the Font list box real fast? Press Ctrl-Shift-F. Press the down or up arrows keys to get to the font you want, and press Enter to select the highlighted font.


You've changed the font of that selected text, and now in that new font it looks a little small. Bump up its size without even calling up the Font Size list box by pressing Ctrl-Shift->; decrease it by pressing Ctrl-Shift-<. This method will change the font size by one-half of a point size. Too laborious? Jump right to the Size list box by pressing Ctrl-Shift-P.


Fonts come in four basic styles. Serif fonts have small lines on the ends of the letters' strokes, which lead the reader's eye, making them particularly good for body text (Bodoni, Bookman, Garamond, and Times New Roman are good examples). Sans serif fonts don't have the little lines and are often used in headlines, where space is at a premium (such as Arial, Helvetica, Univers). Decorative fonts use stylized, almost pictorial, letters, while Symbol fonts dispense with letters altogether and use symbols (Symbol, Wingdings, for example).


To make headings and other text items stand out, adjust the spacing above and below paragraphs. Here's how: Highlight the paragraph(s) you want to affect and choose Format, Line Spacing. Set the amount of space in the appropriate spin box: Between Lines, Before Paragraph, and After Paragraph. The Sample box will show you what it will look like. You can also press Ctrl-1 for single-spaced text, Ctrl-2 for double-spaced, Ctrl-5 for 1 1/2 spacing, and Ctrl-0 (that's a zero) to delete the space before a paragraph.


Publisher sets its paragraphs by default along the left edge of the text frame. Want them aligned some other way? You can align text down the right, centered, or justified all the way across the space. Highlight the paragraphs and try these options. Click on one of the four alignment icons on the Format toolbar (from left to right: Left, Center, Right, Justified). If you're mouse-phobic, use the keyboard: Ctrl-L for left justified, Ctrl-R for right justified, Ctrl-E for centered, or Ctrl-J for justified. Ctrl-Q will return your paragraph to the default format.


Using the Bulleted or Numbered List button (on the right of the Format toolbar) is very convenient for deleting bullets or numbers from a list. Just select the None option at the top of the menu.


In Publisher, the "current page" you're working on is the active page; it's the page on which your cursor is blinking right now. Only one page can ever be your current page, even if you have more than one page up on your screen. The current page is shown in the Change Pages box at the far left of the horizontal scroll bar. There are five ways to move to a page other than the current page:

  • Select View, Go To Page, then enter the number of the desired page in the Go To Page dialog box.
  • Press F5 to open the Go To Page dialog box, Shift-F5 to move to the next page in your document, and Ctrl-F5 to move to the previous page.
  • Click on the Change Pages box to bring up the Go To Page dialog box.
  • Click on the Previous Page or Next Page buttons, which are next to the Change Pages box.
  • Click on the First Page or Last Page buttons to move to the beginning or end of your document.


Done everything you need to do to your file? Saved it early and often? Then close it. There are four ways to close a publication: Choose File, Close Publication; open another Publisher file; click on Publisher's Close button at the far right of the title bar; or just exit Publisher. (If you've made changes recently and haven't saved them, Publisher will bring up the Save Changes dialog box to ask you to save your changes before it closes the file. Click on Yes to save the changes, No to ignore them, or Cancel to get rid of the Close operation and keep working on your publication.)


Formatting text? Take it easy on yourself and stop pulling down all those menu bars or clicking on screen icons. Once you've got your selected text highlighted, try these keyboard shortcuts:

  • Ctrl-B for bold text
  • Ctrl-U for underline
  • Ctrl-I for italic
  • Ctrl-= for superscript
  • Ctrl-Shift-= for subscript
  • Ctrl-Shift-K for small caps
  • And, best of all, Ctrl-Spacebar to remove all style formats from your highlighted text


The more you know about your audience, the better your presentationwill go. However, this can be a difficult task--especially since youmay not always have any prior knowledge of your audience. So you mayhave to try to read the audience in a matter of only a few minutes.

If the audience appears to be rather loud and you see a lot ofinteraction between them, you may be able to assume that, on theaverage, they are an outgoing group. As you make your presentation,you should try to emulate their style somewhat. You could try to acta bit more animated yourself. Move around a bit more than you mayhave practiced.

If your audience comes in, takes their seats, and seem to have littleto say to each other, you can assume that they are a rather seriousbunch. In this case, you might want to slow down a little. You shouldbe a bit quieter yourself and try not to move around too much.

By the way, this is just the type of audience that will ask thosetough questions. You should be prepared to accept some theoreticalquestions along with the more practical ones.

The best way to handle any situation is to anticipate thepossibilities and practice to cover them all. You should be ready toswitch gears as soon as you see what kind of audience you have.


Need to give an object just a little push to get it exactly where you want it on the page? Nudge it. Select the object you want to move into place, hold down the Alt key, press the appropriate arrow key (up, down, right, or left) and the object will move one pixel in the desired direction. You can change the distance it moves by choosing Arrange, Nudge Objects and entering a value up to 2 inches in the Nudge By text box. Use the abbreviation in for inches: cm for centimeters, pi for picas, and pt for points. You can also nudge the selected object using the arrows in this dialog box.


Forget what Miss Blume, your high school typing teacher, told you. In Publisher, or any word processing program for that matter, you do not have to press Enter at the end of every line or to force a line ending. Doing so tells Publisher that you've reached the end of a paragraph. Let Publisher word-wrap your text for you, which it will do automatically. Enter is only for the end of a paragraph or a short line as you would use in an address. (OK, OK--if you really need to force a line break without creating a new paragraph, press Shift-Enter. This is called a soft carriage return.)


Several subscribers have asked why you can perform certain tasks withClipArt that you can't with imported BMP files. The reason is thatClipArt consists of vector graphics. This means that all the drawingsare made from a series of lines and shapes.

You can see this if you ungroup a Clip Art file. To check this out inPowerPoint, select a ClipArt picture by clicking it. Now choose Draw,Ungroup. Now you can use the mouse to separate various picturecomponents. To break the picture into even more components, select itagain by pressing Ctrl-A. Choose Draw, Ungroup again to break downthe picture even further.

A bitmap file, on the other hand, is constructed of a collections ofsmall dots. You can't break this down into components. If you selecta bitmap picture and then choose Draw, you'll see that Ungroup isgrayed out.

In Corel Presentations, you can ungroup an object if you right-clickit and then choose Separate Objects.

Freelance works much like Corel Presentations: Right-click the objectand choose Ungroup.


When you draw objects in PowerPoint, you can add interest to yourslides by rotating or flipping some of the objects. Let's say youhave one of your own drawings on a PowerPoint slide. If you'd like toshow the same object on another slide using a different view, you canselect the object, choose Ctrl-C to copy it, and then move to a newslide and choose Ctrl-V to paste it.

Now that your object is in place on the new slide, click to select itand click the Free Rotate tool in the Drawing toolbar (it's a circlewith a green dot in the center). Now you can grab a corner of theobject to rotate it.

If you'd like to flip the object, select it and choose Draw, Rotateor Flip and then choose the type of Flip you want to apply.

You'll notice that you can't rotate or flip ClipArt objects becauseyou can only work with PowerPoint objects. As we've mentioned before,you can convert ClipArt to PowerPoint objects. To do this, select theobject and choose Draw, Ungroup. You'll be asked if you really wantto covert the object. Say yes. Now, leave the object selected andchoose Draw, Group. The object is now a PowerPoint object, and youcan flip it or rotate it to your heart's content.


Need to get rid of a page in your Publisher document? It's reallyeasy--and therein lies the rub. Once it gone, it's gone (and so iseverything on it), so be sure you're sure you want to delete it. Areyou sure?

First, go to the page you want to delete. Next, select Edit, DeletePage. If you're in Single Page view you'll get a just-making-surewarning box, and you can click OK or Cancel; if you're in Two-PageSpread view you'll get the option to delete Both Pages, Left PageOnly, or Right Page Only. Select the appropriate radio button, andclick OK.

If you accidentally delete a page, BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE,restore it by pressing Ctrl-Z or selecting Edit, Undo Delete Page.After you delete a page or pages, Publisher will renumber theremaining pages out of the kindness of its heart.