Outlining Checklist

Why go to all this trouble with MS Word?

  • To master THE text application for business and for a lifetime
  • To learn how to learn an ugly program and make it your friend
  • To learn how to work with symbols, app logics, and structure

How do we learn in this class?

  • Know-How: I introduce concepts and methods, explain why and how this work is meaningful and important, and offer some brief demos: a start
  • Portfolios and Reflection: Your job is to follow the path I’ve set out for you, try things out, and keep track of your learning, including results, methods, overcoming difficulties, meeting standards, and achievement
  • How-To: You’ll also need to look things up, so start by getting to know MS Office support VERY well, and when necessary get to know other sources, such as Youtube videos or “Word for Idiots” and other guides designed for smart normal people who don’t think like Microsoft’s engineers
  • Team Work: DO NOT be a hero and try to do this all alone!!! Ask partners, friends, and me: academic achievement is strongly correlated with the ability to form, join, work in teams

How do we look things up?

  • For concepts and instructions, look up “YourOS MS Word YourVersion Support Your Topic,” for example, “OSX MS Word 2011 Support Outlining Shortcuts”, then browser search your topic, click drop down menus, and keep track of what you have found, how it works, and how to get back there again directly
  • Take some time to learn how your Microsoft Support pages are organized, what else is there, and be surprised at the little things you had not expected to find but help you understand what is going on: make this application your friend
  • Look as well for others who explain things better than Microsoft: you are not alone: millions suffer these technologies just like us, and some of them share what they have learned, and some of those speak your language: find them, too
  • Your aim is to map what you want to do, how the application is designed and differently explained, and develop your own shortcut-assisted workflow that will dissolve this truly ugly and terrible user interface and leave you with your very own, customized Ferrari!

Why and how to use Stickies?

  • Stickies are lightweight, brightly colored notes where you can type frequently used little things so you don’t forget
  • You want to learn how to use them as the first, maybe simplest and easiest, of a number of methods for the complex business of note-taking, method-developing, workflow-organizing that will change as your problems and needs change
  • Open them using an application launcher shortcut, such as command-spacebar (OS X) or tapping the Windows icon
  • Your notes will be easier to read (and more elegant) if you copy and use these keyboard symbols
  • Your notes will be easier to read when you learn how to create a succinct, well-designed note with a high signal/noise ration, like: Print/Outline/Header: ⌃⌘P/O/H

Why and how to use keyboard shortcuts and symbols

  • Learning to use shortcuts and symbols is absolutely essential to learning business information systems, because systems and applications are abstract and complicated: mastering those of MS Word will help you develop the skills you’ll need for HTML and the many other systems you’ll be learning in your lifetime; additionally, using a mouse risks carpel tunnel syndrome, and shortcuts make MS Word use a breeze; additionally, without shortcuts the Outline feature will defeat you
  • Look up shortcuts with your personal variation of “YourOS MS Word YourVersion Support Your topic”
  • As above, open up multiple tabs using ⌃-click + link and use your browser search, command/control F, “outlining” to skip to what you are looking for
  • If you are using non-English applications, be sure to write “support” in your language or add your language and in your language
  • To start, copy and use my symbol list into your Stickies, ⇧⌃⌥⌘ ⌫→←↑↓☐✓⇒☞ ↩︎, then copy and paste what you need along the way
  • To learn how shortcuts are registered and changed, look up How to Customize your OS X Keyboard and Add Shortcuts or Customize keyboard shortcuts Windows

For outlining, learn these MS Word commands

Create your own checklist in your Stickies and charge right ahead learning what you can on your own, better is with a partner, skip those you can’t figure out until you can get more help: add a shortcut after EACH of these functions.

  • Switch views: print, outline, headers
  • Select and move lines up and down
  • Promote/demote levels, display levels by #
  • Expand and Collapse levels
  • Display Levels
  • Show/Hide Ribbon
  • Zoom to page width/full page

For creating documents, learn these MS Word commands

  • View/Non Printing Characters/All
  • Insert page numbers in the header, click to the left of the number and type "Firstname, dd.mm.yy – “
  • Copy that "Firstname, dd.mm.yy – “, “save as”, then paste to create a consistent filename
  • insert new page break
  • Insert a table of contents

For greater efficiency and control of your PC, learn these OS routines

  • To reduce noise, learn how to organize your windows to fill your display: look up “windows manager YourOS free” and install and use one
  • To work faster, to open up applications with a simple keystroke, look up “application launch shortcuts YourOS”
  • To not lose your data when your system inevitably crashes or a little less often is stolen or damaged, visit my Security page and learn how to make daily backups

Learn how to insure consistent styles

The problem is, MS Word’s built-in styles are ugly, and if you change them later you’ll have a problem integrating different styles: better to start with my halfway-decent style and amend it as you go along: create a master file/template and stay with it

  • Look up “working with templates and styles MS Word YourVersion YourOS”
  • Open my “MS Word Style SS2017” and learn how to save it as both a master file and as a template so you can play with both
  • You want to save the styles, not the text, so delete all text, then “save as” .doc and again as .dot — the text and template formats.
  • When you save as .dot notice how the application has been programmed to save it in a special place, “My Templates,” because when you want to use this template you’ll need to go there
  • When you choose to create a new document from a template, the application opens up the main templates folder, and where you will find your “My Templates” as a sub-folder
  • Since you will likely be editing this template for other purposes, you do well to give this a specific name relating to where and when you got it, maybe “BizApps SS2017”
  • To update styles in a document, you can also copy styles from one document or template into another using the “ms word style organizer”; in this way, the styles associated with your headings 1-6 will be replaced: the structure remains the same, just the styles change: the variables MS Word looks up when it sees text wrapped in code that says “Heading 1” or whatever and applies.

For more, please see

  • Outlining Principles and Outlining Styles are my earlier versions and which I’ve re-written
  • A number of people offer alternatives to the standard MS Office Support guides and for their specific purposes, such as the University of Waterloo: WIN/MAC