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Hard-Copy Journal

March 2000, Volume 16, Number 3

South Suburban Word Processing SIG


By Joe Nowak

The meeting started promptly at 7:00 PM in the Heritage Room of South Suburban Community College. Joe Nowak was the coordinator/presenter for the evening.

After the announcements about future meetings and an unconfirmed statement of victory for the South Side in the January membership contest (later confirmed by President Pete), Joe used Open Forum Q&A time to backtrack over previous questions that hadn’t been fully answered at past meetings.

At one meeting we discussed the use of the Keyboard module in Windows to reconfigure the keyboard, adapting it to foreign language layouts, including special characters. We could call forth and load the language keyboard but didn’t know quite how to use it. The answer is that once you have the keyboard loaded at the Keyboard utility, click on your choice keyboard action method of switching keyboards; also check placing the current language in the system tray. Then in any application all you have to do is a Left Alt + Shift and your keyboard is magically reconfigured to another language.

There was also a previous Word 97 question about wrapping text around a photograph (*.jpg) image. If you just Insert a JPEG image and go to Format Picture, all the word wrap commands are grey and unavailable. You must go to the Position Tab first and check Float Over Text. Then go to the Word Wrap Tab and all the wrap choices are available.

Presentation: Printing Options

The main program focused on the printer command. The focus was on the fact that there’s a lot more to printing than File / Print... / OK. You can still get by with that, but you could well be missing opportunities that ease your task and increase or speed up your satisfaction. The presentation addressed an often-overlooked convenience patiently waiting within your system, waiting to be summoned forth.


We all know that printing triad: File / Print…/ OK. But there’s more to printing than three little mouse clicks. The printer drivers that instruct your printer have more power of choice than merely that. We looked at some of the unclicked buttons of the Print command. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different printers in the world. Every one is just a little different than every other one. Because of this it was stressed that, “Things you see on the screen tonight may not be available when you try them with your printer. Things you don’t see tonight may appear.” Therefore attendees were encouraged to explore there own printer options when they returned to their own machines at home or office. Surprises and pleasures may be in store as indicated below.

What Printer?

Networked computers are frequently networked to various printers around the office. It is important to tell the word processor what printer you want to use. If you want to print a color copy of your PowerPoint Presentation you don’t want to send it to a black and white laser printer. The printer dialog box contains a drop-down box that contains a list of all printers capable of printing on your system. The list arises from the prior installation of hardware or software. Click on this box and select the printer you plan to use. You might also want to check if that printer has a sufficient supply of the desired paper

Other computers connect to multiple printers via an “A-B Switch Box.” This box redirects the output from your LPT1 port to a different printer. But be careful. Thinking before acting is useful in places other than Actors Studio. Just because you flip the switch for your color printer doesn’t mean you’re finished. You still have to go to the Printer drop down box and tell the computer to use the appropriate printer driver for your chosen printer. Failure to do this can lead to lots of wasted paper, frustration, regrettable epithets, and even hair-pulling (for those who can spare some).

When you change the printer choice you may find the sub dialog boxes may change. You may have more tabs/options or fewer; so if that happens, that’s why..

If you should buy a new printer that has just been released, be certain to install the correct driver. Most printer manufacturers will provide a disk containing the correct driver for the new printer. That is there for a reason, for convenience plus that the new printer may very well have features not present in earlier models for which the software was designed. Or the new printer may be completely unknown to earlier software. If you don’t, the first time you attempt to print could produce unpredictable results. If you change operating systems or add new software to your system and the printer gives you problems, go to the manufacturer’s Web site and download the latest driver for your printer. Printer drivers need to be updated just like any other software application.

What Pages Do You Want to Print?

A one-page document is simple. Click OK. What if you have a fifty-page document? Suppose you just corrected a spelling error on page 5. If your cursor is on page 5, choose File / Print… / Current Page. If you misspelled a name on pages 2, 5, 34, 35, and 36. Choose File / Print… / Multiple Pages. Then type “2,5,34-36” (without the quotation marks) and be certain not to use spaces between page numbers or punctuation. The printer will do just the specified pages and you do their replacement insertions among the others.

Printing in Reverse Order

Most laser printers deliver copy face down. Therefore when the pages come out the document is collated and all you have to do is even out the edges. But ink jet printers frequently deliver pages face up. That means that page 1 is under page 2 is under page 3… By choosing the Reverse Order option the pages come out with the last page on the bottom and the first page on the top. Just the way you intended.

Odd and Even Printing

When printing on both sides of a page, print the odd pages first. In publishing the odd numbered pages are on the right side and the even pages are on the left. After printing the odd pages, turn the printed pages over. Choose the opposite order the pages were printed in originally. Then print the even pages.

Warning: If your document has an odd number of pages, remove the last page before turning the pages over and add it after the even numbered pages have completed printing.

Portrait vs. Landscape

The overwhelming majority of documents will be printed in Portrait (11 inches tall, 8½ inches wide) format. Landscape (8½ inches tall, 11 inches wide) may be used in a variety of special situations. If the text size of the document is extremely large, as it might be for a list of features and benefits for a product the user may wish to print the material all on one side of a sheet and use columns to get the most efficient use of the paper. Or perhaps a large graphic needs to be displayed on a full page in landscape format.

And More…

Additional options allow a user to choose to print in color or black and white only (on color printers); control the dots per inch (dpi) of the copy; print to file, create and review a print history; print documents without their graphics being printed; print comments, styles, and properties; scale the printed copy; and more.

Users are encouraged to explore the print dialog box. Exploring the nooks and crannies of this word processing feature can be most beneficial.

End of Meeting

The meeting was concluded with the awarding of door prizes contributed by one of our members. A collection of WordPerfect for Windows 6.1 & 6.0 Macros was won by Jane Smith (the Chapter Coordinator), and Pete “Green Card” Lawrence won a HP 600 series Printer Cleaning Kit. The meeting was adjourned and the 59 attendees (1 new member) went home to try out their own print dialog box. :

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