Re: Page Margins in Word

Subject: Re: Page Margins in Word
From: hls_ut -at- comcast -dot- net
To: "Bonnie Granat" <bgranat -at- granatedit -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 09 Aug 2006 17:03:02 +0000


I haven't spotted a reply on the list yet, so here goes. I've been doing this in Word for years. I don't know if there's any name for this strategy, but I've heard this layout referred to as two or three column, or as using a scholar's margin.


I set my left margin to 3".

I create a table, say a field-definition table, that is three columns wide. The right two columns (Field and Definition) are within the margin area and have printing borders. The left column, with no printed borders and used only for notes and warnings, is outside the margin area.

To do this (in Word 2002), go to Table > Table Properties. On the Table tab, I enter "-1.93" in the Indent from left field (make sure the table is left-aligned).

Once it's set up and formatted with the correct styles, I created an autotext entry in my template that inserts this table as a blank stub, with headings and three subsequent rows. Watch me create field definition tables with blazing speed and amazing consistency! ;-)

To allow for notes in the left margin, next to paragraphs, I start by sticking a text box in that left margin exactly where I want it, formatting it using the correct style, then converting it to a frame. It's been a while so I forget the specifics, but this is what makes the magic happen for me: I then update the style to match the currently selected text in the frame. Then, when I want to turn any text into a note alongside a paragraph, I use my keyboard shortcut for that note style on said text and presto-chango, it sticks it in a frame off in the that lovely scholar's margin. Ooops, want to change it back, use the keyboard shortcut for my paragraph style. Slick, fast and painless.

I've had pretty good success with this approach, and the documents (even back in the late '90s) were upwards of 300 pages, chock full of screen shots and tables. I still use a template like this, and rarely have issues with stability or corruption, though the documents now rarely approach 100 pages each.

If you want more details, or help if you decide to try this, let me know. (There are a few finesse points I didn't include above.)

---------------hls_ut -at- comcast -dot- net

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