Janet Temos, the director of the Educational Technologies Center at Princeton University, spoke to a Productive Scholar audience about Word 2011 to share some of its less obvious features, such as styles, templates, themes, and interoperability features in Microsoft Office applications.
Temos started by talking about Powerpoint, and demonstrated how most users are familiar with choosing themes to style their presentations. She used this familiarity to show similar features in Word. She gave the example of a user writing a report, and getting feedback on a draft that all chapter headings be centered, not right aligned. If a user applies styles to the text, such as chapter headings being styled as “Heading 1”, as they write, this change becomes a quick and easy two-click change by simply changing the settings of the “Heading 1” style which then carries those changes to all text styled as such. By turning on “Navigation” under the View ribbon, you can see the outlined structure of the document as you apply styles, and quickly go to those areas of your document with a click.
Themes are collections of styles, colors, fonts, sizing, and other design aspects of documents packaged as a single applicable choice. You can quickly take a well-styled document, where titles, chapters, and body content are properly tagged with styles, and quickly apply different themes in order to add new flavor and variety to documents.
Templates are starting points for documents that are always similarly styled. If you find yourself writing a lot of reports, it makes sense to either find and download an existing Word Document template for reports that you can customize, or create your own and start with it each time, so that you need not spend any time re-styling or re-theming your new reports.
Because Microsoft Office comes as a suite, many users have the benefit of more than one Office application installed such as the ability to use charted data in Excel to inform and update a chart in Word. You can also apply the theme that you are using in Word to the chart so that the visual introduction of the data becomes seamless in your document.
When you added an image to Word documents in the past, you had to open a separate image editing application to make changes to the image. Word 2011 has many powerful image editing capabilities built-in, such as the ability to crop, re-size, and affect the brightness & contrast of an image.
Some related resources that Temos shared include:
TechSmith Jing, for creating advanced screen captures and annotations. http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html
Templates from Endnote. http://endnote.com/downloads/templates
Temos created a list of resources at http://bit.ly/stylesheets that includes a Princeton University Dissertation template.
Her presentation from this session is available here:
Here is a screencast of the session for you to watch and hear everything that she did during the session.