Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Dust off that old WordArt feature

In a recent articleI lamented the fact that with each new version of a software release, the program bloats with new code and new features. The other side of that coin happens when a feature you’ve come to value and rely on doesn’t make it from CoolProgram 4.3 to CoolProgram 5.0. You wait, and hope and pray that the makers of CoolProgram will re-add your feature in Version 6.0… but they don’t– and you’re stuck using a ten year-old program just for that one feature.
(And then Microsoft releases a new OS, and your program won’t run at all…)

Sometimes, though, those old features aren’t gone; they’re just forgotten. Like Word’s (6.0, I believe it was.. tho it may have been 5.3) revolutionary (for its time) graphic text tool, WordArt.
People loved WordArt like the new toy it was. Colorful, twisty (or “ballooned”) words showed up in the most unlikely documents. The brand-new technology — color printers — occurred at roughly this same time, and then we really had something. We went crazy with color and WordArt, and eventually Management had to make it Company Policy: NoWordArt. Period. Ever.
And like any fad, or new toy, WordArt faded into memory and lore.

A question I received from a fella who got himself volunteered into working on a church newsletter reminded me of that old feature, and I went and did some digging and I’m pleased to report that, yes, WordArt still is a feature in Microsoft Word. It hasn’t changed much over the years.. if it’s changed at all. It’s just sorta hard to find.

So take a trip with me down memory lane with me (or, if you’re too young to remember this little tool, just play along) and open Word and click on the “Insert” menu on your toolbar. Then select and click “Picture”.  And then, click “WordArt”.
insert.jpg

Word 2007 users will find WordArt on the “Insert” ribbon.
insert2007.jpg

And you will be presented with the WordArt Gallery, which (some of you will remember) is where the fun begins.
wagallery.jpg

While some of these representations may strike you as rather too-whimsical for any practical use, the elements are adjustable (color, ie.) and a little experimentation will bring you some very professional-looking results, and may provide just the “oomph” needed to spice up your document.
Select a style of WordArt — I have selected the lowest/left-est corner — and click on “OK”.
editwa.jpg
Select a font (I have chosen “Stencil”), a size, and you have the option to set for bold or italic, though I wouldn’t.. at least, not right away, and enter your text where it says, “your text here”.
Since I am thinking to create only a banner headline for my document, I have limited myself to three words– “tried and true”.  Here is what the top of my new document looks like, with those options selected:

sampletext.jpg

But I want it bigger and… snazzier. So I double-clicked on the three-words (which is the WordArt “object”) and an “Edit” menu opened which allows me to make those adjustments I mentioned earlier. I left the color alone, but changed the size.. and the shape.

If WordArt is something you want to use often, I suggest adding it to a Word toolbar. Doing so allows to to have the full-featured WordArt editor at a touchbutton. To do this, right-click on a toolbar, or better yet, a blank area next to a toolbar, and select the bottom choice from the context menu– “Customize”.
custtoolbr.jpg

Place a check in the checkbox next to WordArt (shown highlighted, but not checked).
Now one of two things will happen; either your existing toolbar will have new WordArt buttons (Insert, Shape, Font, Font Color, etc.), or a small WordArt toolbar will appear which is “floating”. In this latter case, move your cursor to the upper-left corner of the new toolbar and drag it to an open toolbar area, and “drop” it there. You have your choice of the upper (main toolbar) area, or on the bottom area where your word count is. That choice is up to you.

So whether you want to be whimsical and just add some color to your correspondence, or are trying to make a newsletter look like you’ve spent some money at the printers, dig into that “Insert” menu and do some WordArt. Experiment with the 3D effects, or shadows. Have some fun.

Today’s free link:Those of you with an eagle-eye noticed that I have Acrobat linked into my Word 2003. This is so that I can use Word to create PDF formats (which, frankly, I can’t remember ever doing…) as MS Word didn’t have this ability prior to the release of Office 2007. For those of you looking for this ability and you’re using an older Office version, you don’t have to pay for Acrobat. Download the free PrimoPDF.

Copyright 2007 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

Share this post :

 

November 19, 2007 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, MS Word, PC, tech | , , , , , , | Leave a comment