Tech – for Everyone

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

How to Add Images and Color to Your Holiday Letters

Word Tricks Makes Letters Merrier (updated for ‘the Ribbon’)

It is the Holiday time of year. (Is it just me, or did 2013 pass-by rather quickly?) Each year at this time, I post this article which demonstrates a few tricks to make your Season’s Greetings letters more joyous, and your documents more visually interesting. Many of you already know the A-B-C basics of manipulating fonts and formatting, and so this will be review.. and loyal readers may remember this one..

Tip of the day: Add some festivity to your documents with fonts and color. MS Word has a lot of features and options built into it that allows for some very creative elements to be added to your correspondence, and is not at all limited to cold, “professional” documents. I’ll use Word for this demo, but you can do this in most text editors, and e-mail programs. Today I’m going to use a hypothetical holiday greeting letter to show how to add some fun. By default, Word sets the font to Calibri at 11 “points” in height. I have typed in my text, to get things started, and will demonstrate using this letter’s “opener”. As it is a header, I have “centered” the text. WD1 As you can see, this font and text does not quite convey the joy and cheer and “best wishes” I am hoping to express. In fact, this may as well say, “Memo from Giganti Corp.” Yawn! So first thing I’m going to do is ‘tweak’ the font style, and make some word bigger (louder), to express a less formal tone. WD2 I “highlighted” Season’s Greetings, and used the Font drop-down arrow and selected a cursive font– Lucida Handwriting (explore Word’s various fonts, and find the one you like best). I set the point size to 36. I repeated the process on the second sentence, but set the type smaller.. only 18. I think you’ll agree, this is much more “friendly” than the default’s look. But this is just not Festive enough! Let’s use some color and improve things some more. WD3 I have again “highlighted” season’s greetings to select this font, and then clicked the Font Color button on the Home tab. I then clicked on the little red box in the color-picker. Now season’s greetings is red. I want to alternate letters in green, so I hold down the Ctrl key and use my mouse to “select” every other letter. WD4 I didn’t really like the greens available on the color-picker, so I clicked on “More Colors”…. 5.jpg … and selected a green that contrasted nicely with the red– as the box in the lower right corner shows. This is the result of these steps. wd5a Much more jolly! But, something’s missing… WD5 Let’s add one more thing– a picture of a candy cane. I went on the Internet and found a Royalty-free graphic (though a piece of Clip Art would do just as nicely) and… wd6 Voila! I could ‘go crazy’, and get carried away with adding things here… but I hope you will be able to see by this little demonstration — using only two of Word’s functions — that you are limited only by your own creativity, and that it’s easy to personalize and ’spice up’ your documents. (I should have matched the greens… but ran out of time.. sorry.)

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Today’s quote: How ’bout some more Longfellow? “The life of a man consists not in seeing visions and in dreaming dreams, but in active charity and in willing service.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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All we really have, in the end, are our stories. Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

December 15, 2013 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, MS Office, MS Word, tech, word processors | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Goodbye 2010. I’ll Miss Ye Not.

Not one person I have spoken too has seemed sad to see 2010 go, and I have not (yet) had anyone say to me, “it was my best year ever!” I think, for myself anyway, I’m just glad I made it through. Simply put, 2010 was not my best year.

But neither was it my worst. Just one example, this website, and my scribblings here, did okay in 2010. We are still here. Tech – for Everyone seemed to defy the general trend, and actually grew last year — attendance was up.

I do not know what 2011, and the future, holds. But I do know I am hoping for significant improvement — not just for me, but for you too, Dear Reader. Whatever it was that made 2010 a challenge for you, I sincerely, ardently, hope 2011 is the year your fortitude and efforts are rewarded and that those things get successfully resolved.

For lack of a specific “tech topic” today. I decided I would join the crowd, and post a Top 10 of 2010 list. (I know. I heard you shout “yippee!”) Below you will find the top T4E articles – by number of reads – of last year. I have to say, they are good ones.. and you may have missed one or two.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Did you make any “resolutions” this year? (I get the vague impression doing so is not the “vogue” any more.) I only made one. And I hope it will have a marked impact on my “life’s situation”. I (also) hope I am not boring you, but, I will go ahead and share it with you — I have challenged myself to keep one thought at the forefront of my mind and my behavior. (Think of it as a “mantra”, if you like.) It goes:

I Must Do The Most Productive Thing Possible With This Moment

(And to be honest.. I am fairly sure writing this article does not fit in with that…)
I have made little signs, and posted them around, to help me remember.

2011 is here. Let’s make the most of it. Shall we? I would like to say to each and everyone reading this — I wish you a safe, successful, and happy new year!

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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January 1, 2011 Posted by | advice, blogging, tech | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Microsoft Office 2010 Technology Guarantee

Buy Office 2007 Today, Get Office 2010 Free

Today I received notice, via Amazon, that for a limited time Microsoft is offering a free upgrade deal. Purchase, install, and activate a qualifying Office 2007 product between March 5, 2010, Office 2010 logoand September 30, 2010, and you’ll be eligible to download Office 2010 at no additional cost. The Microsoft details page is here.

I noted, also, that Amazon’s price for Home and Student Edition is very competitive, and I was pleased to see that the option to have it on disc was free too. The Amazon page is here.

Some thoughts on Office 2007/2010:
I have been using “the new Office” since the beta of Office 2007, and am currently running the beta of 2010. I find the modest improvements in 2010 quite nice, but since I am not doing a lot of “online collaboration”, nor in a true business environment (no cubicle for me), I am not able to leverage all of its advanced features.

I have no trouble with the “new” Ribbon menu bars, and I love being able to preview, and then apply, formatting ‘dynamically’. But – and this is a pretty big ‘but’ here – longtime users of Office (97 – 2003) do not always find the transition to the new menus so… pleasant. Fortunately, Microsoft provides many aids for easing the transition to the newer way, such as the Office 2010 menu to ribbon reference workbooks. There is a learning curve going from Office 2003/older, yes.

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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April 9, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, Microsoft, MS Word, News, shopping for, software, tech, word processors | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Download The Latest Office Suite – Office 14

Folks, I have a “general policy” to avoid “beta” software.. even if it is “kewel” and even if it is free. (Beta, by it’s very definition, means “buggy“.) But Microsoft has become an exception to my “rule” about betas, as their most recent beta releases have proven remarkably stable and usable.

Microsoft’s latest “public beta” offering is a copy of the Professional Edition of Office 2010 (aka “Office 14”), and I have been using it for some time now. I am not a big Office user (I do most things “online”) but it seems to me that Office 2010 is a slightly smoother version of Office 2007 (ie, more “intuitive”).


The beta includes all the programs you would expect, and some bonus features as well. It expires in October of this year. At that time you will have the option to buy a license key, or you can simply uninstall it.

For those of you who would like to try the new Office, (without the cost or the commitment) and maybe meet the much talked about “ribbon” for the first time, click here for the official Microsoft download page.

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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January 25, 2010 Posted by | computers, Microsoft, PC, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments