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Layout tips

Teenagers may be old hands at text-messaging from mobile phones, but sit them down with a word-processing package and they may reveal themselves as first-timers when it comes to footnotes.

At this time of year, staffon Microsoft's premium rate telephone help desk bracethemselves for an influx ofcalls from GCSE students juggling coursework deadlines and double line spacing.Most distress calls arriveonly hours before deadlines. There can be no better time to hand out tip sheets on page layout and run a quick survival course on word-processing essays.

Here are the most common problems which Microsoft expects to reach its helpline in the coming weeks.

All the solutions use functions contained in Microsoft's Word 97 that you access by clicking on the tool bar at the top of the screen.

Q I've typed up my essay, now I want it to look better.

A First, save what you have done so far. Then, in the unlikely event of things going wrong when you apply special formatting, you will have your original document. Then try resetting the left and right hand margins using File, Page Setup, Margins and then increasing the left and right hand margins.

For double line spacing, highlight all your text, click on Format, Paragraph and then select the spacing you want under Indents and Spacing. Add page numbers by clicking Insert, then Page Numbers. If you want a footer at the bottom of each page (perhaps your name and essay title), click View then Header and Footer.

Q What's the easiest way to make a contents page?

Q How do I add footnotes?

A Place the cursor where you want to add your footnote. Click Insert, Footnote then OK. Now type in your note. Word does everything else.

Q How do I avoid paragraphs that start at the bottom of the page?

A Select the paragraph you want to change, click Format, Paragraphs and then Page Break Before. There are options for controlling odd words on lines and keeping paragraphs with graphs together.

Q Do I have to type Romeo and Juliet every time I refer to it?

A No. Highlight the words "Romeo and Juliet", click Tools, AutoCorrect then AutoText. Type in "Romeo and Juliet" in the box and click Add. Now you can type the start of this phrase, say "Rom", and then press the F3 key and Word will do the rest.

Debbie Davies

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