Good writing routines

When using a word processor, you should be aware of some routines that have proven to be good. These principles include:

  • Try to write your text well from the start.
  • Use styles! Styles contain pre-set formatting (margins, font, line spacing, etc) that is stored under one name and that you can use to specify the structure of your document (headings, text body, table of contents etc). styles are used because the same formatting (font size, font) is often used for several documents. When the formatting has been saved in a style, you only have to set a certain text part (e.g. a heading) to use the style and it will automatically be formatted as you wish.
  • It is best to lay out text and images after the text is ready. Start laying them out from the start of the document and work your way to the end.
  • Use the automatic spell checker of your word processor if you can, but do not trust it implicitly. The final responsibility for the text lies with you.
  • If there are places in an otherwise ready text that will need some further work, you should mark them so that they are easy to find (e.g. “NOT FINISHED”), and you can later search for them with the Find feature of the word processor.
  • If the size of a document file increases due to using e.g. images, DO NOT split it into several files (if you do that, you will not be able to utilize styles). Check the size of images or other files you have added to the document; large images will easily increase the size of a document very much. If the document ends up very large despite smaller images, you can compress it before publishing it or sending it to others.
  • When you make a new version of a document with only slight changes, it is best to mark the changes in some way (e.g. highlight it). This will especially help someone else reading the document to find the changes.
  • It is best to save several versions of a long and important document while writing it.
  • If you need to add mathematical formulas to your document, you can use functions like the formula editor, the font symbol and upper and lower indexes. please read more about this subject later in this chapter (you can read more about formula editors here).
  • Remember your work ergonomics and to take time off for a stroll now and then. You can pre-empt problems with your shoulders, mouse hand, etc by using the keyboard instead of the mouse. Read more about the keyboard commands that will make your work easier.