Tech Tips for Writers is an (almost) weekly post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future Tip.
Q: I always outline before I write my novel. What’s an easy way to do that?
A: Outlining can’t be easier than doing it in Word. Here’s what you do:
- Select the Numbered List or the Bullet List in MS Word. MS Word 2010 even lets you select the style up front. MS Word 2003–it’s a bit more complicated
- Your first bullet or number appears on the screen. Type your item
- Push enter to add another number or bullet
- To create a subpoint, push tab after you’ve pushed enter to start the next bullet/number
- To push a subpoint up a level, push Shift+tab after you’ve pushed enter for the next bullet/number
That’s it–three keys:
- bullet list or numbered list
- tab to indent
- Shift+tab to exdent
The biggest problem is when you inadvertently get outside of the numbered/bullet list. If that happens, do one of two simple steps:
- backspace until their cursor is up against the last bullet/number, then push enter to generate the next bullet/number
- click the tool for bullet/numbered list and reactivate the list
Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-sixth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a bi-weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.