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 Bullet List in MS Word. MS Word 2010 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 move 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 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 author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blog, Technology in Education featured blogger, IMS tech expert, and a bi-monthly contributor to Today’s Author. In her free time, she is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.