Paper-Writing Tech Tip

by Sep 13, 2010Dissertation, Tech7 comments

I’m writing a dissertation in Turabian format, which means double-spaced lines (except in footnotes). That, in turn, means I can’t see very much of my work at once:


By Word’s count, I can see 299 words on that screen.

But my writing style involves a lot of re-reading, looking back and forth within my argument, and re-arranging. And that means a lot of scrolling and a big chance that I’ll lose my place.

So I’ve begun to write almost exclusively in another mode called “Outline” view (View tab > Outline button). Instead of 299 words, I can see 1,074. I can also see the basic structural outline of my argument, because each successive heading level is indented. It’s much easier to follow the flow with that typographic visual aid.


Admittedly, I’m not seeing my footnotes. But in Outline view they open up in a separate window when I want them (and Alt+Shift+C makes them go away):


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  1. Don Johnson

    What version of Word are you using? I am using an ancient version, Word 2002. But I’ve always been able to hover over my footnote numbers with my mouse and the text of the footnote pops up.

    Also, don’t you have a Normal view anymore? It hides footnotes also, but allows you to see formatting?

    I use the Outline view all the time in sermon writing. I have set up custom styles for my various outline levels and can change levels by hitting tab or Shift-tab. It is very useful.

    But… I’m not upgrading until they really fix that ribbon thing.

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  2. Brian

    See about working on someone’s machine with Office 2007 or 2010. The ribbon may grow on you. I like it for two primary reasons.

    First, because it collapses, I gain a lot of screen real estate. In older versions, I placed my main icons on one customized tool bars, but this is even better because it is more compact.

    Second, if you like keyboard shortcuts, the Ribbon is great because it makes almost every command available via the keyboard.

    • Mark L Ward Jr

      Yes, and all your old keyboard shortcuts (or combinations, as in Alt then E then V, etc.) still work even with the new ribbon. Or at least all the ones I try to use.

  3. Don Johnson

    Yes, fellows, but personally I don’t like growths. Usually you go to a surgeon to get those removed.

    I have used the stupid ribbon on my parent’s machine. I still hate it. And I hate docx too. …. but I better quit!

    BTW, you didn’t answer whether your footnotes will show up as tooltips or not? One thing to note on that point is that there is a long standing known bug that causes the footnote tooltips to not behave properly. You hover over them and something flickers, but you can’t see your footnote. The solution is to click on the Document Map button, then click again to toggle it off. Then everything works as advertised for that session. I would assume it is a bug fixed in newer versions, but just in case you have a reader who has an older version and has this issue…

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  4. Don Johnson

    P.S. I can make any command in Word available by keyboard shortcuts already. This isn’t new (although it might be enhanced somehow) but older versions of Word already have many command preset and I can make any command (or macro, or font setting, etc) respond to my custom shortcut commands.


    They used to say you should never talk about politics and religion. I suppose we should add computers to that list, eh?

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  5. Duncan

    Dad, footnotes show in tooltips in outline view in my copy of Word 07, no Document Map hum-jiggery.

    Sounds to me like that bug’s been fixed, which sounds to me like another good reason for you to upgrade 😉

    But I know you never will, that’s OK 🙂

  6. Don Johnson

    Thanks for confirming that Duncan.

    Well, rumour has it that the next Word ribbon is better… but I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3