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Chapter 28. Customizing Word > Changing Editing Options

Changing Editing Options

If you've been working with Word for quite some time, you've probably become very comfortable with Word's default editing settings. If you're relatively new to Word, you may find some of them strange and want to change them. Editing behavior is controlled through the Edit tab of the Options dialog box (see Figure 28.31).

  • Typing Replaces Selection. This option is on by default, which means that you can replace text by selecting it and typing over it. That makes editing faster, and most people like it. Others find themselves deleting text they meant to keep. If you find that happening, clear the check box.

  • Drag-and-Drop Text Editing. This option, which is also on by default, activates the Windows drag-and-drop feature. With this feature turned on you can select text, click, and drag the text to a new location. Some people find drag and drop an especially intuitive way of moving text. Others find that they accidentally move text when drag and drop is enabled. If you want to turn it off, clear the check box.

    Figure 28.31. The Edit tab controls how Word responds as you enter and edit text.

  • Use the INS Key for Paste. If this option is checked, the Insert key pastes text from your Clipboard into your document. In Word 95 and previous versions, INS normally toggled Overtype mode on and off unless you checked this box. However, Microsoft has disabled that toggle. As a result, checking this box gives you another convenient way to insert text without losing any capabilities that aren't already gone. In Insert mode, Word inserts text as you type and moves existing text to its right. In Overtype mode, Word instead replaces existing text, one character at a time, as you type "into it." You can turn on Overtype mode by double-clicking OVR in the status bar, or you can do it here by checking the Overtype Mode check box.

  • Use Smart Cut and Paste. Checking this option tells Word to eliminate any extra spaces you might leave when you delete text, or extra spaces you might insert when you paste text. In effect, Smart Cut and Paste makes sure there is exactly one space between each word in a sentence. It's another way in which Word acts as if it knows better than you do. The fact is, Word is almost always right, but some people find features like these a little presumptuous.

  • Tabs and Backspace Set Left Indent. This option is turned on by default; it enables you to increase and decrease left indents at the beginning of a paragraph by pressing the Tab and Backspace keys.

  • Allow Accented Uppercase in French. This option tells Word it can suggest accented uppercase characters as corrections when proofing, or as options in the Change Case dialog box. This works only for text formatted as French, and it works only if you have French proofing tools installed.

  • When Selecting, Automatically Select Entire Word. This option is a shortcut designed to make it easier to select large blocks of text. You don't have to precisely start at the beginning of a word to select the whole word. Rather, as soon as you select the space after a word, the program assumes you intended to select the whole word. It works backward, too; with this box checked, Word selects the word ahead of the selection if you have already selected one word and are starting to select another. Some people don't like Word to make assumptions about what they intend to select. If that's you, clear the check box.

  • Picture Editor. This drop-down box enables you to choose which drawing or image editing program will open when you double-click an image in your document. Typically, the choices are Microsoft Word (in other words, Word's built-in picture editing feature), or Microsoft Photo Editor 3.0 (if you have installed it). Other imaging tools registered as OLE applications might appear as well.

  • Enable Click and Type. Checking this option enables you to choose whether you want to use Word's new feature, which enables you to double-click anywhere on a page and start typing there. Click and Type sets a tab wherever you use it. The feature is turned on by default; if you don't want stray tabs in your document, or if you find it confusing, clear the check box.

  • Default Paragraph Style. This option enables you to choose which style Word should use for new paragraphs that are created when you use Word's Click and Type feature. (Existing paragraphs aren't changed.) For example, if you start with a new blank document and double-click in the middle of the document, the first paragraph will remain in Normal style, but all the paragraphs inserted by the Click and Type feature—including the one that includes the insertion point—will be formatted with the style shown in this box.



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