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December 2007 Efficiency Newsletter

Technology does not create productive people. We do.

We at SET Consulting wish you a very happy holiday season. We have so much for which to be thankful, but a special thank you needs to go out to all of you for your continued business, friendship, and support.

We're excited to welcome a new member to the SET Consulting team, Nathan Ketsdever, who has joined us as a Productivity Evangelist. You'll soonfind his activities on our (productivity tip filled!) blog as we prepare to launch a web application that will tame your Inbox. In the coming month, you'll also soon find a new design for our website and an article in SmartCEO's Big Ideas book.

Tip of the Month

Word's Keep with Next

It always frustrates me when I see headings as the last line on a page, or when images are referred to and then pictured on the following page. Preventing this from happening is as easy as one checkbox: Keep with Next.

There are four different advanced page layout commands and it's important to understand how they relate to one another

  1. Within Word 97-2003, select Format > Paragraph. In Word 2007, click the Paragraph dialog box launcher. (Confused? Just press Alt+H for Home, and then PG for Paragraph.)
  2. Click the Line and Page Breaks tab. The first four options are the ones to consider:

Keep with next - keeps both the selected paragraph(s) and the one that follows it on the same page

You will mainly use this command with headings or paragraphs followed by images. Be careful not to use it with too many consecutive paragraphs or Word will layout paragraphs unpredictably.

Keep lines together - keeps (all of) the selected paragraph(s) on one page, rather than allowing the selection to divide between pages

This is not an option you will likely use very often as Widow/Orphan Control (described below) is usually the main issue to avoid.

Page break before - sets the selected paragraph(s) to start at the top of a new page

I recommend using this command instead of hard page breaks (Ctrl+Enter / Insert > Break, Page Break).

Widow/Orphan Control - this option is checked by default in Word. It prevents a Word from splitting a paragraph such that a single line appears at the beginning or end of a page.

It's usually helpful to have this enabled for all paragraph styles. That is, keep it on most of the time.

So, if you walk away with one tidbit today, it's that you should make sure Keep with Next is selected on all headings and before all paragraphs that are followed by images.

Tool of the Month

Gift Guides!

Here are some of my favorite gift guides for the holidays...

...and two business books that have helped me and that I highly recommend:

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