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With more than 35 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company.
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Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Sign-in Sheets.
One common task in Word (particularly for those in charge of seminars or other public events) is to create sign-in sheets. You know the type of document I am talking about—one in which the sheet is full of horizontal lines where people write their name, address, and other information. (Exactly why are you at today's lecture, Ms. Jones? Hmmm?)
There are any number of ways you can create the horizontal lines in Word. One way is that you can type three dashes, press Enter a couple of times, type three more dashes, press Enter a couple of times, and keep doing this until you reach the end of the page. You can also use the table feature of Word to create a table for the information people will enter, and then just add a bottom border to the cells people will fill in.
The problem is that these approaches (and ones like them) can get very tedious over time. The quickest (and least tedious) approach I have found is to create a Word style for your sign-in lines. This style should rely on a creatively applied assortment of tabs to design the horizontal lines. For instance, if you want to leave space for a name, address, and phone number, you need three horizontal lines with two blank areas between the three. You can create such a line using tabs. Simply set them as follows:
It would also be helpful for the paragraph to have the Space Before attribute (paragraph formatting) set to something like 18 points.
With the style defined, just make sure that your page margins are set to one inch on the left and right, and you are ready to go. Apply the style to a paragraph and all you need to do is press tab five times for each row of underlines (five tabs, then Enter; five tabs, then Enter, etc.). I find this approach quick and easy, with professional-looking results every time.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1363) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Sign-in Sheets.
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