Word 2016: A guide to its desktop publishing tools

Microsoft Word has come a long way since the “pre-Windows, non-mouse” versions used between 1983 to 1990. Back then, there were NO graphics, not even a graphical user interface. The Word 1.0 for Windows 3.0 version was a notable improvement, but then it took two decades for Microsoft to figure out how to integrate quality graphics successfully.

01b insert your own images from hard drive or other source JD Sartain / PC World

Insert images from a hard drive or other source.

Now, with Word’s many amazing graphical improvements, our jobs are much easier, plus you don’t need a separate desktop publishing program anymore. Word 2016 can now adequately fulfill that task. 

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Photoshop fonts: Creating swashes, swirls and flourishes

In our first story on Photoshop fonts, we covered font and paragraph attributes, plus how to alter the shapes of a word, phrase, or sentence, which (obviously) affects the shapes of the fonts. The instructions targeted Creative Suite users, which means the path to altering a string of text is Edit > Transform > Warp. If you’re using Photoshop version 6.x or 7.x (pre-Creative Suite), the Warp feature is under Layer > Type > Warp Text.

This follow-up article explains how to add swashes, swirls, and flourishes that turn words into a visual feast. Nothing makes typefaces pop more than a few well-placed calligraphic swirls. Even though some fonts already fall into the script or calligraphy categories, they can be difficult to read and are often too decorative for a full word or phrase.

01 overdone typefaces with too much or too little JD Sartain / PC World

Overdone typefaces

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How to use Gmail's Google Tasks as your daily to-do list

Dedicated to-do apps abound, but one of the best may be right in your inbox. Google Tasks, integrated into Gmail, provides a simple way to create ordered task lists, complete with due dates, and even turn emails into action items. Here’s how to get started.

Create a task

add to tasks PCWorld

With Google Tasks you can create a to-do list right in your inbox.

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Photoshop fonts: Using Text Type and Text Editing to transform fonts

One of Adobe Photoshop’s many talents at your disposal is the ability to create and decorate fonts. This tutorial is for beginners, and the instructions are applicable for Photoshop Creative Suite 1 through 6.

Character attributes

1. Open Photoshop and select File > New > Name. For this example, we’ll call it FabFonts1 and make these further choices: 

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Windows 10: How to customize multi-finger touchpad gestures

One of the biggest improvements the Creators Update recently brought to Windows 10 was enhanced support for Precision Touchpads, the built-in mousepads on select laptops that support multi-touch gestures. As many a Mac user knows, the ability to use one-, two-, and three-finger gestures to navigate apps, switch desktops, and perform various clicks and selections can really speed up your workflow. Here’s how to configure these settings on your Windows 10 device.

Open touchpad settings

From the Start menu, go to Settings > Devices > Touchpad to access your touchpad options. You should see “Your PC has a precision touchpad” at the top of this page. (If you don’t, your device doesn’t support a precision touchpad and you won’t see any of the associated options.)

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How to use Microsoft Excel's Conditional Formatting

Microsoft Excel's conditional formatting is a wonderful "automatic" feature that allows you to formats cells based on the value of those cells or the value of the formulas in those cells. For example, you can specify that all the sales totals in your spreadsheet that exceed $5,000 are highlighted in yellow; or all the dates prior to the current year use a dark-green font; or use a shape or ratings icon to flag all duplicate values above 12,000. The options are endless and, in addition to all the preset formats, you can create your own custom formatting rules.

The best thing about this feature is that it provides a quick snapshot of your spreadsheet when you view it or show it to others. Because the formatting is based on values, you don't have to do anything to make it work except update your data.

A. Format cells that meet these value conditions

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Google Slides: 3 Chrome extensions for better presentations

Google Slides has become a popular presentation app for those who want to avoid the complexity and cost of Microsoft’s PowerPoint. It offers everything you need to create and collaborate on professional-looking slides. But like all Google’s productivity apps, its capabilities can be expanded and improved with a few choice Chrome extensions. Here are three you should use with your next presentation.

Auto Resize Speaker Notes

One of Google Slides great features is speaker notes, which allow the presenter to view talking points for each slide. However, a common complaint is that the space allotted for them renders the slide previews small and unreadable, which effectively defeats their purpose.

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