Since I posted the standard format refresher a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been getting a lot of technical questions about how to do certain things in word processing programs. The header, for instance, or the page number. Since most of these questions have been coming in via e-mail, rather than posted as comments on the blog — a choice which usually indicates the asker’s desire for privacy — I’m beginning to suspect that people are a trifle embarrassed to admit that that they aren’t completely familiar with their word processing programs.
Please don’t be — it isn’t as though these technical matters are something anyone is born knowing. I want this space to be as helpful to aspiring writers as possible, so please do feel free to post questions like this anonymously, if you prefer.
Please do post them as questions on the blog, however, rather than sending them via e-mail, though, so that everyone can have the benefit of the answer. Chances are that if you have been confused about something, so have dozens of other readers, so go ahead and ask. How do I know about the one-to-dozens ratio, you ask? By checking my inbox. It really is substantially more efficient if I can answer the questions for everyone, rather than on a one-on-one basis. Not to mention the distinct possibility that e-mails might be mistaken for spam by my e-mail program. (It’s been going a little nuts with the deletions lately, what with all of those stock offers bombarding us all in recent weeks. And whoever keeps trying to post links to Italian porn sites here, CUT IT OUT.)
Also, if I can answer the questions here, the solutions will be easily found by future askers by pulling up the FORMATTING MANUSCRIPTS list at right. Clever, eh?
On a totally unrelated matter, some psychic little bird told me that the advice to include the trademark symbol™ after trademarked names in submissions may be presenting some of my readers with a technical problem: short of laboriously changing the type to superscript, to hoist those two letter into the air, how does one insert the symbol into the text?
Since the industry runs, with few exceptions, on Microsoft Word, here are a few ways to insert the trademark symbol in that program. The most straightforward way is to go to the INSERT menu and select SYMBOL… The normal text options includes the TM mark.
On a Mac, you can also just press OPTION and the 2 key simultaneously, but I don’t know if that works on a PC. (Anyone? Anyone?) What I do know works on both is to type ™; the Autoformat will change that to the trademark symbol.
I’ve never tried to insert a trademark in Wordperfect, though, so you’re on your own there. Unless some kind soul out there knows, and is willing to share?