My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

OpenOffice.org just made my day

Navigator is your friend.

Word processors are more than electronic typewriters. They are massively useful programs designed not only to help you write a document, but to help you organise your document. If you use your word processor just to write things in a linear fashion, good for you--but you're totally missing out on this whole other world, this whole facet of word processing that makes a computer superior to an ordinary manual typewriter.

Anyway, so I've got this 511 page manuscript lying around on my hard drive (and in pieces on my desk--ouch, paper cuts). I was feeling rather grim because chapter 10, in retrospect, needs some work. In fact, the earlier chapters could use more zing. That is neither here nor there.

While formatting my manuscript (Courier 12, double spaced, all that jazz), I took the time to designate each chapter as a "heading". This automatically assigns it importance in the hierarchy of the document. I knew that it would come in handy later, but now I've just come across something that makes me tingle: promotion and demotion. Yes indeed. ^_^ With the click of a button, I can move an entire chapter up or down the document without any of that tedious mucking about with copy and paste. OpenOffice.org's Navigator just rocked my world. Although I don't know how much straight chapter reordering I'd want to do right now, it will definitely come in handy in the future.

See? Technology can work for instead of against you sometimes.