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Using Writing and Research Aides

Although I may be dating myself, I am from pre-computer times. Those were the days when you either wrote with pen or pencil on paper or you typed on a typewriter. Maybe you even had a self-correcting typewriter that would allow you to make small corrections on the page without having to retype it. I bring this up as I do a lot of writing and editing, both business and personal, and most of the time these days, I am doing this using Word 7.

Word PopupsOne thing when writing or editing, is watching for the use of the same word to start a sentence, or any word or phrase used multiple times, especially in close proximity to each other. For example, if the word "but" was used over and over. When you right click on any word, in this case "but", you get two pop-up windows. In the larger of the two windows, moving your cursor over to choose "Synonyms" produces a list of alternative words or phrases that can be substituted. From here you can choose one from the list and your word will be replaced with the new word you clicked on.

There are numerous words and names that Word cannot give the correct spelling or any synonyms for them. From that same pop-up menu there is an option to "Look Up" and Word will research the word and show results in a new window on the right side of your screen. The default search is All Reference Books, which includes a dictionary and thesaurus. Other choices available include research, business and financial sites. You can even translate into another language. If you still can't find what you are looking for, you can then use the internet to search for your word. Just copy and paste the word into the Google (or the search engine you use) search box on your web browser and search.

Searching on the internet can produce more results and information on just about anything and everything and then some. While searching for some terms on the internet that Word couldn't find, I learned of a great marketplace in Athens, Greece, had several history lessons, and discovered more about witchcraft from words I looked up like juju, mojo and Dambala.

Of course, if you can't find what you are looking for with all the information that is available at your fingertips, you can always visit your local library!

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