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Keyboard Short Cuts

I have found that I can do some computer processes much faster by using keyboard short cuts. These work with almost any windows programs. Here are my favorites.

CTRL + C will copy text after it has been highlighted.

CTRL + V will paste text that you have copied.

CTRL + A will highlight all of the document for copying.

CTRL + X will cut text after it has been highlighted.

CRTL + Z will undo any change that you have done.

CTRL + ESC will bring up the Start Menu.

SHIFT + F3 will turn all capitalized text into lowercase.

SHIFT + DELETE will delete an item immediately without placing it in the Recycle Bin.

ALT + TAB will bring up a Window with a list of icons representing programs which are currently running on your computer. While holding the ALT key, press and depress the TAB button to cycle between each icon task.

ALT + ESC will switch to the next task running on your computer. Hold down the ALT before pressing and depressing the ESC key to cycle to the next task.

CTRL + ALT + DELETE will bring up Task Manager and allow you to end a process (terminate a program) if it has crashed or has stopped responding. Select the process which has stopped responding, and then press “END PROCESS”.

SHIFT + INSERT will paste any text that is in your clipboard. Your cursor must also be placed in an area that will accept keyboard input for this to work.

Try these out and see which short cuts will help you. I hope these help you to not only produce your book faster but make all of your computer interactions easier. If you have another short cut that you like, add it in a comment.

Chris Stevenson 

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Choosing the Fonts for Your Book

There are so many fonts available so you can really have some fun with the design of your book. There are decorative fonts, plain fonts, and everything in between. So, how do you choose? Do you go for the “look” or “readability” or both? These are great questions that don’t have simple answers.

Don Campbell has done a great job of explaining (in easy to understand terms) the intricacies of fonts. I would suggest that you read it. Here is a link to his page:

Don’s suggestion is a great one and I would agree with him to do the following test of the font that you want to use in your book. “Print a full page of text in the format of your book and at the page size of your book. Cut those pages in their final book size and place them into a book that is about the right size to see how they look and “feel” in a book. Scan your eyes back and forth and see how readable the text is. Test how easy it is to rapidly scan from the end of one line to the beginning of the next line. If you carry out this kind of text, varying the font, the font size, the leading and the book formatting you will start to realize that fonts which look fine in a small sample may be tiring or unpleasant to read in a book. In the end, the choice is yours and may actually affect whether your book gets read all the way through.”

The most common fonts that we see in the books we publish is Times New Roman, Bookman Old Style, Georgia, and Century Schoolbook. They are very readable fonts. When you have chosen the fonts that you want in your book, you will need to make sure that the publisher can print those fonts. Or by creating a PDF file then you don’t have to worry if the publisher has the fonts. (See my post on File Formats for more information about this.) Happy font hunting!

Chris Stevenson

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More Than One Volume

How many pages will fit into one book? This is a question that I get asked every now and then. They usually have a very long history and need to know at what point it would need to be split into two volumes. I think there are two different principles involved. First, is there a logical split because of the content? If you have two different family lines then it might make sense to split it into two different books. Second, if the book is so large that it is going to be hard on the binding as well as uncomfortable for the reader to hold, then two volumes makes sense. The general guidelines that I use for hardbound books is a minimum of 100 pages (50 sheets) and a maximum of 700 pages (350 sheets). If your book falls between these two numbers then you should be just fine. If you are less than 100 pages, then you might consider changing the binding to a soft bound book. The harder situation is when you are over 700 pages. There are a few things that you can do to make this fit into one book. You can change the margins to a smaller number and you can change the point size of the font to a smaller font. Both of these will decrease the number of pages in your book but will also make it a little harder to read. Hard choices. If your book is still too long, then you should decide to separate it into two volumes. Oh, and by the way, good work gathering and writing all that information. That many pages represents a huge effort.

Chris Stevenson