John: So you still use it full screen but just on this narrower monitor?
Alwyn: Yes, it’s a 4:3 monitor, but this is a higher resolution. This is a 1080p monitor [the 4:3 one we’ve moved to], this one isn’t [the other monitor is 16:9]. As you can see this is zoomed at 100% and you can clearly read everything on this. I can edit both sides of the page, whereas on this one you don’t get the full page at 100%. [Because the display is wider.] So this gives me what the layout is going to look like, before I print it.
John: Can you tell us a little about the images? Say, if you wanted to move one of the images or swap out an image for something else?
Alwyn: Well those images are static, they don’t go anywhere. Back when the vicar used to do the notices it used to have images in, but I found that images are very poorly behaved in Word.
John: In what way?
Alwyn: They just go haywire and mess everything else up. Depending how you ‘anchor’ them. You can anchor to the page, … *Alwyn shows many options in the context menu.* See, here you can… *Alwyn drags the image around. Text reflows freely.* It’s just not nice to deal with in a document like this.
John: Why this document in particular?
Alwyn: Because all this information has to fit on exactly two sides of A5, and adding pictures in, you have to anchor it to the right point, or it all just goes to pot. *Alwyn is in the ribbon trying to change the anchor and text wrapping setting.* I don’t even know where the options for anchoring are I use them so infrequently. But if I start moving that, which is the anchor point, it… what is wrong with you? *Alwyn struggles to move the anchor between columns.* I don’t like having to move it all around freehand and get it in the right place.
John: Are there any other tools you might use for laying out or creating this sort of document, where there are strong constraints on how long the document can be, and you have to get a lot of information into a small space?
Alwyn: This is a document which is intended to be A5 double sided, so in Word it’s set up as a landscape A4 page, with the front on the left and the back on the right, and it’s just two columns. And then everything else is in tables, so this up here, the date, the liturgical week, that’s a table. The images and the title, is a three cell table. The services are in a table. The memorial dates and the prayer lists are in tables nested in a table. The notices in the back are in another table.
John: So you find the table quite a useful feature for layout work as well then?
Alwyn: For laying out a document such as the bulletin, yes. But tables break as well. If a table reaches the bottom of the page, and just touches the bottom, Word inserts another page, and you can’t get rid of it. *Alwyn demonstrates in the bulletin by stretching a table and repeatedly pressing backspace from the start of the newly inserted page.*
John: Is this quite common with tables then, you’ve used the table to work around some of the ways the page can break, but then it can still break in a new and unexpected way?
Alwyn: No, it’s a case of sometimes, there’s only one or two notices on a sheet, sometimes the back page is completely filled, and if that table comes to the bottom Word will insert this new page. So, when it comes to exporting the document as a PDF, you have to select what pages to export.