Puter Learning

Posted Wed, 09/29/10

I've never been one to enjoy schooling in any form, which is probably why I've learned computer programs on my own. It's been that way from the start, actually. The first time I worked a computer I absorbed the knowledge because I truly enjoyed it. It became a fascination/obsession if you will, and so it remains. I'm the same way when it comes to reading books. When I discover a genre or author that I like, I'll read everything I can get my hands on until my quest is satisfied. If I like something, I'm apt to remember details and other machinations long after the fact. This tendency encompasses a variety of subjects, two of which include history and computer language.

While I finished school with decent grades (apart from math), I always resisted topics that were uninteresting or forced as part of a curriculum. If it was something I hated, I would be hard-put to pay attention or retain the subject matter. This explains my complete indifference to anything math-related to the present day. Ironically, I understand all the functions because I've worked in various accounting positions over the years, but it's not something I've ever taken pleasure in or wish to pursue apart from the temporary income potential.

Fascination with all-things computer led me to professional web design. This eventually went further when I taught myself to make graphics from scratch. I'm no visual artist, but creating web buttons, logos and bits of clipart is fun for me. Doing a task hands-on is more valuable than sitting in a classroom as far as I'm concerned. There are some people who assume self-instruction translates into half-assed quality of work, which couldn't be farther from the truth in my case. I see unprofessional and lackluster web sites every day during my online excursions. I try not to be judgmental, but classic design, consistency and functionality is more important to me than garish banners and flashing buttons. Like writing and editing, web design is much about starting from the ground-up, recognizing problems and then fixing them. Maintaining fluidity is another similarity.

However, I do learn new tricks every day. It's a never-ending process, actually, and one I quite enjoy. Last week I put together a rather large spreadsheet using tables in Microsoft Word 2007. There were no sums involved, but rather a quick-glance cluster of information that went on for about six pages in small font. As much as I've worked with tables over time, I'd never learned how to repeat a table heading on subsequent pages (that is, column headings that repeat on every page so you don't have to keep referring to the first page for information).

The process is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Select the heading row or rows. The selection must include the first row of the table.

  2. Click the LAYOUT tab. Under TABLE TOOLS in the DATA group, click "Repeat Header Rows."

It's that simple. Sometimes the repeated table headings are visible only in Print Layout view or when actually printed, but I was able to see mine as I continued to work in the document.

Okay, the lecture and lesson is over for the day…

*Related Posts: Quick Format Fix (formatting paragraphs, 08/05/10); Puter Learning (table headings on every page, 09/29/10); Uncommon Headers (inserting a header on first page only, 11/21/10); Canadian English (spell-check using MS Works, 12/06/10); Typeover Tools (typeover function on keyboard, 12/23/10); Nested CSS Menus (vertical css menus, 03/19/11). For more tips and goodies, visit the Design Notes page at Webs Divine.

Tags: Web Design/Computer Misc