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Tips for Authoring Templates – Part 1

Authoring templates requires accessing various options in the Microsoft® Word ribbon.

Sometimes Word switches the ribbon tab back to Home and away from XpressDox, which can make the navigation back to the XpressDox ribbon tab a tedious affair.

There are two very useful features in the ribbon versions of Word, which can make the template author’s life a lot easier.  These are the Access Key feature and the Quick Access Toolbar.

The Access Key feature is accessed by pressing the Alt key.  When this is done, the ribbon lights up with a number of Key Tips – one Key Tip per feature available.  The Key Tip for the XpressDox ribbon is D.  Press the D key and all the XpressDox buttons get their own Key Tip.  Press the required Key Tip (like  IF to Insert Field) and the function is executed.

It gets  better: if you right-click on a button in the ribbon (say the Insert Field button) then Word will show “Add to Quick Access Toolbar” as the first option in the right-click menu – if you choose this then the relevant button (in this example Insert Field) will be added to the Quick Access Toolbar (which starts off its life at the top left of the Word screen, but can be moved if you want it somewhere else).

Now, the Access Key feature (i.e. the Alt key) will immediately light up a Key Tip for each of the items in the Quick Access Toolbar – and in most cases this is just one key.  So, for example, pressing Alt and then 5 would perform an Insert Field (it might not be 5 that is pressed, but another key, depending on what other options were already in the Quick Access Toolbar when the Insert Field was added).