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Windows 2000 Pro: The Missing Manual by Sharon Crawford

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WordPad

WordPad is an odd duck: It's more elaborate than Notepad, but still falls far short of being a real word processing program like Microsoft Word. Still, it's a great help if you don't have Microsoft Word, because WordPad lets you open (and edit) Word files sent to you by other people. (If Microsoft Word isn't on your PC, then any icon with the filename extension .doc opens into WordPad when you double-click it. If you install Microsoft Word, however, it "takes over" the .doc extension, so that Word documents now open into Word.) WordPad can also open and create plain text files, Rich Text Format (RTF) documents, and Microsoft Write documents.

Tip

Like plain text files, Microsoft's Rich Text File format (RTF) is compatible with a wide variety of word processing and page-layout programs. But unlike text files, RTF files retain much of the formatting you'd find in a "pure" word-processing document, such as bold, italics, fonts, and embedded graphics. If you expect that a coworker might not have Word or WordPad, saving your documents in RTF format is a good idea.

To open WordPad, choose StartProgramsAccessoriesWordPad; you're shown an empty sheet of electronic typing paper. Just above the ruler, you'll find drop-down menus and icons that affect the formatting of your text, as shown in Figure 9-21. As in any word processor, you can apply these formats (such as bold, italic, or color) to text you've highlighted, or to text you're about to type. In other words, if you click the ...

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