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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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WordPad

WordPad is a basic word processor (see Figure 11-13). Among other blessings, WordPad has a toolbar ribbon for quick access to formatting commands, and it can open and create Microsoft Word files. Yes, you can get away with not buying Microsoft Office, and none of your email business partners will ever know the difference.

WordPad’s formatting ribbon makes it a surprisingly close relative to Microsoft Word.

Figure 11-13. WordPad’s formatting ribbon makes it a surprisingly close relative to Microsoft Word.

And it’s not just Word files. WordPad also can open and create plain text files, Rich Text Format (RTF) documents, and OpenOffice.org files.

Using WordPad

When WordPad first opens, you see an empty sheet of electronic typing paper. Just above the ruler, the Ribbon offers menus and buttons that affect the formatting of your text. As in any word processor, you can apply these formats (like bold, italic, or color) to two kinds of text:

  • Text you’ve highlighted by dragging the mouse across it.

  • Text you’re about to type. In other words, if you click the I button, the next characters you type will be italicized. Click the I button a second time to turn off the italics.

The Font formatting buttons let you change the look of selected text: font, size, color, subscript, and so on. The Paragraph formatting buttons affect entire paragraphs, as shown in Figure 11-14.

These buttons make paragraphs flush left, centered, flush right, or bulleted as a list. You can drag through several paragraphs before clicking these buttons, or you can click these buttons to affect just the paragraph where your insertion point already is. The little L’s on the ruler indicate tab stops that have been clicked into place; each press of the Tab key makes the insertion point jump to the next one.

Figure 11-14. These ...

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