Accessories WordPad

This is a simple word processor, without many frills. It has two advantages over Notepad (an even simpler program) - it can format text, and it can cope with large files. It is a lot simpler than Word, and has no spell-checker.

WordPad deals with both plain text and formatted text. If you click on "File", "New" you will be asked what format you want. You probably won't want Unicode. If you want formatted text, choose "Rich Text Document" (it will produce considerably smaller files than Word format), otherwise choose "Text Document".

If you have started a file as a formatted text document and want to save it as plain text, make sure you choose "Text Document" next to "Save as type:". Don't just type "filename.txt" - it will save it as rich text with a .txt extension, which will cause all sorts of problems if you try to open the text file elsewhere.

Various formatting techniques are described in General Word Processing Topics - it works the same here as everywhere.

Things you may not be so familiar with are found under the "Insert" menu. "Date and Time..." does the fairly obvious, and you can choose several formats.

"Object" is more interesting. This uses a technique called OLE, used in several programs including WordPad. You may or may not find it useful (it's a pretty advanced topic). You are given a list of objects you can insert, there will be some you vaguely recognise and some weird ones. A good one to start with might be "Bitmap Image". Click "OK" and you will see WordPad suddenly turns into Paint. Draw some scribbles then click outside the image, and the program will turn back into WordPad. Different objects might produce different effects when you insert them, and some might not work at all.

This technique can be used for inserting pictures from an existing file. Click Insert, "Object", then click "Create from File", and "Browse...". Then find the file you want, click "Open" then "OK" and the image will appear in your document. If the rest of the document seems to have disappeared, try scrolling up. Double-clicking on the image will open the program usually used to edit that type of file. If you click on "Link" before inserting the object, then any changes you make to the file will also change the picture in the WordPad document. The reverse is also true.

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