Monthly Archives: March 2016

Newsflash – Google discovers the secret of great teams!

After three years of research, the folks at Google, having penetrated the fog, bent the light fantastic, and opened the blackest of black boxes, recently revealed the secret of what makes a great team. In a recent New York Times Magazine article, What Google learned from its quest to build the perfect team, writer Charles… Read More »

Better looking tables in Word

Word tables don’t have to be hard to read when they’re filled with text. Using the default settings produces tables that look like this:   It’s not the world’s ugliest table, but it could certainly look better. First, reduce the width of columns one and two so that column three, with has the most text, is the… Read More »

Writing step-by-step procedures in Word

You don’t need expensive software like Adobe Framework to create easy-to-read, professionally formatted step-by-step procedures. You don’t need a graphic program to do screen captures either. Word and Paint can do it all. And Word and Paint, of course, are always available on a Windows machine. Step one Write the step by step procedures, apply autonumbering,… Read More »

Better living through typography

Typography is the art and craft and arranging text on the page and screen for maximum legibility and comprehension. We may not be aware of it, but every time we create a Word document we’re making typographic decisions – even if that only involves accepting Word’s default settings for things like line length, leading and… Read More »

Controlling line length in Flare

One of my pet peeves with online help systems is how often they violate basic rules about line length in text blocks. The rule, simply put, is this: short and long lines are hard to read. Very long lines are impossible to read. The traditional rule in print typography says body text should be two to… Read More »

Customize Flare’s tripane icons

It’s a nice touch to customize the icons used in Flare’s tripane online help. Sometimes small design touches make a noticeable contribution to the polish and professionalism of online help. Besides, the default icons are a hideous lime green and deserve to be replaced. In this post I’ll take you through the steps of finding… Read More »

Better Flare typography thanks to CSS

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) give you a lot of control over typography on web pages. In this post, I’ll focus on how to change two settings to give your text a more polished and professional look. These settings are available to you in any CSS file, whether you are viewing it in the Editor window… Read More »

Why I like the way Warren Buffett writes

Every year at this time Warren Buffett writes a single-spaced, 31-page “letter” to his shareholders. The document in PDF is plain and unadorned. It has no title page or table of contents. It has no fancy images, no graphs or bar charts. It begins with a one-page table showing the performance of Berkshire Hathaway shares… Read More »

Good communication can be habit forming

Every morning before work I go for a walk around the lake in the park near our apartment, accompanied by Colville, our 12-year-old English Lab. The walk takes about 20 minutes, so I’m guessing it’s a mile or so. I started the morning walk after we moved back to Vancouver from Toronto, and now it’s… Read More »