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8.1 Finishing your Documents

There are several important steps you should check off to complete your documents. In this section, we will cover four of these skills for both MS Word and LO Writer. These are:

# 1 How to add links with MS Word and LO Writer

#2 How to Check Spelling with LO Writer and MS Word

#3 How to Insert Synonyms with the Thesaurus

#4 Get an Independent Review with a print copy.

(we will cover tracked comments and changes in a later chapter)

# 1 How to add links

Links are connections that readers can copy and paste or click on to access a particular web page. There are three primary methods for adding links to documents. These are

- hidden links or links inserted into words inside of a paragraph,

- exposed links at the end of a paragraph and

- footer links at the bottom of a page.

We will demonstrate all three kinds of links first with MS Word and then with LO Writer. But first I want to give a brief editorial:

Why using Hidden Links is very bad practice
The most common method for providing links is to select a section of text, then click on the link button in either MS Word or LO Writer and then paste in a URL that had been previously copied from a web page. When the reader clicks on the words, they will be taken to the link page.

The reason this method is so popular is because it looks pretty. But there are severe downsides to hidden links. The first and worst downside is that the reader cannot tell if the link leads to a malicious page. I want to cut down on hacking attacks. One way to do this is to expose all links so that readers can get in the good habit of reading the link and evaluating the link before clicking on it.

The second problem with hidden links is that – even if it is not a malicious link – the reader is often mislead into believing that a claim is well sourced because there is one or more (hidden) links supporting the claim. Corrupt writers know that most readers rarely have the time to click on links. They will tend to believe whatever the writer says just because there are some links supporting the claim.

If readers could actually see the links, they may realize that the links do not support the claims of the author and in fact may simply be links to the local burger stand. In fact, what looks like links to several different sources may all be links to the same source.

This is why I am a huge advocate of exposing the link at the end of a paragraph. Whatever claims are made in the paragraph should be supported by one or more exposed links at the end of the paragraph. The reader can then evaluate for themselves whether the links support the claims and they can also evaluate the safety of the links before clicking on the pages.

The third place to put a link is as a footnote at the bottom of the page. This used to be a common practice when everyone read nothing but print books and print magazines. But footnotes are less useful in the modern era because 10 page of text is commonly placed on a single web page. This moves the footnote to far away from the claim it is supporting. I therefore always recommend putting links at the end of paragraphs rather than hiding them in words in a paragraph or deferring them to a footnote at the bottom of the page.

How to Insert a Hidden Link to a few words in a paragraph with MS Word

Open a web browser and go to a web page you want to copy the URL from. Here is a URL to the Home page of our course website:

https://betterwordprocessing.com/

Select and copy the link from the browser. With this link still in your clipboard, open a blank MS Word Document and type:

This is my first hidden link.

Then select the words hidden link.

Then click Insert Links. Then click on the Link option.

 

You will see this screen:

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Click on Insert Link. That brings up this screen

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The screen displays the selected words at the top and has a blank space called Address at the bottom. Paste the URL into the address. Then click OK.

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The selected words will now display a different color and possibly be underlined. If you hover over the selected words, the link will be revealed. To visit the page of this link, press Control on your keyboard and then click on the link. This will open the link in a browser.

How to Add an Exposed Link at the end of a Paragraph with MS Word

To add an exposed link at the end of a paragraph. Type a sentence like

This is a great website to learn word processing:

Then enter a new line, right click and paste the URL into the document.

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How to Insert a Hidden Link to a few words in a paragraph with LO Writer

Copy your link from a browser as above. Then open a new document with LO Writer and type.

This is my second hidden link.

Then select the words hidden link.

Then click Insert Hyperlink. You will see this screen:

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Paste the URL into the URL box. Then click OK.

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This will insert the link into the selected words. If you hover over the selected words, you can see the link. Click Control and then left click on the link to open the page in a web browser.

To add an exposed link at the end of a paragraph. Type a sentence like

This is a great website to learn word processing:

Then enter a new line, right click and paste the URL for the website into the document below the text.

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Now that we understand how to add both hidden and exposed links to our documents, let’s look at how Word and Writer can help you check the spelling in your document.

 

#2 How to Check Spelling, Grammar, and Readability with LO Writer

Once you have finished writing your document, you can scan it for mispelled words. They will be underlined in red.


To make sure you did not miss any incorrectly spelled words, with Libre Writer you can click Tools, Spelling which brings up this screen:

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Click Yes which brings up this screen:

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Click Correct then OK when the spell checker is done checking your document.

How to Check Spelling, Grammar, and Readability with MS Word

Open a blank document and type a sentence with a mispeled word.

This sentence has a mispeled word.

Word will simply automatically correct many common spelling errors but not all of them.

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To open the MS Word Spell Checker, click on Review. Then click Check Document in the upper left corner of the ribbon.

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The screen says there was one spelling error and no grammar errors. Click Review all Results.

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In the Suggestions section, click on the drop down arrow. Then click Change All. Then close the Spell Checker.

 

#3 How to Insert Synonyms with the Thesaurus
Open a blank Word document and type: This is a nice day. Then select the word nice. Then right click and click Synonyms.

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Look over your options and click on the one you like. It will replace the more boring word with a more descriptive word.

Next open a blank Writer document and type in This is a nice day.

This tool also replaces the boring word “nice” with the better word you selected.

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#4 Get an Independent Review with a print copy.
In a later chapter, we will cover document collaboration and tracking changes. However, your friends and proof readers are much more likely to find mistakes and offer more helpful improvements if they have a printed copy in front of them that they can mark up with a colored pin. Once you get the corrections back, you can decide whether to use the suggested changes in your original document.

The other advantage of a printed copy over sharing an electronic copy of your document is that there is no risk of you picking up a computer virus by sharing infected documents with folks using infected Windows computers. We will cover some of the dangers of sharing infected documents in the next section.