Tips for creating an electronic thesis with Word

Inserting images and Excel charts

Although it would seem that the most straight forward method of inserting Excel charts into a Word document is by copying and pasting, the results do not always convert well to PDF. A better option might be to export the chart from Excel as a wmf file, and import that into Word, or:

  1. Adjust the column/cell size to the size you would like.
  2. Select the cells that you wish to copy.
  3. Hold down the SHIFT key and select Copy Picture from the Edit menu.
  4. A window will pop up; select "As shown on screen" under Appearance and "Picture" under Format, then click OK.
  5. Paste the picture in Word (Edit/Paste or Ctrl-V).

This technique may apply with other applications as well.

Creating landscape pages

Sometimes you may have a table or figure that is too wide to fit on a normal portrait page (8.5" x 11") so you want to place it rotated on the page. That is, you want to create a landscape page, (11" x 8.5"). That is fairly simple to do if you understand the concept of Word sections.

In order to change any formatting in Word, such as the page orientation, you need to insert a new section.

  1. From the Word menus, choose Insert, Break. Click the button to designate a Section break of type Next page. Click OK.

Insert break options box

  1. Now from the menus choose File, Page Setup.
  2. Under Orientation, choose the Landscape button.
  3. Under Apply to:, ensure that This section is selected. you don't want your entire document to be converted to landscape mode.

Page setup options box

  1. Now create your landscape table or insert your landscape image.
  2. Repeat the above process, choosing from the menus Insert, Break, choose Section break, next page. Then repeat the File, Page Setup and revert to Portrait orientation. Under Apply to: you can either choose This section or This point forward but not Whole document.

The above description assumes that you are adding a landscape page to the end of the document. Perhaps you want to add a landscape page in the middle of a document. In that case:

  1. Insert, Break, Section Break, Next Page to create an empty page.
  2. Click in the empty page and do a File, Page Setup and select landscape orientation, making sure you apply it to just the current section.

Perhaps you have already created the table, and now wish to modify it so that it appears in landscape mode.

  1. Select the table, and from the menus choose File, Page Setup.
  2. Choose Landscape orientation.
  3. Under Apply to choose Selected text. This will cause Word to add the section breaks before and after the table.

Page setup/orientation options

Note: When you add page numbers or headers/footers to this document, they will appear in a landscape not portrait orientation. This is acceptable in an electronic thesis.

How to have a landscaped page but keep header and footer portrait

For printed theses up to the end of September 2006.

For a different way of doing this, see MS Knowledge Base article #Q211930, or #211930:

One way is to create the page as portrait, then:

  1. Select the content of the page
  2. Insert/Table (all your content will go into one cell in a one-cell table).
  3. Right click on table and then choose Table Properties
  4. In the Table tab, click on the Borders and Shading button and then choose ‘none’ to get rid of table border and click OK and then OK again.
  5. View/Toolbars/Tables and Borders
    1. Click on table; Table/Select/Table
    2. Click on the Change Text Direction button to change the orientation of the content to be landscape (may need to click it 2 X to get orientation you want).
    3. Use the small box in the bottom right of the table cell to resize it to be the size of the page.
    4. If you have any images on this page, you will likely have to rotate them in another program such as Microsoft Photo Editor (if you have Microsoft Office XP on your Windows pc, you will likely find it under Start/All Programs/Microsoft Office/Microsoft Office Tools) and then re-insert them into Word.

Creating your thesis from many small documents

While you are creating your thesis, it is easiest and best to create it as a number of smaller files, perhaps store each chapter in a separate file. But in order to build a Table of Contents, create cross references across files and have pages numbered sequentially you need to create a single file. The easiest way to do this is to simply amalgamate all files using the Insert File feature. Open the first file, click at the bottom, and from the menus select Insert, File and choose the second file. Repeat this process until all your files have been included. This method may work if you have sufficient memory on your computer, if your thesis is not too large, and doesn't contain too many images. However, even if you can create this one file, you may find it too unwieldy to work with. Another method must be found.

Many books and documents may recommend that you use Word's Master Document feature for creating a single file. In theory this should be the correct method, but in practice master documents can become very unstable, and most experts do not recommend this approach. However, should you wish to try, a good description of the use of master documents can be found in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article General Information About Master Documents. Links move frequently on Microsoft's web site, so if this link stops working go to Microsoft's web site, choose the Support item, and select Knowledge Base. In Knowledge Base, request article Q180142.

A safer way of creating a single document is to use the Includetext feature, which can be achieved in several ways, but the easiest is via the Insert, File menu. (NOTE: If you use the software, EndNote, for managing your bibliography, you may need to do all of your updating in the individual files and avoid using F9 in your main file.)

Start with an empty document, and from the menus select Insert, File. Navigate to and select the first document. Then, down at the bottom of the screen, you will see an Insert button. Click it, and select Insert as Link.

Insert as link option box

Now, depending on your Word settings, you may either see the expanded file, or something that looks like this:

Linked text

You will want to see the actual text. Go to Tools, Options and on the View tab, make sure that Field Codes is not selected.

Uncheck field codes box

Alternatively, you can toggle between viewing the complete text or field code of a specific field by right clicking on it, and from the context menu that appears, select Toggle Field Code.

Repeat this process for all your files. When you have created a single document, you can add cross references, page numbers, table of contents, etc. When you are done, save this document.

You may wish to continue editing the individual documents. If you do, and then open the main document, you will see that the changes you made are not reflected in the main document. To rectify this, select the entire document (Edit, Select All or CTRL A). Then simply press the F9 key.

If you make changes in the main file, you will probably want those changes reflected in the individual files as well as in the main file. To do this, select the entire document and press CTRL SHIFT F7. Any modified files will be saved. You can then save the main file.