How to use our resources
You need very little ICT expertise to use our resources. They come in two main formats: Word documents and PDF files. Large files may be emailed to you in 'zipped' form. If your system has a program such as WinZip or PkUnzip, you will just need to double-click the folder icon to unzip your files.
If you know that your school or college system does not accept zip folders, please let us know when you order.
You will need to be running Word 97 or later on Windows 98 or later, preferably on a PC. Almost all schools will meet these requirements. Our more recent resources are in Word 2007. If you are running an earlier version of Word, you will need to download a free adaptor from Microsoft, or ask us for a compatible file. PDF files will work on a Mac, but you may lose formatting in Word.
Word files can be printed out and copied as often as you want. You can also edit them; for example, to give extra information or questions. You could also add differentiation by adding or remocing hints.
View the files in print/layout view or you will not see the correct layout.
These cannot be edited, but nor can they be accidentally changed. You may also find that graphics work better in this format. There is also a sophisticated Search facility.
Your system will need the free Acrobat Reader program (5.5 or later) to read the files. However, your school system almost certainly has Acrobat already. If in doubt, ask your system administrator.
You can get your network administrator to put either format on the school or college network for direct student access. You may wish to set Word documents to be Read-only (see below).
The first rule is to keep at least one backup copy of whatever files you are sent. You can also make a Word document 'read-only'. To do this, select Tools>Options>Security and check the 'Read-only recommended' box. When someone opens the file again, they will be advised to open it in 'read-only' format. They will then have to save it in a different name to keep any changes. The original document will remain accessible.
For more protection, you could use the Password option (also under the Security tab). This prevents modification of the document without use of the password. If you forget your password, you can always open the document as 'read-only' and then copy and paste the contents into a new document. To do this easily, use Control + A to select all, then Control + C to copy and Control + V to paste in the new document.
If editing a Word document, be aware that changes can shift text and graphics around. We design our documents to minimise the risk of the document rearranging itself more than you want. However, you can reduce the risk:
- Keep a backup copy.
- Replace text with roughly the same amount of new text (or paragraph breaks).
- Use the Track Changes facility to track, and keep or discard changes (in the Tools menu, or use Control + shift + E, or View>Toolbar>Reviewing. The facility toggles on and off when you click the icon to the right of the Reviewing toolbar.
Word's spelling and grammar checker
If you have coloured wavy lines under some word and phrases in your document, this is where Word is querying the spelling or grammar of the text (e.g. for a name). To turn this off, select Tools>Options>Selling and Grammar; then in the dialog box uncheck 'Check spelling as you type' and 'Check grammar as you type'. The wavy lines will disappear!
There is very little that can go wrong with PDF files, providing you have Acrobat Reader 5.5 or more recent. Acrobat 6 is the most recent version. It can be downloaded free of charge from www.adobe.com. However, for a school or college network you should check with the network administrator.
If you have problems
If your editing of a Word file has unforeseen effects on its layout, you have the option of using Control + Z to undo changes, or Control + Y to redo them. Both will work 'historically': each click will take you one step further back (Control + Z) or one step further forward (Control + Y). Or to abandon all changes, close the document and click on No when asked whether you want to save changes.
Feel free to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Give a description of your problem and a phone number on which you can be reached if necessary. However, a problem may relate to your school or college network (e.g. if a file won't open at all). So it may be worth asking your administrator first.
Printing any file
Colour and black and white
Whether or not a resource uses colour, it will work perfectly well in black and white. If you want to print out in black and white, most colour printers give you this option. You may, for example, wish to copy in black and white, but put a resource on the school network in colour.
Paper size setting
Our resources are in A4 format. If your printer is not set to this, you may get a screen message warning you that the print is outside of the printable area. This probably means that your default printer setting is for Letter size paper. If so, change it to A4.