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When we say a document is a long document is a long document, what exactly are we saying? In other words, what are the determining factors for a long document? Well, long documents are not only defined by the number of pages contained therein. I mean a document I may consider to be long may not be considered long by someone in the publishing industry for example. To others, a long document might be consider a synonym for a complicated document, one that makes use of a table of contents, an index perhaps, cross-referencing, page layout options, styles, sections and so on.
With Word 2007 there are several powerful features dedicated to working with longer documents thus simplifying the creation process. So we will use these features to help us distinguish certain characteristics of what might be considered a long document. Let's begin by looking at some example of long documents that could be created using a word processing application like Microsoft Word. When we tell stories they might be in a novel, a novella or even a novelette. Now there is definitely some disagreement as to what length determines a novel, novella or a novelette but the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of American Nebula Awards for science friction determines the novella as having a word count between 17,500 and 40,000 words. So that would mean a novelette would have less than 17,500 words while the novel would have more than 40,000 words according to this organization. But for our purposes and as far as Microsoft Word is concerned, all of these could be considered long documents because you would likely use many of the long document tools in Word to create them all.
For example each would likely have a table of contents, perhaps a bibliography and special page layout options for odd and even pages using headers and/or footers, page numbering, styles, sections and so on. Now we are going to be working with the book "Humbugs of the World" by P. T. Barnum in this title and it's a good example of the book that can benefit from many of these tools in Word. How about manuals? Manuals such as instructional manuals, learning manuals, technical manuals and so on. Now regardless of the number of pages in the manual, you will likely find such long document features like a table of contents, an index, styles and style sets, you might use figures and tables in a manual as well. There are catalogs and reference material, think about dictionaries, encyclopedias, even web sites.
Now in this case, you would probably use sections and cross-referencing tools. Think of an encyclopedia where you could be reading about P. T. Barnum in one section where you will find the reference to another section in the encyclopedia, for example, telling you where to find the information on circuses. How about reports and articles? Some of them can be very lengthy indeed. They will use a table of contents, styles, footnotes and endnotes, maybe an appendix, for example. Again, the length of the document does not necessarily determined whether it's a long document in Word. Now I'm sure if you give this more thought you will be able to come up with countless example of what might be considered a long document, specifically when using a word processing application like Microsoft Word.
When it comes time to create one of these documents, whether it be from scratch or by using existing content like P. T. Barnum's "Humbugs of the World," some planning and preparation will definitely help to streamline the process. We will discuss the planning process next.
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