Monthly Archive: October 2009

Handling Numbering and Bullets in MS Word

Neat numbering and bulleting in a document goes a long way toward creating a document that makes a great impression. Rather than using the space bar and typing out every number or bullet character, applying the proper MS Word functions for numbers and bullets give a much more polished appearance and allows for easier formatting later.

The key buttons you’ll use for bulleting and numbers in the toolbar are the following:

* The Format Paint icon on the left side of the paintbrush is particularly useful here. After you’ve gotten a number or bullet just like you want it, you can then use the Format Pain function to apply the same formatting to other bullets and outline numbers.

In additional, clicking the right-button on your mouse after selecting relevant text also brings up the following menu with useful numbering and bullet functions:


Numbering bulleting doesn’t always seem to work intuitively in MS Word and it might take a little trial and error to get things exactly like you want them. But the good news is that once you do get it right, you can then apply the same style to other text in the document effortlessly with the Format Paint function and in the long run, this approach saves a ton of time and produces a much better delivery than otherwise.

Formatting Tables in MS Word



It’s amazing what a little formatting can do to make a great impression on a translation client. Take the following text and table for example:


By applying the techniques in the above video, you can make it look like this:


Clients judge a translation on more than the accuracy of the words. An aesthetically pleasing result is also extremely important and the extra 5% of effort can make all the difference in how the delivery is evaluated.

Handling Line Spacing in MS Word

For some reason, Word files tend to default to a line spacing that doesn’t work well for the translations we deliver. Therefore, when preparing a translation file for the first time, or proofreading a translation, it is often necessary to do a few tweaks to the file. This video shows a standard process to follow to get a file into shape and includes the following steps:

1. Make sure the “1.0” is checked in the following menu and then go to Line Spacing Options:


2. The Paragraph window will pop up and the settings should look like this:


By making sure the line spacing for each document is set like this, you’ll have access to more of the page and be able to match the source text more closely because there won’t be needless spacing between lines. It will also give you more space to use larger text.

3. If MS Word defaults to Batang (바탕) font, be sure to change it to Times New Roman.

Some Starting Questions on a Legal/Tech Report Proofreading Job

As I haven’t yet prepared detailed instructions for proofreading, the following Q&A with a proofreader is a starting point for getting these into writing:

Q1: Can I put the bottom page numbers as a footer, or should I just put it at the bottom of each page using the enter button? The example document left it at the bottom of the page, but I think the page numbers as a footer (or even using the page number option and customizing them) would be easier, since they wouldn’t move around during formatting… 

A1: I think you’re talking about the “Bates numbers”. Those are the numbers put there by the law firm. We generally don’t put them in the footer since oftentimes, on these jobs, we don’t get them in perfect sequential order and that makes the footer approach much harder. 

Q2: Your example document had Times New Roman font at 12 font size, which I remember you mentioned on the Resource page is the preferred font. The files I received are in Batang 10. Is there a specific reason for this, or should I change it to TNR 12 font? 

A2: Yes, please change to Times New Roman. Batang is a horrible looking font. 12-point font is preferred for normal documents where the text can  flow naturally from page to page and may be fine here. But if you find it hard to get each page of text onto a single page in Word, you may have to reduce the font size, which is fine.

Q3: Should I track my changes?

A3: Yes, please. I find that it’s easiest for me to turn on tracked changes but then have the changes hidden while I work. That way, everything is tracked but I don’t get distracted by all those extra edit marks while doing the work. Does that make sense?

Q4: I think I can finish the 6 page document in a couple hours… 

A4: BTW, I should have mentioned that about 1,000 words per hour would be about average output on a job like this, though it’s fine if you go over that while still learning the ropes. 

Q5: In the source document, they write all the English words in the document in bold letters (company names, financial terms, etc.). Should I also make them bold when I do the formatting?

A5: No, just write them normally. If there is an English word mixed into a Korean sentence, write it normally as we would in English; you don’t need to maintain the same capitalization, etc. Occasionally the English will even be completely Konglish, in which case you might want to put it into quotation marks to show that the awkward phrasing isn’t your fault.

Q6: Do you want one Word document page to equal one PDF file page? If so, I’ll have to make the font size smaller.

A6: Yes, in general, please do make one Word document page equal one PDF file page, and reducing the font size is OK. However, if for some reason, it is problematic to get all the text onto one page, then nothing terrible will happen if it flows to two pages.

Q7: On page five there is a tricky section with 3 graph pictures (copied on from the PDF file and in English) and one graph that was remade and translated. Should I try to fit them all on one page, like in the source document? I could double column them, but you said that in most cases you didn’t think that was a good idea. Alternately, I could copy and paste the four pictures, and then put a * symbol to reference the translated version of the Korean graph on the following page… which would be an additional page to the source document. 

A7: That sounds like a good example of a page to let flow to two pages. 

Nojeok Hill, My View from the Top – The New City of Ansan

My Korean hometown started life as one of the first "new cities" in Korea, master-planned by the government and built to alleviate congestion in the Seoul area caused by millions of people moving from the countryside into the capital region during the course of Korea's rapid modern development. 

Construction on Ansan began in the early 1980s in this area which previously existed as little more than a small fishing village called Banweol. When I arrived in late 1993, the city was about half-finished. The area north of the metro line was mostly complete and the area south of it still mainly undeveloped. 

Today, Ansan is a city of a million residents adjacent to the giant Banweol Industrial Complex, an area of factories producing all manner of goods for the Korean industrial economy.

The following photos which I've taken from the top of Nojeok Hill show the dramatic changes in a large swath of the city that I've personally witnessed during my time here.







It is these beautiful views of the city, for which a 360-degree panorama is available from the top, that make Nojeok Hill such a nice place to get away for a hike several times a week.

Today, there are many other new cities, mostly but not all, in the Seoul area. Other early new cities where construction began in the early 1990s include Shihwa, which is adjacent to Ansan; Ilsan, north of the Han River to the west of Seoul; and Bundang, south of Seoul. Another more recent new city under construction and of particular interest to me is Songdo, which can be seen in the distance from the top of Nojeok Hill. 

Even today, as Korea moves from "emerging market" to "advanced country", similar construction is still underway in countless places, most a bit further from Seoul thanks to faster transportation links, and all still being referred to as "new cities".

But no matter how gleaming the new apartments are everywhere else and how much they resemble my neighborhood, I always remember that this "new city" wave of the future in Korea started, in large part, here in Ansan some thirty years ago.