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The Engineers Word

Dr. Robert Mote

Ebook prepared and published by Motagg Solutions Inc. ISBN 978-9809753-0-7 Copyright 2009 Motagg Solutions Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author


For over twenty years, Dr. Robert Mote has been creating Microsoft Excel spreadsheets for engineering problems, including heat-transfer analysis and civil/structural designs. The civil/structural challenges include structural dynamics, such as blast and compressor foundations, finite-element analysis, piled foundations, reinforced concrete structures, structural connections, schedule programming, and estimate work. All work was documented using Microsoft Word; Microsoft Excel spreadsheets were extensively used. In later developments, many of these spreadsheets included Visual Basic for Application (VBA) macros. During his time in Holland, the introduction of Windows for Workgroup (around 1996), enabled his interest in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to focus on producing high-quality reports for clients and projects. He sought ways to introduce time-saving solutions by maximizing Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word. It has carried him through many experiences, including compressor foundations and piperack designs, for petrochemical facilities and lead-role engineering applications. In the course of his career, he has worked in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. His travels to South Korea, India, the United States, North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East have shown that there is widespread interest in his ideas. The structured technique for preparing engineering calculations electronically is intended for the practising engineer. Dr. Mote has taught engineers of all abilities in the international community and found they always appreciate practical ideas for preparing electronic calculations.

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Acknowledgments
Uncovering knowledge involves timing, experience, observation, and opportunity. Capturing knowledge is one facet of the process, but the strategy to communicate the ideas to a wider audience is essential. The strategy requires an objective and the means by which it can be achieved. It takes time to analyze the components of that useful knowledge and arrange it into a curriculum that reflects the pressures of an active engineering environment. The process started in Holland, and I now look back on my time there with nostalgia. I remember those engineers who helped to lay the foundation of my career. I stood in two worlds. One was the past of engineering traditions. The other was the challenge of improving those traditions. I must give special thanks to Bert Langerak and Arnold van Kesteren. They showed me their brilliant but obsolete masterpieces from the MS-DOS days that were worthy of inclusion in a technical museum. With their encouragement, my objective was to know how to use the Microsoft Windows environment creatively to pursue engineering calculations. My experiences were also critical. From these Dutch masters, I learned due diligence, careful preparation, and good planning of the calculations. Everything I did became an extension of those principles. It was a great time to share the path into the future with them. When I left Holland five years later, there was surprisingly little interest and great apathy in other engineering companies to achieve the same degree of computer excellence in civil/structural engineering calculations. It was an unexpected culture shock. I thought everyone in engineering was proactively working toward the same goal of maximizing the power of computers in the engineering design cycle. In subsequent years, I found myself struggling to educate those at the corporate level. I encountered inertia, different priorities, resistance to change, and inflexibility. However, if I explained my message on a personal level, the interest was overwhelming. It has taken experience accumulated in different locations to see the gap. In other words, there is a dysfunctional relationship between civil/structural engineers and computers in preparing calculations. This situation should not be allowed to continue. This book is an opportunity to pass on the knowledge I have gained. It was born of encouragements from my peers. My passion for engineering drove me, and I hope it will inspire you.

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Table of Contents

Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven

About the Author...................................................................... III Acknowledgments..................................................................... IV Introduction.............................................................................. VI The Need for The Engineers Word..........................................11 The Computer Age and the Engineering Profession. ................17 Engineering Computer Studies. .................................................25 The Conventional Calculation..................................................29 The Electronic Calculation........................................................33 The Value of Engineering Calculations...................................41 Graphical Dyslexia....................................................................47 The Shoulder-shrugging Syndrome..........................................69 The Microsoft Word Strategy for Engineers.............................73 An Electronic Engineering Example.........................................79 A Practical Microsoft Word Course for Engineers....................97 Module 1 Changing Default Settings...................................101 Module 2 Creating the Calculation Template........................133 Module 3 Inserting Fields in the Template. ..........................167 Module 4 The Power of Shift and Control .........................213 Module 5 Drawing Details . .............................................217 Module 6 Importing Pictures ............................................269 Module 7 Managing Pictures . ..........................................281 Module 8 Drawing Annotations ........................................291 Module 9 Importing ASCII Files ......................................301 Module 10 Getting Going . ...............................................315

Introduction
Calculations are the bedrock of the engineering profession. In order to fulfill legal requirements, the calculation exposes the assumptions of the design and demonstrates that the intended design is fit for purpose. Unfortunately, engineers often struggle to translate their engineering designs into coherent reports in the rush to meet deadlines. Consequently, the quality of the calculation suffers for the wrong reasons. A few reasons are listed in the following table:

Late Start Fragmented Lack of a Plan

The preparation of the calculations is a timemanagement problem. The calculation is an uncoordinated, voluminous collation of different third-party outputs. The calculation has poorly arranged ideas and omits a contents list.

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No Graphical Support The calculation lacks graphical or visual support. Too Much Information Data Dump
The calculation has too many pages and is too timeconsuming to handle. The calculation is overloaded with unformatted numerical information and difficult to read.

Microsoft Word is not a default tool or even the first choice of most engineers. Engineers use many software applications (for example, RISA, STAAD, MathCad, and others) outside the Microsoft Office environment. Many popular engineering applications and software are actually relics of the DOS days, even though they are Windows-compatible. They have limited built-in reporting facilities, which engineers usually accept at face value. This book introduces Microsoft Word 2003 to the practising professional engineer; I am a practising civil/structural engineer. The content is based on experience, repetition, and a positive reception over the years. This book will show how Microsoft Word can become the desktop publishing facility of choice for you. The techniques in this book are invaluable for any engineer looking for a professional and visual layout without having to become an expert in Microsoft Word. I know the simplified, specific techniques in this book would apply equally well outside the engineering profession, but, by way of the selected examples, this book is intended for engineers first. The process of learning how to use Microsoft Word is accelerated by some basic knowledge, a series of structured modules, and a few golden rules. Only ten percent of the power of Microsoft Word is required to unleash its full potential in creating effective

reports. The trick is knowing what the ten percent is and how to apply it. You will learn to plan a calculation and apply the techniques to gather the necessary information into a single unit, an electronic document. The commercial and professional benefits of applying these ideas help to save time, improve productivity, and enhance Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) activities. Preparing calculations is becoming an important issue in engineering project activities worldwide. Knowing how to use Microsoft Word to create electronic calculations will have an impact on many levels. Using Microsoft Word will reverse the years of stagnation in the engineers craft and it will become a powerful default tool for an engineer when s/he prepares the calculations. This book comprises three sections. The first deals with the psychology of the engineering mind in the computer age. Over ten to fifteen years, computers have transformed the engineering profession, the marketplace, the project execution in the drawing office and field, and analytical opportunities for engineers. The first section examines the impact of computers and their development. It looks at how the civil/structural engineering profession has changed and how the engineers craft has deteriorated. It explains why engineers struggle today and why PC proficiency is not recognized. These observations may help you understand how you can define yourself in the computer age. Can you ask yourself why you resist using Microsoft Word? The lack of adequate demonstration is the biggest obstacle to accepting Microsoft Word. You must have good reasons for using Microsoft Word and have a plan to prepare the calculation. You must see the techniques in action and try Microsoft Word out for yourself. In doing so, you will start to see how useful Microsoft Word can be. As an engineer, if you do not have access to a resource of good engineering examples, your initial success will occur the first time you apply these techniques. You will rapidly progress as you repeat your successes and improve on your weaknesses. If I look back at some of the work I have prepared over the years, I can see the changes in my technique slowly evolving. Nevertheless, the core concepts, the basis of this book, are still the same, and will remain the same for a long time. The second section looks at the strategy for using Microsoft Word and determining how the calculations are prepared. To achieve the purpose of the formal calculations, you should follow a specific plan. Many engineers do not plan their calculations and allow substantial differences in quality compared with their colleagues work. You must look more closely at what you do as a process and manage it in the team setting. This section also compares the differences between doing calculations using the conventional method of collating hard-copy outputs that are stored in three-ring binders, and the proposed singular electronic document that is stored on an accessible project drive. An electronic document is a single Microsoft Word document, collating graphical snapshots of external sources into a planned, logical arrangement.

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The third section demonstrates the technique in a series of ten modules. Each module takes you from a blank page to the completed document. It is based on Microsoft Word 2003. It shows the stages by which to achieve effective calculations. While these modules are light on technical description, they define the techniques. You should find the techniques are specific, repetitive, and memorable. Figuratively speaking, you will be able to join the dots and understand the consequences later. I did not want to create a textbook to compete with the vast computing knowledge and references already available. Computer language is not always a stimulant for the busy engineer. Troubleshooting problems in the calculations, arising from the techniques here, will arise from one of the steps missed. The techniques are the shortcuts; there are no further shortcuts to apply. Everything in these modules embody everything that you must know to use Microsoft Word to prepare electronic calculations.

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The benefits of using the technique are numerous, as result in positive, time-saving habits. The technique is also future-proof, quality-driven, consistent, effective for repetitive work, easy for all parties to follow, interesting, and educational. Many engineers have tried to integrate Microsoft Word into their work but after buying the books, they still cannot make an effective calculation. Over the years, I have read many Microsoft Word references and self-help books, but found them unhelpful. In fact, I thought they were uncooperative, excessive, confusing, and not immediately relevant. The intent of this book is to be a primer to the standard or more advanced Microsoft Word self-help books that are not designed for the engineers needs. By learning the techniques in this book, you will become confident and find structure for your work. You will notice that your relationship to the computer will change because you can use Microsoft Word strategically. Your proficiency in computer applications will noticeably increase. You will produce a better quality document and you will provide a better demonstration of engineering principles. Finally, you will have a desire to learn more. Unsurprisingly, my experience has been marked by a rapid learning curve in a matter of days. The skills and guidelines learned from this book will enable you to maximize your contributions in the future and establish a basis for good practice. This book is the first in the Mote Method series, which is designed to encourage the engineer to improve his or her PC proficiency in order to pursue engineering excellence. Thus, the limitations of the engineering tools commonly used will be surpassed.

The Mote Method


The concept of the Mote Method series is based on knowing the principles of presenting a formatted calculation or report, capturing all third-party results, and knowing how to generate qualified spreadsheets. The simple combination of these building blocks will start the engineer on the production of effective calculations and the search for engineering excellence. Through the Mote Method series, the engineer will learn how to breathe life into difficult theories by applying the rules of good layout, looking after the formats, using more graphics, showing assumptions graphically, designing engineering spreadsheets, creating visual tools (for example, flowcharts, key diagrams, and hyperlinks), and developing spreadsheets for the future. This level of respect for the calculations will show tremendous educational benefits for future graduates, clients, and practising engineers.

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Chapter One
The Need for The Engineers Word

Chapter One
The Need for The Engineers Word
Most engineers have experience in using computers in their work and recognize that computers are an integral tool in their profession. Engineers also recognize that engineering should not be a slave to the computer. Engineering is the art of solving problems and presenting a solution. In the drawing office, engineering is the long, collaborative process of conceptualizing, financing, designing, optimizing, and realizing the paperwork vision. At every stage, there is an opportunity to maximize the use of computers and create smooth transitions through the engineering cycle. This happens in the modelling work, the production of the drawings, and the analysis, but it does not occur in the report production. As a test, ask another engineer the following questions; When was the last time you discussed the art of preparing calculations with anyone? Have you ever seen a sample of calculations that got you excited and made you want to copy it? Do you enjoy doing calculations? Note their responses to see if they reflect with your own experiences. I have asked these questions many times and got revealing answers. Nine out of ten engineers will say they enjoy the problem-solving effort, the mental gymnastics of visualizing the behaviour, and the pride of cracking the design. However, the effort of translating this satisfaction into a properly expressed calculation is another matter. The second question catches engineers off guard, despite their many years of experience checking calculations. Their reply is often negative. A long pause for introspection follows. Generally, engineers overlook the act of preparing the calculations. They regard it as a chore and perform it as a clerical task and as late as possible in the process. The third question shows that many engineers do not enjoy doing calculations, even though they enjoy the design challenge and the sense of achievement in the final drawings. The reality of producing the calculations does not match the engineers expectations that the computer will analyze the complex problems. Ask yourself if you use Microsoft Word to prepare calculations. As a practising engineer, if you were to name all the computer applications you have used in your work, it might amount to an extensive list. Take a moment to list them all. Rank them in your order of preference. If Microsoft Word is on your list, it is probably in the last spot.

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The Need for The Engineers Word

The answer is usually similar to one of the following statements: I do not know how to use Microsoft Word. I tried, but I gave up. I do not have the time to learn. It is too time-consuming. I am not a secretary. That is not engineering. Everyone does calculations differently. It is not company policy. The aim of this book is to reverse that order and place Microsoft Word in the top spot as the default choice for producing calculations. If Microsoft Word is not on your list, then it is worth finding out why.

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Microsoft Word consistently ranks high on the engineers list of frustrations. It is not a traditional engineers tool. Growing out of earlier MS-DOS versions, it was transformed into a powerful business application that far exceeds the engineers basic needs. Microsoft advertising tends toward business-related uses. If the majority of engineers cannot use Microsoft Word effectively, the engineering community has lost its way in preparing calculations. When I mention to non-engineering colleagues that many engineers do not use or do not even know how to use Microsoft Word, they typically respond with a stunned silence and disbelief. I try to explain that Microsoft Word does not exist as a component of the engineers toolbox or vocabulary. It only exists as a form of torture or drudgery. I have long realized how far we have fallen behind mainstream professionals in terms of general computer proficiency and, more specifically, proficiency with Microsoft Office applications. The cycles of learning and developing new processes should never stop but for some reason, it has stalled in the civil/structural engineering community. The conventional process of preparing calculations through collating hard-copy outputs from a variety of applications is flawed and antiquated. It is important for you to realize that there is a better way to prepare calculations. You are invited to maximize the power of Microsoft Word for your own benefit and calculations. This book is the product of years of personal experience by a practising structural engineer. The ideas are small, numerous and simple but collectively, the impact is refreshing. This book will not make you an expert in Microsoft Word, but it will make you smarter. The topics do not encompass the full power of Microsoft Word. Instead, the book concentrates on ten percent of the programs features that you must know in order to produce impressive, powerful reports. This book looks at Microsoft Word and presents a structured format for preparing quality-driven calculations. When you have finished with this book and have had an opportunity to put it to work, I hope you will complete the online evaluation card. I am very interested in your response.

Chapter One

At least ninety-five percent of you will respond positively and profit from the immediate success that The Engineers Word will bring you. I want to improve on the techniques of The Engineers Word, so I need your help. If you have any ideas or techniques you want to share or see, let me know. I want to hear about your experiences, transformation, opinions, and the ways in which this book has affected you. I welcome an example of your work so I may review how the instructions have worked for you. If I have sparked your interest, then your lifelong quest for high-quality work has begun. The Engineers Word is a mission and a passion. Its goal is to put engineers back on top of the wave, in front of the team, at the forefront of technology, and take you into the future. The future belongs to those who know and practise The Engineers Word.

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The Need for The Engineers Word

Chapter Two
The Computer Age and the Engineering Profession

Chapter Two
The Computer Age and the Engineering Profession
This chapter looks at the dysfunctional relationship many engineers have with respect to computers, Microsoft Office, and other third-party software applications. This is based on personal experience gathered by working alongside many engineers in different offices and sites around the world. In the last fifteen years, the impact of the computer revolution on the engineering environment has been substantial, both visually and physically. Nowadays, you will not see a drawing board, trays of adjustable squares, Rotring pens, or any of the traditional paraphernalia of an engineering office. The traditional drawing office environment has become a silent sea of computer screens and cubicles. Let us go back to the DOS days, the pre-Windows era. This was the golden age of engineering. The pace of change was slow. The application of programming languages such as machine codes, FORTRAN, ALGOL, and BASIC was comfortable. It was enough excitement for the engineering profession. The engineers were the first to maximize the use of computers, put man on the moon, control power stations, understand nuclear physics, and a myriad of other exciting applications. These computer languages are consistent and logical, and they are often supported by flowcharts documented as instructions. Programming languages and flowcharts were typically part of the engineering syllabus. This golden age saw the development of the structuralanalysis packages that we use today. The evolution of most computer applications originating in this time retains its DOS architecture. DOS-based applications enabled programming with relative ease and seemed naturally attuned to engineering solutions. However, as a product of its time and circumstances, the quality of the output was a secondary requirement. The separation of the engineering community from mainstream Microsoft Office applications began with the introduction of the Windows operating system. The commercial introduction of Windows for Workgroups around 1996 changed the landscape forever. With the dawning age of Windows, the pace of change accelerated. There was a noticeable branding effort, which continues today, as it became businessoriented. Over time, DOS and MS-DOS became unsupported and seen as the old ways. Structural engineers were finding out about Microsoft Word, Excel, and Access. They were always testing the water, but with such a diversity of ideas, engineering became highly individualized and time-consuming. The bulk of the engineering profession developed as specialists in structural-analysis packages, MathCad, drawing packages, and the occasional tabulation in Microsoft Excel. The traditional programming languages, common to most engineers of the DOS age, yielded to C, Turbo C, C+, C++, Pascal, Visual Basic, and Java. What was common to many engineers suddenly became esoteric knowledge in the hands of the few. We even lost the flowcharts that once mapped our way. If you read any computer how-to book

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The Computer Age and the Engineering Profession

today, it is likely that no flowcharts will explain the code or logic. Today, programming languages have become such fully fledged languages that flowcharts are irrelevant among experts. One programmer talking to another programmer does not need flowcharts for an exchange of ideas but, in professions like engineering, we still need this tool. The flowchart is a visual description of an idea in progression, whether to understand the computer process or the path to the solution. The pace of change of the newer programming languages are steeped in Windows source codes. The sheer volume, content, and concepts are overwhelming for mainstream engineering applications. In a world with new programming languages continually evolving and without flowcharts, it is no wonder that engineers had to throw their hands up and say, I give up! Havent got time for this!

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To compound the pressure, engineers still have a job to do. There is little time for training engineers in the new era. The pace of change of revised software, applications, and new licenses are proving more expensive and difficult to maintain. A sense of do the minimum becomes the norm. Engineers struggle to prepare the results of the analysis as a logical report. The developers of third-party applications, like the structural-analysis packages, competed for business on the strength of being able to create user-defined reports. This became a fatal delegation of authority for good quality and the planning of calculations. The report quality remains a secondary consideration. Following the supportive roles and marketing strategy by the developers, engineers felt there was no need to worry about tedious applications like Microsoft Word. Even today, many of the structural-analysis packages retain their second-rate report formats of the past. As we move through time, with every rolling wave and every advance in computer applications, the engineer falls further behind. The enthusiasm for calculations is not so evident any more. Many in the profession are increasingly skeptical of the value of computers in promoting their work. Engineers are now disillusioned and resistant to change. Consider the training of draftsmen and detailers. They became designers, but they lost the drawing board. The computer age has completely transformed this career path. Where most designers endlessly practised their calligraphy, they now use the keyboard. The swift change from pen and paper to keyboard was a paradigm shift for many designers. They evolved into IT experts in the production of computer-generated models and drawings. Within the computer industry, the automation of three-dimensional models now continues to make the engineers role even more redundant in the next generation of engineering design packages. Designers can now apply loads to the three-dimensional models and analyze the results for themselves. On major industrial projects, engineering rules are being simplified to a set of design rules and repeatedly copied from previous projects. Engineers are now regarded as an obstruction. The problem with using design experience and details transferred from earlier projects without regarding the lessons learned by engineers on previous projects or properly

Chapter Two

adapting them to the new project. Why? The engineering input occurs too late and budgets have been set in stone before the real detailed engineering can take place. Project engineers and designers create the backbone of the project first and look for engineering verification second. Today, projects are on increasingly tight schedules. The equipment purchases requiring a long-lead time are on the critical path. In order to take advantage of market forces, bulk materials are ordered long before the detailed engineering cycle begins. Engineers often find themselves required to prove the adequacy of a design concept developed by a designer. Then they must actually develop a concept or optimize it on the basis that it is a proven design. In a design team, the engineers training has not kept pace with the highly evolved knowledge and skills of the designers. On major projects, the design process has become so schedule-driven that the engineer is just the figurative head for the design responsibility. To make matters worse, not only are engineers losing some of the thinking and judgment required in design, but they are expected to analyze time-consuming nonevents and spiraling numbers of load combinations. Many engineers try to document every piece of analysis performed. They just keep adding it to the calculation folder and continually expand it. Ask the designers on your team when they received their latest formal training on computers. The answer should show the training is frequent, well-attended, continual, constantly changing, and a very competitive business. Companies attract designers with the promise of training. In the more than twenty years that I have worked in the petrochemical business, I have never received any training in Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, macros, and Visual Basic. All of it has been self-taught. Who is training whom? Do you get hands-on training? Do you teach engineers what you know? Engineering is the cycle of learning, practising, and teaching, but the meteoric impact of Windows has interrupted it. If you want to know how to get the most out of it, you need to find where to get the sage advice. My advice is, despite everything you have learned and experienced otherwise, Microsoft Word is the best choice. Engineers are in a transitional phase between the laminar steady-state condition of yesterday and the fully mixed turbulence condition of tomorrow. Today, many engineers handle different specific applications to achieve their goals. Surprisingly, more than ninety percent of engineers I have encountered are stuck in the pre-computer laminar and straitjacketed world, but they should be capable of expressing themselves better on paper. It does not happen enough.

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The Computer Age and the Engineering Profession

When I compare the differences between the pre-computer days of calculations and the missed opportunities today, it is strange to see how the seemingly ancient period of MS-DOS applications and other third-party software destroyed any aesthetic appreciation by the current generation of engineers to create great calculations. To compound this pressure on the profession, the confused journey into the computer age has scarred the last few generations of design engineers with some form of graphical dyslexia and the shoulder-shrugging syndrome. All of us have gone through some initiation, appreciative or otherwise, of the role of computers in our profession. On the subject of calculations, most engineers are aware that the qualitative standards have eroded, despite the improved software applications. The current reality is that engineering justification efforts have introduced more pages into the calculations. For the most part, the calculation process is still pen and paper and scanned electronically into the PDF format. Should we sustain this method into the future? This process of creating the quantitative calculation should not be passed onto future generations of engineers. Let me give you a comparison of a typical piperack structure in quantitative and qualitative approaches.

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Quantitative Approach
Completely designed in three-dimensional form Analyzed and proven all members are adequate Analyzed for P-Delta, thermal loads, notional, and full friction loads Detailed with walkways comprising beams and braces Ensured the analysis reflected the final design Reported results to many decimal places Taken twenty pages to show all the plans, sections, and elevations Considered the design basis is accurate Did not provide any effort to support graphically (that is, with bending-moment diagrams) Ensured number of pages is at least 200

Qualitative Approach
Designed in two-dimensional form Selected and proved critical members are adequate Did not analyze noncritical secondary effects Designated walkways by point loads Showed the analysis is a minimum basis for design Showed rounded figures Took only one page to show all plans, sections, and elevations Considered design is reasonable and representative Supported the study graphically

Limited the number of pages to forty

Chapter Two

The effect of computers on the way engineers work shows how dissimilar the two approaches are. Remember that this is recent history. In two generations, the engineering profession has changed beyond all recognition or power to predict. Ask yourself the following questions: What is your experience with the computer age? Ten years ago, where were you? Where do you think you or the profession will be in ten years? To offset this rather negative view of the changing profession, the engineer is challenged to find quick solutions for many problems. Engineers will work on a broader range of issues simultaneously under the pressure of a deadline and the push and pull of other disciplines. It is now necessary to have the skills to produce electronic reports effectively and efficiently, maximize the use of good spreadsheets developed from previous projects, keep an eye on code changes, show assumptions and limitations, and adapt to changing third-party applications. Engineers can recover their rightful role in the design team if they know how to generate reports rapidly. The approach suggested in this book will remind engineers to focus on the key details from earlier stages in the project that will affect the general design. An appreciation of Microsoft Word techniques will help create a positive approach to the design office pressures and allow the engineer to thrive in tomorrows world.

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The Computer Age and the Engineering Profession

Chapter Three
Engineering Computer Studies

Chapter Three
Engineering Computer Studies
Engineering mathematics is recognized in its own right as an applied form of mathematics. As we accept that computers are here for good, it is inconceivable that one can be a successful design engineer without using a computer, yet little information is available for this niche market. What defines a successful design engineer? Whatever the definitions or technocultural differences are PC literacy will measure the future. The ability to spend less time in preparation and still construct sensational presentations will add to the success factor. Internally, the enthusiasm will follow from knowing you have control of the calculations and an array of past successes to call upon. You must know your subject and how to use Microsoft Word. Understanding, identifying, and restoring the elements of the engineers traditional craft is necessary for all engineers everywhere. This is the starting point for engineering computer studies. Most engineering societies have issued a statement or guidelines for engineers involved in software development which reflect good practices. While calculations are not software development, this book describes an applied technique to be shared in the engineering community. It is the starting point of a long road into the future. It is time to recognize the subject of applied computing in exactly the same manner that applied mathematics is recognized as an engineering subject. Pure mathematics exists for everybody, too. This is no different from an engineer learning pure mathematics and struggling to apply it to an engineering problem. Applied mathematics is taught as a formal subject in order to provide a shortcut to the vital knowledge that engineers must have to practise their craft. Engineers everywhere live by example, demonstration, and application. Many engineers say they must read the whole book first before trying to apply it if there is no strategy, it is a doomed attempt. Fortunately, you do not need to learn all of Microsoft Word any more than you have to be a mathematician to use mathematics in engineering. The Engineers Word is the result of more than ten years of experience of using Microsoft Word to prepare calculations. It is a simple and effective method, but it hides years of dead ends, tangents, and lost causes. Hopefully, you can use this book as your map into the future, avoiding the pitfalls and reinvention of the wheel. The Engineers Word is an applied computing book that uses engineering examples. The purpose of this book is to identify a common source or template for all engineers in the art of preparing calculations. It invites you to establish your standard for a calculation. The planned standard for the team to follow is the general layout, font size and type, style, and arrangement. It is a matter of taste, but the primary importance is in the consistency and application of consistency in numerous calculations.

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Engineering Computer Studies

Examples of good engineering calculations must be continually demonstrated to the engineering community. You also need to look at the quality and process by which the examples are constructed. This careful examination enables you to understand what the calculation does and does not do and how it is constructed. Several examples are included here. If you have asked the questions mentioned earlier and are still reading this, then you have sown the seeds. Others will see your efforts and will follow. This propagation effort involves communicating the ideas and demonstrating the techniques. I can assure you that you will have a receptive audience. Applying Microsoft Word will forever change the way you do your calculations and review the work of others. Just because engineers have not seen these high-quality calculations before does not mean it is impossible or requires too much effort to learn. It simply means they have not seen it done before. Demonstration is the key factor. The potential for improvement is only a few pages away. Applying Microsoft Word enhances the visual presentation of projects, saves time in the preparation of the final document, and leaves a great legacy for the future. Engineering computer studies should be concerned with the components of the calculation and how to achieve it with the technology available, mindful of the abilities of any engineer. This book pushes the envelope for most engineers, but I have yet to hear of anyone who could not apply it.

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Chapter Three

Chapter Four
The Conventional Calculation

Chapter Four
The Conventional Calculation
Engineering analysis is always a hot topic in any drawing office or on any project. Most engineers focus on applying national standards and learning how to deal with increasing levels of sophistication to the analysis, to prove the design is adequate. This work is scrutinized through the QA/QC cycle, however, the physical process of preparing the engineering calculations is an unspoken topic. Proving your design on paper to the same degree as the analysis is often overlooked. The engineer is only concerned with proving to him/herself, rather than the reader, that the design is adequate. Engineers doing conventional calculations must often number the pages themselves, add titles, and collect and arrange an assortment of different software outputs. These reports are long on quantity, time-consuming to read, and short on quality. Format of Conventional-type Calculations.

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The Conventional Calculation

The description of hand or conventional calculation is a mixture of the software output cobbled together into a file with dividers. It has a variety of titles, headers, and footers from a range of software applications with different default settings. It may include handwritten and/or scanned notes. The diagram shows Microsoft Word and Visio, which may or may not be used to in creating the conventional calculations. Microsoft Excel may be used in a limited sense in order to create the header and footer template for the calculations and simple tabulations. An electronic version of this masterpiece is not available until the final collated hard-copy output is scanned. Typically, the engineer would start to prepare the calculation when s/he felt the design was ready. This sounds really vague. Most of us know the design is only almost ready as the deadline quickly approaches. Not only are the reports heavy in terms of the quantity and the preprocessing information (inputs), they are light in terms of quality and the post-processing information (outputs). Typically, seventy to eighty percent of the calculation is devoted to the preprocessing information. Only the corresponding twenty to thirty percent for the results is due to deadline pressure and the effort to complete the detailed design and print it out. The conventional calculation is a compilation of accepted defaults and defaulting habits which become the unchallenged norm. The continual defaulting behaviour gives rise to the graphical dyslexic and shoulder-shrugging syndrome.

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Chapter Four

Chapter Five
The Electronic Calculation

Chapter Five
The Electronic Calculation
The conventional method of doing calculations have been developed by default over time. The electronic method is strategic, in every sense in terms of preparation, purpose and practice. By this strategic method, you challenge your defaults and take responsibility for every aspect of the preparation of the calculations. The electronic calculation is a single document in Microsoft Word format that captures all the relevant information using graphic-capturing procedures, including: Pressing the PRINT SCREEN key (PrtSc SysRq button); Clicking Paste Special on the Edit menu to insert graphics, tables, and spreadsheet items from Microsoft Excel; and Using a software application like SnagIt. Pressing PRINT SCREEN captures the window view to the clipboard. If you paste this image into a Microsoft Word document, you can crop it to suit your tastes. Alternatively, it can be pasted into Paint: then the image is cropped further and copied onto clipboard again. This is very simple and works well without a graphic capture software application like SnagIt. However, graphic-capturing facilities such as SnagIt are the engineers best friend. Buying this inexpensive software saves hours. SnagIt offers powerful control on the region capture and background colour control. The software has evolved over the years and now comes with SnagIt Studio, but I do not use the extended features. Just like using only specific features of Microsoft Word, use the features that provide direct benefits.

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The Electronic Calculation

When working between Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word, the Paste button on the Standard toolbar has probably frustrated more engineers than any other difficulty in trying to make Microsoft Word the central goal of the calculations. To solve your problems, use the following method instead. On the Edit menu, click Paste Special. Then click Picture (Windows Metafile). Click OK.

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Chapter Five

This method means the image is scalable and movable; it is simple and stress-free. It is hard to believe that this is the primary golden rule for engineers. It never fails. This procedure is covered later in the modules. Microsoft Word is proposed as the central tool, even though other applications would suffice. Microsoft Word creates the template for the calculations with a fixed header and footer for all pages. The calculation is a static report, graphically capturing all the components required for an effective, planned report, therefore, changes in Microsoft Excel do not dynamically update the report. This is one of the more common dead ends. I recommend you do not try to work with document links. If the Microsoft Word file with these links is stored in a different location, then all links must be repaired. It leads to obsolescence and redundancy. Reports should always be static in time not dynamically fluctuating with unknown changes. As part of the effective workflow method, this report is started early in the design process. The pre-processing phase is tackled earlier and minimized, leaving more time for the post-processing stage of the work. The calculation pages are numbered automatically. The Microsoft Word document is available immediately at any stage of development for anyone on the project. While many calculations are prepared in English, they must be readable for the foreign authorities that insist on the use of native languages. Similarly, foreign languages must be translated into English. An electronic document permits translation work. Calculations prepared electronically can be scheduled for translation at specific stages of the design cycle. I have seen my calculations and spreadsheets effortlessly translated from English into Dutch, Russian, and French. I have also seen teams of translators struggling with the conventional calculations. Translation is increasingly necessary, especially in the international arena. The implied strategy, covered in subsequent books, is to maximize the use of Microsoft Excel as your calculation pad. The Microsoft Word template is developed for the report header, titles, and page numbering so you do not waste time formatting Microsoft Excel worksheets with fixed headers and footers. Use Microsoft Excel as an electronic extension of the calculation pad (see The Engineers Tables), complete with macros (see The Engineers Program), for checking imported data, spreadsheets, and graphics. All - or a select few - of these components are transferred to the Microsoft Word document. The work in Microsoft Excel is the dynamic component for checking the adequacy of the design and reporting the numbers and results in good formats. Microsoft Excel is a powerful application because the user can control the design and maximize the impact on the presentation. This is the core recommendation of this book. Generally, all software outputs (the source files) are captured to become a snapshot in the Microsoft Word document, typically via Microsoft Excel. You will learn how this method can quickly and effectively generate reports.

37

The Electronic Calculation

The general approach and consequences of electronic calculations reaches far beyond the current mind-set of hand calculations because it emphasizes quality of presentation and demonstration of theory. It goes further to improve engineering productivity and instil professional pride. Format of Electronic-type Calculations.

38

Chapter Five

The following table indicates some of the effect on calculations, comparing conventional versus electronic methods at the report, engineering, and higher levels.

39

The Electronic Calculation

Chapter Six
The Electronic Calculation

Chapter Six
The Value of Engineering Calculations
The calculation report is an engineering document that: Supports the information on the drawing; Establishes the minimum basis for design; and Demonstrates the design principles are fit for purpose. The calculation may involve a field construction or installation, a manufactured item, a detail, a series of checks for lifting, or a method statement. For a single work package, it may take the form of a single report to cover the engineering solution or a series of reports to break down the components of the design. The calculation is a minimum basis for design. For final design differences between the design shown on drawings that are approved for construction and the calculation, report this as a statement or revision notice. These are mostly one-page summaries that describe the differences and the consequential impact on design. As an engineer, you are at least making a statement on how to read the original calculation. I do not recommend revising the original text but supplement it. Leave the original calculation alone. It is common practice to underline changes and show clouding and revision triangles in the margin, but this is a time-consuming activity in a report that no one will read again. Editorially, only some revisions may be captured, so this will add to the confusion. For example, new information from pipe stress may show new anchor forces that were unforeseen in the preliminary design. An appended summary sheet placed inside the front cover before the table of contents explains the introduction of these forces. A dated and signed statement describes the impact on the preliminary design. The statement says the final design requires additional bracing on lateral beams, but the foundation designs are unaffected. All the impacted drawings are listed. In another example, steel beams are revised against a list of available sections from the fabricators. In all cases, new beam sizes were equivalent to or exceeded previous designation by weight and depth of section. A simple revision note in the calculations would suffice. Many engineers try to ensure the final calculations reflect the final drawings. Herein lies another cycle of design time, preparation, and proving a redundant point. Beyond a brief description of engineering calculations for demonstration purposes, it is not the intention of this book to look into details of the requirements of the corporate quality systems for the delivery of calculations. By using Microsoft Word to prepare and centralize the calculations, every corporate quality system will profit from the opportunity to produce effective calculations that benefit all parties, including you, the clients, other engineers, designers, and approvers.

43

The Value of Engineering Calculations

Every company has its own methodology and system for the delivery of the calculation. The company is often reluctant to change the system for engineers, but few corporate quality systems establish the minimum physical standard that the calculations should attain. Those recognizing the opportunities reap the benefits of the commercial imperatives. In this section, we will: Evaluate the value of the engineering calculations; Look at the perceived falling standard of engineering calculations that should be common to most practicing engineers; and Compare the electronic process of The Engineers Word with the hand/conventional method.

44

Subject to the requirements of the quality system and the designated criticality rating for the work, which determines how much checking and scrutinizing is involved, the calculation report is usually checked by a senior or independent engineer for correctness, conformance, validity and acceptability. Remember, a set of calculations prepared as a chore will also be regarded as a chore to check. The reviewer will match the time and effort you invest in the calculations, not the analysis. If you spend a long time putting the calculations together, the reviewer will probably spend a long time trying to read it. The implicit and redeeming qualities of the analysis will be lost in the quantity of pages of calculations. If the report is quality-driven and the number of pages minimized, then the analysis will be clearer. Thus, the checking will be faster. Compare a typical conventional calculation with more than 200 pages that involves eight weeks of effort, with an equivalent electronic calculation that has less than forty pages and was produced in two weeks. Imagine being able to present a calculation for review, which is packed with quality and light on quantity. Which method do you think the reviewer will prefer? To the person checking the calculations, the formal and physical presentation of the calculation often demonstrates the competency and reputation of the engineer in preparing the report. A good, consistent calculation instils confidence, enables rapid checking, provides clear instructions, explains all assumptions, answers questions you had not thought to ask, and supports the text with good graphics. Civil/structural engineering is different from other professions because it relies on visualizing problems and solutions. Engineering solutions have evolved from simple sketches and the process of drawing the problems out. Most of the practical knowledge applied is empirical or based on long years of collective experience. I remember from times past that calculations were always numerically clear and shown line by line. Diagrams and sketches were often included together with sketches to support the numbers in the theory. A lot of care went into preparing the sketches and the details.

Chapter Six

Pencils were constantly sharpened and the eraser was heavily applied. Engineers relied on good visualization skills and layouts. Engineers had to calculate the bending moments by using the rule of thumb formula (wl2/8), without computers or calculators. The orders of magnitude trumped any thoughts of accuracy. The answers were reasonable, often rounded up, and understood in the context of the structural concept. Nowadays, it seems the activity of drawing the problem is left to the designer, who uses three-dimensional packages. The structural engineers rely on third-party structuralanalysis packages and built-in internal country code-checking. Concerning numbers, the engineers have slipped into scientific mode. Concerning graphics, the bending-moment diagrams are considered redundant when code-checking routines are performed. Concerning text, the quality of the report from the structural-analysis packages remains a secondary consideration. The fixation on third-party software has induced a form of graphical dyslexia and given rise to the shoulder-shrugging syndrome.

45

The Value of Engineering Calculations

Chapter Seven
Graphical Dyslexia

Chapter Seven
Graphical Dyslexia
Graphical dyslexia takes many forms, including the appearance of a poor layout without any good formats, the lack of apparent effort to consider the pictorial impact, the separation of oversized graphic objects from the text, and the reliance on third-party applications to produce diagrams. An engineer with induced graphical dyslexia does not see the cumulative, negative effects on quality in the calculation. The shoulder-shrugging syndrome kicks in as a defence mechanism. The graphical dyslexia condition is the primary reason that the quantity of calculation pages becomes the subconscious result. For example, an engineer accepts, without correction, fourteen pages of section, plan, and elevation views that show member numbers from the structural-analysis package. One then appends this to the calculation and repeats this process for joint numbers and member sizes. This quickly adds up. Imagine paying for a magazine produced to the same quality as your calculation. If it cost you thousands of dollars, you would want your money back quickly. In a multibilliondollar job, we should know how to create interesting reports by now. Look at some of the graphical rules to apply. These rules overlap, but they have been arranged into the following components: General layout; Format for units; Format for numbers; Format for drawings; and Format for tables.

49

General Layout
Layout Rule #1
Apply a consistent header and footer on all pages of the calculations. Every page of the calculation should have the same header and footer. All these pages will be numbered automatically.

Graphical Dyslexia

Layout Rule #2
Pack as much information as possible on the page. Elevations, sections, and plans from structural-analysis packages are often appended to the calculation at the rate of a page for each plan and each section. It is difficult to build a mental picture of the structure across twenty pages. This rule says all sections, plans, and elevations should fit onto a page. As much information as possible that can reasonably fit on a page is more useful than something stretched across ten pages. The example here shows a collection of elevations, sections, and plans for a hybrid steel/concrete piled piperack. All the line diagrams were captured from structural packages by using SnagIt. The annotations were added later in Microsoft Word. This diagram took less than one hour to prepare. Elements were reused throughout the report.

50

Chapter Seven

Layout Rule #2 Example

51

Graphical Dyslexia

Layout Rule #3
Make sure graphics are smaller rather than larger. The graphics will directly support the information on the page as they are no good on a previous or subsequent page. Graphics are often oversized and should be valued for the information they convey. If they convey little information, then you should ask why they take most of the page. The example here includes a diagram showing the notations for foundation in rocking mode and two charts are shown together rather than independently. The second diagram is made smaller than the main chart. Layout Rule #3 Example

52

Chapter Seven

Layout Rule #4
Put the supporting graphics on the right-hand side of the page and the associated text on the left-hand side. If smaller graphics are introduced into the calculation, they supplement rolling information on the left-hand side. A common mistake is to interrupt the flow of numbers, when there is often space available on the right-hand side. In the example, the graphics do not interrupt the flow. Layout Rule #4 Example

53

Graphical Dyslexia

Layout Rule #5
Make each page count because each page has a self-contained purpose. Surprisingly, few engineers even bother to use the same formats as a worked example, from a textbook, for their report. Engineers have learned to program their calculator and only present the answers. For the checker, this creates additional work. The checker has to determine not only which theory is applied but also whether it is correctly applied. Unreferenced numbers must be cross-referenced across a few pages and scribbled onto the page for checking purposes. The following example shows all the input numbers necessary to check the equations and answers on the same page, without having to find the numbers on different the pages.

54

Chapter Seven

Layout Rule #5 Example

55

Graphical Dyslexia

Layout Rule #6
Arrange the answers across the page. When engineers copy a textbook example, the calculation is arranged linearly down the page. This format increases the readability and takes time to read. In a better calculation layout, all the information and answers should be arranged on a single page. This single-page example is reduced from five pages of the textbook solution because, in the textbook, each entry is a line down the page. This is the traditional academic approach and is commonly observed in a MathCad solution for an engineering problem. In the example, the solution is arranged horizontally and line by line; you see a column of descriptive terms, equations, numbers placed into the equations, Imperial units, SI units, and code references. This arrangement is much easier to scan by eye and packs a lot of information onto a page.

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Chapter Seven

Layout Rule #6 Example

57

Graphical Dyslexia

Format for Units


Unit Rule #1
Show the standard notation correctly. This correction is equivalent to performing a spell-check on your work. No one wants to fault communication due to spelling mistakes, but it does happen on a subconscious level. Take time to check the units are correctly applied. Similarly, poorly applied units signify laziness, lack of respect for the units, little checking and suggest a shoulder-shrugger is present. In the past when MS-DOS was king, the opportunity to show the units correctly was a secondary consideration. Unfortunately, most advanced applications surviving from those times still portray the units poorly and engineers take this as their cue. In technical writing or a calculation, consistent units and correct capitalization of the units in shorthand is very important for comprehension and easy comparison. Consider the following typical examples: Kn.m to kNm; In^2 to in2; Mpa to MPa; and MM to mm.

58

Unit Rule #2
Use the subscript and superscript features. Many engineers think they will use sub- and subscript features when they have more time. It is laborious when left to the end, so you should deal with it when it is required.

Chapter Seven

Format for Numbers


A typical example of poor formatting is that seventy-five percent of structural engineers forget that the structural-analysis packages were originally designed for Imperial/US units in the default settings. Ordinarily, inches and Kips are commonly reported to three decimal places. However, when SI units are used without tweaking the default settings, results are still reported to three decimal places. The original programmers, probably engineers used only to working with Imperial units, could not have foreseen the consequences of changing only the units. They were not aware of the recommended decimal place setting for SI units. A whole generation and more fell into the trap. Engineers accepted this setting of three decimal places for SI units without question. Three decimal places in millimeters, or kilonewtons (kN), is poor formatting. A tabulated screen of these numbers is very hard to read. It is common to find engineers defensively believing in the accuracy of their results. It is very unpleasant to read streaming pages of tabulations from the structural-analysis run, which include decimal places on the SI units (even on zero values).

59

Graphical Dyslexia

Numbers Rule #1
Manage the decimal places. I recommend that you copy the results to Microsoft Excel, delete columns of zeroes, improve the headers, fix the decimal places, and paste into the Microsoft Word document. Numbers Rule #1 Example

60

When working with SI units, delete decimal places. The numbers are easier to read without the decimal places.

Chapter Seven

Format for Drawings


In drawing, the programmers of Microsoft Office missed the opportunity to provide a great service to the engineering profession. For the best engineering standard of drawings, the current default settings are poor. Fortunately, the default settings are easily improved to produce engineering sketches. Being able to use the drawing package in Microsoft Word makes the time-consuming Microsoft Visio or SmartSketch redundant. Engineers who are locked into three-decimal-place thinking also believe in personally drawing their problems to scale, even though these drawings are reproduced by the designer for the drawings.

Drawing Rule #1
Note that what you print is what you get. What you see is what you get still pervades the mind-set. Engineers work on computers with screen defaults at 100 percent zoom and draw accordingly. This has created lasting damage to the engineers perception of working with computers, a classic issue of graphical dyslexia. Engineers assume that whatever is observable at 100 percent zoom is the correct setting for normal working conditions. There is no discernible difference between line thicknesses drawn at one-quarter point ( pt) and those drawn at threequarter point ( pt). If this is viewed at 200 percent zoom, then the difference can be seen. Engineers should think about what you print is what you get.

61

Graphical Dyslexia

Drawing Rule #2
In drawings, set the general line thickness to one-quarter point ( pt). The default line thickness is three-quarter point ( pt), but it can be reset to one-quarter point ( pt) as a default. This new line thickness is better for smaller diagrams and a crisper finish. The following diagrams show the steps to setting the default line to onequarter point ( pt) thickness. Step One

62

Chapter Seven

Step Two

63

Graphical Dyslexia

Drawing Rule #3
Set dimension lines to zero point (0 pt). This is the thinnest line that the printer delivers. While the lines can be set to zero point, they are not noticeable on-screen. You must refer to the output to see the results. To achieve this as a default setting, repeat Step 1, highlight the line, click on line button, and select more lines.

64

After accepting this, click OK. Repeat Step 2 (shown above).

Chapter Seven

Drawing Rule #4
Do not use arrows for dimension lines. Arrows are distinctive in the drawing packages of Microsoft Word and Excel, but they are not ideal for engineering dimensions. For these purposes, the line thickness should be zero point (0 pt) without arrows or overlapping extension lines. This ensures the dimensioned graphic object is clearer and is not overshadowed by the dimensioning. Font size should be set to six points (6 pt) for dimensions when default text is ten point (10 pt). If you want to point to a specific item, use arrows. The top half of the following diagram shows the use of dimension arrows. The bottom half of the diagram shows the same example without dimension arrows. The bottom half is clearer, cleaner, and less invasive. Too many arrows are distracting. In some cases, they are hard to read. See example below. The arrows overlap to make a diamond. Drawing Rule #4 Example

65

Graphical Dyslexia

Drawing Rule #5
If the original source is not easy to read, then annotate separately in Microsoft Word. Another typical example is the bending-moment diagram. Once the bedrock of the penand-paper calculations, it is now often omitted in calculations. Capture images, such as bending-moment diagrams, without supporting text from the analysis packages. Annotate separately with Microsoft Word text boxes. Likewise, all sections and elevations can be captured and annotated swiftly in Microsoft Word.

66

Format for Tables


The default settings for tables are unhelpful. Microsoft Word offers default settings for table and border settings that are not optimized for high-quality output. The default lines are too thick. Everything is horizontally underlined, making it tiresome to read.

Table Rule #1
Minimize width of cells. Section A B C D E Northing (m) 456.798 440.798 424.798 408.798 392.798 Easting (m) 345.700 345.700 345.700 345.700 345.700 Level (m) 102.345 103.345 104.345 105.345 105.345 No. of piles 2 4 2 2 4

Modify this table to a more condensed, narrower format, set cells to wrap text. Section A B C D E Northing (m) 456.798 440.798 424.798 408.798 392.798 Easting (m) 345.700 345.700 345.700 345.700 345.700 Level (m) 102.345 103.345 104.345 105.345 105.345 No. of piles 2 4 2 2 4

Chapter Seven

Table Rule #2
Set the default line thickness to one-quarter point ( pt). In Microsoft Word, the default table line thickness is one-half point ( pt). In Microsoft Excel, this is three-quarter point ( pt). Whichever way you choose to construct your table, I recommend your line thickness be set to one-quarter point ( pt). The lines are reduced to one-quarter point ( pt) thickness. Section A B C D E Northing (m) 456.798 440.798 424.798 408.798 392.798 Easting (m) 345.700 345.700 345.700 345.700 345.700 Level (m) 102.345 103.345 104.345 105.345 105.345 No. of piles 2 4 2 2 4

67

Table Rule #3
Avoid horizontal underlining in simple tables. Taking the previous example, remove the horizontal lines. Section A B C D E Northing (m) 456.798 440.798 424.798 408.798 392.798 Easting (m) 345.700 345.700 345.700 345.700 345.700 Level (m) 102.345 103.345 104.345 105.345 105.345 No. of piles 2 4 2 2 4

Graphical Dyslexia

Table Rule #4
Expand row heights and reduce font size. To avoid automatic cell-height rules, expand the row heights, and reduce the font size by two points. The table looks controlled and relaxed. It is also easy to read. The combined effect of larger fonts without any spacing and full underlining makes it difficult to read the table. Section A B C D E Northing (m) 456.798 440.798 424.798 408.798 392.798 Easting (m) 345.700 345.700 345.700 345.700 345.700 Level (m) 102.345 103.345 104.345 105.345 105.345 No. of piles 2 4 2 2 4

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All units, constants, and formulas should be properly subscripted and superscripted. There is only one way to show it. Any other way looks either old-fashioned or obsolete. In reading through some of these rules, how many times did you shrug your shoulders? Do you recognize any of these graphically dyslexic habits? The cumulative effect of these little rules can dramatically improve the quality of your calculations.

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight
The Shoulder-shrugging Syndrome

Chapter Eight
The Shoulder-shrugging Syndrome
The shoulder-shrugging syndrome is the condition where you blame the software applications and accept previous examples as the benchmark for your own work. Has no one ever pointed the way and encouraged an attitude that says you must do better? Many of these third-party and Windows applications have default settings that must be tweaked to your satisfaction, but it does not happen often enough. You first must know what tweaking means and that tweaking is required and desirable. As part of the important first step, you will learn how to adjust the default settings to prepare the calculation reports. This book seeks to extol the virtues of electronic calculations as a working method and demonstrate a completely new PC skill. In hindsight, it is easy to see how the pressure of time and lines has eroded the engineers effort to create a presentable report. The problem is worldwide. For newly graduated engineers, previous calculations are often the only source of reference for learning about their new profession. They are instructed by these examples and well on the way to learning how to shrug their shoulders. Textbooks or engineering courses do not cover many real-life examples. Instead, they are passed on through these important sources. For intermediate engineers, calculations become a personal statement. It is likely they have evolved some distance from their starting point as graduate engineers and have developed a new set of skills. They occasionally review other calculations. A process of comparison and learning is always occurring. The majority favours the easier route and the quality is being eroded with time. These plodding plateau stages of improvement serve as the minimum basis for a new set of engineers. This is the generation that should be inspired to overcome graphical dyslexia. A few gifted engineers realize the core importance of the calculations, and they strive to improve the quality and demonstrate clarity. But individuality is ultimately stamped into the calculations, and it cannot be repeated easily by others. For senior engineers, the calculations are a constant source of confusion and challenge. Few reports break through the mediocrity and shine. Senior engineers must rely on their judgment, experience, and skills to ensure the final design is adequate and fit for purpose. The senior engineer will see a wide range of quality and quantity. The division between the quality and quantity of calculation often demonstrates the perception of the designing engineer. The senior engineer can perceive the competence of the engineer in the calculation reports. Most times, engineering scribbles created at the end of the day by the senior engineer determine whether the calculations will be accepted.

71

The Shoulder-shrugging Syndrome

I recall a recent set of calculations for a simple access platform and walkway spanning more than three horizontal vessels. The report ran to an astonishing 120 pages and analyzed 232 load combinations. While it would take me the better part of a week to check it, I could confirm in an hour, with my scribble pad, the minimum basis for the design with four load combinations in a couple of pages. I could forget the rigorous structural analysis. The engineer had clearly expended an extraordinary amount of time and effort conforming to the local perception of the corporate and project quality system requirements, to the exclusion of all else. The amount of shoulder-shrugging and malaise that accompanied this performance was perhaps unsurprising. On another occasion, with a strict deadline of only a few days before issue, I had received a set of calculations running to four large A4 ring binders for a complex steel structure on a concrete tabletop. More than 1,000 pages had been printed directly from an unfamiliar structural-analysis package. Every single possible item had been printed without any explanation. I chose to focus on the connection detail of the bracing system between the steel superstructure and the concrete tabletop to check that structural stability could be guaranteed. Using simple sketches, structural redundancies, and basic loadings, I could estimate (within ten percent) the order of magnitude in the forces for the connection design. These were checked against the voluminous output. A notable discrepancy was clear. The final conclusion was that the steel/concrete connection was severely overstressed and shear keys would be required to save the design. The calculations were rejected. Most of you have these horror stories of the worse kind of calculations. Can you say you have seen the best? Have you seen a set of calculations that has inspired you as a model example? Using the techniques in this book, anyone committed to electronic format calculations is more likely to take stock of the challenge, simplify, and start driving toward higher quality. Now is the time for consultants, professional engineers, engineering departments and corporations to recognize the benefits of a minimum standard for calculations. The formats and method for putting together a calculation that reflects time-saving opportunities should be an open discussion between engineers and not confined to the enclave of the few wizards.

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Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine
The Microsoft Word Strategy for Engineers

Chapter Nine
The Microsoft Word Strategy for Engineers
Most Microsoft Word textbooks and references deal with Word features with a bias toward business or computer-speak. This always fazes the engineer because no clear objective is demonstrated for engineering examples. You are more likely to read about payroll setups, mail merges, and profit centers than anything connected to the engineering environment. I have spent many years wading through such books. Everything in this book is the distillation of that process and the myriad methods explored. In any computer self-help books, the best demonstration is always by example. Any treatment of practical engineering examples in todays references is nonexistent, so this book is designed to fill that need. To succeed with Microsoft Word, you must recognize the strategy for engineering calculations. Likewise, there is a reasonable strategy for Microsoft Word in engineering. Any strategy is about having a plan to achieve your objectives. The first part of the strategy is to identify only the minimum menus and features in Microsoft Word that have value to the engineer. All other features are disregarded. One day, I may find a useful engineering application with some of the advanced features, but I have not done so yet. The second part of the strategy is to demonstrate how the singular Microsoft Word document is constructed using multiple operating applications. Two assumptions are central to this book. First, only the limited features of Microsoft Word are explored. Second, you will be learning to copy all sources of relevant information into a template Word document that you have created yourself. I recommend you systematically follow the modules. The structured modules and examples reflect the principles of a good calculation and clear drawings for engineering design problems. You will be able to determine your skills and proficiency within this sliding scale. With little or no experience, you will be able to work through the examples to discover the freedom and power of Microsoft Word. The first place to start is tweaking the Microsoft Word default settings on your computer, which will eventually save many wasted hours. The current default settings of almost every application are not ideal. It is wise to learn about default settings for any applications you use. It is a mystery how they are configured, but they are the default settings we receive and mostly accept without question. The system was never designed for the practising engineer. With every version or upgrade of Microsoft Word comes a new adjustment to be made. If you are unaware of the details, it leads to frustration. Observing Microsoft Word strategy, a new workaround can be quickly found. With a strategy, the engineer will be able to breathe life into calculations, focus on key issues, illuminate difficult theories, support the drawings, and invite nodding heads to

75

The Microsoft Word Strategy for Engineers

implied wisdoms. The collective impact of the final product, the calculations, will have an effect on many levels. These range from gaining educational benefits for future graduates, impressing clients, and winning the respect of other practising engineers. As a starting point, for the design of an engineered open-structure in a petrochemical refinery, the calculations should cover, at a minimum:

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Chapter Nine

The fixed element is prepared in advance (by others). The first components of the variable elements are started at the first opportunity before detailed analysis is undertaken. This corresponds to ten percent of the engineering. The structural concept is then proposed, and the structural arrangement is confirmed. The starting point has been established for the analysis. The report should be prepared in the order shown. As a milestone for the calculations, fifty percent progress can be reported when sketches are prepared for the designers. With the commitment to the team resolved, the engineer can proceed with the analysis. The following sections will address some of the neglected elements of the engineers craft. The engineers craft should be improved by the following suggestions: Use more graphics; Apply consistency in formats; Look for repeatability; Be critical of your work; Strive for quality, not quantity; Simplify; Justify the reason for using any computer software; Convince the reader, not the writer; Draw the details; Draw what you mean; mean what you draw; Show assumptions; Show the principles at work; Do better every time; Manage time better; and Have a strategy for computer solutions. In this book, numerous spreadsheet examples of typical engineering problems, from the simplest to the complex, are presented. Regardless of the complexity of the spreadsheet, the effort of compiling the report is the same. These spreadsheets embody the techniques and principles described more fully later in the series. The justification is to create calculations in a centralized, consistent manner in order to reduce the time spent collating multiple hard-copy formats into consistent, readable, and digestible reports.

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The Microsoft Word Strategy for Engineers

Chapter Ten
An Electronic Engineering Example

Chapter Ten
An Electronic Engineering Example
As a starting point for the design of an engineered open-structure in a petrochemical refinery, the suggested calculation layout should include at a minimum, the following items; Description of construction; Preliminary layout; Loading; Load combinations; Analysis; Design arrangement; Results; Final layout; Sketches for designers; and Appendix for additional information. A complete report for an auxiliary building design to the French code (with translation) is shown in a thumbnail layout. The substation is a series of reinforced concrete frames supported on buried concrete spreadfooting bases. The concrete frames support a structural steel superstructure that will be clad. The report selects a typical frame section for complete analysis. It is drafted when the design is completed. The actual calculation took less than two hours to prepare. This did not include the translation by others and the template provided. The typical project information is described and prepared in a previous report (not shown here). This previous report is designed for the project and is used as a record of issue for the subsequent sections. This frees the engineer from collating this information where numerous repetitions of calculations are required. The Section II report starts with a description of the structural model. A layout arrangement was prepared beforehand in AutoCAD, captured with SnagIt and copied to the Microsoft Word report. Early in the model preparation, the loading arrangement was tabulated in Microsoft Excel. The structural model is shown loaded, which aids the checker. Also in Microsoft Excel, the wind calculation is detailed and laid out with respect to the French code. This was prepared earlier in pre-model days when there was a period of review in order to learn what was entailed in the French code. All these tabulated items are copied from Microsoft Excel into Microsoft Word. To do so, the user clicked Paste Special on the Edit menu followed by Picture and OK. This sequence of command is the golden rule for preparing reports.

81

An Electronic Engineering Example

Thumbnail view of the Example Report

82

Chapter Ten

You should use Microsoft Excel as the calculation pad in order to prepare the necessary information as the work progresses. Microsoft Excel should not contain any formats regarding headers, footers, or layout. The Microsoft Word template covers these elements. In this example, a forty-page report has less than thirty percent of the calculation devoted to the preprocessing phase. The following excerpts present the quality that can be expected. Title, Contents Page, and Description

83

An Electronic Engineering Example

Capturing Third-party AutoCad Drawings

84

Chapter Ten

The pre processing elements of the report are mostly prepared in Microsoft Excel. Capturing STAAD.Pro Diagrams; Importing Tables from Microsoft Excel

85

An Electronic Engineering Example

The final page of the pre-processing phase gives the loading combinations. Importing Tables from Microsoft Excel

86

Chapter Ten

In the preparation of the post-processing phase, the topics to be covered were: Reactions; RC foundation design; - Soil bearing pressure; - Spread-footing dimensions; - Spread-footing details; Reinforced concrete design; - Columns; - Transverse beams; - Longitudinal beams; - Slab; - Detail arrangements; - Anchor bolt sizing; Steel design; - Deflections; - Bracing forces; - Unity code checks; - Baseplate designs; and - Other items.

87

An Electronic Engineering Example

Rather than provide the typical line diagram of STAAD.Pro, the elevation sketch is embellished graphically for the benefit of the reader. With a few added strokes, the reader can visually deduce that there are concrete and steel elements in the design. The question is answered before it is asked. This is used as a key diagram throughout the report. Looking After the Results

88

Chapter Ten

Using and Importing Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets

89

An Electronic Engineering Example

Using SnagIt, copy the bending-moment diagrams from Staad.Pro. Resize to suit the page layout. Because the font layout in STAAD.Pro is difficult to read when the graphical image is compressed, annotate the sketch in the Microsoft Word session. This is advantageous because you can control the graphical quality. It is less frustrating and faster than trying to get a readable layout from STAAD.Pro. More Examples of Tables and Spreadsheet Layout

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Chapter Ten

Learning how to draw quickly in Microsoft Excel is a powerful incentive to creating clear documents. It is faster than any sketch prepared by hand. The following sketch took ten to fifteen minutes to complete. This process is demonstrated in the module course. References are made to Excel Level types of spreadsheet are covered more specifically in the second book. Typically, A Level 1 spreadsheet takes two or three hours. It includes simple sketches, tables and a couple of lines of calculations; A Level II spreadsheet takes two to three days to prepare. Self-checking is sufficient, intended for personal use; A Level III spreadsheet takes two to three weeks to prepare. Group checking, flowcharts and explanations are intended for use by others; and A Level IV spreadsheet takes two to three months. It is peer reviewed, including full documentation, macros, scalable graphics; intended for use by all. Sketches Copied from Microsoft Excel

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An Electronic Engineering Example

Key Plan Refreshed and Steel Results Being Checked

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Importing Results from Third-party Outputs

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Using Spreadsheets Developed by Others 1

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Using Spreadsheets Developed by Others 2

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The calculation refers to a flowchart used in an Excel Level III spreadsheet. This flowchart explains how the macro calculates a complex, bi-axial bending solution on a spread-footing design by a known referenced method. As required, this flowchart was prepared on a blank sheet for copying into a template project document. Macro Documentation

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Chapter Eleven
A Practical Microsoft Word Course for Engineers

Chapter Eleven
A Practical Microsoft Word Course for Engineers The purpose of this book is not to present a formal description of Microsoft Word. Instead, it is to focus on a practical methodology for using Microsoft Word in an engineering environment, and demonstrate the method. I have been using this method for over ten years now with few changes, and it still is relevant and powerful. With improved Microsoft Word software programming stretching into the future, it is inevitable that Microsoft programmers will add to the knowledge base and the learning curve, rather than reduce it. It is to be hoped that the engineer will avoid the steep learning curve, acquire a future-proof skill and be adaptable when using future revisions in Microsoft Word programs. To remind you, Microsoft Word has grown over the years from humble beginnings into an extremely effective and powerful tool, but not always with the engineer in mind. Many newcomers to Microsoft Word find it overwhelming, and are the first to admit they can spend unproductive hours trying to achieve simple results. My own experience is similar but this is why it is important for engineers to talk to each other and find a common goal. As the origins and default settings of Microsoft Word are probably more businessrelated, it is necessary to know how to tweak default settings for engineers. As with any computer program at the disposal of the engineer, it is important to ask yourself, did the programmer really think of the engineer? Does the programmer really know what the engineer needs? The answer is probably not. The same applies to the structural-analysis programs. The message is to trust no one but yourself, and always ask the following questions: Is it good enough? Is it what I want? Can it be better? The modules are presented in sequence from scratch. The first module starts with a blank page and develops it, continually demonstrating the method. Only relevant menus are demonstrated in more depth. The modules will not cover the mundane tasks of writing, spell-checking, tracking, and editing. These items are covered in standard Microsoft Word references.

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Module #1
Changing Default Settings

Fonts Remove canvas for drawing Toolbars on two rows Show all menus Autocorrect options Autoshape defaults Line thickness Arrows Blank pages Sections Headers and footers Insert tables and borders Styles Insert blank pages Insert headers Insert text Use show/hide Dates Discover the power of shift and control on text, zoom, and drawings Scale is relative Draw big Group Reduce Reinforcement Pile arrangement PRINT SCREEN Crop the picture Cut and paste Use Paste Special Graphic capture from Staad.Pro, elevations Fit drawings onto a page Add notes and comments Align fonts Layers Arrows and line thicknesses Embellishments Remove white spaces Remove page headers Establish headers Expand the report Set Table of Contents Different page setups

Module #2
Creating the Calculation Template

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Module #3 Inserting Fields in the Template Module #4
The Power of Shift and Control

Module #5
Drawing Details

Module #6 Importing Pictures Module #7


Managing Pictures

Module #8
Drawing Annotations

Module #9
Importing ASCII Files

Module #10 Getting Going

Chapter Eleven

Module 1
Module #1
Changing Default Settings The examples generated in this guide are constructed from Microsoft Word 2003 with an XP operating system. Regional settings and personal preferences are not explored; hot key sequences are not illustrated; the following personal preferences are not explored: Spelling and grammar Screen tips Task pane Autosave features File locations Security Assumed by default Toggled off Toggled off Toggled off As per Window defaults Macro security set to medium

Compatibility with previous versions of Microsoft Word Toggled off

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Some differences may be encountered on different operating systems or different versions, but the principles remain the same. The object of this module is to change the default settings of Microsoft Word to be useful for you, the engineer. This only has to be performed once on each computer you work on. If you relocate to another computer, then the exercise must be repeated as required. The default settings cover the choice of toolbar displays, font type, font sizes, table and border line thickness, and margin settings.

Changing Default Settings

1. Open a new document.

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2. On the Tools menu, click Customize. Click the Options tab. Select the Show Standard and Formatting toolbars on two rows check box. Select the Always show full menus check box. If you are not familiar with Microsoft Word, this will drive you to distraction very quickly, trying to remember where a command is located.

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3. Click the Toolbars tab. Select the Drawing check box.

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Steps 2 and 3 can also be accomplished by opening the View menu. Point to Toolbars, and click the appropriate selections.

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4. On the Tools menu, click Options. Ensure the fields as selected, as illustrated, for all the tabs.

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5. Explore other options.

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6. Click the Security tab. Click Macro Security. This will allow macros to be run.

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7. Click the Save tab. Select the Always create backup copy check box. All other check boxes are preferential. Files are sometimes disrupted on corporate servers as large files become larger. The best practice is to save frequently, but we do forget; it can happen to anyone. The best practice is to create a backup copy.

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8. On the Tools menu, click Autocorrect Options. This will allow units like MPa to be written without being automatically corrected.

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So far, these default settings are for the Windows environment. The settings are remembered whenever you open a session of Microsoft Word. The next sets of default adjustments are for the default Word document. As a personal choice, I do not like Times New Roman as the default font for my calculation templates so I change this to Arial. 9. On the File menu, click Open. Locate C:\Documents and Settings\user name Application Data\Microsoft\Templates. If this is not visible, then default settings in Windows XP may have view files as hidden. 10. To find the template, open Windows Explorer; click on the Tools menu then View tab and select show hidden files to be toggled on.

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11. Return to the Microsoft Word document. On the File menu, click Open. 12. Open the folder containing the Microsoft document templates.

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13. Change the font and size.

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14. Draw an arrow line. With the selection highlighted either right-click to make the selection or click the Arrow Style button.

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15. In the Weight box, click 0.25 pt.

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16. In the End size box, click the size 2 arrow. (If arrows are used, size 2 is the best arrow.)

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17. Click Draw and click Set Autoshape Defaults.

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18. Click Draw, and click Grid.

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19. To delete the highlighted arrow, press Delete. 20. On the Table menu, point to Insert. Click Table. The Tables and Borders toolbar will appear. The Insert Table dialogue box will appear. 21. Click OK.

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22. In the Line Weight box, select pt.

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23. Place the cursor in one cell of the table. 24. On the Table menu, point to Select. Click Table.

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25. On the Table menu, point to Delete. Click Table.

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26. On the View menu, point to Toolbars. Click Tables and Borders. This will restore the screen to the default view.

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Alternatively, you can right-click the toolbar panel.

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27. On the Format menu, click Styles and Formatting.

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28. Click Normal. 29. Click the arrow to display the available list. 30. Click Modify.

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31. In the Formatting list, click Arial. 32. In the Size list, click 8.

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Text boxes can be written for annotation with the preferred setting.

Changing Default Settings

33. Adjust the ruler and margin settings by moving the mouse over the vertical scroll bar until a two-way arrow appears. Drag down until 5 cm appears.

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34. Repeat for the right margin.

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35. Drag the right margin to 1.5 cm.

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36. To save the template, click Close Window. The template will be saved automatically as Normal. Alternatively, on the File menu, click Save As. Rename the file as calc_template.dot. To open the template, on the File menu, click New.

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Open a new document. The new fonts, line sizes, arrow properties, and border thicknesses will be retained as the default settings.

Changing Default Settings

Notes:

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Module 2
Module #2
Creating the Calculation Template The engineer often regards creating the calculation template as the biggest obstacle to learning Microsoft Word. In the collective minds of the shoulder-shruggers, the attitude is that, because other software reporting facilities provide this function, it is futile to duplicate the effort. The effort is perceived as time-consuming, complicated, and secretarial. The purpose of this module is to show you that: This is a simple method; It is quick to learn; and It is a great time-saver. Knowing how to achieve this effortlessly is a first step in seeing Microsoft Word being put to good use. Long before the real calculation is started, the effort of establishing a calculation template early in the project enables: QA/QC activities to be incorporated; Numbering procedures to be adopted; and Styles to be addressed. The provision of a calculation template invites consistency among engineers while preparing numerous calculations. This adds to the professional image of your work. This really should be a minimum criterion for work that may cost millions or even billions. Because the proposed technique is to collate all of the required arguments to demonstrate the purpose of the calculation, it is recommended to insert all of the chapters or sections predicted to be used in the report. In these sections, additional blank pages are created to receive the imported objects from third-party sources, such as Microsoft Excel, MathCad, RISA, STAAD.Pro, Microsoft Visio, and so forth.

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1. Open a new document.

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2. On the File menu, click Save As.

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3. Create three separate sections, one apiece for cover sheet, inside cover, and continuation sheet.

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4. Repeat Step 3 on the second page.

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5. When the three pages have been set, return to the first page. Reduce the top margin to 1.5 cm.

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This change only affects the first page.

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6. On the Insert Table dialog box: Type 7 in the Number of columns box. Type 17 in the Number of rows box.

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7. Position the mouse on the right-hand margin. Click to select five rows below, and drag down gently. As the mouse reaches the bottom of the screen, the window will continue to scroll down.

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8. Release the drag action when the five rows are at the bottom-most part of the page.

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9. Select the top five rows. 10. On the Table menu, click Merge Cells.

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11. Repeat the previous step for the first two columns and the last two columns.

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Merge the two rows between these merged columns.

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12. Repeat twice.

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13. Select the columns being merged.

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14. Scroll down until the bottom rows come into view. 15. Place the cursor over the line until there are two vertical and parallel lines with stretching arrows. 16. Hold and drag to the right.

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17. Repeat Steps 16 and 17 for the next line to the left.

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18. Repeat the previous step.

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Now the left-hand side cells are reduced.

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19. Repeat the previous step.

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The result should appear similar to the following:

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In the next module, these cells will be populated with logo images, titles, and fields. 20. Highlight the top three rows of the table by placing the cursor outside the table. Click and drag down until the selection is achieved.

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21. On the Format menu, click Borders and Shading.

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22. Highlight the second and third row, and repeat the previous step.

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23. Even though the cells are visible, they will not be printed. Click Print Preview to see the results of the formatting for the first page.

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The following should appear:

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24. Open the second page. A table will be inserted into the header, so the header view needs to be activated.

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25. Disconnect the link to the first page.

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26. On the Table menu, point to Insert. Click Table. 27. In the Insert Table dialog box: Type 6 in the Number of columns box. Type 10 in the Number of rows box.

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28. Complete merging of cells. Select top three rows and five columns. Place the cursor in the first cell, and drag to suit.

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This concludes the purpose of Module 2.

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Notes:

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Notes:

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Module 3
Module #3
Inserting Fields in the Template This module looks at creating links between the front page cover of the calculations and the header regions of the subsequent pages in the calculations. It is an option that meets the QA/QC requirements. The following assumptions are made: The Company is RTM Engineering. The logo is RTM in Italic Arial fonts. The Client is Getrich Inc. The logo is provided by the client for use. The Project is the Deepdown Sands.

1. Open Calc_template.doc. 2. Type RTM Engineering in the top cell. 3. Highlight RTM Engineering to select it. 4. Change the font size to 26, with Bold and Italic. 5. On the Formatting toolbar, click Bold. 6. On the Formatting toolbar, click Italic. 7. Highlight Engineering to select it. 8. Click Bold to remove the bold formatting from Engineering.

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9. Highlight the row. 10. On the Table menu, click Table Properties. 11. In the Table Properties dialog box, click the Cell tab. 12. Click Center. 13. Click OK.

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14. On the Drawing toolbar, click Text Box. 15. Sketch an outline in the top right-hand section. 16. Type RTM in the text box.

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17. On the Formatting toolbar: Click 36 in the Font Size box. Click Bold. Click Italic.

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18. Resize the text box to suit. 19. To remove the black border, click Line Colour on the Drawing toolbar. Click No Line.

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20. Import an image from the Desktop.

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This image can be downloaded from www.motagg.com/downloads. Click on Logo1EW.jpg.

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21. To resize the image, grab the corner, and drag to suit. 22. Drag image to the left-hand side of the document by using the four-sided pointer.

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23. Due to an oversight, additional rows are required. Select the rows between the logos.

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24. Reselect the rows. 25. On the Table and Borders toolbar, click No Border.

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26. Within the table, type the following text in alternate rows: Document No. Document Title. Section.

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27. Type the following in the lowest row: The project name: The Deepdown Sands Project. The project title: Central Plant Area.

28. On the Table menu, click Table Properties. 29. In the Table Properties dialog box, click the Cell tab. 30. Click Center. 31. Click OK.

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32. On the Formatting toolbar: Click 20 in the Font Size box. Click Center.

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33. To add all of the required information, add another column. Select the cells being split.

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Inserting columns to the left will operate on the whole table and will be impossible to reconfigure.

Inserting Fields in the Template

34. Type the following sequence of text in the bottom row as required: REV DATE PAGES DESCRIPTION BY CHKD APP. CLIENT

35. Select the row. 36. On the Formatting toolbar:

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Click 8 in the Font Size box. Click Center.

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37. Adjust column sizes to suit.

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38. Click Print Preview. The following is decided: The company name should be aligned to the right-hand side. The bottom row is to be expanded to allow more space around the text.

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39. Select the first row. 40. On the Formatting toolbar, click Align Right.

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41. Select the bottom line of the table. 42. Move the line down by moving the margins of the vertical ruler or dragging the line down.

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For the moment, the first page is complete.

Chapter Eleven - Module 3

43. Open the second page. 44. Double-click the header to open. 45. Type RTM Engineering. 46. Select the text. 47. On the Formatting toolbar: Click 26 in the Font Size box. Click Bold. Click Italic.

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48. Select Engineering. 49. On the Formatting toolbar, click Bold to remove the bold from the selected characters.

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50. Type Calculation. 51. Select Calculation. 52. On the Formatting toolbar, click 20 in the Font Size box. 53. On the Table menu, click Table Properties. 54. In the Table Properties dialog box, click the Cell tab. 55. Click Center.

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56. Select six rows in the last column. 57. On the Table menu, click Merge Cells. The table shrinks slightly to conform with the margins default settings.

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58. Type RTM. (Alternatively, a clip image or corporate logo can be added.) 59. On the Formatting toolbar: Click 36 in the Font Size box. Click Bold. Click Italic.

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60. Type the following in the first column: Client: Project: Document Title: Document No.

61. Select these cells. 62. On the Formatting toolbar, click Align Right.

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63. As shown in the following graphic, type: Engineer: Checker: Date:

64. Select these cells. 65. On the Formatting toolbar, click Align Right.

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66. Merge the three columns into one column. 67. Repeat on the subsequent lines.

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68. Select the entire table. 69. On the Tables and Borders toolbar, click No Border.

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70. Select RTM Engineering. 71. On the Tables and Borders toolbar, click Bottom Border.

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72. Select the bottom rows. 73. On the Tables and Borders toolbar, click Outside Border.

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74. Expand each row by minimum drag down. 75. On the Table menu, click Table Properties. 76. On the Table Properties dialog box, click the Cell tab. 77. Click Center.

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78. Click Print Preview to check the layout.

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79. Click Close. 80. Double-click the header. 81. Click Switch Between Header and Footer.

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82. Click Insert AutoText. 83. Click Filename and path.

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84. Use the TAB key to move the cursor away. 85. Click Insert AutoText. 86. Click Page X of Y.

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87. Set a tab on the ruler at the right-hand side of the document.

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88. Return to the beginning of the line. 89. Press ENTER.

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90. On the Drawing toolbar, click Line to create a separation line. (While drawing the line, press SHIFT to keep it flat.)

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91. Press Close to close the header and footer.

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92. Click Print Preview to view the basic results.

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A link will now be created between entries on the cover sheet and header.

Inserting Fields in the Template

93. Place the cursor in the cell below Document No. 94. On the View menu, point to Toolbars. Click Forms.

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95. On the Forms toolbar, click Text Form Field to place a default text entry grey box wherever the cursor is residing.

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96. With the blinking cursor at the end of the shaded area, click with the mouse and drag backwards until the shaded area becomes darker. The entries are as shown.

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97. Repeat the process for the Document Title.

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98. Double-click the header on the second page. 99. Place the cursor in the cell adjacent to Document Title. 100. On the Insert menu, click Field.

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The third page is set, by default, to be a copy of the second page. By double-clicking in the header and pressing F9 in each cell, the fields will be updated.

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Notes:

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Notes:

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Module 4
Module #4
The Power of Shift and Control Discovering the power of Shift and Control is like receiving the keys to the car for the first time and feeling the first real power at your fingertips. The subsequent modules will show the power of using the Shift and Control keys in single use or combinations. Other images of cursors appear, including tables, but they will be covered in the relevant modules. To check the mouse settings, click the Mouse icon in Control Panel. The variety of the functions of the mouse design is too exhaustive to be covered here, but the mouse devices with a wheel button that are set for scrolling functions can also be used for zooming in combination with the Control key. For example, in default print/page layout view, using the control key and the mouse navigation wheel will zoom in and out on your document. Practise moving the cursor on the left-hand side of the document; you can select either an entire single line or, with dragging action (that is, by keeping the left button pressed), multiple blocks of lines. Multiple blocks can also be selected by using the Shift key. The alternative is selecting a single line. Press the Shift key, and move the cursor to the end of the block. Click the left button on the mouse. The control key allows multiple or separate lines of text to be selected. If you move the cursor over selected text, it can be grabbed and moved. Pressing the Control key will copy to a new location. If you are unfamiliar with these hidden features, the tabulated examples give clues that hidden shortcuts are programmed in all Microsoft Windows applications. The buttons on the Standard toolbar are not always the best or the only method. Always make a point of periodically checking the Shift and Control key actions in text, tables, and drawings. I always find a new trick. This is the real benefit of working, talking, and exchanging ideas with other engineers in the art of preparing calculations. Instead of any Microsoft Word reference book, most of the applied ideas have come from these interactive sessions. This book will not explore the Alt key options. More treasures lie there, but I do not have any use for the Alt key options that is worth covering here.

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The Power of Shift and Control

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Notes:

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Notes:

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Module 5
Module #5
Drawing in Microsoft Word Whether in Microsoft Word or Excel, drawing is the most underrated facility for engineers. By learning how to draw by using these features, you will throw away the scale drawings of other drawing packages. Rule 1: Draw big; scale down later. Rule 2: No measurement involved, only the rule of thumb approach. Rule 3: Use annotation heavily. The Drawing Toolbar Looking at the Drawing toolbar, different features should be explored. The check marks indicate those that will be explored in this module.

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Drawing Details

The preferred settings in the Drawing Grid dialog box are shown:

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The nudge feature is very useful and can be operated by the arrow keys on the keyboard.

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Drawing Details

The Align or Distribute menu is also of great interest when using the drawing features.

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The AutoShapes menu has many interesting features, but it is overloaded with unnecessary features. The purpose is to highlight those features of significant interest.

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Of the basic shapes, the arc feature is of principal use.

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For the remainder of the Drawing toolbar, the recommendations are as shown:

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Example #1: Draw an Array of Pile Locations


1. Pressing SHIFT, draw an arc.

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2. On the Drawing toolbar, click Fill Colour. Click Black.

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Drawing Details

3. Pressing CTRL, drag a little bit.

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4. Place the cursor over the green spot. 5. Pressing SHIFT, rotate 180 degrees, release, and drag until two rights are coincident.

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6. To draw a circle: Place the cursor at the center; Press CTRL+SHIFT; and Drag to embrace the arc segments.

The default fill is white.

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7. On the Drawing toolbar, click Fill Colour. Click No Fill.

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8. On the Drawing toolbar, click Select Objects.

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This will enable a window range to be selected. If this button is double-clicked, you will remain in graphic mode. To escape, press ESC or click the cursor button to release.

Chapter Eleven - Module 5

9. Select a window for highlighting all newly drawn objects.

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10. On the Drawing toolbar, click Draw. Click Group.

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11. To resize to the smallest possible shape, pick a corner with a diagonal resize handle. Press SHIFT.

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12. Drag to move the item up the page. 13. On the Standard toolbar: Click Copy. Click Paste nine times.

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14. Drag the last pasted image up and to the right.

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15. On the Drawing toolbar, click Select Objects. Select all images. 16. Click Draw. Point to Align or Distribute, and click Align Top.

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17. On the Drawing toolbar, click Draw. Point to Align or Distribute, and click Distribute Horizontally.

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18. On the Drawing toolbar, click Draw. Click Group.

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19. Press SHIFT+CTRL, deleting period with and drag down with mouse.

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20. Repeat action twice more. 21. On the Drawing toolbar, point to Align or Distribute. Click Distribute Vertically.

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22. On the Drawing toolbar, click Dash Style. Click Dash Dot.

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23. On the Drawing toolbar, click Text Box. 24. Type centerline of foundation (Arial font, size 6, no fill, no line) within the text box.

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25. Zoom to 200%. Use arrow keys on the keypad to adjust into position.

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26. Using CTRL, the mouse wheel, or the center wheel, zoom to 70%. 27. On the Drawing toolbar, click Draw. Click Group.

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Example #2: Draw an Anchor in Concrete


1. Open new document. 2. Pressing SHIFT, draw an arc.

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Drawing Details

3. Place cursor over one end of the arc. 4. Grab the yellow diamond to complete a semicircle.

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Press SHIFT+CTRL to copy the semicircle vertically a little way.

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5. From the bottom left-hand corner, press CTRL to resize the semicircle. 6. Use the down arrow to nudge the semicircle.

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7. To add vertical lines for the outline of the bolt: Double-click the Line button on the Drawing toolbar and draw two lines; or Draw one line, and press SHIFT+CTRL to copy.

8. If the line is not long enough, extend it by placing the cursor over the end of the line and stretching. For convenience, continue to press SHIFT.

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9. Add line to intersect to indicate the top of the concrete. Add a thin rectangle for a washer.

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10. Add a rounded rectangle to sit on top.

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11. Press SHIFT+CTRL (copy #1) to the right. Use midsection handle to squeeze. Press SHIFT+CTRL on the shortened rectangle to the other side (copy #2). A line has been added to the top.

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12. On the Drawing toolbar, click AutoShapes. Point to Lines, and then click Freeform. With this feature, each click denotes a point. Select the first point on the underside at the edge of the washer. Press SHIFT to fix the second location. Draw a rough semicircle connecting these two points. Continue to press the mouse button to draw such a path.

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13. On the Drawing toolbar, click Fill Colour. Click Grey-25%.

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14. On the Format menu, click AutoShape. 15. In the Format AutoShape dialogue box, set the transparency to 25%.

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16. Select all objects. 17. On the Drawing toolbar, click Draw. Click Group. 18. Resize the image to a smaller size, and move.

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Later, there is a complaint that the bolt does not look long enough and the proximity of an edge should be shown.

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19. On the Drawing toolbar, click Draw. Click Ungroup.

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20. On the Drawing toolbar, click Select Objects. Draw a window around the hook items. Pressing SHIFT, drag down to suit.

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21. Extend lines to connect. An edge has been added. Select a freeform object and zoom. 22. On the Drawing toolbar, click Draw. Click Edit Points.

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23. Stretch points to suit for the purpose of this demonstration. It would be easier to delete and redraw.

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24. Delete and redraw freeform object. 25. On the Drawing toolbar, click Line Colour. Click No Line. 26. On the Drawing toolbar, click Draw. Point to Order, and click Send to Back.

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27. Regroup and resize to suit.

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Example #3: Reinforcement Arrangement for a Spreadfoot Foundation


1. Zoom to 500%. 2. Draw the smallest circle possible.

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3. Zoom to 100%. 4. Copy and paste the circle eleven times. 5. On the Drawing toolbar, point to Align or Distribute. Click Align Top. 6. Move the end point. 7. On the Drawing toolbar, point to Align or Distribute. Click Distribute Horizontally. 8. On the Drawing toolbar, click Line. 9. On the Drawing toolbar, click Line Style. Click 3 pt.

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10. Nudge line down. 11. Add small arc near the end of the line. 12. Change the line type to match, and nudge into position. 13. Press SHIFT+CTRL on the arc group, and move to the end of the line.

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14. Rotate horizontally on the second arc, and nudge into position. 15. Add vertical lines, and change type. 16. On the Drawing toolbar, click Draw. Click Group.

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17. Copy, and shift down. Flip the new group vertically. The image is also stretched smaller.

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This exercise can be repeated to get something like this.

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Module 6
Module #6
Importing Pictures The worst frustration of importing pictures is either trying to maintain a dynamic link to a source or the consequences of using the default settings of the standard toolbars. File sizes can grow so large that it causes problems in maintaining and handling the file. Through constant use, you will discover: Never use the paste command on imports; Always paste special photos in a JPEG format; If the picture is cropped, then cut and paste it again or use the compress feature; Check file size regularly for sudden growths; and Always use Edit paste special for imports from Microsoft Excel. An opportunity to include pictures often occurs in the calculations. These available pictures are not usually configured for optimum use in reports so you must optimize their use when you import the pictures. This is simple to achieve. For example, a picture in this module has the file size of 593 kB. (This is not a particularly big file, but it serves to illustrate the purpose.) If this file is imported directly using the Paste feature, then the file size is 21 kB for the default template size plus 593 kB for the picture. This adds to a grand total of 620 kB. If this was pasted in as a Picture (Enhanced Metafile), the file size becomes 5,324 kB, that is, ten times larger. Your file can grow too quickly if a number of pictures were to follow. If you are importing images from Microsoft Visio, Smartsketch, AutoCAD, Microsoft Excel, or MathCad, then you must click Paste Special on the Edit menu. This just hands over a pixellated picture without any associated memory of shape properties or line thicknesses. It is minimal in memory size. Importing from Microsoft Excel is the most common procedure. With the default settings recommended from earlier modules and simply clicking Paste Special on the Edit menu, the calculation is constructed quickly without any fuss. By contrast, transferring the image using the Paste button on the Standard toolbar, Microsoft Word converts and remembers all the settings and properties of the image so it can be edited in the application, if required. Even a simple circle copied from Microsoft Visio will be substantial in memory.

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1. On the Edit menu, click Paste Special.

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2. In the Paste Special dialogue box, click Picture (JPEG).

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3. Using the crop marks from the bottom right-hand corner, crop the picture to remove people from the foreground.

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This file can be downloaded from www.motagg.com/downloads. Click on croppingimage1EW.jpg. Place on desktop.

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4. To throw away the cropped images, on the Edit menu, click Paste Special. Click Picture (JPEG). The image cannot be uncropped to its previous state, reducing the memory further. The alternative method is to follow the Compress button.

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5. Open the Microsoft Excel document called Vibro1.xls. This chart can be copied into Microsoft Word. 6. Highlight the cell regions required.

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This Microsoft Excel file can be downloaded from www.motagg.com/downloads. Click on VIBR01.xls.

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7. Using the right mouse button, click Copy. (Alternatively, you can click Copy on the Edit menu or press CTRL+C.)

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8. In the Microsoft Word document, click Paste Special on the Edit menu.

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9. Zoom to 200% (this is the quality of printing). Here the symbols are not correctly drawn. 10. Select the chart, and press Delete.

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11. On the Edit menu, click Paste Special. 12. Click Picture (Enhanced Metafile). 13. Click OK.

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14. Zoom to 200%. 15. Confirm the image is okay.

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By highlighting the picture, the image can be resized and/or moved within the document. Alternatively, I have annotated over the error with the correct text box. This actually saves time, and is the only time I might shrug my shoulders. I do not like the idea of spending hours trying to make it work perfectly. The reader does not need to know. Likewise, if minor corrections are required, I might use a white line or white rectangle, similar to white correction fluid, on the paper.

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Module 7
Module #7
Managing Pictures This module examines how to handle information graphically and rapidly from a thirdparty application such as STAAD.Pro, a structural-analysis package commonly available. The lessons are applicable for all other third-party structural applications. The mechanism for transferring the images works either by pressing the PRINT SCREEN key or using a software facility, such as SnagIt. I ordinarily use SnagIt, but the example here will use the first method. 1. The view in STAAD.Pro shows a piperack, which will be used to describe construction in the calculation. Annotations will be added to help understand the view.

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This image can be downloaded from www.motagg.com/downloads. Click on STAAD1EW.bmp.

Managing Pictures

2. With the view in the full window, press the PRINT SCREEN key. This will load the screen image into the clipboard. 3. Open the Microsoft Word document, and paste the screen image.

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4. Use the crop marks on the Picture toolbar to delete the surrounding frame.

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5. Click away from the picture, and click it again. 6. On the Edit menu, click Cut. 7. On the Edit Menu, click Paste Special. 8. In the Paste Special dialogue box, click Picture (Windows Metafile). 9. Click OK.

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The image is pasted in a larger size, which can be reduced to suit.

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The next part of the module shows how all plans, sections, and elevations can be sized to fit on a page using the method just shown. On one page, the proposed arrangement is as shown:

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For example, constantly switching between STAAD and Microsoft Word along with importing structural elements, plans, sections, and elevations from STAAD is a matter of practice. The result will be additional notes and lines added by annotation in Microsoft Word. The elevations and sections are collected from STAAD into a single page and configured to fit. It takes about fifteen minutes to collect all the views and arrange them. The next module looks at how to annotate this completely in fifteen minutes.

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Another example shows how the piperack can be dissembled.

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Notes:

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Managing Pictures

Notes:

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Module 8
Module #8
Drawing Annotations The most frustrating feature of third-party applications is the graphical annotations that overlap. They are impossible to read and are poor quality. Yet, the engineer still copies it as shown. This module recommends another method. You should disregard all annotations provided by other applications, including SnagIt Studio, and use Microsoft Word. It is surprisingly fast and effective and allows the engineer control over the quality of the output. The speed comes from using ctrl and shift keys and re-editing manually. The following are the annotation rules: Never use anything greater than font size 8. A font size of 5 or 6 is preferred; For consistency, use the align features on the Drawing toolbar; and Center the text in the box if it is outlined and/or white-filled. The default setting for text boxes have not been demonstrated in default setting module because it is a matter of getting the first one right and copying it. However, the user needs to consider margin settings and font size. The user also needs to decide if the white fill is desirable and whether outlining is on or off. In the previous module, the isometric structure was shown. This has been supported with annotations created and applied in Microsoft Word. The diagram is further shown in a series of sections and elevations supported with annotations also applied directly in Microsoft Word.

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Drawing Annotations

1. Open Piperack 101B.doc.

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This image can be downloaded from www.motagg.com/downloads. Click on Piperack101B.doc.

Chapter Eleven - Module 8

2. Add gridlines and a small text box. 3. In the text box, type N.1006. 4. Change the font size in the text box by clicking 6 in the Font Size box on the Formatting toolbar.

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5. Place the cursor after the N in the text box. 6. Press ENTER. 7. Expand the size of the text box so the text can be seen. 8. On the Drawing toolbar, click Fill Colour. Click No Fill. 9. On the Drawing toolbar, click Line Colour. Click No Colour.

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10. Add a small circle (with no fill and 0.25 pt line). 11. Add a small vertical line underneath the circle. 12. Select these three items and group together.

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13. Move the grouped box to a new location.

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14. Click the new text box. 15. Overwrite text as required.

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The annotation exercise took fifteen minutes to complete.

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The finished page can be downloaded from www.motagg.com/downloads. Click on Piperack101BX.doc.

Chapter Eleven - Module 8

Notes:

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Notes:

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Module 9
Module #9
Importing ASCII Files Default printing of ASCII files leaves a lot to be desired. It is often cited as the reason for persisting with the conventional method of printing out separately. ASCII files are the relics of the MS-DOS days. Their fonts are trapped in Courier, 64 lines per page standard and many white spaces. This module looks at how these documents can be imported and adjusted into Microsoft Word documents. The example is an output file from Staad-III but is similar to all later versions of Staad and Staad.Pro. In its unconfigured format it runs to forty-pages. This module shows how to reduce it to seventeen pages in the Microsoft Word document. The rules are the following: Open all ASCII files with Notepad; Delete line spaces because they do not add to readability; and Use annotations and no fill rectangles to highlight important results.

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1. Click Start, and click All Programs. Point to Accessories, and click Notepad. 2. On the File menu, click Open. 3. The .anl file is on the Desktop. In the File of type box, click All Files. 4. Click Open.

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This .anl file can be downloaded from www.motagg.com/downloads. Click on STAAD1EW.anl.

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5. On the Edit menu, click Select All.

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6. On the Edit menu, click Copy.

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7. Open the Microsoft Word document. 8. On the Edit menu, click Paste.

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Scrolling through what is now seventy-nine pages, the format and spacing appears disrupted.

Importing ASCII Files

9. On the Edit menu, click Select All. 10. On the Formatting toolbar: Click Courier New in the Font box. Click 8 in the Font Size box.

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The number of pages is reduced to forty-two.

Chapter Eleven - Module 9

11. In 10% view, two blank pages are visible. To delete, click these pages, and press Delete.

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This reduces the number of pages to forty.

Importing ASCII Files

12. Click Show/Hide.

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13. Restore zoom to 100%. 14. Move to the first and second page. 15. Select the last row of the first page and the first two rows of the second page. 16. Click with the right mouse button. 17. Click Copy.

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The Show/Hide feature enables you to examine the construction of the text string. In as few moves as possible, we want to remove all white spaces as well as these page numbers. 18. Press CTRL+H to open the Replace dialogue box and press CTRL +V after the current paragraph.

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19. For pages with double digits, examine the construction of the text string.

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20. Press CTRL+H to open the Replace dialogue box. 21. Edit previous equation by deleting the ^p at the end. 22. Click Replace All.

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The final editing touches are done by keyboard. Between cursor arrows and pressing Delete, further white lines are removed. The number of pages is now reduced to thirtytwo. 23. On the Edit menu, click Select All. 24. On the Formatting toolbar, click 6 in the Font Size box. 25. The bulk of the joint coordinates can be deleted. Keep the first three lines and the last three lines. 26. Type Deleted for brevity. 27. Repeat for member incidences. No one has ever wanted to see pages of these numbers. The visual image of the structure is reasonable proof. If interest in the full result is expressed, then the original input file should be passed over for inspection.

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The file is now reduced to seventeen pages. It is incorporated into the Microsoft Word document. Any additional information can be added by annotation with text boxes.

Importing ASCII Files

Notes:

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Chapter Eleven

Module 10
Module #10
Getting Going This module is about opening the calculation template, adding the headers, and creating the pages to receive your imported pictures from MathCad, Microsoft Excel, the Internet, or any other external sources. When all the headers are added in, the final act is showing how the contents list can be generated, based on the headers. This module shows how different sizes of paper and orientation can be included in the same documentation. 1. Open the calculation template document. 2. On the Standard toolbar, click Show/Hide. 3. Position your cursor on the beginning of the section break line.

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Getting Going

Every page should have three carriage returns before pressing CTRL+ENTER. You do not want a page filled with returns. Otherwise, something typed later on one page will shift graphics and text, resulting in unintended consequences. The purpose for the three carriage returns is a matter of experience. Pages without any carriage returns can be very difficult when managing the document at a later date, causing conflicts between picture anchors, creating space within the page, and even getting the cursor back into the page. Three carriage returns allow some control. The top and first carriage return should be used as the cursor position for importing pictures and graphics. This line is then reserved for all anchors on the page. The middle carriage return can be used to insert text with disruption. The final carriage return gives space if there is a header conflict on the next page or if section breaks must be managed.

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4. Press CTRL+ENTER to insert a new page. The previous page should be the Contents list page. 5. On the new page, at a minimum, press ENTER three times. 6. As suggested, add all the section titles. Revision Notes and Contents List are highlighted, so it can be dragged back to the previous page.

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Getting Going

7. Select the remainder of the topics. 8. On the Formatting toolbar, click Heading 1 in the Style box.

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9. Move the cursor to the end of the first line. 10. Press ENTER three times. 11. Press CTRL+ENTER.

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Getting Going

12. Repeat for all other headers. 13. Set to 25% view.

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After the last title, there should now be twenty-one blank pages for the document. Later, some of these headers may share the same page, but this is for demonstration in respect of the Table of Contents. 14. Open the second page to insert the Table of Contents. 15. On the Insert menu, point to Reference. Click Index and Tables.

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The results should look like the following. The Show/Hide button is toggled off. Rightclicking this area should allow the page numbers to be updated at a later date.

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During preparation of the calculation, it is necessary to have one page in landscape format. This can be achieved by selecting the location of the page before the landscape insert. Insert a section break. Move onto the next page, and insert another section break. 16. Open the fourteenth page. 17. Click Show/Hide. 18. Place cursor on the carriage return. 19. Insert a section break.

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20. Insert three carriage returns. 21. Open the fifteenth page. 22. Insert a section break. 23. On the File menu, click Page Setup. 24. Click Landscape.

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25. Adjust the header and the footer for the new section (now in landscape). 26. Click Link to Previous to remove link to the previous header.

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Getting Going

27. Click Link to Previous to remove link to the previous footer. 28. Move to the next sections header and footer. Repeat previous link removals. 29. Return to the previous section. Now the page rulers and the tabulated header can be stretched.

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This can be repeated as often as necessary, including larger formats if required. There is really no excuse that one document cannot contain everything under one consistent header.

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Notes:

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Getting Going

If you would like to learn about Motagg products, please visit www.motagg.com to : Complete the evaluation for The Engineers Word; Get information of forthcoming courses and talks; Suggest ideas for development; Share your tips with other engineers; Register your interest for email notifications; Download examples; and Register for the forthcoming publication of The Engineers Tables. The Engineers Tables looks at the core activity in preparing calculations with Microsoft Excel 2003. It is an exciting book establishing the principles for great engineering spreadsheets. The application may be a small project such as tabulating results or a larger project with embedded complexities. Whilst the ideas and rules in The Engineers Word prepares the engineer for The Engineers Tables, The Engineers Tables can be read as a stand-alone. If you wish to contact the author please write to rmote@motagg.com.

Dr. Robert Mote


Dr. Mote graduated from Shefeld University in 1982 with an Honours Degree in Civil/Structural engineering. For more than twenty years, Dr. Mote has been creating Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and solutions for engineering problems in civil/structural designs. Dr Mote is a recognized leader in structural engineering calculations and project execution design. For more information please visit: www.motagg.com