Having lived abroad for a while, I appreciate some Buzzword features that are very convenient when communicating with people outside of North America. Just properly spelling European names is helpful. Call me traditional, but if your name is Siân or François, or Sinéad, for example, then that’s how I want to write it. But it’s very hard with a lot of systems out there to do that. Buzzword makes it easy.
To insert a wide variety of international characters, use the Special Characters pop-up. You can find it in the Insert menu on the top navigation bar. When you select it, this very straightforward windows appears.
OK, so obviously it has four classes of characters that cover a number of languages, currencies and other special characters. But the part that really makes it work is that you don’t have to change focus to that window to get the character to appear. The mouse works a bit more independently from the cursor in Buzzword when compared to other applications, so you can type along and then just click on the letter you want, then keep typing. Windows don’t pop up and pop under. You don’t have to know any crazy character codes. The font size and style is correct. It makes the whole process much simpler.
Bear in mind that although I’m talking about typing documents with some international characters by using the special characters menu, there are obviously different keyboard layouts in different countries to allow for typing in the local character set. The major problem with that scheme is that it is so precise. If you are not in that locale, you don’t have that keyboard layout and the process becomes generally much more complicated.
Now it may be that you need special characters because you are sharing letters or other documents that will be printed abroad. If your target audience is in parts of the world that use the A4 paper format, you can take advantage of Buzzword’s page setup dialog to set the page size accordingly (For more detail on International settings, see our recent blog post on the subject).
The page settings are retained if you export the document to a PDF file, so whether you print from Buzzword or Reader or Acrobat, your audience will get on their printer exactly what you see on your screen – appropriate to their country, and in their format. Many printers have settings to resize the document to the appropriate format if the source size doesn’t match the available paper, i.e., trying to print an A4 document in the United States. How cool is that? Then, if you don’t like it, switch it back. :^).