Create An Electronic Dictionary


Q. I need to prepare a resources program for my staff that defines, among other things, accounting and financial terms. I was thinking of designing a computerized dictionary similar to those click-on alphabet programs I’ve seen on the Web. They list the letters of the alphabet (from A to Z) at the top of the opening page. Each letter links to a section under which are stored definitions of words that start with that letter. So, when a user clicks on the letter A, for example, the A section of the dictionary pops up and all the words listed under the letter A pop up. Is there a way to do that without getting into high technology?

A. Fortunately, Word can do that rather easily using two tools— Bookmark and Hyperlink . Begin by creating a blank document. Place your cursor on a page that will eventually contain resource material that starts with the letter A and create a bookmark by clicking on Insert and then on Bookmark . Place a check in the box next to Hidden bookmarks and type A in the space under Bookmark name and click on Add .

Move down the page and do the same—only this time use B as your Bookmark name .

Later you can add the rest of the alphabet using the same technique—and eventually, if you wish, you can move the bookmarks to other pages in the document. In the meantime return to the top of the page and we’ll begin to construct the main menu—with the letters of the alphabet lined up across the top of the page.

Click on Insert , Hyperlink (shortcut: Ctrl+K) and then click on Place in This Document and highlight the A under Bookmarks and click on OK .

That will place the hyperlink for A in the document, and the page now will look like this:

Then move your cursor to the right—to the place where you’d like the letter B to appear—and repeat the process. The Insert Hyperlink screen should now look like this:

After you click on OK , add your resource material—the A material under the A bookmark and the B material under the B bookmark. To add an artistic touch, you can format the letters. When you’re done, the pages should look like this:

Now every time users want to access material, all they have to do is place their cursor over the letter of choice, hold down the Ctrl key and click—and they’ll be taken directly to the letter where the resource material is stored.

Thanks to the following people for suggestions on this topic: Mark Friedman, CPA, of the University of Miami; Jeff Lenning of Click Consulting; Paul Goldwater of the University of Central Florida, Orlando; Jacob M. Rose of Montana State University, Bozeman; Mark G. Simkin, CPA, of the University of Nevada, Reno; and Theo Callahan of I Get It! Development, Los Gatos, California.


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