Monthly Archives: April 2013

Small Business Chat Update – Gillian Linnell

Welcome to another Small Business update, this time with Gillian Linnell of the recently slightly renamed GGL Pet Services. Gillian’s original interview was published in February last year and what did she want to be doing by now?  She said, “I would like to be selling the supplies to local people and pet sitting clients and to have a brand and reputation which is very well known and recognised in the local community. Eventually I would like to employ staff and have a  warehouse full of pickers and packers. This is just one ambition – I have a handful of different directions which the company can take“.

Which direction did Gillian take? Read on to find out …

Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

I am in a different place than I was when first interviewed, I still offer pet supplies but a more niche market now: my suppier is Puchi Petwear, and they specialise in designer pet wear for dogs and cats, as seen on TV and used by celebrities. I dont tend to push this side of the business so much these days, as the Pet Service side has become the main title, hence the company name change from GGL Pet Supplies to GGL Pet Services.

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

Not a great deal has stayed the same, it’s all changed! I’m now Licensed by OMBC for home boarding dogs, I have a vast client database and dog walking takes up a lot of my day.  I have teamed up with another company, Kanine Kampus Doggie Daycare (read their Small Business Chat here), and we work together every day: it has given me a fantastic USP and a premium package to offer my customers.

I also employ help on a casual basis to help me out with the dog walking,

What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?

Keep calm,:-)

Any more hints and tips for people?

You have to have a passion, a love and a will to succeed: if you have no self belief you will find it difficult to succeed.  My advice would be: Positive thinking every day. Enjoy your work – if it’s not like playing a fun game every day where you wake up all excited and raring to go, then you could possibly be in the wrong job. Get the right job, it’s never too late to change.

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?

Wherever it takes me, I enjoy my work and my life, and wherever I go, I know I will be happy and that I will always make the right choices. I have another project which I am currently working on to do with advertising/marketing Pet Businesses, so we will have to wait and see what happens in the future.

Well, there’s a positive note to end on, and some good cheerleading for anyone considering changing their job to have a happier lifestyle! I look forward to hearing what happens over the next year!

Visit GGL Pet Services online at

Note: Although I understand that GGL Pet Services is still going strong as of July 2014, Gillian is no longer taking part in the interview series. We wish her all the best for the future!

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured.

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Posted by on April 27, 2013 in Business, New skills, Small Business Chat


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Justification in Word documents

Today we’re going to learn about the different kinds of justification that you can use in Word documents, and why we would choose to use the particular options.

What is justification?

Justification is the way in which your text is set out on the page. A margin is justified if all of the words on that margin are aligned vertically. For example, this article uses left justification: all of the lines of text start in the same place on the left, unless I manually indent them using tab or bullet points, and all of the ends of the lines present a ragged appearance on the right.

How do I set the justification in my Word document?

You will find the justification menu under the Home Tab, in the Paragraph Section – four little buttons with indications of what the text will look like:

1 justification menu

You can see four little buttons, in order from left to right: left justification, centre justification, right justification, full justification.

To set the justification for text that you have already typed, highlight the text and press the appropriate button. To start typing in a particular layout, press the button, check that it’s gone orange, and then start typing.

Left justification

Left justification means that all of the lines of text are lined up on the left hand side, but are ragged on the right:

2 left justification

Full justification

Full justification is very common and does look neat, although it can have some issues, as we find when we try to type text in a column or table using this form of justification:

3 full justification

Right justification

Right justification can look a bit odd in a text (and can be confused with the right-to-left text direction, which would of course use this as standard rather than left justification). However, it is extremely useful if you want to line up a list of numbers or prices so they look lovely and neat. This works in tables and columns of course, too, and makes it so easy to make things look tidy.

4 right justification

Centre justification

Centre justification is hardly ever used in anything but a heading, a poem, maybe, or something with a special design like a menu. But if you want to do it, here it is. One thing you need to watch out for is that if you hit the enter key to make a new line in order to get the effect or layout that you want, Word will helpfully capitalise the first word on the next line for you (see circled text below). However, at least in Word 2007 and Word 2010, if you change this to lower case once, it will leave it on lower case the next time! Clever Word!

5 centre justification

We’ve learned in this article about what justification is, the different kinds of justification, their advantages and disadvantages, and when you might want to use them.  I hope you’ve learned something useful here!

This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents.

Please note, these hints work with versions of Microsoft Word currently in use – Word 2003, Word 2007 and Word 2010, all for PC. Mac compatible versions of Word should have similar options. Always save a copy of your document before manipulating it. I bear no responsibility for any pickles you might get yourself into!

Find all the short cuts here


Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Errors, New skills, Short cuts, Word, Writing


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Samantha Higgs

Welcome to a brand new Small Business Chat with Samantha Higgs who runs a photography business, Samantha Higgs Photography. Now, here’s an exciting first for this series: Sam is a cousin of brother and sister Tone Hitchcock and Annabelle Beckwith, featured last year and about to have their own update interviews published – so the Small Business Chatters really are one big, happy family!

Sam’s another person who has organised her business around her family, and it’s always worth stressing what a good way to combine family and work this is – as long as you’re well organised and fairly strict about making room for family time. But it’s a combo we’ve seen working well time after time, as we meet more and more business owners. So let’s meet Samantha and find out how she got started a few years ago.

What’s your business called? When did you set it up?

Samantha Higgs Photography, set up in April 2010.

What made you decide to set up your own business?

I worked as an assistant photographer for many years and always planned to run my own photography business eventually. As a full-time mum, it has been easier to run my own business than to go out and work to someone else’s hours.

What made you decide to go into this particular business area?

Once the children came along, I wanted to be able to spend the weekends at home with them and be able to run a business that fitted in nicely with being a mum. I’d always liked the idea of selling my own prints so it seemed the ideal time to do this.

Had you run your own business before?

No, but my husband has run his own successful copywriting business for many years, so I’d picked up some tips and have had him on hand to help out. That’s only fair though, as I did all the photography for his website!

How did you do it? Did you launch full-time, start off with a part-time or full-time job to keep you going … ?

As the business has to fit around the kids and school I work mostly during school hours. As the children grow older I’ll have more flexibility.

What do you wish someone had told you before you started?

I’d been a photographer for many years, so I had the photographic skills, but I hadn’t appreciated how much time and effort all the other aspects of running a business – admin, marketing and so on – would take up.

What would you go back and tell your newly entrepreneurial self?

Invest in a comfy chair! If only I’d known that I’d spend as much time sitting in it typing as I would out taking pictures!

What do you wish you’d done differently?

I wish I’d got my website sorted sooner, rather than using photo sites as my main web presences. I’m excited about that as I’ve just launched it and I think it looks pretty good.

What are you glad you did?

I’m glad I spent time and effort on internet marketing, constantly updating my Facebook page rather than just making it and not using it: it has resulted in many sales.

What’s your top business tip?

Don’t ignore the power of social media and the internet.

How has it gone since you started? Have you grown, diversified or stayed the same?

Slow and steady. The main thing is getting my images in front of the right people, and I’ve had to experiment a lot to find the best ways of doing that. It’s a learning experience!

Where do you see yourself and your business in a year’s time?

I’d like to be selling more via the internet – especially through my new website – and craft fairs, and also perhaps have an exhibition or two of my work.

I like the give and take in this family with its mutual business support. I’ve definitely benefitted from my other half having run his own business before, as it’s a lot easier to explain those “must work all Saturday while you do the hoovering” times! I find the point about Facebook interesting – it doesn’t do that much for me, I have to say, in terms of orders, but I find that many crafty and arty people do get sales through their Facebook pages. And did Sam achieve her goals for the year? Find out here!

This coming year looks exciting, and I’m sure Samantha’s update interview will be full of good news!

Visit the Samantha Higgs Photography website at or email Samantha to find out more.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured. For more on business development from personal experience, read my books!


Posted by on April 20, 2013 in Business, New skills, Small Business Chat


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How to add line numbers to a Word document

This article explains the correct – and incorrect – way to add line numbers to a Word document. Why would you want to do that? Read on and find out! This works for Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013.

Why do I need to add line numbers to a Word document?

I was inspired to write this post after my colleague Katharine O’Moore Klopf mentioned that she’d been asked to do this by the editors of a journal for which she was editing an article. Presumably they wanted to be able to refer to particular line numbers in their criticism of the piece.

Transcriptions will sometimes have line numbers, if they’re going to be discussed in detail, and we can probably all recall from our dim and distant pasts working on critiques of poems and plays which had 5, 10, 15 etc. in the margins.

So these are all reasons for adding line numbers to a Word document.

How NOT to add line numbers to a Word document

If you find the need to add line numbers, it’s kind of natural that you might think – oh, I’ll just make the whole document into a numbered list. Well, to do this you would have to put a return at the end of each line to make it into a new line. Then you would highlight the whole text and add numbered bullets. But, oh, look what happens:

1 what you don't do

The numbers push the lines across and they run over onto the next line; all possibility of right justification is lost; and heaven help you if you want to insert or delete any text once you’ve done it!

So, don’t do that.

How to add line numbers to a Word document – the correct way (Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013)

Line numbering and its options can be found in Word 2007 and Word 2010 in the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup area. There you will find Line Numbers:

2 menu

Click on the arrow next to Line Numbers to bring up its Options menu:

3 numbering options

It will automatically be set to None – choose Continuous and see what happens to your paragraphs …

4 continuous

Line numbers have automatically appeared, but the formatting of the text, its justification etc., remain as they were. This menu also allows to you to choose whether to restart the numbering at the beginning of each page, or each section, or to suppress the numbering for the particular paragraph your cursor is in.

Line numbering options in Word

You also have a number (sorry!) of options to choose from in order to customise your line numbering. You reach these options from the last item on the Line Numbering menu

5 options menu

… although when you click on this option, you are taken into a general dialogue box for Page Layout:

6 options menu line numbers

and you need to click on Line Numbers… at the bottom, which will finally give you a list of options:

7 options menu line numbers

To go through the options in order …

  • Add line numbers – this gives you the chance to add or remove them at this stage
  • From text – the distance between the text and the number. Click on the arrows to choose the distance (I usually just use Auto)
  • Count by – this allows you to display only every x number. I don’t think “Count by” is a particularly useful way to describe this, but scroll down to see it in action
  • Numbering Restart each page / Restart each section / Continuous – this repeats the options you found on the first screen, but it’s useful to have them here if you’re generally messing around in the Page Layout menu and don’t want to go out of it to set your line numbering

Whatever you choose on here, click OK twice to get out of this dialogue box and the Page Layout one.

How do I produce a line number every five or ten lines?

You may remember from literature lessons at school that poetry and plays often have every 5th line marked. You can do this in Word by choosing that Count by option in the Line Numbering Options menu (see above for how to get to it).

Set the number to 5 …

8 count by 5

… and as if by magic, when you return to your document after choosing OK – OK, you will find every fifth line numbered:

9 counted by 5

Working in Word 2003

In Word 2003 you will need to follow these menus: File – Page Setup:


Choose the Layout tab in the dialogue box and the Line Numbers button. Choose to Apply to the Whole document or This point forward. Click on Line Numbers:


Tick Add line numbering and choose to Restart each page/section and Continuous. Click OK twice to accept – in this dialogue box you also find the options Start at, From text and Count by that are explained above.

Thanks to Katharine O’Moore Klopf for the Word 2003 screen shots and instructions.

Copying and pasting a document with line numbers

It’s come to my attention (thanks to a commenter on this post) that it’s not possible to copy and paste text with line numbers into a new blank document.

This is because the line numbers function actually displays a feature of your document (much like if you turn on paragraph marks) but the line numbers are not a part of the document itself.

If you want to transfer your line numbers into another document, you can do this in one of two ways:

  1. Save As the document to make an exact copy (with a different file name) and then add your other text around it
  2. Copy and paste your text into a new document and add the line numbers again

At least we know now …


This article has explained why you might want to add line numbers to your document, and how to do it. If you found this useful, please post a comment, share and like this article! Thank you!

This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents.

Please note, these hints work with versions of Microsoft Word currently in use – Word 2003, Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013 all for PC. Mac compatible versions of Word should have similar options. Always save a copy of your document before manipulating it. I bear no responsibility for any pickles you might get yourself into!

Find all the short cuts here


Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Errors, New skills, Short cuts, Word, Writing


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In memory of Boston

I don’t often discuss personal matters on this blog, but I wanted to let my readers and subscribers know that I’ve posted about my reaction, as a runner, to the atrocity in Boston yesterday, over on my other blog.

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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Blogging


Small Business Chat Update – Chrissie Metcalfe

Welcome to Libro Small Business Chat – today we’re featuring an update from Chrissie Metcalfe from Chrissie Metcalfe Recruitment Ltd. Chrissie’s original interview was published in February last, year, and when she were asked where she wanted to be in a year’s time, she replied, “I will have two members of staff and a bigger office. I won’t be as tired, ha ha!!” So – is she less tired, and how’s she doing? Let’s find out …

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

I have changed, I have a stronger business mind now. I am well known for giving quality recruitment services and have won one award and have been a finalist for two other awards. I have a member of staff and my own private office in a very nice business centre.  I have also stayed the same as a person and still appreciate how hard it can be running a business on your own.  My ethical values have stayed the same too.

What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?

I have learned that there are a lot of people out there that are out for themselves and will try to push their business onto you to get you to spend silly money with them. I wish I hadn’t been taken by other businesses promising you big cash returns if you join their club or business, and taken these people on face value. Research, research, research and ask question after question before you make a decision on anything.

Any more hints and tips for people?

Yes, if you believe you can be successful and believe in a decision, then run with it. Good friends and others who are in business will support you. Remember a mistake is only a mistake after the event. Talk to other business people who you network with, tell them if there is a problem, as they may have come across the same problem before.

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?

In a year, I will have two more members of staff, making in total a senior recruiter, a general recruiter and a marketing and admin person, allowing me to network more. It’s all very exciting!

That all sounds very positive, doesn’t it – sensibly building staff levels, getting a good reputation, and learning from her mistakes (what a shame that quite a few people seem to have learned that particular lesson about researching people and their claims to be able to help – it certainly shows us how careful we need to be.) Chrissie had an eventful year coming up after she posted this update – read more here.

Chrissie’s based in Pontefract and you can find her online at You can email her of course, or phone her on  01977 781595/ 07805 901 562.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured.


Posted by on April 13, 2013 in Business, New skills, Small Business Chat


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How to add and remove hyphenation in a Word document

This article explains how to add and remove hyphenation in a Word document, and how to work with the options you have in the hyphenation menu.

Why would I want to add hyphens to a document?

This issue doesn’t normally come up with standard documents where the text is in a smallish size and extends across the entire width of the page. In fact I hardly ever see it in the work I do, and was only reminded of it when a client had accidentally set automated hyphenation in part of his document that happened to contain long words. Where did all these hyphens come from, I wondered.

It is useful, however, if you are working with columns, say in a table, or for a newsletter you’re publishing, or some other part of a document where you want to have a narrow band of text running down the page. If you just put your text in your column and don’t justify it on the right hand side, you will end up with a very ragged look:

3 without justification or hyphenation

In fact, as you can see (marked by the arrow), one word is just too long for the line and splits at the last letter, something which doesn’t obey any of the standard rules of hyphenation (I bet this has happened in your tables – it has in my clients’).

Maybe we can neaten it up by applying Right Justification

4 with justification without hyphenation

Oh no! In its effort to make everything tidy, Word has carefully inserted huge spaces between words (unlike someone typesetting properly on a computer or by hand, it doesn’t space out the letters in the words so much as just add massive spaces). And poor old Mr Long Word is still dangling a letter onto the next line.

This looks pretty horrible, doesn’t it. Adding automatic or manual hyphenation is the way forward.

How do I add automatic hyphenation to my Word document?

To work with the hyphenation options, we need to be in the Page Layout tab, and the Page Setup area, and there you’ll find Hyphenation (with a little pop-up box explaining it). This is the case in Word 2007 and Word 2010. In Word 2003, you need to select the following menus: Tools > Language > Hyphenation.

1 menu

If you click on the arrow to the left of the word Hyphenation, you get a menu that looks like this:

2 drop down hyphenation menu

You can choose here between None, Automatic and Manual, and then have some options, too. We’ll look at those options in a moment.

What happens if I add automatic hyphenation to my document?

If you highlight the text and then select Automatic from the Hyphenation menu, Word will automatically insert hyphens into the text to break the words in sensible, permitted places (there is a whole art to this which I will discuss another time. I’m not sure which exact rules Word follows, but a quick look shows that it’s pretty good). So if your text is right justified, you’ll get this:

5 with justification and hyphenation

You can see here that Word has hyphenated all of the longer words that previously caused those big gaps, and made the text an awful lot tidier.

You can do this on unjustified text, too:

6 without justification and with hyphenation

but I personally think that this still looks a bit messy.

How do I remove automatic hyphenation?

To remove automatic hyphenation when you find it in a document and don’t want it, highlight the offending text and choose None from the Hyphenation menu in Page Layout > Page Setup:

2 drop down hyphenation menu

All of the automatic hyphenation should disappear.

How do I use manual hyphenation in my document?

If you choose the manual hyphenation option, based on where your cursor is placed at the time you select this option, Word will give you a choice of where and whether to hyphenate your words:

7 manual hyphenation

(here we can see our unhyphenated text, with the cursor on “demonstrate”). Once you’ve clicked on Yes or No, it will hop along to the next word that’s a candidate for hyphenation.

Why shouldn’t I just hyphenate totally manually?

Of course, you can just look for gaps and manually type a hyphen in the middle of the word, and it will split over two lines. However, this is a concrete character that you’ve inserted into the word, and so if you change the wording in your text so that the offend-ing word no longer comes at the end of the line, you’ll retain the hyphen charac-ter and get artefacts like the ones you can see in this para-graph. Much better to automate the manual process, so to speak …

What are the hyphenation options?

If you click on the Hyphenation Options at the bottom of the Hyphenation dialogue box, you are given a few choices:

6 hyphenation options

Working from the top …

  • Automatically hyphenate document – does what it says on the tin
  • Hyphenate words in CAPS – you may not want to split long acronyms, etc. – if not, then untick this box
  • Hyphenation zone – this is the maximum space allowed between a word and the right hand margin. Increase this number and the hyphenation zone becomes wider – and you will have fewer hyphens. A lower number will give you more hyphens
  • Limit consecutive hyphens to – allows you to prevent Word from hyphenating at the end of every line – best adjusted once you’ve set hyphenation and seen what it looks like
  • Manual… – gives you another way to get to the Manual Hyphenation feature


In this article we’ve learned why we might want to apply automatic hyphenation to a document, how we do it, how to remove automatic hyphenation, and the options that are available in the hyphenation menu.

This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents. Do like and share as much as you can, and/or leave me a comment if this article has been useful to you.

Please note, these hints work with versions of Microsoft Word currently in use – Word 2003, Word 2007 and Word 2010, all for PC. Mac compatible versions of Word should have similar options. Always save a copy of your document before manipulating it. I bear no responsibility for any pickles you might get yourself into!

Find all the short cuts here


Posted by on April 10, 2013 in Errors, New skills, Short cuts, Word, Writing


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