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A Good Worksheet  (for XP users)   
...the stuff you might not know about your Japanese Microsoft Word 
SUBMITTED BY: Patrick Bickford     ADDED:Sep 18, 2008


So you wanna make a worksheet, huh? Well, this article will explain how to make a sleek and clean looking worksheet, while at the same time keeping the file size small. I am going to start at the top of the worksheet and work my way down it. So, let's get started...
  • The very first step on every worksheet is making a space for the student to write their name.  Now, most worksheets' name areas look like this: Name:_________________. While this method isn't bad or incorrect, I think looking at the example area (labeled A) is a better idea because it presents the student with an entire English fill-in-the-blank sentence and hopefully gets them thinking in English. Also, make sure the underlined area is long enough for them to write their name in English; from my experience, providing a short line instinctively makes the student write their name in Japanese. While this particular point might seem pedantic, I encourage my students to ALWAYS write their names in English on all my worksheets, no matter what the JTE does on their own worksheets. I believe students' English acquisition ability increases when they are not only encouraged to study the English language, but also are challenged to think in English as well.
  • Besides the name, some people like to include an area for the student to write: class, date, day of the week, weather, etc.
  • SHORT TITLE: Don't confuse an example sentence with a title.  A title of a worksheet is at most 3 words. 
  • MATCHING TITLES: If the worksheet is attached to an activity at Englipedia, the title of the worksheet should match the title of the activity. It's confusing to users to be reading an activity entitled "Practicing Pronouns", only to open the worksheet that suppliments the activity and find it entitled "Daimeshi Practice." Matching the title of the worksheet to the activity title not only makes the filing process at Englipedia easier, but it also makes the site look cleaner.
  • Cool Titles: It is a basic feature in Microsoft Word but I'll explain it here for those peeps who don't know. If you look at the bottom of the example worksheet, you will see another letter B that is pointing at an A button on the bottom toolbar. Simply, type the title of your worksheet, highlight the text and click the A button and choose the style/font you want. It's that simple!  Choose the Paint Bucket button to choose the color you want to fill in letters of your worksheet, and the Paint Brush button to choose the color of the border around each letter of the title.



  • Every margin (left/right, up/down) should have AT LEAST a 15mm (.59in) margin. This is to allow hole punches on any side of the worksheet to be made without the actual worksheet being punched.


  • PICTURE COMPRESSION: The best option to shrink the entire file size on your worksheet is to right-mouse click on your image, and go to properties. One of the tabs has a "Picture Compression" button. Click on it, and choose the 'web' option (96 dpi) AND choose to do the entire document, not just that particular picture.
    STOP THE CUT/PASTE: Do you think a picture of Snoopy would make a great edition to your worksheet? Have you ever tried going over to Yahoo picture search, finding a picture and simply copying & pasting into your worksheet? Well, look at the picture of Snoopy on this page. Have you seen the long string of text when you hover over the Snoopy picture on your worksheet? Instead, of the copy/paste method, save the image to someplace on your computer, and then from your saved location click-n-drag the picture into your open Word document.
    RESIZING PICTURES: Have you ever surfed around on a site and finally found a worksheet you were searching for, only to have your computer freeze up or lag out trying to open the file? This is because the worksheet file size is huge! The main reason for this problem is because people simply drag an picture/image into their worksheet and resize it right there on the worksheet. While it might simplify the process of making the worksheet, the picture/image retains it's original size, making the entire worksheet's file size much bigger than it needs to be. While YOU might not care about the size of a worksheet because you might have a lot of free hard drive space, the Englipedia website is not as fortunate. The average file size of a worksheet should rarely be over 500kbs (0.5Mb). I know what you're thinking, "How do I resize my pictures?" IT'S SIMPLE! There is a website that will help you to resize pictures online, without downloading any programs or software. CLICK HERE to be taken to this cool site! Also, Adobe Photoshop has released a free online version that allows people to do a tad bit more than just resizing photos. I like Adobe's site a lot! You need to signup for this site but the signup is free and painless.


    E.  漢字 vs. カタカナ (KANJI vs. KATAKANA)

    • While it's not encouraged, I think kanji is acceptable on worksheets because it is usually used as instructions on how to do the worksheet. This is especially useful for WORKSHEET ONLY submissions. However, katakana is a big ダメ! I know sometimes you want to use katakana on your worksheets; I've been guilty of this myself in the past.  To put it simply, katakana-English is not English but rather Japanese.  I'm not going to delve into this argument further, other than to say, I believe katakana encourages students to be lazy. I think students are smarter than the katakana-crutch we so often see in English class.  Please don't use katakana to superscript English words.



    • While textboxes might be common knowledge, there are other people who still don't know how to use them.  Textboxes are usually used for when you are wanting to put text in a very specific location on a worksheet.  There are two types of textboxes, one for horizontal text and the other for vertically written text.  To make a textbox, simply type the text you want to put into the box, hightlight the text and click the box that has the little 'text lines' and an 'uppercase A' (see the worksheet for an example).



    • Let's say you have an image that you want to include but you don't want the entire image.  First, click on the image you want cropped.  Then, click the crop button and resize the image.  It's as simple as this!  Once you're happy with the crop job, simply click the crop button once more to get out of crop mode.



    There are more advanced tips to building a great worksheet, but I have only included the basics. However, these basics tips should answer most of the questions you have.  If you have any other questions or can't figure something out, simply ask.



    The last thing I want to say about sending worksheets to Englipedia is, please don't submit scanned worksheets.  While it might be easier for you to submit a worksheet that is scanned, it makes our job here at Englipedia more difficult because we want to provide the users with the best worksheets possible, so any scanned worksheet we receive is re-created in Microsoft Word.  The main reasons we don't like scanned worksheets are because they usually have a bigger file size and can't be edited by the user.



This page was last modified on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 11:41:48 PM