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With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company.
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Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Curving Text Around the Edge of a CD.
Recent years has seen the growth of people using CD-ROM burners to create music or data CDs for a variety of purposes. You may want to use Word to help create a label for your CDs. You may want to use Word to place curved text around the outer rim of the label.
Word doesn't have a native ability to place text along a curved path. It comes with a tool, however, that you can use for simple textual needs—WordArt. Even so, there are definite limits to what WordArt can do. For instance, if you have quite a bit of information to go around the rim, then WordArt won't work since it is limited to working with only 200 characters. In addition, getting WordArt to place your text exactly where you want it in the format you need can be challenging, at times.
An obvious solution is to use a program other than Word or WordArt. There are numerous graphics programs on the market that allow you to easily place any text you like along a curved path. You could either create the entire CD label in the graphics program, or you could create a graphic for the curved text, and then use that graphic within Word.
The best solution, however, may be to use a specialized program designed for creating CD labels. There are any number of them on the market. If you use Roxio's Easy Media Creator (popular CD and DVD recording software), there is CD labeling software included. And, yes, the software will handle curved text along the rim of a label.
In a semi-related side note, it is interesting that many people complain about the way in which Word's size and complexity has increased over the years. Yet many of the same people continue to bemoan the lack of specialized features, such as fitting text to a curve for CD labels. Isn't life ironic?
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1411) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Curving Text Around the Edge of a CD.
Great Idea! Word is a tool to get what you really want—printed output. This means you need to make sure that Word works as well as possible with your printer, whether it is sitting on your desk or in a room down the hall. Check out WordTips: Printing and Printers today!