How to Use Notebook Layout for Lectures in Word 2008 for Mac

If you use your Mac to take notes in lectures (or anywhere, really), then you’ll love this feature in Office 2008 for Mac: Word’s Notebook Layout view. If you have any laptop Mac, you probably know that it has a built-in microphone. But most people don’t know that you can use Word’s Notebook Layout view to record audio while you take your notes?

Word files that include audio tend to be significantly larger than ones without. If you’re short on disk space, you might want to keep an eye on your file sizes.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Choose View→Notebook Layout.

    A dialog asks whether you want to convert the current document or create a new document in Notebook Layout view.

  2. Click the Create New button.

    A new Untitled Notebook Layout document appears.

  3. Name and save the document. Then click the Audio icon on the toolbar.

    The Audio Notes toolbar appears. Start talking to your Mac and check the Input Level Indicator in the Audio Notes toolbar. If the Input Level Indicator doesn’t light up (that is, display blue lines) when you talk, slide the Input Volume Slider to the right until it does.

    If the Input Level Indicator still doesn’t light up when you talk, open Mac OS X System Preferences and click the Sound icon. Now, click the Input tab and select Internal Microphone as your input device. Slide the Input Volume Slider to the right until you see it light up when you talk.

  4. Click the circular button with the red dot inside it to begin audio recording, type your notes, and then click the circular button with the black box inside it to end audio recording. Save your document again.

    The Audio Notes toolbar includes all the controls you need to review your notes. To hear a specific part of your notes, just click the speaker icon that appears to the left of the first line of each paragraph. When you do so, the audio that was recorded as you typed that paragraph of text plays. Use the Pause and Play buttons to start and stop the playback, or click and drag on the timeline slider to fast forward or rewind the audio. The timeline slider also shows the elapsed time and time remaining for the audio recording.

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