Long ago, in another life, I was a Latin teacher. Since 1975 I have operated the business now called Words into Type, which provides freelance writing, editing, word processing, typesetting, and desktop publishing services.

I joined the Rotary Club of Fairhope in 1994 and since 1995 have been the editor and publisher of its award-winning weekly bulletin. I also serve as the club’s publicity chairman and have been a member of the board of directors since 1997. I was awarded Paul Harris Fellow recognition in 1997.

I began using Word in 1992 and have been a Microsoft MVP for Word since 1999. I have contributed more than 60 articles to the Word MVP site and also maintain my own FAQ site. My personal website has links to other sites.

To understand the rationale/theme for this blog, see “A blog about nothing?” Needless to say, it has morphed into even more of an all-purpose maundering site than originally intended!


22 Responses to About

  1. Paul says:

    Suzanne, you have give me multum auxilium at the Word newsgroup, so after getting a larger than expected tax return I decided to send a small (real small–I aint Bill Gates) thank you to you. I didn’t notice a tip jar at your site. Do you have a paypal account? You can email me if you want to or put up some info on your mvp page…. prittmandelete@gmail dot com

  2. No compensation required, though gratitude is always appreciated! MVP recognition is awarded on the basis of volunteer efforts, and I’m always happy to help. Congratulations on the tax refund!

  3. Doug says:

    Dear Ms. Barnhill,

    I am trying to find contact information for Grace and Gordon Russell of Kingston, Jamaica. I noticed in your travels through Jamaica that they hosted you. I was also fortunate enough to have been hosted by them during several trips for research. Thank you in advance for any assistance you may be able to provide.
    Doug Mann

  4. Chris Totty says:

    Wow! What a great find this is! You may not remember me, but I used to live in Greenway in Mobile and Matthew was my best friend! Hope you guys are doing well! I’m enjoying your blog!!

    • Of course, I remember you! We run into your stepdad occasionally, and didn’t we run into you, too, not long ago?

      • Chris Totty says:

        Yes! I dropped by about 8 or so years ago, but I haven’t talked to Matthew in a while… Please feel free to give him my email (totty.chris@gmail.com). My family always asks me about you guys! My Mother lives in Gulf Shores, so I get down there a few times a year. So nice to reconnect with you!

  5. Matthew Gilreath says:


    Thank you for your post on Microsoft Answers about how to fix the balloon text font size in Word 2010! There’s a known issue in which Word 2010 changes their font size to 1 pt(!), and it was affecting some of our faculty here at UCSF.


    Matty in SF

  6. Kerwin Sevilla says:

    Dear Ms. Barnhill,
    I was getting frustrated looking for answers on how to effectively format my page numbering (in the x of y format), and after several difficult to understand tutorials, I stumbled onto yours. It was perfect. Very simple and straightforward. Thanks.

  7. Mark Loper says:

    Ms. Barnhill,

    I want to thank you for your answer at the Microsoft Community helpsite to the problem of MS Word (XP) not retaining options settings such as default font and toolbar changes. Your answer was spot-on, thorough, and worked. It was also the only answer that did work.

    When I’m looking on-line to solve an issue, I often skip over any input from Microsoft (either the actual MS site or the community help) because the answers are often ridiculous or seem written by someone who has no clue what he or she is talking about. I took a chance with you and what a pleasant outcome.

    Typically, people suggest, repairing or reinstalling or restarting… because they have no idea what they’re talking about. I am an automobile enthusiast and often look on-line to solve issues and I cannot tell you how often someone will suggest the painfully obvious such as, “Have you taken it to a good mechanic.” If you don’t know, why comment?

    May I also say it’s refreshing to get such helpful input from a seasoned citizen. So often older people (I’m one too) seem content with, “I don’t know anything about computers.”


    P.S. I’m posting to your blog cuz I just don’t want to create a MS account.

    • I’m glad you found one of my answers helpful. Yes, there are a lot of bad answers, but often they are best efforts at answering a badly worded question. In dealing with user questions, it helps to have used Word for over 20 years, as I have, but it also helps to have been dealing with users’ problems and questions for 14 years. The former provides a fairly deep and broad knowledge of Word (including earlier versions), but the latter provides familiarity with the way users describe problems when they don’t know what they’re dealing with. Most users don’t know what Microsoft’s term for something is, so you have to read between the lines to figure out what they’re really asking.

  8. Caitlin Elliott says:

    Ms. Barnhill,

    Perhaps I missed a more obvious link or place to in which to express my extreme admiration and gratitude. My message may seem florid, but I was just able to solve my footnote problem thanks to your advice on your webpage. I have been trying to keep my footnotes together and on the originating page for TWO YEARS without much success. I have spent hours hunting the internet for an answer – and I never found anything that really worked. I found your page, and it very simply and succinctly laid out WHY the problem existed, and several solutions to it. I fixed my document in about 2 minutes.

    This problem has actually plagued our whole office. The sense of triumph I have now has been the best feeling I’ve had all week.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Caitlin Elliott

  9. There are mail links at several of the sites linked to in the About (including every page at http://wordfaqs.ssbarnhill.com. I’m not sure what article or post you read that answered your question, but I’m glad you found it helpful, and thank you for making the effort to write. Positive feedback (wherever posted or however received) is always very gratifying!

  10. loribug says:

    Hi Ms. Barnhill, I realized again the other day that I have been reading your Word advice for over 10 years, and it is always so good. I can’t remember any specifics but like the readers above let me add my appreciation to your kind and truly helpful tips over many years. Whenever I read something that really helps, I look at the author and – sure enough, it’s often “Suzanne S. Barnhill”. 🙂

    Maybe some day I could interview you (for the blog I’m going to do when I retire in a couple years….?)

    I’m tickled by your personal blog, too – do you keep tabs on various building projects on your walks? That is actually something my husband and I do, too, but I’d never venture inside. Or do you know these people? How did you get started doing these reports?

    Last month I started taking pictures on our walks and putting them in Flickr. I’m trying to tag them so I can keep progress on the buildings, so I was glad to see I’m not the only person who likes doing that.

    • I’m glad you’ve found my articles and posts helpful. Yes, I keep tabs on construction in my neighborhood on a weekly walk. I do go inside as long as I can. With the house at 112 Summit, I was fortunate to be able to get in up until a week before the owners moved in, but usually the builders start locking up sooner than that (in which case I’ll still peer in windows). In some cases I do know the owners but usually not. I have a strict “look but don’t touch” policy (though I bend it to except doorknobs and light switches), and I try to be very careful to tread lightly and leave no trace of my presence (except the photos I post!). I’ve found that some homeowners actually (in retrospect) appreciate this sort of “time-lapse” photography of their home.

  11. Ms. Branhill, I have a little problem (actually its a big problem), I’ve done a ton of my work to write a book, then its gone after blue screen attack, I’ve saved it all, but its become a square (https://s30.postimg.org/g1qg8zdhd/Untitled.png), is it possible to get it back? because not only one file, its all word file that still opened when blue screen become like that. Hope you can help me.

  12. Richard Ong says:

    Dear Ms. Barnhill,
    You’ve been a great source of Word problem solving many times in the past. Thanks for that exclamation marks.
    There’s probably a better way to communicate about Word quirks but here’s a hearty thanks for your “Common hyperlink problems” article. I’d experienced a problem with a document when Worde 2003 stopped working when I tried to insert an index entry while the document was automatically (?) repaginating. A message appeared asking me if I wanted to stop the rapagination and “yes” was apparently the wrong answer as Word froze.
    When I went to my backup of another file on a removable drive and opened it (to save over the working copy) lo it was that some 200 hyperlinks now went to “F:\…” instead of “C:\…” Suicidal thoughts increased as Alt+F9 revealed the content of the fields but only partially. I was thinking to do a global search and replace but perhaps mercifully that was not possible.
    I still didn’t feel like editing 200 individual links going the Ctrl+K route so I experimented further and, as you had found similar problems with updating display text but not the underling link address, I tried “update fields” with Alt+Space+U and it was good. (I think I selected the whole one-page document first.) Your tip to clear the box for “Update fields on exit” sounds like a good option that will save me such grief in the future. I hope so anyway.
    Kindest regards.

  13. Kathy says:

    Dear Ms. Barnhill,

    You have made my day! I feel like a superhero capable of anything after following your instructions to resolve an add-in issue.

    You responded in this thread: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/msoffice_word-mso_win10-mso_2019/removing-ms-word-bloomberg-office-tools-folder-not/a141c905-6d8a-4aba-afd2-44766f251f1b

    While everyone else (even on other blogs) suggested your run-of-the-mill solutions of simply removing the add-in, you provided an elevated, and critical solution. That worked!!

    It took a little extra effort because the template I needed to delete wasn’t immediately available, but you provided me, and us all, with the necessary steps to get there.

    You are a hero! I am so grateful for your service and the good work you put out into the world.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  14. Todd says:

    Hi there!
    You put up an explanation for creating two columns in a word doc that doesn’t expand across the whole page. It was incredibly helpful and saved me sooo much time for both me and my client. I have been trying to be more mindful about recognizing strangers’ efforts and thanking them as much as possible. I looked you up and found this site but don’t see a Paypal support button or anything like that, but looking at some of your other feedback to similar comments I doubt you would take it anyway. So thank you for enthusiastically sharing your wealth of knowledge with all of us on the internet.

  15. Henry says:

    Hi Suzanne!

    Your article around “TOC Tips and Tricks” just helped my girlfriend (From Germany) with her thesis. Thank you sooo much 🙂

    We started reading your blog together and it brought us much happiness.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    Henry (From England)

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