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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221159 Find in a Library
Title: Microsoft Word Crime Scene Drawing
Journal: Journal of Forensic Identification  Volume:57  Issue:6  Dated:November/December 2007  Pages:848-869
Author(s): Stephen Lamarche
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 22
Type: Technical Assistance
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes how Microsoft Word (MSWord) can be used as an economical alternative to commercially available computer drawing programs in depicting crime scenes for courtroom presentations.
Abstract: In addition to being economical, there are other advantages in using MSWord as a drawing program. First, no special software or program is required to draw or view diagrams. Second, because it is a text program, very little memory is used, which means it is easily transferred by e-mail or any storage media. Third, MSWord is a relatively easy-to-use program that does not require the skills needed for commercial computer drawing software programs. Fourth, clip art for most furniture graphics is ready for use as a drag-and-drop feature in most MSWord programs. With 45 minutes of instruction and a 3-hour tutorial, users are able to complete scale drawings. A description of the computer setup for drawing with MSWord addresses settings. This is followed by guidance on how to use MSWord's "drawing" toolbar and "drawing grid" page. The drawing ratio is discussed for legal size paper (8 1/2 inches x 14 inches). The use of AutoShapes (predrawn items such as squares and circles) and formatting (setting of desired size and the width and color of lines) is also described. Another section of the article describes how to achieve pattern and fill effects with MSWord. Layout for text and layering (the order in which an object is placed on a drawing) are then addressed, followed by a discussion of drawing procedures. The latter addresses the placement of a border on the page, putting the plan to paper, and a cost-effective way to produce a poster-sized copy. The result is an accurate, to-scale drawing suitable for depicting an aerial view of a crime scene. 19 figures
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Computer aided operations; Computer software; Crime scene; Expert witnesses; Technical experts
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