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Microsoft Word Tips and Tricks

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Microsoft Word is a powerful word processor for document creation. As with all feature- rich applications, there are a large number of menu items and commands available to you in the program. Over the course of time you will discover certain short-cuts that you resort to again and again which will make your use of Microsoft Word easier. In this article we focus on some of the most important tips and tricks that you can use in making you more productive in using Word.


Use and apply styles. Think of styles as pre-programmed format templates that you can invoke and instantly apply to any text in your document. For example, if you need headers in your document that use Times New Roman font set at size 18, bolded, and italicized, you can create a specific Header style to these specifications in your Word document. Click on Format | Style | New to create the new style. In the New Style dialog box you can also base the style on an existing style, to save time. With the style created, you can go back to your Word document and select the style from the dropdown list box at the top left corner of your Word screen. You should make it a habit always to use styles when working in Word. That way, if you need to make any formatting changes, you can just modify your styles and the changes will ripple throughout the rest of the document.


Word documents can become lengthy very quickly. One trick to “power navigate” through your document is to create a table of contents and use it to quickly jump to specific sections of your document, in a manner similar to using hyperlinks in a web page. The Table of Contents technique relies heavily on the use of styles, so make sure that you’ve set your document with styles as explained in the previous tip. Then, go to the beginning of your document, select Insert | Index and Tables | Table of Contents. Word will create the Table of Contents based off the styles you created earlier, with the page numbers next to each TOC entry. To jump to any section, move your cursor over that entry’s page number in the TOC index, and double-click the page number. Word will take you instantly to that section.


When collaborating with several authors on a single document, it’s important to be able to track changes that you’ve made to the document. Word provides a track changes feature that is very helpful in this regard. Basically Word will retain all modified text from the original document as it goes through revisions, but will add a red line through this text so that all parties can view what the unaltered document looked like. Then, when the document is nearly complete, all parties involved can choose to accept or reject the changes.

To begin using this feature right away, first save your draft document. Then click on Tools | Track Changes | Highlight Changes. Choose Track Changes while Editing and make sure Highlight Track Changes on Screen is selected. As you type, Word will underline in red new text and “strikethrough” in red any changed text. When you are ready to accept or reject the changes to your document, select Tools | Track Changes | Accept or Reject changes. You have the option of viewing changes made with or without the Word highlights, and of accepting some or all of your changes.


Word provides many toolbars to enable you to perform a variety of tasks, but the sheer number of toolbars visible at any one time can be a bit disorienting. To work more efficiently, create a customized toolbar with only the set of commands that you think you need.

Click on View ι Toolbars ι Customize. The Customize popup will appear. Click on the Toolbar tab and then click on New. Name your toolbar, click OK, and a blank toolbar will appear. Then click on the Commands tab. You will see a list for Categories on the left and one for Commands on the right. Go through the list of Categories, and for each one, choose the commands you need and drag them down to your blank toolbar. Do this for all Categories and commands, and when you’re done, drag the customized toolbar to the top of your screen. It will replace any other toolbars.


We’ve presented a few important tips and tricks to help you be more productive in Word. You’ll undoubtedly find many more resources that can help you work smarter. The key is to think of the most common kinds of tasks that you perform, and find those techniques that will help you to do those tasks better.

Article by Futuretrend Web Team


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