Whether using a computer for work, for school, or just general home use over 1 billion users have some form of Microsoft Office loaded onto those devices. Users often understand the basics of the programs offered by Office, however there are many unusual tips and tricks to make the use of these programs easier and more efficient. Let’s start with a look at Microsoft Word and some of the features offered.
With each version of Microsoft Office there are subtle changes to layout, design, and features the program has to offer but most of the time the ones we use on a regular basis are easily located. Certain tasks like setting font size and style, bolding or unbolding are ones with which we are familiar. However, there are some features Word has to offer you may not be aware of that will have you using Microsoft Office like a pro!
Using specialty words with accent symbols can sometimes be a challenge. If you need to add a specialty character you can do so by selecting Insert and clicking the dropdown menu under Symbol. You will be given some basic options to start but if you don’t see what you want select More Symbols and simply scroll through to the correct item. You can insert symbols like the © copyright symbol or specialty accent words from foreign languages.
Have you ever wished you could change the settings on a Word document? In the Options section of Word you can change a variety of settings including making adjustments to the AutoCorrect function.
Writing on a subject with a word with unique accent marks? Using the AutoCorrect options you can add this word, with accent marks, to the list and the word will automatically format for you! To make your adjustment first type up the word like adiós. It can be a pain to copy and paste the word every time you need it or even to insert the symbol each time you get to the “O” in adiós. Make an adjustment to Autocorrect by clicking File then Options in the Proofing tab select AutoCorrect Options. You can simply put the original spelling and the corrected spelling of the word you wish to adjust by adding the words to the Replace text as you type section then selecting Add. Future typing will automatically adjust that word you inputted like adios to adiós every time!
Removing the Format from Pasted Text
When copying text from another document or from the Internet it can be frustrating to have the formatting carry over from the original location. Skip the need to reformat each time you copy and paste. To remove the format in Microsoft Word from any text, simply highlight the text and press the shortcut key Ctrl + Windows Key + V and the text will paste as plain text. This method will remove the formatting, set the text to the default font, and even remove links.
Write Anywhere, No Text Box Needed
If you’re into odd formatting, whether working on the structure of your free form poetry or just want to mix things up, Word allows you to easily write wherever you want on a document without a text box. Just double-click on any blank part of your document and Word will start a line and place your cursor there.
Tracking Changes and Edits
Microsoft Word allows you to easily give electronic feedback, it is virtually a digital red pen to any document. By turning on Track Changes under the Review tab, you can view exactly what changes were made to the document at what time and who made them.
This feature comes in handy when editing documents for others so they can easily see where changes have been made. When finished with the edits, you can remove the tracking by simply accepting or declining the edit suggestions.
Leaving Comments or Suggestions
Sometimes it is necessary to make comments or suggestions instead of edits. You can track those comments by using the New Comment option in word. This option allows multiple reviewers to make comments and Word indicates which individual made the comment.
To use the Comment feature, click on the Review tab and the click New Comment. Then click the location of your comment and begin typing.
Searching a Document
Have a long document that you need to search for a single line or a word? You can use the search or find function in Microsoft Word to locate exactly what you are looking for. To do this either go up to Find on the Home tab or type CTRL + F. In the search box that comes up, type in the word or phrase you are searching for and the function will search the entire document.
This feature is often also available in other programs. You can search PDF documents, Excel files, and even some webpages.
Replacing a Word
There are times when replacing a word in a document is necessary and it can be challenging when it is used repeatedly throughout a document. Let’s say, for example, with this article. I’m writing about Microsoft Word but perhaps I mistakenly wrote Microsoft Office throughout and discovered this at the end. Instead of going through the article line by line looking for references to Office I can speed up the process by instead clicking on Replace in the Home tab or simply typing CTRL+H and I can start the replace process.
Once you click on Replace you will get the window below, type the word you wish to replace and then in the “Replace with” line type in the word you wish to use instead. Simply click “Replace”, “Replace All”, or “Find Next” to move through the process.
Add a Picture or Table
Perhaps you are finding that your document is just a little dry, or you need to add a table of informational data into your document. It is simple to add a table or insert a picture to the page. On the Insert tab select Table or Picture depending on what item you wish to add.
Quickly and Easy Tips in Word:
Highlight a Word
Want to highlight a word? Skip the annoying process of click and drag across the single word, instead just double click the word and like magic the whole word is highlighted for you!
Increase or Decrease Font Size
Quickly increase the font text size in Microsoft Word and most other PC text programs by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl + Shift + >. To decrease the size of text, press and hold Ctrl + Shift + <
Quickly undo mistakes in Word by pressing the shortcut key CTRL + Z. Most Windows programs also support the ability to undo multiple changes. Continuing to press CTRL + Z will undo one change at a time up to 12 or more changes.
Redo the undo: If you undo something you did not mean to undo, pressing CTRL + Y will redo the undo.
Here are some quick references to keyboard shortcuts that will work on most Microsoft Work programs.
CTRL + C to Copy an item you’ve highlighted.
CTRL + V to Paste
CTRL + X to Cut (this will eliminate something from the page either as a deletion or to move to another spot on the page.
CTRL + B to Bold selected text
CTRL + I to Italicize selected text
CTRL + U to Underline selected text
CTRL + S to Save!! This is a biggie to prevent losing work. Just use this keyboard shortcut to save changes without interrupting your work flow.
CTRL + A to Highlight all. This is handy if you want to change something about an entire document like font size or style.
These tips and tricks are just a few of many features Microsoft Word has to offer. Take some time to play around with the document features and learn what else there is to offer. Many sites are online dedicated to teaching about the different features Word has available. A little practice, a little playing with Word and before long you can be the resident master of Microsoft Word!