10 Tips and Tricks to Do More with Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word has never been the only available text processor; more of that, in certain times there was no free version of it at all! Now we have Microsoft Word free DL for all devices with a screen smaller than 10 inches, but even before that, it was a cult. Still, it remains the default word processor of mankind, keeping LibreOffice, Solaris, or Pages behind. It’s used on more than a billion devices daily, including both desktop and mobile versions. That means, one of every seven earthlings uses MS Word constantly.
Being the most popular, it’s at the same time one of the most powerful text processors, enhanced by compatibility with other Microsoft services, from OneDrive to Outlook. And it’s so full of extras that many of its users just take it for granted that Word is full of features they will never need. In fact, the app is worth digging a bit deeper; it’s stuffed with features that will make your work easier. Getting more productive will only take you one effort to explore your tools. Instead, you’ll grow more productive, which lets you either earn more or have more free time.
Here are the not-so-obvious features of Microsoft Word, compatible both with Windows and Mac versions (but probably not with Microsoft Word/Office for Android or iOS). Anyway, it’s primarily a desktop tool, so if you use them when at your desktop, you’ll benefit.
Keyboard Shortcuts are Great
It’s probably the most obvious tip. Word supports all the keyboard shortcuts of its OS. Under Windows it’s Ctrl + C to copy, Ctrl + V to paste, and Ctrl + X to cut. These three shortcuts are basic. Then you can add Ctrl-I to make the selected text italic, Ctrl-U to underline it, Ctrl-B to make it bold, and so on. The same is with Word for OS X: just use Command instead of Ctrl.
Operate with Words instead of Symbols
For example, to delete an entire word (we don’t mean uninstalling the application!), you don’t have to press Backspace several times or press and hold it. It’s enough to press Ctrl + Backspace (on Mac, of course, it’s Command + Backspace). You can hold this combination to delete phrases, word by word.
Unformat the Text Just As Easily
Sometimes formatting of a text fragment is not what you want for it. Well, Word is great at unformatting as well. Just select the text you want to unformat, then go to Edit menu, select “Clear” and in the popup menu select “Clear Formatting”. Here comes your text, good as new, for you to restyle.
Zoom In and Out to See the Text Clearer
It depends on what you prefer to see: words and letters big and clear, or the overall view of your page. Anyway, zooming tools are among the most useful to adjust the view. Select the “View” menu, and then zoom in and out until you find the scale you need. If you want to return to the document’s natural size, just click “Zoom to 100%”.
Search Within the Document Quickly
It’s much easier to find a certain word than to scroll the document and look it up. Just press Ctrl + F (guessed already how the same command looks on Mac?) and enter a part of the word or the entire word. If you search for all its forms (singular or plural for nouns, various tenses for verbs, and so on), only enter the first words common for all the forms. Instead of a shortcut, you can just out the cursor to the search window.
Use Search and Mail Right from Word
Searching for words and phrases on the Internet from Word is just as easy as searching within the document. Just select the phrase, then right-click on it (or click with two fingers on your MacBook) and select “Smart Lookup”. You won’t even have to open a browser tab: the results will show up in a window to the right of your document, in the same Word window. They will include Wikipedia, dictionaries if available, and other solid resources.
You can also email the document out right from Word, with “Mailings” menu. It supports sending the document to multiple recipients, labeling the mail, previewing results, and more.
Use Outline View to See the Complicated Structure
If the text you’re working at is very complex, with many headline levels, it’s hard to overview it quickly. But it can be compressed for your eyes if you go to the View menu and select “Outline View”. It can be set to various levels, so select what you need. It’s the best tool to see in Microsoft Word table of contents of your document.
Select Text with Clicks
It just takes a double-click to select the word your cursor is at now. A triple-click does the same to the entire paragraph.
Links Are Easy to Insert
First copy the link. Then select the word or the phrase you want to attach the link to (probably the previous tip helped you with this), and press Ctrl-K (Command-K) or right-click and select “Hyperlink”. Okay, you can hypertext your entire document up before sending it out, so the receiver will get all the references you planned.
You’re in Control of Fonts
In the left upper corner of the default view, you can see the font manager. Click on the arrow next to it to select from all fonts of Microsoft Word the font you want for the current document or the current fragment. If you want to change the default font, just go to Format/Font, select the font you want, its size and other attributes, and then press “Default”.
Good to Know
Of course, these aren’t all the tricks. And they probably won’t work with mobile versions, even if you connect a keyboard to your tablet. But the desktop version of Microsoft Word you spend much of your time at can surprise you too.