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Dummies’ guide to using MS Word

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Since you are reading this story on the Internet, there’s a good chance that you would have heard of Microsoft Office, a suite of applications designed to help you manage your day-to-day office work.

MS Office comprises MS Word, MS Access, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Outlook, etc.

This week we launch a new series, which demystifies these applications to help you maximise your work output. We start with MS Word, the most popular product of the Office suite.

Note: Microsoft Word has quite a few versions like Office 2000, Office XP, Office 2003 and the recently released MS Office 2007. The syntax (execution of commands) used in this article is relevant to MS Office 2003, the most commonly used one. It may be different for the version installed on your computer.

Part II: Now you don’t need to type

Part III: Tips, tricks and shortcuts

Installing MS Word

Microsoft Word is pretty user friendly. Creating a basic document in Word will not take much time. But, before you can do that, make sure Microsoft Word is installed on your PC.

To check if Word is already installed:

~ Click on the ‘Start’ button on your computer (this is generally located on the lower left corner of the screen).

~ Click on ‘Run’ and type in ‘WINWORD’ and press ‘OK’.

~ If Microsoft office is already installed on your computer, then you will see a new window opening up. If you spot a blue-coloured icon on your desktop that has a ‘W’ written on it, you can double click on it to start Microsoft Word.

~ Otherwise, you will see an error box that says, ‘Windows cannot find WinWord’.

~ If MS Word is not installed, you will have to purchase MS Office and install it on your PC. Purchasing it along with a new PC is a good idea as it will cost less. Except for the most recent version of MS office, all others are compatible with PCs that are two to three years old.

Creating a Word Document
Presuming Microsoft Word is already installed and running on your computer, we will go ahead and create a document in MS Word.

When you start Word for the first time, you will automatically be greeted by a blank document. On top, you will see a task panel that offers you a few options. Clicking on a ‘Blank Document’ will open another window with a blank document in it. You can also open a new blank document by clicking on ‘File’ on the Menu bar (at the top of your screen) and then clicking on ‘New’.

From now on, whenever there is a reference of any selection from the Menu Bar, we will refer the action to be performed as ‘File -> Action.’ For example, if we were telling you how to open a new Word file when you have an old one open, we will say ‘File -> New.’

Typing a document is the easiest part; users who have had any previous experience using a typewriter or a computer can immediately begin with typing on a Word document. Simply use the keys on your keyboard to type a letter, memo or anything else you want.

Do save the document by giving it a relevant name. You could save it in the My Documents folder by clicking on the Save Button (third button in the panel) or going to the Menu Bar and doing ‘File -> Save as…’ You could also create a new folder to save your word document — when you do Save As, click on the fifth button; this will create a new folder.

Formatting the document

Microsoft Word offers a whole lot of features to help you format your document (organise the way it looks). It has an inbuilt ‘Styles’ feature, which defines the way the text is arranged on a document. Using Styles, you can provide a consistent formatting to the text in the document, which makes your document more readable.

To access Styles, click: Format->Styles.

Using this style panel, you can apply different styles to the text on your document. For instance, if you want the headings of all the documents to be presented in a particular style, select the text (place the cursor at the beginning of the text that you wish to select. Press ‘Shift’ with your left hand and choose the relevant arrow key with your right hand while keeping the shift key pressed until you have finished selecting the text you want to modify. Then choose the heading style.

The selected style will apply to all the selected text. This helps in mantaining consistency across the document without bothering about the smaller aspects in defining a style.

You can also modify existing styles. Click on ‘Format -> Style’. Now select the style to be modified and click Modify.

The Dialog box gives you the control to change the values for font (font is the way each aphabet looks — the size and the face; popular font styles are Arial and Times Roman), paragraph, border and other style related parameters.

Think of a scenario where you need to use different fonts with different size and colour on the same page.

To accomplish this task, you would need to create hundreds of styles to be used. What you can do, instead, is, change the values of the different parameters that define a ‘style’. You can do this for each and every character in your document. We will check out a few important properties, which you can play around with.

~ Font size

For changing the font size (or the size of the alphabets/ characters), select the text for which you want to increase or decrease the size. Then click on the Font Size dropdown just below the Menu Bar. Click on the font size that you would like and the text you have selected will increase or decrease as per the selected size.

~ Font type

Changing the font type is also similar to changing the font size. Select the text, click the Font Type dropdown, (usually on the left of the Font Size dropdown) and select the font type. You can also play around with the Font Type by clicking on ‘Format -> Font’, this properties panel will bring to you a whole new set of properties you can play around with. In fact, you can also change the font size from this window.

The other set of enhancements that you add to your text are making the text bold, Italicising it and underlining it. If you want to jazz up your document, you can add colour to your text or apply any effect from the ‘Text Effect’ section in this window. You can see the preview of the effect in a small preview pane just near the options.

~ Spacing and indents

Indents are meant to align the text on the page properly. You can use the default Indent spacing for Microsoft Word or you may change the settings. To change the Paragraph Indents, select the text for which you want to change the Indent, now click on ‘Format -> Paragraph’.

You can set the Indentation, Alignment and Spacing using the dropdowns provided. Changing the value for left or right under the ‘Indentation’ section will affect the ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ page margins for the document respectively. At the bottom of this Dialog box, you will see the ‘Tabs’ button. Clicking this button offers you the option to control the number of places the cursor should move when the ‘Tab’ key is pressed.

~ Colours, pictures, borders

If you plan to make a small poster or a notice, you would like to add some colour, pictures/ images and borders to your document.

You can add colour to the whole page by ‘Format -> Background and then selecting the desired colour’. Images can be adding by ‘ Insert -> Picture -> From File’ search for your desired image file and click ‘Insert’.

Borders can be added from the Dialog box that opens when you click on ‘Format-> Borders and Shading’.

After finishing your document, you can permanently save it on your computer by clicking ‘File -> Save’ provide a file name and click on ‘Save’.

This concludes the first stage in mastering Microsoft Office.

Part II: Now you don’t need to type

Part III: Tips, tricks and shortcuts


Shortcuts, tips and tricks for MS Word
http://in.rediff.com/getahead/2007/jan/12word.htm

We explained the basics and advanced features of MS Word, the most commonly used application of the MS Office suite.

Next, we have a quick list of applications to help you utilise MS Word to its full capacity.

1. A list of shortcut keys

There are loads of predefined shortcuts for MS Word. Remembering all the shortcuts can be difficult but this is how you can do it.

To generate the list, Click Tools -> Macro -> Macro. Select ‘Word Commands’ from the ‘Macros in’ list. Now, from the list of the macros available, select ‘List Commands’. Click ‘Run’. From the ‘List Commands’ dialog box, click ‘Current menu and keyboard settings’. Click ‘OK’. The Marco will run and generate a table with all the shortcuts.

2. Secure your Word documents by password-protecting them

Just click: ‘File -> Save As’ and click the ‘Tools’ button. Now select ‘General Options’.

You can add two kinds of passwords; the first password to open the document and the second, to allow modification of the document.

3. Streamline the toolbar

If there are too many toolbars (they are horizontal row of icons just below the menu bar, which provide easy access to functions performed through Menu bar) on the screen you can close a few of them by clicking ‘view ->Toolbars -> click any of the toolbar which has a check next to it and is not required. The unchecked toolbar will disappear from your screen.

Next, create a toolbar for features you use frequently.

Click ‘View -> Toolbars -> customize’. Click on the ‘Toolbars’ tab and click on the ‘New’ button. Give the toolbar a name.

To add icons to the toolbar click on the ‘commands’ tab in this window and select the category of the Icon you ant to add to the toolbar. Example, if you want to add the icon for adding table on this tool bar, select the ‘Category’ as ‘Table’ and select ‘Insert Table’ from ‘commands’ column. Now, while pressing the left mouse button, drag the ‘Insert Table’ option to the new toolbar.

Select ‘Normal/ Microsoft Word’ to make it available whenever you work on MS Word.

4. Language

If you are using more than one language (English + another language) in the document and want spell check to skip checking the second language, then:

~ Select the block of text you want the Speller to skip.

~ Choose ‘Language’ from the ‘Tools’ menu, then choose ‘Set Language’.

~ Check the ‘Do not check spelling and grammar’ check box.

~ Click ‘OK’. When the Speller is finished, you’ll see the message: ‘The spelling and grammar check is complete.

Text marked with “Do not check spelling and grammar” would have been skipped.

5. Synonyms for words

Type the word on a document. Right click on the word and select ‘Synonym’ from the menu and you will get a list of all possible synonyms. Unfortunately, some types of formatting disable this feature. For example, if the word is in a bullet or numbered list item, the synonym option does not appear when you right-click.

6. Word documents

The document created in higher version of MS Word might not open in any lower version of MS Word. Even if it opens, you might lose some formatting that you had done.

For example, the document created in MS Word 2003 might not open correctly in MS Office 2000 or earlier. In case you want to create a document that will work fine in earlier versions, you can save the file in a format supported by the earlier versions of MS Word. To do so follow the below steps:

Click File -> Save As
In the ‘Save as type’ box, select the file type you want to use. In the list of options you will see the options such as ‘Word 5.0’, ‘Word 6.0’, ‘Word 97-2000’ etc. Select the version you wish to save your word file in and click ‘Save As’.
If you’re not sure what file type will work (such as when you are sending a document to someone else), choose Rich Text Format (*.rtf) or WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS (*.doc).

7. Manage big Word documents with ease.

When working with a long document, if you wish to revisit a particular page again to make changes, you can use hidden ‘bookmarks’ to quickly go to the particular area. To add a bookmark, click where you want to place the bookmark. Now click, Insert -> Bookmark. Assign a name to your bookmark and click ‘Add’.

When you wish to access this part of the text, simply press ‘F5’ to open the ‘Find and Replace’ dialog box. Click the ‘Go To’ tab and type the bookmark name in the ‘Enter Page Number’ field and click ‘Go To’ button to move directly to the text you have book marked.

8. Using tables

You can create tables in Microsoft Word by simply typing out a string of PLUS SIGNS (+) and MINUS SIGNS (-).

Start the row with a plus sign (+) and then type minus sign (-) until you have the column width you want. To add a new column type plus sign (+) again. When you’re done type a final plus sign (+) and press ‘ENTER’. Word turns your text into a table. To add more rows to your table, move to the last cell in the table and press ‘TAB’.

Note: If this tip doesn’t work for you, you need to turn on the ‘AutoFormat’ feature in Word. To do this, on the ‘Tools’ menu, click ‘AutoCorrect’. Then, click the ‘AutoFormat As You Type’ tab and select the ‘Tables’ check box.

9) Change the default ‘open’ and ‘save’ folder

Whenever you click the ‘open’ / ‘save’ file dialog box, the default directory it refers to it as ‘My Document’. By setting the default folder, whenever you access the ‘Save’ file and ‘Open’ file window, you do not have to specify the location where you need to save the file or open the file from.

To do so click Tools -> Options. Click on the ‘File Locations’ tab. Click ‘Documents’ under the ‘File Types’ and then click ‘Modify’. Now locate the ‘folder’ which you want to set as the default folder for the Open File / Save File window. Click ‘OK’ to select the location and again click ‘OK’.

10) Modify the custom dictionary

You can add, delete and edit the words in a custom dictionary. Click Tools -> Options and click the ‘Spelling and Grammar’ tab. Click ‘Custom Dictionaries / Dictionaries’ Check the checkbox corresponding to the dictionary you want to edit. Click ‘Modify’ and perform any of the following actions:

~ To add a word, type the word in the ‘Word’ box and click ‘Add’.

~ To delete a word, select it in the ‘Dictionary’ box and click ‘Delete’.

~ To edit a word, select it in the ‘Dictionary’ box, modify it and then click ‘Add’ and delete the previous version.

Shortcuts, tips and tricks for MS Word
http://in.rediff.com/getahead/2007/jan/12word.htm

We explained the basics and advanced features of MS Word, the most commonly used application of the MS Office suite.

Next, we have a quick list of applications to help you utilise MS Word to its full capacity.

1. A list of shortcut keys

There are loads of predefined shortcuts for MS Word. Remembering all the shortcuts can be difficult but this is how you can do it.

To generate the list, Click Tools -> Macro -> Macro. Select ‘Word Commands’ from the ‘Macros in’ list. Now, from the list of the macros available, select ‘List Commands’. Click ‘Run’. From the ‘List Commands’ dialog box, click ‘Current menu and keyboard settings’. Click ‘OK’. The Marco will run and generate a table with all the shortcuts.

2. Secure your Word documents by password-protecting them

Just click: ‘File -> Save As’ and click the ‘Tools’ button. Now select ‘General Options’.

You can add two kinds of passwords; the first password to open the document and the second, to allow modification of the document.

3. Streamline the toolbar

If there are too many toolbars (they are horizontal row of icons just below the menu bar, which provide easy access to functions performed through Menu bar) on the screen you can close a few of them by clicking ‘view ->Toolbars -> click any of the toolbar which has a check next to it and is not required. The unchecked toolbar will disappear from your screen.

Next, create a toolbar for features you use frequently.

Click ‘View -> Toolbars -> customize’. Click on the ‘Toolbars’ tab and click on the ‘New’ button. Give the toolbar a name.

To add icons to the toolbar click on the ‘commands’ tab in this window and select the category of the Icon you ant to add to the toolbar. Example, if you want to add the icon for adding table on this tool bar, select the ‘Category’ as ‘Table’ and select ‘Insert Table’ from ‘commands’ column. Now, while pressing the left mouse button, drag the ‘Insert Table’ option to the new toolbar.

Select ‘Normal/ Microsoft Word’ to make it available whenever you work on MS Word.

4. Language

If you are using more than one language (English + another language) in the document and want spell check to skip checking the second language, then:

~ Select the block of text you want the Speller to skip.

~ Choose ‘Language’ from the ‘Tools’ menu, then choose ‘Set Language’.

~ Check the ‘Do not check spelling and grammar’ check box.

~ Click ‘OK’. When the Speller is finished, you’ll see the message: ‘The spelling and grammar check is complete.

Text marked with “Do not check spelling and grammar” would have been skipped.

5. Synonyms for words

Type the word on a document. Right click on the word and select ‘Synonym’ from the menu and you will get a list of all possible synonyms. Unfortunately, some types of formatting disable this feature. For example, if the word is in a bullet or numbered list item, the synonym option does not appear when you right-click.

6. Word documents

The document created in higher version of MS Word might not open in any lower version of MS Word. Even if it opens, you might lose some formatting that you had done.

For example, the document created in MS Word 2003 might not open correctly in MS Office 2000 or earlier. In case you want to create a document that will work fine in earlier versions, you can save the file in a format supported by the earlier versions of MS Word. To do so follow the below steps:

Click File -> Save As
In the ‘Save as type’ box, select the file type you want to use. In the list of options you will see the options such as ‘Word 5.0’, ‘Word 6.0’, ‘Word 97-2000’ etc. Select the version you wish to save your word file in and click ‘Save As’.
If you’re not sure what file type will work (such as when you are sending a document to someone else), choose Rich Text Format (*.rtf) or WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS (*.doc).

7. Manage big Word documents with ease.

When working with a long document, if you wish to revisit a particular page again to make changes, you can use hidden ‘bookmarks’ to quickly go to the particular area. To add a bookmark, click where you want to place the bookmark. Now click, Insert -> Bookmark. Assign a name to your bookmark and click ‘Add’.

When you wish to access this part of the text, simply press ‘F5’ to open the ‘Find and Replace’ dialog box. Click the ‘Go To’ tab and type the bookmark name in the ‘Enter Page Number’ field and click ‘Go To’ button to move directly to the text you have book marked.

8. Using tables

You can create tables in Microsoft Word by simply typing out a string of PLUS SIGNS (+) and MINUS SIGNS (-).

Start the row with a plus sign (+) and then type minus sign (-) until you have the column width you want. To add a new column type plus sign (+) again. When you’re done type a final plus sign (+) and press ‘ENTER’. Word turns your text into a table. To add more rows to your table, move to the last cell in the table and press ‘TAB’.

Note: If this tip doesn’t work for you, you need to turn on the ‘AutoFormat’ feature in Word. To do this, on the ‘Tools’ menu, click ‘AutoCorrect’. Then, click the ‘AutoFormat As You Type’ tab and select the ‘Tables’ check box.

9) Change the default ‘open’ and ‘save’ folder

Whenever you click the ‘open’ / ‘save’ file dialog box, the default directory it refers to it as ‘My Document’. By setting the default folder, whenever you access the ‘Save’ file and ‘Open’ file window, you do not have to specify the location where you need to save the file or open the file from.

To do so click Tools -> Options. Click on the ‘File Locations’ tab. Click ‘Documents’ under the ‘File Types’ and then click ‘Modify’. Now locate the ‘folder’ which you want to set as the default folder for the Open File / Save File window. Click ‘OK’ to select the location and again click ‘OK’.

10) Modify the custom dictionary

You can add, delete and edit the words in a custom dictionary. Click Tools -> Options and click the ‘Spelling and Grammar’ tab. Click ‘Custom Dictionaries / Dictionaries’ Check the checkbox corresponding to the dictionary you want to edit. Click ‘Modify’ and perform any of the following actions:

~ To add a word, type the word in the ‘Word’ box and click ‘Add’.

~ To delete a word, select it in the ‘Dictionary’ box and click ‘Delete’.

~ To edit a word, select it in the ‘Dictionary’ box, modify it and then click ‘Add’ and delete the previous version.

Written by Bhushan Kulkarni

January 23, 2007 at 8:34 am

Posted in Help for MS Office

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