Microsoft Word Tips to Make Your Life Easier
| certifications | microsoft - Team Nuggets

Microsoft Word Tips to Make Your Life Easier

Just about everyone has used Microsoft Word at one point or another. And for many professionals and organizations, Word is still the de facto word processor. No matter how often you use Word, there's always something new to learn. CBT Nuggets trainer Simona Millham offers these tips to make using Word a little easier to use.

New to Word 2019, check out this CBT Nuggets Microsoft Word 2019 training from Simona. Start your free week today!

Microsoft Word Tech Tips

  • You might find Outline View useful if you use the Heading Styles, but did you know you can actually collapse and expand parts of your document? Just click the triangles next to the heading in Page Layout View.
  • Word’s Heading Styles have a few magical properties, one of which is that you can click the little triangle just to the left of your headings to expand or collapse parts of your document. This is especially useful for longer documents. You can find the Heading Styles on the Home tab.

  • Can’t be bothered to use styles? Use the Select Text with Similar Formatting option on the Home tab to select and change all your headings in one go.
  • Need to reuse sections of copy? Type and format the piece of text you want to reuse, select it, find the Quick Parts button on the Insert tab, and choose Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery. Then to use it, simply choose it from the Quick Parts gallery in the same place.

  • For Lorem Ipsum text, type =lorem(3,5) where the first number is the number of paragraphs and the second is the number of sentences in each paragraph. Then press enter. You can also use =rand(3,5) for random text too. This is great for testing templates.

  • If you can’t work out what the difference is between two bits of text, but you know they just look different, you can compare the formatting. Select one piece of text, press SHIFT+F1 to show the Reveal Formatting task pane, click the “Compare to another selection” option, and then click in the text you want to compare.
  • Picture not behaving properly? If you ever have a graphic in Word that doesn’t seem to let you use the full Picture Tools that you would expect (the clue is gray squares as handles in the corners rather than white circles), then Cut the picture and Paste Special as a Picture. See the tip in action here.

  • Use the Navigation Pane to, er, navigate your document. This is another great reason to use Word’s heading styles. You can turn on the Navigation Pane from the View tab and click on the headings to jump to different sections of your document.
  • Use the often overlooked Clear Formatting button on the Home tab to clear formatting from your text.
  • Word has some clever AutoFormats built-in. For example, you probably know that if you type (c) it changes to ©. Now try –> or ==> or <=>. Now try typing or === or even ~~~ on a line by themselves and pressing enter! To control these options or add your own, go to File, Options, Proofing, and AutoCorrect Options.
  • When you paste the text into your Word document, the default behaviour is that the original formatting will be retained. But don’t forget you can use the little button that appears to the right of the text to change this, and even to change the default behaviour.

Keyboard Shortcuts

  • CTRL+5: Apply 1.5 line spacing to a paragraph.
  • CTRL+Backspace OR CTRL+Delete: Delete an entire word at a time. It kind of feels like Pac-Man. CHOMP.
  • Press CTRL+M to indent a paragraph — and CTRL+SHIFT+M to un-indent. If you want to get really clever, press Control T to create a hanging indent and Control Shift T to unhang. But keep your eyes on the indent markers on the ruler so you know where you are!
  • Press CTRL+ or CTRL+ to move your cursor up or down a paragraph. Hold your SHIFT key down at the same time to select. I never really think of these as tips until somebody asks me during a demo how I managed to do something like this so quickly!
  • Word’s default is that it adds space below each paragraph when you press Enter. You can change this. To temporarily override this, press SHIFT+Enter rather than just Enter.
  • Select some text and try CTRL+[ to decrease font size (and yes, you guessed it, CTRL+] to increase font size). Try SHIFT+F3 to change the case. In fact, press SHIFT+F3 several times to scroll through the options.
  • Press CTRL+Tab to perform tab in table cells. You can’t just press Tab by itself, of course, because that moves you to the next cell.

Keyboard + Mouse Click Shortcuts

  • Use a CTRL+Left-click to select a sentence. Unless you prefer the mouse dexterity challenge of clicking and dragging.
  • Hold down CTRL+SHIFT while you adjust a table column width to make all columns to the left equal.

  • Right-click on the Status Bar at the bottom left of your screen where you see the page number to turn on all sorts of other useful information. I particularly like to turn on the Word Count, and if I’m using a keyboard without a caps lock light, the Caps Lock notification too.
  • Normally, you can’t click and drag to select a column in a tabbed list, but you can if you hold down your ALT key.

  • Of course, you know that you can click and drag the column border to resize a column in your Word document. But try holding down the SHIFT key or the CTRL key — or both together — while you drag and see what happens!

Learn more

For more tips like this, follow Simona on LinkedIn. Start a free week with CBT Nuggets to check out Simona's training for popular tools like Microsoft Word and Skype for Business.




Ultimate Systems Administration Cert Guide

A 158-page guide to every Microsoft, VMware, Citrix, AWS, Google, and Linux certification, and how they fit into your career.

I have read and understood the privacy policy, and am able to consent to it.