Ten Tricks for Microsoft Word

Posted by Grant McMaster

Get up-close and personal with the world’s favourite Word Processor…

Words form the basis of the internet. For many people the use of a word processor in their daily life is an inescapable fact, and a welcome one if you’ve ever used a typewriter.

Here are five shortcuts to make formatting a word document far easier:

1: To add capital letters to a sentence or paragraph, highlight the text by selecting it and then press ‘Shift+F3’ – all the letters will change to capitals. Press ‘Shift+F3’ again to remove all capitals leaving an entirely lower case sentence, and press the combination once more to return it to its original format.

2: Formatting a document is the last step to making it presentable, but sometimes you want to see the basic raw document without any formatting. Select the text you want to return to basics and then hit ‘Ctrl+Space’ to remove all formatting.

3: Tab spaces are created by pressing the tab key, but sometimes you want to remove them for a different look. Pressing the tab key inserts a code in to the document that looks like this ^t. To find all your tab spaces use the ‘Find tool’ by pressing ‘Ctrl+F’, type this code into the Navigation box and Word will search automatically for all the spaces. If you want them replaced with something else, like a single space, then type that into the ‘Replace’ box and select ‘Replace all’, then let Word do the job for you.

4: Similar to trick number 2, ‘Ctrl+Q’ removes all paragraph formatting. This includes words with automatically applied indents and any unwanted or unexpected line spacing.

5: Undo: if you’ve made changes to your document that you don’t like or no longer want you can use the combination of ‘Ctrl+Z’ to undo recent actions. This can remove a fairly hefty chunk of text if you type quickly, so use with caution.

6: Redo: you’ve accidentally deleted something with ‘Undo’ and want it back quickly. Hold down ‘Ctrl+Y’ and Word will undo your last action.

7: Cut and Paste are essential tools for anyone formatting a document. To access the function quickly highlight the text to be cut and hit ‘Ctrl+C’, then move the cursor to where you want the text placed and hit ‘Ctrl+V’ to paste it into the document.

8: Returning a document to your previously defined ‘Normal’ style is simple. Hold down ‘Ctrl+Shift+N’ to see all formatting changes removed and the ‘Normal’ format template applied.

9: Easily removing unnecessary Paragraph Returns is as simple as removing their code, which is ^p. Enter ^p into the search box by pressing ‘Ctrl+F’ and Word will find all your Paragraph Returns, enabling you to delete the ones you don’t want.

10: Saving: saving your work is normally done automatically by recent versions of MS Word which keeps track of changes to your document as you work upon it. If you prefer a hard save whilst working then hold down ‘Ctrl+S’ to save the document.

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