Microsoft Word® Tips and Tricks

by Kara Glover


You say you're already proficient in Word, that you know how to type and format a letter, and you know how send it off in a professional-looking printed envelope.   But if that's the extent to which you use this robust program, you don't know what you're missing.  Here are examples of some tricks Word has up its sleeve:

Ever have trouble getting all the icons you need to use to show up at the top of your screen?  Then you need to set your Standard and Formatting toolbars so all the buttons show up, and each toolbar is displayed on its own row.  To do this click on Tools up at the top of your screen, then click on Customize on the menu that drops down.  Click on the Options tab in the box that pops up, and uncheck the two top boxes. (In Word 2002, check the first box if it isn't already.)  Click Close, and if all goes well you should no longer have trouble finding the buttons you need.

Need to scroll through your document in a jiffy?  A couple of keys on your keyboard can help you do that.  To quickly find the beginning of a long document, hold down the Control key  (Ctrl)  and hit the Home key.  Then, to get back to the end of it, hold down the Ctrl key and hit End.  If you simply want to go to the beginning of a line of text, hit Home.  To get to the end, hit End.  You can also use the Page Up and Page Down keys to take you, that's right, up one page or down one page.


Do you have a word you use often but just can't seem to always remember how to spell it correctly?  AutoCorrect can remember for you!  Highlight the word you typed incorrectly.  Then right click on the word, click on AutoCorrect, and choose the correctly spelled option.   Now AutoCorrect should automatically correct your mistake from here on out!

Did you know Word contains a Thesaurus?  No need to go running to the bookshelf any longer.  Highlight a word you want to find a synonym for, click on Tools at the top of your screen, then click on language and thesaurus.  You should see some good choices.

Are you a lazy typist, like the rest of us, who doesn't feel like typing the same word or words over and over again.  Well then, type the word once, click on Edit and then on Repeat Typing.  Your text magically appears again.  Feel free to repeat these steps as many times as you need to repeat your text.

You can be also creative in Word with your bullets and numbers.  If you'd like something more unique than a black circle for a bullet, click on Format at the top of your screen, then on Bullets and Numbering.  You can choose from squares or checkmarks, or even some more colorful bullets!   Click on the Numbers tab, and you get a choice of Roman numerals or even letters (big and small)!

Finally,  like to use the tab button but feel the tab indents too far?  Click once again on Format, and then on Tabs.  The default tab stop is set at half an inch, but you can make it whatever you want!  Click on the tiny black triangular arrows to the right of the box with "O.5" in it (the "Default Tab Stops" box),  and increase or decrease the length of your tab stop to your heart's content.


©2003 by Kara Glover

Kara Glover is a Computer Tutor and Troubleshooter.  You can find her free online tuturials on topics such as Microsoft Word®, Excel®, and PowerPoint® on her website: