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Boost Your Productivity With Microsoft Word

By:Christine Fettinger

Most of us are familiar with the basics of Word, but often we may muddle through some actions that Word has already built shortcuts to. Check out these great productivity tips and become even more of a Word pro!

Make Vertical Text Selections
Most of the time when we select text it is horizontally, but in certain cases, you may want to select text vertically.

To make a vertical selection, hold down [Alt] when dragging down through the text that you want highlighted.

Undo Unwanted Automatic Changes
The automatic changes Word imposes when making a Word document can be helpful, but sometimes those changes are not wanted and fixing them can be annoying. The Undo command (Ctrl+Z) will undo the automatic change and revert the text back to what you originally put in.

Save Changes to All Open Word Documents
If you’re working on multiple documents and want to save all of them at the same time, you can add the Save All command to the Ribbon in Word 2007/2010.

  1. Click the ‘File’ button (Office button in 2007) and click Options (Word Options in 2007)
  2. Click ‘Quick Access Toolbar’ in the left-hand column (Customize in 2007)
  3. Select ‘Commands Not In The Ribbon’ from the ‘Choose Commands’ drop-down list.
  4. Scroll down and select ‘Save All’.
  5. Click the ‘Add’ button and then click ‘OK’.

If you’re working with Word 2003 or earlier, simply press the Shift key and pull down the File menu.

Recover an Unsaved Word Document
If you have ever closed a document without saving it, all hope may not be lost.

  1. Go to File –> Info –> Manage Versions.
  2. Click on the little dropdown and select ‘Recover Unsaved Documents’.
  3. MS Word takes you to the directory (UnsavedFiles) where it keeps a copy of the draft document. Select the one you want and open it as a fresh document. Now, don’t forget to save it!

Pin Documents to the Recent Documents List
If there’s a document you reference or use a lot and want it on your Recent Documents list regardless of whether it was opened recently, simply click the little push pin icon to the right of the file you want to keep on the list. To unpin the document, just click the push pin icon again.

Configure your Paste Formatting Options
Pasting from documents or websites with set formatting can be a pain. Configuring your Paste options can make it easier and save time.

  1. Go to File > Options > Advanced.
  2. Scroll down to the ‘Cut, Copy, Paste’ section
  3. Set the options for what suits you best.  For pasted text with no formatting, choose ‘Keep Text Only’

Quickly Removing Formatting
If you want to quickly remove formatting from a document or section of text, simply highlight all the text you want the formatting removed from and hit ‘Ctrl+Space Bar’ to remove it. Predefined styles and custom templates stay intact. There is also a ‘Remove Formatting’ button on the upper right of the Font area of the Ribbon, which looks like an eraser on an A.

Automatically Generate Filler Text
Generating filler text in Word is very easy. Just type ‘=lorem(p,l)’ into a document and replace the ‘p’ and ‘l’ with the number of paragraphs and lines needed then press Enter.

Use the ‘Find and Replace’ Function For Formatting and Special Characters
Word’s ‘Find and Replace’ function is more powerful than you think. It can replace styles and other formatting if you want to change the formatting or style of certain words like a company or product name in a document.

To do this, click the ‘More > >’ button in the lower left-hand corner of the ‘Replace’ dialog box. Then click on the ‘Format’ button, which will appear in the lower left-hand corner of the expanded ‘Replace’ box, and set it to the desired format.

The search and replace function can also be used to locate and replace special and nonprinting characters, like replacing double paragraph marks with single marks. Similar to above, expand the ‘Replace’ dialog box with the ‘More >>’ button, then click the ‘Special’ button next to the ‘Format’ button in the lower left hand of the expanded ‘Replace’ box. This will list the special and nonprinting characters that can be changed and is helpful if you don’t know the code for the character.

View Side-by-side Documents
Having many Word documents open at the same time can be necessary, but also confusing. To view all of your documents side by side, go to the ‘View’ tab of the Ribbon. Clicking the ‘View Side by Side’ button will show you documents side by side. You can also click ‘Synchronous Scrolling’ can make scrolling through the documents even easier.
You can also use the View tab to arrange your documents better. Clicking ‘Arrange All’ button will reorganize your documents by tiling them on the screen. Word will not tile minimized documents.

For more information about using Microsoft Word, get in touch with CyberStreams at (425) 2_74-1121 or