Many of us are longtime users of Microsoft Word. Each new version of Word introduces new features, especially in Office 2007, where the traditional menus and toolbars were replaced with a new "ribbon" interface. Word 2010 included even more enhancements.
Have you been keeping up-to-date with the new options availabe in each new version of Word, or just sticking to the tasks you know? You may be barely scratching the surface of its potential.
This article by Barry Moltz for The OPEN Forum lists 13 useful features for both beginners and more advanced users of Microsoft Word, including:
- Use the Quick Part Gallery to store content that will be reused repeatedly, such as text snippets, logos and other graphics.
- Save typing. Use this feature for keystroke shortcuts. For example, if your company name is The Penney Wig Corporation, then you can use a keystroke short cut like "TPWC" and Word will type “The Penney Wig Corporation” every time.
- Convert a document from Word format to PDF to make it more professional and prevent anyone from changing it. No additional software is required.
- If you use an electronic postage program like Stamps.com, Word allows you to print envelopes and shipping labels with USPS-approved postage directly from Word without opening the other program.
- Collaborate on documents using Word's change tracking and commenting features.
- Beef up your spellcheck by using an exclusion dictionary. This causes words like "manger" (instead of "manager") to be flagged as misspelled words.
- Use the built-in Flesch-Kincaid grade level test to keep your correspondence and marketing content simple and readable.
- Use the Forms features to create standardized checklists and store them electronically.
- Use Styles to set up fonts, headings and and colors that stay consistent and give your documents an extra level of professionalism.
- Highlight a word or paragraph and use Ctlr+Shift+ > to make the font larger, or Ctrl+Shift+< to make the font smaller.
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There are lots of resources for Microsoft Word tips. PC Magazine lists 15 Word 2010 tips for beginners here and 10 tips for advanced users here. Or go straight to Microsoft, who provides many Word 2010 videos here. and free online training courses here.