10 Microsoft Word Tricks You Need To Master

10 Microsoft Word Tricks You Need To Master

Microsoft Word. The name’s practically synonymous with “productivity app”. If you’re reading this article in an office you’ve probably got a Word doc open right now, and you might think you’ve got a good handle on Microsoft’s word processor. We’ll bet you don’t know as much as you think you do. Don’t believe us? Read on for 10 quick tips and tricks for Microsoft Word.

Be Selective with How You Select

You already know that double-clicking selects a single word, and you probably figured out that triple-clicking selects an entire paragraph. But if you just want to select a single sentence, hold down Ctrl and click on any word. To select an entire table, hold down Alt and double-click.

Add a Comment Box

When a friend or family member sends you a document to proofread, don’t waste your time writing a lengthy email detailing all the horrendous mistakes you found; mark up their Word file instead. Highlight a portion of text, click the Review tab in the Ribbon bar, and select New Comment.

Insert Bullets and Number Lists Using Your Keyboard

When inspiration hits, lifting your fingers off the keyboard to use your mouse can mess up your mojo, but what do you do if you need to insert a bullet or numbered list? It’s simple: type an asterisk and hit the spacebar to auto-create a bullet list. You can do the same with numbers and dashes.

Use the Built-In Thesaurus

You don’t need to hop online to use a thesaurus, since the folks in Redmond had the good sense to bundle one in Word. To use it, highlight an entry and press Shift+F7. Pretty simple, right? Or maybe we should say it’s trouble-free, straightforward, effortless, uncomplicated or painless.

NBackup/Transfer Your Settings

Nearly every customisation you make to Word gets saved in the Normal.dot template, a hidden file that you should keep backed up. You’ll find it by navigating to C:Users>[username] AppDataRoamingMicrosoftTemplates. Be sure to enable viewing of hidden files, folders and drives.

10 Microsoft Word Tricks You Need To MasterMS Word has gone through some changes over the years – but most commands and shortcuts remain the same

Extend Word’s Trial Period

Microsoft allows you to test drive Office free for 30 days; after that, you have to pony up for a licence and activate. Or you can “˜rearm’ Office for another 30-day trial, up to five times for a total of 180 days. To rearm, open an elevated command prompt and go to C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedOfficeSoftwareProtectionPlatform and run OSPPREARM.exe. If you installed the 32-bit edition of Office on a 64-bit OS, replace Program Files with Program Files (x86).

Alternatively, the free ‘lite’ version is perfectly serviceable. Click on the link below for instructions.

Psst, Microsoft Office Is Basically Free Now

For so long, many of us have struggled to renew our licences for Microsoft Office and have been punished with that pesky error - but now there's a fix. Turns out, you can access it legally and for free online.

Read more

Insert Screenshots into Word

One of our favourite new features in Word 2010 is the ability to glue screengrabs right into the document we’re working on. Just use the Print Screen key as normal to grab an image, and then go to Insert > Illustrations > Screenshot.

Hop Back and Forth with Bookmarks

To add a bookmark in Word, position your cursor and go to Insert > Links > Bookmark. Give your bookmark a name and click Add. To jump back to that point, just go back to the Bookmark menu, highlight your entry, and click Go To.

Select Text Vertically

Did you mess up your numbered list? Maybe some funky symbols got placed at the beginning of each sentence when you copied over an email. Whatever your reason for wanting to select text vertically, you can do so by holding down the Alt key and using your mouse cursor.

Password-Protect Work Documents

One of these days, you’re going to punch your obnoxious roommate square in the face for digging around your personal documents. Or better yet, just lock your docs. To password protect a Word document, click on File > Info > Protect Document > Encrypt with Password.

This story has been updated since its original publication.


  • Format painter is one of the best discoveries i ever made when working on multiple documents – Ctrl+Shift+c to select the text format you need, ctrl+shift+v to paste the format on to other text. Fantastic when sourcing text from multiple sources and making it all look the same.

  • Notice it’s not mentioned here but IS shown in the screenshot – if you want the old menus back and hate the Ribbon (or can’t find something you use in it) then you should look at UbitMenu

    UBitMenu works on both Office 2007 and Office 2010 and will add a new ribbon tab with the old Office 2003 menu inside it. It doesn’t prevent you from using the ribbon – but can make it easier for you to find things sometimes.

    Check it out at:

    It’s free for personal use, and very cheap if you want to use it commercially.
    (note I have no affiliation with ubit at all, just a happy user of their software).

  • Also the ability for screengrabs in Office documents has been there for a while as far as I can remember. However, I do not have a copy of Office 03 to test on so correct me if I’m wrong.
    In Office 07 you can just paste a printscreen in just like you would into paint.
    I’m not sure what the point of insert screengrab in a menu is if you can just ctrl+v it.

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