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.
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.
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.