I use Microsoft Word literally every day of the week, and I have been doing so for almost three years now. Over that time, I have become quite familiar with the program, more so than most people that I know. Most people know the basics of Words, like how to change the style of the font or how to make something bold. What they don’t know is how to use the hundreds of special features embedded into the program. There is a reason why Microsoft charges a ton of money for a copy of this software. It is because it comes packed full of features to make your writing the best it can possibly be. Here are four features in MS Word that I think most people don’t know how to use to their full advantage.
I have talked about using AutoCorrect in some of my other blogs, but I don’t think I have harped on it much around here. AutoCorrect is a special feature of MS Word that corrects typos for you as you type. I always spell the word “something” as “soemthign” because my fingers get ahead of one another, but I have my AutoCorrect set up to fix that. Thus I do not have to edit that word every single time I mess it up. The program does it for me. The next time you misspell something, right click on it and pull up the AutoCorrect options. You might be surprised by how much of a difference it could make for you.
I am a big fan of lists. I use them all the time in my blogs. Most of my lists are not written in alphabetical order though, and that sends my writing OCD into overdrive. With the A-Z sorter on MS Word, I can easily highlight my list and organize everything with the touch of a button. For newer versions of Word, that option is in the “Paragraph” section, and it has a picture of an A on top of a Z with an arrow by the letters. If you want to organize a ton of information in a short period of time, you will fall in love with this button.
If you ever insert pictures into your Word documents or use one of the shapes already in the program, you may not realize that you can do a lot of stuff with those objects. Once you put something like that into a Word doc, you should see a colored tab in the upper right hand corner of the program. Click on that and you will get the chance to edit every aspect of how the image looks. You can change the frame around it, create a 3D effect for it, add a shadow underneath, or do whatever else you want. I actually prefer this over a lot of image editors out there, so I would strongly recommend that you explore those options when you start using Word extensively.
Don’t you hate it when you write an entire essay and then realize that you spelled the main character’s name wrong? I have done this with my articles countless times over. Rather than looking all over the document for the messup, you can just use the Find/Replace option to change everything at once. You can access this through the “Editing” section of the software, or you could just hit Ctrl+F for Find or Ctrl+H for Replace. Then you can make note of whatever changes you need, and you can fix everything at the same time.