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Basic Word Tips

When creating a Microsoft Word document, there are some basic things you will need to know to make sure that your document is formatted the way you intend it to be. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, there are sure to be some useful tips included here for you!

Using Templates

There are all kinds of documents you can create using Microsoft Word. If you are inexperienced in its use, then a template may be the best option for you. Word offers many types of templates such as blogs, resumes, invitations, award certificates, lists, etc. For example, a business plan is a common document. Rather than creating the structure of the business plan without any guidance, you can use Word's templates which offers predefined page layouts, fonts, margins, and styles. You simply open the template, fill in the text and the information that is specific to your document and before you know it, you've got a professional business plan!

Tabs, Breaks, and Rulers

If you're not using a template but want to create a regular document such as a business letter or a resume, then you will want to know how to set your tabs for certain sections on your document. By default, when you open a new blank document, there are no tab stops set on the ruler. You can use the ruler to set manual tab stops at the left side, middle, and right side of your document. You can click the "View Ruler" button at the top of the vertical scroll bar if you don't see the horizontal ruler. Set tabs easily and quickly by clicking the tab selector to the left end of the ruler until it shows the type of tab that you want in your document. Then click the location where you wish for the tab to be. If you want your tab stops to be at specific positions that you can't get by clicking on the ruler, use the "Tabs" dialog box. To display this dialog box, double-click any tab stop on the ruler.

To change the layout or formatting of a page(s), you can use section breaks. For instance, you can lay out part of a single-column page as two columns. In addition, you can separate the chapters in your document so that the page numbering for each chapter begins at 1. You can also create a different header or footer for each section of your document, or make them all the same on each page. You can also insert a page break anywhere in your document, or you can specify where Microsoft Word positions automatic page breaks. If you insert manual page breaks in documents that are more than several pages in length, you might have to frequently re-break pages as you edit the document. To avoid the difficulty of manually re-breaking pages, you can set options to control where Word positions automatic page breaks.

Setting up Autosave

Above all, don't forget to SAVE YOUR DOCUMENT! It's a good idea to save your document every few minutes, just in case something were to happen such as a loss of power or computer failure. Also, Word allows you to protect yourself by automatically saving your work for you. To set the automatic saving feature, follow these steps:

1.Choose Options from the Tools menu. You will see the Options dialog box.
2.Click on the Save tab. (Click here to see a related figure.)
3.Click on the Save AutoRecover Info Every check box. The number 10 appears in the Minutes box.
4.Adjust the Minutes box to reflect how often you want Word to save your document. You can select values between 1 minute and 120 minutes.
5.Click on OK.

Use the "Find" function without the dialog box blocking your view

I get annoyed by the dialog box when trying to search for a word or phrase. The simple steps below can help you to search your document without the dialog box getting in your way.

  • Use the Find feature as normal (Ctrl+F), specifying what I want to search for and then looking for the first occurrence of the string.
  • When the first occurrence is displayed, I press the Esc key (or click on Cancel).
  • To find the next occurrence, I press Shift+F4.

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