While Google Docs is preferred by tech-savvy users who enjoy working online, Microsoft Word continues to be the most popular choice in education fields thanks to its powerful features. On the surface, the app is easy to use and understand. But spend a little time on it and you’ll quickly realize there’s a lot more depth. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll want to check out the following tips and tricks we’ve collected to improve your editing experience.
Tell MS Word what to do
Not all of Microsoft Word’s features are in plain sight – some require you to navigate through multiple toolbars and menus before you finally get there. Fortunately, newer versions of Word come with a new “Tell me what you want to do” field at the top of the toolbar, which simplifies this process. You can use this function to find what you want to do, access features or perform an action.
An easier way to select text
Dragging and highlighting may be the most popular choice for text selection, but there is a much faster method. Double-clicking on any word will highlight it while triple-clicking on any part of your copy will select the entire sentence/paragraph/section.
No more repeated backtracking
Instead of repeatedly slamming the backspace key and annoying co-workers around you, you can use a trick that involves the Ctrl key. Simply hold down the Ctrl key and press backspace to erase entire words at once – no more letter-by-letter deletion. Meanwhile, holding backspace with Ctrl will delete larger chunks of text.
You can also enhance your text selection in the same way by holding down Shift + Ctrl and using the arrow keys instead of your mouse. Watch the cursor glide smoothly across your document, leaving a trail of highlighted text.
Set a default font on MS Word
The software is designed to listen to your commands and not the other way around, so why let Microsoft dictate which font to use? Live life your way and set a default font by following the steps below.
- Make sure the toolbar currently set is the Home tab
- In the fonts section, click the font dialog box launcher
- Here, modify the attributes as you wish and click on “Set as default”
Hide top toolbar
The toolbar at the top is a chunky element that takes up a lot of your viewing area. For an uninterrupted writing experience, you can hide everything by pressing Ctrl+F1. And when you want to change something, just bring the toolbar back to the screen by pressing Ctrl+F1 again.
Generate random text
If you ever feel the need to add more text to your document, then Word has you covered. Place the cursor where you want the random text to start and type =RAND() . “But why?” you can ask. Well, for example, random text can be useful when you want to check how a particular font would look on your copy before you start.
Improve your writing with Grammarly for MS Word and Outlook
Although Microsoft Word highlights spelling mistakes and grammatical errors (to some extent) with color-coded zigzag lines, it doesn’t really help to ensure 100% accuracy. To iron out remaining issues and improve your writing, you can use Grammarly for Windows. Besides the basics, the cloud-based typing assistant will also examine your copy for clarity and engagement.