3 Basic Tips On Using Microsoft Word

By: Gabriel Adams

If you're writing a basic letter or other document in Microsoft Word, you may want these three commonly used tips on how to make the most of the experience.

#1 Using Bold, Italics, and Underline

To make something bold, italicized or underlined, here's what to do. First of all, highlight the text you want to be affected. To highlight, take your mouse and left-click at the beginning of your selection so that your cursor appears there. Next, hold the left-click button down and drag the mouse to the end of your selection. Now let go of the button.

If you want to select everything in your document, choose Select All. To do this, press CTRL+A, or click the Edit menu at the top of the screen and choose Select All.

Now that your selection is highlighted, press CTRL+B for bold, CTRL+I for italics, and CTRL+U for underline on your keyboard. You can toggle whether such features are on or off in your selection by pressing each keystroke in tandem. Another method is to go to the top of the program where the B, I, and U buttons are located.

#2 Centering and Other Page Alignment Settings

There are four buttons to control your alignment; these buttons are located at the top of Word (near the B, I and U buttons). They include align left, center, align right, and justify. Align Left is standard, where everything will seem to come from the left. Center is for titles or anything you want centered.

Right align is good for certain resume and business letters where you might want something to line up with the right side of the page. Justify is great for newspaper articles, term papers, or other documents where you want your text to align both to the left and right side of the page.

Again, highlight what you want changed and click the appropriate button. If you, for example, have just done so and want the next line and everything after that to be a certain way, here's what to do.

Go down to the first line where you want everything back to normal (align left most likely) and click the button. After that, everything you type will be aligned to the left side of the page like normal. You can still go back and change certain sections by highlighting them and clicking the buttons at the top.

#3 Keyboard Shortcuts for Menu Tasks

You can use keyboard shortcuts for common tasks that you would normally accomplish by using a menu. Whenever you're in a menu, notice that the shortcut keystroke is listed next to the choices given, or a certain letter is underlined. Make note of this.

The underlined choices mean to press ALT and then the menu's underlined letter (for example F for file) and then the underlined letter of your choice within that menu.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Save and Save As:

For example, to Save your document, click CTRL+S. This is a good habit to do every couple minutes when you're working on something. The first time you press it, you will need to name your file. After that, Word will show an animation to let you know you have saved. (The animation is a shrinking box, basically.)

To save something with a new name, you want to Save As. Instead of reaching for the mouse and going to File and choosing Save As, your hands don't need to leave the keyboard! Just press ALT+F then press A. Name your file and choose a location to save it (default is usually My Documents or wherever you save to most often). That's easy!

Keyboard Shortcuts for Undo and Redo:

To undo something, press CTRL+Z. You can do this multiple times, each time undoing the prior action executed. To redo things press CTRL+Y. And again, to get multiple things back that you have undone, press CTRL+Y repeatedly until what you undid has returned to the screen.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Close and New:

To close your file press ALT+F and then C. To create a new document, press CTRL+N.

Keyboard Shortcuts for editing such as Cut, Copy, and Paste:

To cut something (cut gets rid of something so it can be pasted elsewhere), highlight it and press CTRL+X.

To copy something, highlight it and press CTRL+C.

To paste something, go to where you want to paste it and press CTRL+V. You can press CTRL+V multiple times if you want to paste something repeatedly. Or you can go to more than one location within your document and paste the same thing.

These cut, copy, and paste commands work in almost every Windows application such as Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office Products, Outlook, Outlook Express, Notebook and hundreds of other apps that involve text!

You can even cut, copy, and paste from one program to another! This is great, for example, if you want to copy an Internet Explorer website address and paste it into an email or instant message conversation!

Word to Your Mother

Use your imagination, there are many other shortcuts and things you can do. There is a lot more info online, plus you can learn a lot by playing around! Word can do just about anything you can imagine that you'll need to do for most documents. Experiment and you'll be amazed at how refreshed it feels to be in control of your work!

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