the basics of MS Word,Dummies' guide for MS Word,

MS Word, the most widely used application of the MS Office suite.

Now, I explore some of the more advanced features that are commonly used.
There are quite a few scenarios that are better understood in tabular format than in long paragraphs. MS Word allows you to draw tables.

Before you decide to leave the tables to Microsoft Excel, think about a situation where you need to put in tables along with text -- like, for instance, a table showing your score in all semesters of your Bachelor's degree in your resume. This is where tables help you in MS Word. Adding tables to a word document isn't that tough.

To create tables click: Table -> Insert -> Tables. Specify the number of rows and columns you require, click 'OK' and the table gets displayed on the document.
Each rectangular area in the table is called a cell (if you have a table with three columns and six rows, you will have a total of 18 cells). You can enter data in each of these cells by clicking on the empty area inside them.

Similar to formatting text, the table and the data in the table can be formatted. To do so, click: Table -> Table Autoformat.
The window that opens up gives you a host of predefined formats or styles. These changes can be applied to the complete table or to a few specific components of the table by playing with the options section on the AutoFormat window (Heading Row, Last Row, First Column, Last Column). Moreover, you can also see the preview before you apply the changes to the table.
While working with tables, you might realise that the number of columns and rows you had initially specified is less or in excess. No need to worry. With a few clicks you can delete and add rows and columns.

To insert a new row at the top/ middle/ end of the table, you just need to place the cursor at the left of the table until you see an arrow. Now click the left button of the mouse and the whole row would be selected.

Click: Table -> Insert -> Row Below / Row Above as per your need.
To add columns, place the cursor at the top of the column until it becomes an arrow pointing downwards.
Now click the left button of the mouse to select the entire column, click: Table -> Insert -> columns to right/ columns to left option.
Similarly you can delete rows and columns by selecting: Table -> Delete -> Row/ Column/ Table.

Now, we look at some more MS Word features.
While typing, you are bound to make typographical errors (including typing incorrect spellings, punctuation, etc). The Autocorrect feature in Word tries to correct simple errors. Words that cannot correct themselves are underlined to attract your attention.

To set the rules for the AutoCorrect feature, click: Tools -> AutoCorrect
This pop-up has several tabs with different properties that you can play with. Check out all the features under these tabs. Most of these are self-explanatory and easy to use. Spending a few minutes in understanding and customising these properties would definitely help you work smarter with Word.

Spelling and Grammar check

After completing your Word document, you will see some red and green coloured wavy lines under some words. These lines indicate an error in those particular words/ phrases.
Green lines specify grammatical errors while the red lines are for spelling errors. To correct these, you can right click (on your mouse) individually on all the occurrences of these coloured strokes and select the correct option from the list of possible solutions provided.
You can also press the 'F7' button on your keyboard to guide you through the grammar and spell check options -- this gives you the choice to apply the changes suggested by word, to make your own changes, to keep it as it is or add the word to the dictionary (this means Word will recognise the word the next time you use it). There may be a few grammar rules and spellings or slang that Word may not be aware of; hence, these will show up as errors.


In case you need to find a specific word in a big document, it might take you hours to go through the whole document. You might also need to replace a word/ phrase occurring n number of times in the whole document with some other word/ phrase. Word can complete the whole job in a matter of seconds.
To make word perform this boring job, simply click, Edit -> Find.
Toggle between the 'More' and 'Less' buttons to get more search options like searching for words in the 'same case' and a few other options.
The 'Replace' tab on the same page gives you an option to specify two different words/ phrases.
This feature can be used to replace an existing phrase in the document with a new one.
Create document without typing
Ever imagined creating a big document without touching your keyboard? Seems to be a fairy tale. Not anymore.
You can use your microphone to dictate words to your computer and Microsoft Word will automatically translate the speech into text. To do so, click Tools -> speech (only available for Word 2003 and later versions). For the first time you would need to follow the wizard to create a training profile.
Once you have completed this, you can use the speech to text feature to create a 100-page document without typing a single word. For good results, you need to speak clearly and slowly.
With this, we come to the end of the tutorial for Microsoft word. Most Microsoft products have a good inbuilt help feature, which can be invoked by 'F1'. I hope you had a good learning experience.

1. A list of shortcut keys

There are loads of predefined shortcuts for MS Word. Remembering all the shortcuts can be difficult but this is how you can do it.
To generate the list, Click Tools -> Macro -> Macro. Select 'Word Commands' from the 'Macros in' list. Now, from the list of the macros available, select 'List Commands'. Click 'Run'. From the 'List Commands' dialog box, click 'Current menu and keyboard settings'. Click 'OK'. The Marco will run and generate a table with all the shortcuts.

2. Secure your Word documents by password-protecting them

Just click: 'File -> Save As' and click the 'Tools' button. Now select 'General Options'. You can add two kinds of passwords; the first password to open the document and the second, to allow modification of the document.

3. Streamline the toolbar

If there are too many toolbars (they are horizontal row of icons just below the menu bar, which provide easy access to functions performed through Menu bar) on the screen you can close a few of them by clicking 'view ->Toolbars -> click any of the toolbar which has a check next to it and is not required. The unchecked toolbar will disappear from your screen.
Next, create a toolbar for features you use frequently.
Click 'View -> Toolbars -> customize'. Click on the 'Toolbars' tab and click on the 'New' button. Give the toolbar a name.
To add icons to the toolbar click on the 'commands' tab in this window and select the category of the Icon you ant to add to the toolbar. Example, if you want to add the icon for adding table on this tool bar, select the 'Category' as 'Table' and select 'Insert Table' from 'commands' column. Now, while pressing the left mouse button, drag the 'Insert Table' option to the new toolbar.
Select 'Normal/ Microsoft Word' to make it available whenever you work on MS Word.

4. Language

If you are using more than one language (English + another language) in the document and want spell check to skip checking the second language, then:
~ Select the block of text you want the Speller to skip.
~ Choose 'Language' from the 'Tools' menu, then choose 'Set Language'. ~ Check the 'Do not check spelling and grammar' check box.
~ Click 'OK'. When the Speller is finished, you'll see the message: 'The spelling and grammar check is complete.
Text marked with "Do not check spelling and grammar" would have been skipped.

5. Synonyms for words

Type the word on a document. Right click on the word and select 'Synonym' from the menu and you will get a list of all possible synonyms. Unfortunately, some types of formatting disable this feature. For example, if the word is in a bullet or numbered list item, the synonym option does not appear when you right-click.

6. Word documents

The document created in higher version of MS Word might not open in any lower version of MS Word. Even if it opens, you might lose some formatting that you had done.
For example, the document created in MS Word 2003 might not open correctly in MS Office 2000 or earlier. In case you want to create a document that will work fine in earlier versions, you can save the file in a format supported by the earlier versions of MS Word. To do so follow the below steps:
Click File -> Save As
In the 'Save as type' box, select the file type you want to use. In the list of options you will see the options such as 'Word 5.0', 'Word 6.0', 'Word 97-2000' etc. Select the version you wish to save your word file in and click 'Save As'.
If you're not sure what file type will work (such as when you are sending a document to someone else), choose Rich Text Format (*.rtf) or WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS (*.doc).

7. Manage big Word documents with ease.

When working with a long document, if you wish to revisit a particular page again to make changes, you can use hidden 'bookmarks' to quickly go to the particular area. To add a bookmark, click where you want to place the bookmark. Now click, Insert -> Bookmark. Assign a name to your bookmark and click 'Add'.
When you wish to access this part of the text, simply press 'F5' to open the 'Find and Replace' dialog box. Click the 'Go To' tab and type the bookmark name in the 'Enter Page Number' field and click 'Go To' button to move directly to the text you have book marked.

8. Using tables

You can create tables in Microsoft Word by simply typing out a string of PLUS SIGNS (+) and MINUS SIGNS (-).
Start the row with a plus sign (+) and then type minus sign (-) until you have the column width you want. To add a new column type plus sign (+) again. When you're done type a final plus sign (+) and press 'ENTER'. Word turns your text into a table. To add more rows to your table, move to the last cell in the table and press 'TAB'.
Note: If this tip doesn't work for you, you need to turn on the 'AutoFormat' feature in Word. To do this, on the 'Tools' menu, click 'AutoCorrect'. Then, click the 'AutoFormat As You Type' tab and select the 'Tables' check box.

9) Change the default 'open' and 'save' folder

Whenever you click the 'open' / 'save' file dialog box, the default directory it refers to it as 'My Document'. By setting the default folder, whenever you access the 'Save' file and 'Open' file window, you do not have to specify the location where you need to save the file or open the file from.
To do so click Tools -> Options. Click on the 'File Locations' tab. Click 'Documents' under the 'File Types' and then click 'Modify'. Now locate the 'folder' which you want to set as the default folder for the Open File / Save File window. Click 'OK' to select the location and again click 'OK'.

10) Modify the custom dictionary

You can add, delete and edit the words in a custom dictionary. Click Tools -> Options and click the 'Spelling and Grammar' tab. Click 'Custom Dictionaries / Dictionaries' Check the checkbox corresponding to the dictionary you want to edit. Click 'Modify' and perform any of the following actions:
~ To add a word, type the word in the 'Word' box and click 'Add'.
~ To delete a word, select it in the 'Dictionary' box and click 'Delete'.
~ To edit a word, select it in the 'Dictionary' box, modify it and then click 'Add' and delete the previous version

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