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Tips and Tricks for Using Microsoft Word

You can spruce up your Word documents to make them more presentable and flawless.  Here are some tips and tricks for using Microsoft Word for neater and error-free write-ups.

Safe Mode

Most people do not know they can open Microsoft Word in safe mode. You can do this if one of your Word add-ins is behaving erratically or suppress customizations you have made on the program. It also helps when you need screenshots of the default Word and not your customized screen.

To open Word in safe mode, press the CTRL key and keep it pressed as you click the button for the Word program. The safe mode dialog box will appear, and you can select it for Word to open in safe mode. Alternatively, you can type winword/safe in the Windows Run box.

The Mouse/ Touch Mode

If you have a touch and mouse mode on your screen, you can make disastrous taps, especially if you have large fingers. You can avoid this by enlarging the touch buttons on your Word 2013.

To do this, click on the drop-down arrow at the far right of your Quick Access Toolbar.  Click on the Touch/Mouse mode from the list.  With this, you enable the touch/ mouse toggle that allows you to enlarge icons to tap them more precisely.

Disabling the Start Screen

If you find the start screen annoying, you can disable it in a matter of seconds. Follow these steps to disable it.  Click on Ribbon, then on File, select Options, and choose on General.

Copy-Paste Shortcut

Figure this out; you have some texts on your clipboard, awaiting pasting on Word. But you realize you need to copy and paste some more texts before what is on the clipboard. If you copy another text, you overwrite what you had copied previously.

You can override this and copy more texts without overwriting what is in your clipboard. Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Select the text you want to move to a new location. Keep it highlighted.
  • Put your cursor on the new location but don’t click
  • Press CTRL, then right-click on the new location

If you do not want to use your mouse, follow these steps:

  • Highlight the text you are moving
  • Navigate back to the intended location
  • Press enter

Alternatively, press CTRL+SHIFT to copy your text, and then right-click on the intended location to paste it. You can also do so by pressing SHIFT+F2 to copy your text, then move to your new place and press Enter to paste it.

Once you do this, you can follow your usual procedure to copy-paste the content in your clipboard to your intended location. Mastering copy-paste functions makes you efficient when using Microsoft Word.

Remove Double Spaces

You can use the Find and Replace feature to replace double spaces. Open Find and Replace by pressing CTRL+H. Select Find What and then insert two spaces by pressing the space bar twice.  Move the cursor to the Replace With feature and press your space bar once.  Finally, click the Replace All field.

Remove Manual Formatting

You may realize that you have messed up your document after formatting it for some time manually. You can clear all the formatting for the document to revert to its original form.

Select the document or the section you want to clear. On the Home tab of the Ribbon, select the Clear All, and then the Clear All Formatting option. This will remove all the formatting you have in put manually. You can now start formatting afresh.

View Side-By-Side

Open the documents you want to view side-by-side. Move your cursor to the View tab and click on it. Select the view side-by-side option. After clicking on the view side-by-side field, the documents will display in a column-like arrangement for you to view and compare them easily.

Spike It

This may be the most helpful tip unknown to most Word users. It allows you to move several images, texts, and tables within the same document or to several other documents simultaneously.

Highlight the images, tables, or texts you want to move. Press CTRL+F3 concurrently. This copies the highlighted work into a special clipboard. You can continue copying more work without overwriting what you had placed in the special clipboard.

Once you have copied everything you want to move, move to the intended new location. If you press CTRL+SHIFT+F3, the contents in the special clipboard move to your new location in the order that you copied them.

At the same time, the special clipboard is deleted. You can then edit and format the work to make it flow and improve its readability.

Replacing Formatting and Styles

On the navigation chain, select More to get additional options. When you click on the Format button, you will get a drop-down box. You can choose the style or formatting you want to replace and click the Find Next field.

Once the style is highlighted on the document, you can copy it and paste it on the Find What field, type what you want it to look like on the Replace With field. If you want to replace all the highlighted styles with what is on the Replace With Field, click Replace All.  Select Replace when you want to replace only the highlighted portion.

Replace Special Characters

The Find and Replace feature can help you locate and replace special characters. These characters may be double paragraph marks (ᶺPᶺP) that you want to replace with single paragraph marks (ᶺP).

Highlight the unwanted character, and copy it. Paste the character you want to eliminate on the Find What field on the navigation panel.

Then, on the replace Field, input the characters you want to appear in the document. If you are replacing all the characters, click on the Replace All field, and Replace if you want to replace only the highlighted character.

Locking Your Document

You may want to protect a whole document or part of a document from unauthorized editing. Select the text you want to lock. Click on Review on the taskbar.

Move your cursor to the far right and click on the protect document field. You will get a drop-down box with options. Select the Restrict Formatting and Editing.

With these tips and tricks, you can work on your Word documents more efficiently and produce neater and flawless work.

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