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Excel functions, formula, charts, formatting creating excel dashboard & othersGuide to Get Started With Microsoft Word Features
In this post, we outline a Beginner’s Guide to Microsoft Word.
Documents, Blog Posts, and Microsoft Word Templates
The first time you open this tool, you’ll be prompted to “create” a blank document, a blog post, or a new/existing Microsoft Word template.
Documents are essentially like text files that support complex formatting. Each format has a page size and a layout.
Blog posts are essentially for passionate bloggers. To ensure seamless uploading of your posts, a prompt will appear asking for your blog account details.
Microsoft Word templates are essentially pre-defined formats.
As a new user, we suggest you create a blank template to get started on your journey to discover Microsoft Office Word.
The Tabbed Ribbon in newer versions of Microsoft Word Features
Through this, MS Word makes its utilities available to use. The Ribbon, in turn, contains:
Each Tab is an individual screen available on the Ribbon. Commonly used Tabs include Home (the default Tab that opens up when you open a Word document), File (for File operations like Save, New, etc.), Insert, Page Layout, View, etc.
These enable you to use your Microsoft Word templates software to do something to your Word document (or post, template, etc.). While you can type out your text in the document, commands empower you to format/ insert/ handle this text in multiple ways.
In addition, here are some special commands available on the Ribbon:
The caret symbol (^) at the top right-hand side corner of the Ribbon can be used to hide/show the command/groups. This is useful when reviewing your Word document in a larger screen space without distractions.
The question symbol in blue (?) brings up Microsoft Word features Help utility. (Alternately, you can use the F1 keyboard shortcut to bring this up.) You can either browse through existing categories or use the search text box to type out what you want to find.
You will become familiar with the File, Home, Page Layout, and View tabs through the rest of this post, as these are most commonly used for editing Word documents.
The FILE Tab
Save and Save As:
This is possibly the first command you should use when typing text. It lets you save your document on the hard disk as a .docx file (by default). Take note of the type of file here. To open your Word document with older versions of Microsoft Word features, you must explicitly choose a backward-compatible file type. You can save your file as a PDF, self-contained web, text file (.txt or .rtf, formatting changes are lost), etc.
New, Open, Close:
Names are self-explanatory as they enable you to open/close or create a new document/ blog post or template.
This stores the list of recently accessed documents and folders so you can quickly open the last record you worked on.
The HOME Tab
The Home Tab is perhaps the most commonly used Tab in Microsoft Word features. And it looks like this:
Before digging in more deeply, we suggest you play around with a document. Please compose sentences and freely modify and arrange them to your liking. Once you’re done, the Command groups in the Home tab can be used as below.
Select a portion of text from anywhere in your document (using the Shift Key).
Use the Keyboard shortcut (Control + B + I). This will make the selected text bold and italicized. Copy this selected text using the (Control + C); this copies everything in Word, text, and formatting.
This is especially useful when formatting long documents with complex styles; you don’t have to repeat your special formatting needs across document pages. Capture them through the copy command and then “paste” them all over using the Format Painter command!
The Paragraph command group allows you to control the alignment, numbering, and line spacing of paragraphs in your document.
Do take note of the following:
Text alignment: The setting affects how the text appears on your page by default, and you can change it to align it differently.
Line spacing: The space between lines is single by default.
Line and Page Breaks: This determines how a Style spawns across pages. For instance, if you check the “Widow/Orphan control” option, when text with a Heading style falls towards the end of a page, it will automatically be bumped to the top of the next page.
Styles are formatting templates used within a document. For instance, you’ll notice that all the Major Headings in this document are in blue, Georgia font size 16, bold and italicized, and have a light shadow. Likewise, all Minor Headings are in Italics, Georgia size 14. Imagine you want to consistently capture these format “styles” through a large text document (say 100 pages). Even with the Format-Painter command, it’s a lot of work. It’s also prone to manual error. With styles, you can do this with minimal effort.
Word also allows you to add your custom styles. For this:
Select formatted text.
Name your custom style.
However, custom styles are limited within the document in use (not available as a template in other documents).
The final command group available in the Home Tab is the Editing tab. Like any good word processor, Microsoft Word introduction allows you to easily select, find easily, and find-and-replace text blocks across your document. Of this, you can bring up the much-used find-replace dialog box with the Keyboard shortcut (Control + H), and it looks like this:
So that was the Home Tab in a nutshell. Phew! But as you will surely have noticed, over 50% of your most used commands lie in this Tab. Explore this thoroughly until you’re comfortable with it, as this will determine your success with the Microsoft Word introduction.
The Page Layout Tab
This Tab contains a host of commands (groups) to control the behavior of each page in your document. And it roughly looks like this:
We will keep it simple here and discuss (only) the Page Setup command group, as this houses two commands you will most likely need to play with.
By default, Microsoft Word sets the document size to a letter size (8.5″ X 11″). You can change this to A4, A3, Executive, or other standard sizes or even define a custom size. Changes will apply to the whole document.
By default, this is set to “Portrait”; you can alternatively set it to Landscape. Again, the orientation applies to the whole document by default. (You can alter this by setting specific “Section Breaks,” but this is outside the scope of this Beginner’s guide).
The most commonly used “break” in a Microsoft Word document is a page break. Inserting a page break causes the subsequent text to move to a new page; This is immensely useful when you want to start new chapters/ headings on a new page.
The View Tab
The View Tab is the final list of commands (groups) we will visit in this guide. Note the “Document Views” command group here, as this is perhaps the most reviewed group.
Highlights of this view are captured below.
The “Print Layout” command allows you to showcase your text page at the center and view it much like how it would appear when printed on paper.
In this view, you can further use the “Zoom” command (group) to increase or decrease the size of your page (impacts only the view and not the actual page size).
Users can remove all toolbar distractions using the Full-Screen Reading view, which is best for reviewing a document. Pressing the Escape key will return you to the (default) Print Layout view.
People typically use the Web Layout view to review blog posts.
You can also toggle views of the Ruler, Gridlines, and Navigation Pane (useful for searching key text in your document) using the “Show” command group.
And that marks the end of our Beginner’s guide to knowing Microsoft Word features!
Next StepsRecommended Articles
Here are some articles that will help you get more detail about Microsoft Word, arguably the most used digital word processor, so go through the link.
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