Microsoft Word Hint and Tips

Microsoft Word is an outstandingly powerful program, but getting at that power may not be as easy or intuitive as you might like. It can be incredibly frustrating when you know you should be able to do something with the program but can’t, for the life of you, figure out how to do it. Check out the following Hints and Tips we’ve put together to make using it easer:

Microsoft Word

Align charts and pictures

  • In Word 2010, anchor charts and pictures to text to keep them in place. To do this, click the object and set the text-wrapping option to something other than ‘In-line with text’.
  • Create sub-lists

In Word 2003, choose Bullets and Numbering from the Format menu, click the Outline Numbered tab and choose create another item at the same level. Press the Tab button to drill down one level.

  • Show formatting marks

To display formatting marks in Word 2010,click the paragraph mark symbol(¶)in the Paragraph section of the Home tab. To adjust which marks are displayed, open the File menu, choose Options, click Display and then tick the boxes as appropriate. Click OK to save changes.

  • Perform simple sums

To add figures in Word 2010, click File followed by options. Click Quick Access Toolbar, Select All Command from the dropdown menu and then scroll through to find Calculate: click to select it the click Add. Click OK to save the changes.

  • Stop Insert key annoyances

In Word 2003, choose options from the Tools menu then select the Edit tab. Tick the ‘Use the INS key for paste’ box and click OK. The Insert key will now act as the paste function.

  • Link text boxes

To have text flow from one box to the next in Word 2010,click the Insert tab followed by Text box and insert text boxes into the document. Click the first box and then choose the Format tab within Drawing Tools. Click the Create Link icon in the Text selection then click the second box and the boxes will be linked.

  • Email documents as PDFs

To email documents as PDFs in Word 2010, click the File button and choose Save & Send followed by create PDF/XPS Document. Click on the Create PDF/XPS button and follow the instructions to complete the process.

  • Save as.doc

Word 2010 can save documents to older Word formats. Click File followed by Options and then click Save on the left. Choose ‘Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc)’.

  • See pictures in documents

If Word 2003 shows placeholders where images should be, first choose Options from the Tools menu then click the View tab. Now remove the tick from the ‘Picture placeholder’ box.

  • Make text fit

To shrink a document easily in Word 2003, choose Font from the Format menu then select the Character Spacing tab and use the Scale box to reduce the letter width and the Spacing box to reduce the space between letters.

  • Protect documents with passwords

To add password to Word 2007 doc., click the Protect Document icon on the Review tab. Click Editing restrictions, select how much formatting is allowed, tick the ‘Allow only this type of editing in the document ‘box and choose an option from the dropdown menu below. Click ‘Yes, Start Enforcing Protection’, type a password for the document twice and then click on OK.

  • Make the ribbon fun

The office 2007 and 2007 ribbon sharply divide opinion. But if you’re stuck with it (at work, say), then download Microsoft’s Ribbon Hero 2 game to learn how to make most of it .Get it free, from

  • Swap footnotes for endnotes

In Word 2003, open the Insert menu, point Reference and then choose Footnote. Select Endnotes and then choose whether footnotes should appear at the end of the document or section. Choose the formatting options, then click the Insert button.

  • Change case

All versions of Word have a shortcut for rectifying incorrect capitalisation. Select the affected text then hold down Shift and tap F3 to cycle through three variations: upper case, capitalise initial letter, and all lower case.

  • Use thin font variations

Where space is tight, use fonts designed for small spaces, such as Arial Narrow rather than Arial – as this avoids having to use a smaller font size.

  • Browse documents by image

To check images in large Word documents click the small circle icon at the bottom of the right hand scroll bar. Click on the Browse by Graphic icon and then click the double arrows above and below the circle icon to skip through the document’s images.

  • View hidden text

To view hidden text in Word 2003 documents, choose Options from the Tools menu, select the View tab, tick the ‘Hidden text ‘box and click OK. This is useful for adding notes that won’t be printed.

  • Split the document view

To split doc. in two, so two parts can be viewed at one, in Word 2003 choose Split from the Window menu. In Word 2007/10, the Split button is on the ribbon’s View tab. Drag the mouse to position the split point then left-click.


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