15 Best Microsoft Word Tips and Tricks

Microsoft Word is a perfect app and easy to get started with, but it has plenty of learning features. In this guide, I will tell you some of the best Microsoft Word Tips and Tricks. It is going to be super handy if you edit documents every day.

Word remains one of Microsoft’s most valuable and oldest tools. Throughout the years, the software has evolved to create intricate tables and diagrams, CVs, flyers, and newsletters, among other things. You can use these top tips and tricks to reduce the amount of time you spend on MS Word and move on to the next task on your list.

Microsoft Word Tips and Tricks

15 Best Microsoft Word Tips and Tricks

The most popular word processing application used by typists around the world is Microsoft Word. As you type up a report, short story, essay, or whatever else you might be working on, the program is loaded with all kinds of features you might never encounter. I present a bunch of some of my favorite tricks to help you discover some lesser-known parts of the software. Here are fifteen tips and tricks that will turn you into a master of Microsoft Word:

  1. Tap into custom fonts and styles
  2. Determine your Document Readability Statistics
  3. Highlight a sentence with a click
  4. Use Auto-Update date and time
  5. Get rid of unwanted formatting.
  6. Insert a screenshot
  7. Make your document speak
  8. Remove the Toolbar Ribbon
  9. Protect your Document
  10. Convert Word into PDF
  11. Use templates to save yourself some time.
  12. Import, format, and edit images
  13. Delete words with One Key Press
  14. Adding Bookmarks to the Document
  15. Combine and Merge Documents

Let’s try them out one by one.

1] Tap into Custom Fonts and Styles

One of the essential Word tips involves customizing font size and style. Word defaults to displaying text in the Calibri 12-point font. If you change the font settings, you can change the appearance of your document.

There are two ways to change the font size and style:

  • Before you type anything, you can make changes to the settings.
  • After writing the text also, you can adjust the text size and style.

You can change this in the upper left corner of the screen by the following steps:

  • On the left side of the Home tab, you’ll see the Font group.Change Font in Microsoft Word
  • Simply click and drag your cursor to select the text you want to change.
  • After that, you can modify the font by using the drop-down menus in the Font group.
  • Choose a new style of font and change the size.

In real-time, you’ll see Word updating your text. This makes it one of the most popular tips for Microsoft Word – it’s a simple tweak that has significant results!

2] Determine your Document Readability Statistics

Word can also judge the complexity of your writing style, in addition to spelling and grammar. Does the style of your writing, for instance, match the level of comprehension of 5th graders or someone with a post-grad degree? You don’t have to worry. Word calculates your score on a 100-point scale using the Flesh Reading Ease test. Generally, the higher the percentage on the scale, the easier it is to understand. Documentation from the Office usually indicates that the score should be above 60.

Furthermore, the Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level test indicates the grade level your text is written for, and according to Microsoft documentation, you should aim for 7.0 to 8.0.

Document readability statistics in Microsoft Word

Here is the procedure for activating this feature:

  • Open Word > Go to File > Options > Select Proofing
  • Under the heading When correcting spelling and grammar in Word > Check the box Check grammar with spelling.
  • Next, check the box Show readability statistics > Click OK.
  • Once you have enabled this feature, open the file you wish to examine.
  • Press F7 or go to Review > Spelling and Grammar.

Word displays the reading level of your document after it has checked grammar and spelling.

3] Highlight a Sentence with a Click

You may want to highlight a large portion of your document to change the font, text color, etc. The usual way of moving the cursor across a block of text is to drag the cursor, but this can be time-consuming, especially when the block of text is extensive and covers several pages.

To do this quickly, follow the steps given below:

  • Click on the beginning of the text block you want to highlight.
  • Hold down the Shift key and scroll down to the end of the text block.
  • Everything will be highlighted when you click on the end of the text. You can then take whatever action you need to.

When you want to highlight the entire document, you can do so by pressing Ctrl + A.

4] Use Auto-Update Date and Time

Use Auto-Update Date and Time in Microsoft Word

Are you using the same document over and over again as long as you only change a few key details? One of the nifty tricks involves allowing Word to auto-update the date if the document contains time and date.

The following steps can be followed to insert a date that is automatically updated:

  • Open Word > Go to the Insert tab.
  • In the Text group, > Click on Date & Time.
  • From the Date & Time dialog box, select the format you like.
  • Next, select the Update automatically checkbox.

The date will be inserted as a field and will be updated automatically.

5] Get Rid of Unwanted Formatting

It is easy to mess up a document’s formatting, especially if it has been copied and pasted from another source. So, you should examine and correct all the wrong formatting to make your document more appealing and presentable. You must revert it to the default format, as shown in the Font group of the Home tab of the ribbon. To do this, you need to follow the steps given below:

  • Select the offending text, and then press Ctrl + Space.
  • You can also use the Clear All Formatting button to get rid of formatting from highlighted text.

That’s it.

6] Insert a Screenshot

Insert a Screenshot in Microsoft Word

Adding a visual representation or reference to the content of an article or write-up adds depth at times. Here’s how you can use the screenshot feature in MS Word to take a screenshot and give weight to your content. Follow these steps to do so:

  • Open Word > Click on Insert Tab
  • Click on the Screenshot option under the Illustration group in the Ribbon group.
  • The screen clipping option will appear.
  • Clicking on it will direct you to the page you wish to take a screenshot of.
  • Drag the mouse to the desired image.
  • A copy of the screenshot will be automatically added to your document.

That’s all.

7] Make Your Document Speak

Make Your Document Speak in Microsoft Word

Word has an exciting feature in which you can make text in your document sound through your computer’s speakers. It does not belong to the ribbon, so you must add it to the Quick Access Toolbar. To make your documents speak, follow the steps given below:

  • Open Word > Click on File in the ribbon > Then click on Options in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen.
  • Click on Quick Access Toolbar > Change the drop-down from Popular Commands to All Commands. Please allow a few seconds for the list of commands to refresh.
  • Scroll down to Speak > Click on Add. 
  • In the Quick Access Toolbar above the ribbon, you will now see the Speak icon. It looks like an empty speech bubble.
  • Select some text > Then click on the Speak icon, and after a few seconds, you will hear the text spoken.

It’s possible to create an audiobook from a document. This would be pretty useful in a presentation where your audience has to understand all the points in the document before proceeding to the next section.

It is often more effective for an audience to hear the spoken word than to read something where they may skip lines and come to erroneous conclusions.

8] Remove the Toolbar Ribbon

The grey toolbar running across the top of Word is known as the Ribbon.

When you want to write without interruption, you can hide the toolbar ribbon at the top of the document by simply pressing the key combination Ctrl + F1 on your keyboard. When you are done with your work, you can again press Ctrl + F1 to bring it back into view.

9] Protect your Document

Protect your Document in Microsoft Word

It is likely that you have put a lot of work into creating a complex document, and you may not want your colleagues to be able to make any changes, or you may want them only to be able to make specific changes, such as inserting comments.

Additionally, if the document is available in a multi-user environment, you may want to assign it a password so that only authorized users can open it. There are a number of built-in protections in Microsoft Word that can help encrypt your writing. To access the protection settings, follow these steps given below:

  • Click File > Info > Protect Document
  • You can choose either Restrict Editing, encrypt with Password, or Restrict Access from the drop-down menu.

Choosing Encrypt with Password allows you to manage viewing and editing permissions.

10] Convert Word into PDF

Are you still using third-party software to convert your Word documents into PDFs? Well, you can now simply convert your word doc into a PDF in just a few steps instead of the old fashioned way:

  • Open the document you want to save as a PDF file.
  • Save the doc by clicking on File Tab > Click on the Save As Tab the Save As dialogue box will appear
  • Click on the Save As Type drop-down list > Select the PDF option.
  • Ensure that the Open File After Publishing option is checked or selected.
  • Click on the Save option.

This will your document into PDF.

11] Use Templates to Save Yourself Some Time.

There are numerous templates available in Microsoft Word, from CVs to newsletters. Most of the heavy lifting – formatting, layout, etc. – is already done for you if you start with a template. To get started with a template, follow the steps given below:

  • Launch Word > Click New.
  • Underneath the Blank document option, you’ll see thumbnail previews of some of the templates you can choose from.
  • The templates shown above are just a portion of the options available on the Internet.
  • If you’re after something specific, click where it says Search for online templates and type a keyword – CV, for example. Then press Enter on your keyboard.

That’s it.

12] Import, Format, and Edit Images

You can add images to your documents by following the steps given below:

  • Launch Word. Click on the Insert tab on the Ribbon.
  • Then click Pictures > This Device. 
  • Browse for the image you want. Then click Insert to add it to your document.
  • It is also possible to select Stock Images or Online Pictures from the Insert > Pictures > Online Pictures.

Microsoft Word Stock Images

In most cases, you’ll need to do some work to get your images to look their best. As a default, Word positions your images, so they’re aligned with your text, but this may not be the best choice. To correct this, follow these steps below:

  • Right-click the image and select Wrap Text for other options – Square is a good option as it lets you drag the image wherever you like and flows the text around it.
  • Click your image and then the Picture Format tab on the Ribbon for further image-editing options.
  • For example, you can choose a border, shadow, or effect from Picture Styles or click Crop to remove unwanted areas of the image.

13] Delete Words with One Key Press

Want to delete a large chunk of text? Rather than holding down the backspace key, hold CTRL and then press the Backspace key on your keyboard.

By doing this, instead of just one character being deleted, one word is deleted each time you hit the backspace key. By this, you can delete chunks of text at lightning speed.

14] Adding Bookmarks to the Document

add bookmarks Microsoft Word

When working with large documents, bookmarks are very useful. It is possible to bookmark any part of the document and name the bookmark so that it can be used to search for specific text. The bookmark name is not visible in the document itself.

To add in a bookmark, follow the steps given below:

  • You can create a bookmark by placing your cursor at the location where you want it to appear.
  • Go to the Insert tab of the ribbon > In the Links group, click on the Bookmark icon.
  • You will be prompted to give your bookmark a name in a pop-up window.
  • Simply click on the Add button to add the bookmark to the document.
  • Now, press F5 to locate the bookmark within the document.
  • The Go-To and Find and Replace buttons will appear in a pop-up window.
  • Select Bookmark in the first list box > Then select your desired bookmark name within the drop-down list.
  • Click on Go To.

15] Combine and Merge Documents

Office 365 offers the feature in Word which allows anyone to combine and merge multiple documents into one.  It is incredibly handy for those who receive documents from multiple sources, and need to present them in a meeting as one document.

Insert Word Document - Object Tool

Conclusion

Even though Microsoft Word is popularly used, its best features are not known to most users. I hope this post was helpful, and now you know some of the best Microsoft Word tips and tricks that will help you save a lot of time, particularly if you are working on a large and complex document.

Nandini Keshri is a student, writer, and tech enthusiast. When not writing about tech, she loves to write poetry and explore the world.

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