10+ Helpful Microsoft Word Tips You Should Be Using

Below is a list of helpful Microsoft Word tips that I thought I should share on this blog. This is a work in progress and so hopefully I intend to add more in the list. Cheers!
These tips should ideally work on any MS Office version though I've only tested them on Word 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013.
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These Tips Should Work On All Versions of Word (2003 and later)

1. Did you ever need to test the formatting or layout of your document before even typing a single word? Then, don't waste your time opening other documents and pasting their content. Instead, let Word spit some random text for you by typing =rand(8,10) then hit Enter

2. Stop straining yourself and mouse trying to select text. To select:
  • a single word, just double-click on it (this you should be knowing)
  • a sentence, just Ctrl + Click anywhere on the sentence
  • a whole paragraph, make three quick clicks anywhere on the paragraph
  • consecutive sentences hold the Ctrl key down then Click and Drag your mouse as you would when selecting text

3. Want to delete the preceding word(s) without having to tap the Backspace for every single letter? Just use Ctrl + Backspace.

4. Start making horizontal lines the quick painless way:
  • for a single horizontal line - type three consecutive hyphens [---] then hit Enter
  • for a double horizontal line - type three consecutive equals [===] signs then hit Enter

5. Want to make a table quickly? Type a plus sign [+] followed by the Tab key and repeat this keeping in mind that the spaces in between the pluses represent the number of columns you need. Then hit the Enter key to create a table with one row. To add more rows move with the Tab key across the cells - this will add a new row of cells once you reach the end of each row.

If you don't need any more rows, use the Enter key instead to increase the size of the only row.

Additional Tips
  • make sure you end with a plus before hitting Enter
  • you can use the Tab key the same way to add more rows to a Table created from the Insert menu and also Enter to increase the size of a row
  • if you have difficulties following the steps (1-5), please refer to this video

6. Making subscripts (e.g H20) and superscripts (e.g 0C) can't get easier than this:
  • subscript - select the letter or word then hit Ctrl + Equals (=) sign
  • superscript - select the letter or word then hit Ctrl + Shift + Equals (=) sign

8. Change the font size using these shortcuts:
  • to increase font size - select the text then hit Ctrl + > i.e. [Ctrl + Shift + (.)]
  • to decrease font size - select the text then hit Ctrl + < i.e. [Ctrl + Shift + (,)]

9. Align your text without moving your mouse. To align:
  • Left - use Ctrl + L
  • Right - use Ctrl + R
  • Centre - use Ctrl + E
  • Justify - use Ctrl + J

Additional Tip
  • if you have any difficulty following the steps (6-9), please refer to this other  video
10. Did you know that Word comes with a Thesaurus? Are you at a loss for words and badly need some synonyms? Just Alt + Click on a word and the thesaurus will launch on the right pane with some words for you. You can also launch the thesaurus anytime using Shift + F7.


Bonus Tips


11. To make a small arrow (bullet) quick do this:
  • Type two hyphens [--] followed by the right arrow [>] i.e. [-->]
  • For a backward facing arrow, start with the left arrow [<] followed by the two hyphens [--] i.e [<--]

12. Got a lot of double spaces or even more scattered throughout your word document and don't have the time to get rid of them one by one? Read here to see how you can remove all of them in just one click.

13. Are you getting Compatibility Mode in the title bar everytime you make a new word document. Read here to see how you can turn off compatibility mode once and for all in any version of Word.

14. Did you know you can make Automatic Backups of your word documents so that every time you make unwanted changes you still have access to the original document? Read here to see how to do that on any version of Word (2003 and above).


If you’ve problems following any of the steps, please refer to the two youtube videos I’ve linked to. A like or subscribe to this blog's channel would be highly appreciated. If you’ve any questions or comments just leave them in the comments section below and I’ll get to them as soon as I can.


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