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CMI Blog

5 Essential Tips for Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word IT companies london.pngMost of us know how to do the basics in Microsoft Word—bold text, copy, paste, create bullet points and change font size. But few of us have ever been shown how to use Microsoft Word features that could make our documents that little bit more professional, or help us do things that little bit faster. Below our IT consultants give you their top 5 essential tips for Microsoft Word 2016 for a professional edge.

1. Configure the ribbon

Like with most things, getting organised is the first step. Microsoft Word is no different. In order to do things quicker, create a ribbon (the control icons at the top of your screen) that has your most frequently used controls.

Go to File > Options, then head to Customise Ribbon. Click New Tab, right click your tab and select Rename to label it, then drag it to set where you'd like it to appear on your toolbar.

Drag what you want from the left-hand column to the new custom ribbon tab, using the New Group control (renaming as appropriate) to break them up into neat sections. You can even rename the tools themselves, or give them new icons, by using the right click menu.

2. Style tips

Consistency is the key to a well-styled document. But rather than manually formatting your document, select the text and use the Styles panel in the Home tab to apply different styles (normal text, headings, quotes and the like).

By painting your text in this manner, you can easily apply one of Word's built-in document formats (available from the Design tab) to completely transform your document in a click, or reconfigure individual styles (right click them in the Styles panel) to change them document-wide. This will also enable you to use Word's built-in table of contents tools.

3. Smart lookup

Smart Lookup can help you find out more about the text in your documents by doing a neat Bing search in a column on the side. Just select a portion of text, right click it, and select Smart Lookup. Click Define at the top of that column and you'll get a definition of the word from the Oxford Dictionary.

As long as you are connected to the internet, you can also use the right click menu to grab quick synonyms for words; a handy feature when you don’t have time to think of a ‘better’ word.

4. Many clips

Microsoft Word's clipboard has much more than the basic Windows one-item memory. You can store up to 24 items on it at a time – just hit [Ctrl]+[C] twice to bring it up and see what is currently being remembered.

You can also make use of an almost-hidden tool called the spike to gather together chunks of text into an ordered line. Select the text you wish to cut and hit [Ctrl]+[F3] to add it to the spike. Repeat the process as many times as you wish to grow the spike. When you're ready to retrieve your text, either hit [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[F3] or type 'spike' (without the quotes) and hit [Enter].

5. Building blocks

When you are constructing a document, it may be tempting to form all of its components by hand using Word's design tools; a text box here, a fancy footer there. But that takes time and effort that might be better spent writing.

Instead, try Word's huge collection of page building blocks. Go to Insert > Quick Parts > Building Blocks Organiser). They are quick, good looking objects that you can insert in an instant to make your documents more interesting.



About BTA

BTA is one of the leading IT support companies in London, providing comprehensive out-sourced IT support to businesses looking for a competitive edge through technology.  BTA’s IT consultants can help your company navigate the changes that lie ahead with regards to business technology, cyber security, cloud solutions, data storage and more. As one of the most established IT support companies in the UK, BTA offers strategic insight and IT consultancy your business can trust. Email enquiries@bta.com for more info.


Topics: Tip-of-the-week, business

Ben Anin-Boateng

Written by Ben Anin-Boateng

Ben is BTA's Technical Services Manager.

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