Word Tips

Useful productivity enhancers for the Microsoft Word Users

Remove formatting:

To remove all text formatting, select the area and press Ctrl + Spacebar. To remove paragraph formatting, use Ctrl + Q. If you're copying & pasting from a web page to Word, you can lose the HTML type formatting by choosing Edit | Paste Special, and then "Unformatted text." This will paste the text, using the same formatting as the Word document.


To create this sort of fill-in blank, AND make it easy to line up, don't use the underscore key (_) Instead, create a special tab. Choose Format | Tabs. Decide where you want the line(s) to end. Type that measurement in (for example, 5.75). Choose Alignment - Right and leader ___ (4 on my version). Then click Set and OK. To test, type Name: and then press Tab. A line from : to 5.75 should be created.

Add filename and path to the document footer:

To add the path and filename to the bottom of every page, first choose View | Header and Footer. When the Header and Footer toolbar appears, use the Switch between Header and Footer button to switch to the footer. Click in the box to put the filename on the left side, or tab once to center it, twice to right-align it. On the Header and Footer toolbar, click Insert AutoText, and choose File and pathname. Click Close to return to the document.

Deleting tables:

Trying to delete a table can be frustrating. Remember that Table commands are all under the Table menu. First, click inside your table.  From the Table menu, click Select Table. Now you can either pick Delete Cells from the Table menu, click Shift-Delete, or right-click and pick Cut. They all work.

Create a cents sign:

Press Control +/ and then c.

Print all Word keyboard shortcuts:

Sometimes, it's more efficient to use a keyboard shortcut than the mouse. To generate a list of all Word keyboard shortcuts, click Tools | Macros. From Macros in: choose Word Commands. In the Macro Name list box, choose List Commands. Click Run. Choose either Current Menu & Keyboard Settings, or All Word Commands. Click OK. Now you'll have a document that you can save and/or print out for reference.

Pasting from the Web:

Often, when you paste from the Web into a Word document, you'll end up with some really strange formatting. Select the paragraph(s) you've pasted, and press Control + Shift + N.

Add generic text:

If you need a block of generic text (say, to play with formatting or layout) just type "=RAND()" (without the quotes) and press Enter. You'll get three paragraphs of "The quick brown fox."

Find your place:

To open a document and continue typing where you left off when it was saved, open the document, and press Shift F5.

List of your AutoText Entries:

To print a list of all your AutoText entries, choose File | Print. Look for the Print what combo box (bottom left). From the combo box, pick AutoText entries.

International Characters:

Acute accent: Ctrl + ' followed by the character.
Grave accent: Ctrl + ` (under the ~ on your keyboard) followed by the character.
Character w/tilde (~): Ctrl + Shift + ~ followed by the character.
Circumflex: Ctrl + Shift + ^  followed by the character.
Diaresis: Ctrl + Shift + :  followed by the character.
Cedilla: Ctrl + , (comma) followed by c or C.

Printing a draft:

If you need a quick paper copy of a document for proof-reading, you can print a draft with minimal formatting and only one font by choosing File | Print. Then click the Options button and select Draft Output. (Just remember to re-set this option before you print a final copy!)

Different underlines:

If you just need a thin, one line underline, use your "U" button on the toolbar. But if you need a different style, or have a document which needs more than one underline style, select your word and go to Format | Font. You'll notice that the Underline option has a drop-down list, which lets you choose (and preview) different underline styles.

Deleting Files:

Did you know that you can delete files from the File | Open dialog box? Just right-click them in the list and choose Delete.

Un-doing formatting:

Occasionally, you'll run across a document created by a newbie (maybe even you in the "old days") with over-zealous formatting. To un-do all paragraph formatting, use Ctrl-Q. To undo character formatting, (for example bold, underline, superscript) use Ctrl-Spacebar. These commands remove extra formatting, leaving it formatted in the base style.

Adding a Word or Phrase to Autocorrect:

To add a word or phrase to AutoCorrect, choose Tools | AutoCorrect, select the AutoCorrect tab, click on the Replace text entry box, and type the text you want corrected for you. Now press the Tab key to get to the With text entry box. Type in the correct word or phrase and click on OK.

Select a Sentence Quickly:

Hold down your Control key and click anywhere in the sentence with your mouse.

Select a Whole Document Quickly:

Ctrl- A is the shortcut, or use Edit | Select All.

Toggle through CASE Changes:

You can quickly change the case of text from Title to UPPER CASE to lower case by selecting the text and pressing Shift-F3. Each time you press Shift-F3, the case will change.

Automatic hyperlinks a problem?

Adding your email address or web site to a letter is a great idea. But when you type it, Word automatically turns it into a hyperlink, underlining it. To get around this feature temporarily, type the hyperlink, and then press Ctrl-Z. To turn the feature off permanently, go to Tools | Autocorrect, AutoFormat as You Type, and deselect the Hyperlink option.


Select the hyperlink, press Ctrl-K and choose Remove Hyperlink.

Inserting Page Breaks:

Lately I've seen a lot of this, so let's discuss it now. Say you have a five page document, and you want to stop in the middle of page three and begin again on the top of page four. Do not press Enter, Enter, Enter.... until your paragraph moves to page four. Why not? What if you later decide to add another word or sentence to page three. It will scoot the text on page four down, and you will have to delete several of the "enters" to make things work again. Of course, if you don't remember, the document will just look nasty.
The correct way to accomplish this is to click at the end of the paragraph and choose: Insert | Break and then Page Break. This will insert a code that causes a new page to start after it. You can add to the beginning of the docuement, and page four will still be a new page, with no extra work.

Edit | Replace:

This has got to be one of my favorite features. It comes in very handy in at least three situations. First, when you've made an on-going mistake through your entire document. For example, you finish a 10 page paper and suddenly realized you've spelled Lenin "Linen" all the way through. Another case is when you need to change formatting that a beginner has created (or that you created before you knew better.) By using the More button, you can access Format & Special features that allow you to find and replace formatting. For instance, you can find tab,tab,tab, tab and replace it with tab. The third instance is when you need to get a document typed, but are lacking critical information (such as a person's name.) You can type the whole document, replacing the missing info with a code (such as name*). Then when you get the information, replace name* with the person's name.
One more feature of Replace: if you select text, and choose Edit | Replace, you can find & replace in just the limited area, instead of the whole document.

Create a menu of your most-used documents

with this tip from David Candy: The Work menu allows a list of files to be opened off a menu, added to with a menu command or removed with a keystroke. To add the Work menu to your menus do the following steps.

1. Open the customize dialog box by choosing Customize from the Tools menu.
2. Click the tab called Commands, and in the listbox called Categories scroll down towards the end and select the item called Built-in Menus.
3. On the other list box a list of built-in menu names will appear. Scroll down until one called Work is visible.
4. Click on the item called Work and without releasing the left mouse button move the mouse pointer towards the menu bar.  As the mouse pointer moves over the main menu bar the closest menu will drop down and the mouse pointer will change to the shape of the letter I. Releasing the left button here will place a new menu item called Work where the I cursor is.
To place the Work menu on the File menu move the mouse pointer until the File menu is opened, and move down the File menu until the black bar is where you want the new menu to be. Release the left mouse button.
To add the current document to this menu choose Add To Work Menu from the Work menu, to remove a document press Control + Alt + minus keys and then select the menu item to be removed.

Inserting a date:

To insert a date

in your current document, you can use the Insert Date button on your toolbar (It looks like a calendar.) If the default date format is not the one you like, you can change it easily. Go to Insert | Date and Time. This shows many different Date/Time formats. Click the one you will use the most, and then click the Default button. Now when you click the Insert Date button, it will insert today's date in that format. (If you occasionally use another format, go to the Insert menu, and insert it manually.)

Printing Hyperlinks:

To make hyperlinks more obvious when printed, change the look of the hyperlink style. Choose Style from the Format menu, then choose hyperlink. My choice was to format hyperlinks as bold/italic.