8 Microsoft Word Tricks That Can Make Life Easier
Microsoft has released Office 2016 and with it the next version of its popular word processing suite Word. While there aren’t a ton of new features, there are still some tips that we thought would be useful to ensure you’re getting the most out of your documents.
We’d like to mention that the tips below are for Microsoft’s most current version of Word (2016), but some of these features may exist to some extent in earlier versions. We’d suggest updating to the newest version of Office, however, as Microsoft has added some pretty cool new features and performance enhancements.
1. Save some time with templates
Sometimes you don’t want to spend a lot of time formatting your document, either due to deadlines or just not feeling like dealing with it. Click “File,” then “New” and you’ll see several stock document formatting options pop up. Use the search bar to find exactly what you need: Microsoft even provides a few suggested searches for you. All you’ll need to do is add your own content.
2. Find recently edited files quickly
Clicking “File,” “Open,” and then “Recent” will pull up a list of files that you’ve just edited. This is a time-saver when your Word files are not all located in one spot, such as files stored in the cloud or on other computers on your network.
3. Keep an eye on the ribbon
While you’re editing a document, be sure to keep an eye on the ribbon navigation bar at the top of your screen. Microsoft now changes the options in this menu based on what you’re editing, so clicking on a table in your document brings up tools to edit and manipulate tables, and so on. The options are right there for you instead of you having to find them (and sometimes that’s not easy to do).
4. Share your work
If you want to collaborate on a document with others, Word 2016 offers those options within Word itself, and it’s super easy. A “Share” button is located in the top right corner, and clicking it brings up options to share the document with whom you select. You can even control access to editing the document from here.
5. Review changes
After sharing your document, you’ll want to keep track of what’s been changed. The Review pane has all these options in one place, and also gives you the power to accept and reject any changes that are made during the collaboration process.
6. Collaborating in real time
Word 2016 takes a big step forward in real-time collaboration. If others are in the document and editing it, you’ll see their names and where their cursor is located along with what they’re typing in real time. Just be aware to make this work you’ll need to share your document from OneDrive or use a SharePoint account. OneDrive accounts are free, but SharePoint is typically only used in business settings.
7. Try Smart Lookup
Word 2016 includes a new feature called “Smart Lookup” that uses the Internet to help you during the writing process. Smart Lookup can help define words and phrases, or provide some contextual information if there’s something you don’t understand.
8. Double clicking and triple clicking make formatting easy
In Word 2016, double clicking a word allows you to select that entire word just like previous versions. However, you can also triple click which will select the entire paragraph. Especially when formatting your document, this will prove useful. Word even has options to select just text in a paragraph that has the same formatting. Click “Select” from the Home tab to find this and other options.
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