How to use Word? 11 tricks to know (+ shortcuts)

How to use Word? 11 tricks to know (+ shortcuts)


Microsoft Word is one of the essential office tools. While using it seems simple at first glance, a large number of users miss out on some great features. Taking the time to get to know Word well before using it on a daily basis is guaranteed to save time and make writing work easier.

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Here are some user tips, useful for beginners as well as for experienced users.

Summary :

  • What are basic Word features?
  • How to format in Word?
  • How to number pages in Word?
  • How to make a summary in Word?
  • How to convert a Word file to PDF?
  • What are the advanced techniques on Word?
  • 10 Useful Word Keyboard Shortcuts

What are basic Word features?

The basic features of Word are used daily by most of its users. They allow you to create a document, to format it, and if necessary, to print it.

Choose a document template

Document templates are very handy if you want to save time while having a nice formatting. The Word template library is on the home page. To have access to the models in accordance with the nature of your document, you can use the search bar.

Type in a keyword, for example “presentation”. Then select the template you want to use. Click on “Create”: it then opens in a window, in the same way as a blank document.

Create and save a document

From a template or an empty page, creating and saving a document in Word is quite simple.

To create a document from a blank page, click on “File”, at the top left of the window, then on “New document”.

Finally, save your document by clicking “Save” or “Save As” in the Word ribbon.

How to format in Word?

After creating your document and starting to work in Word, you will need to format your document before sending or printing it. Layout is about the overall look of your text. It is very important for the readability of the document. The “Page Layout” section of Word helps you format text easily.

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Format text and paragraphs

Formatting text elements in your Word document is accessible from the “Home” section of the function bar. Thus, you can modify a text to make it bold, italic or underlined.

To change the typography or font size, select your font and its size in the box just above. In the center of the “Home” bar, you can align your text to the left, center it, align it to the right, or justify it.

Then, to the right of the text alignment edit box, you have the option to edit line and spacing. Finally, the “Home” section allows you to easily integrate bulleted lists or numbered lists.

Manage heading levels

Heading levels allow you to prioritize the information within your document. They can be managed from the “Home” bar. Click on “Title 1”, “Title 2” or “Subtitle” to automatically change the formatting of your title.

To have custom formatting at your fingertips and thus save time, you can configure the formatting of your title levels yourself. The use of heading levels is often required in web writing in order to format SEO-optimized text as soon as it is written in Word.

Layout and print a document

To work on the overall layout of your Word document, go to the “Page layout” section. You can modulate the size of the document margins. Also change the orientation of your page by choosing a portrait or landscape format.

If you plan to print your document, remember to check its format. You can change it easily in “Size”. Finally, the “Layout” section allows you to add columns in the body of the text and provide page breaks.

Insert objects in Word

Inserting objects between text boxes gives your document a more visual look and helps your reader synthesize information. To do this, go to the “Insert” pane and integrate your choice:

  • A painting.
  • A picture.
  • A graph.
  • Icons.

It is also possible to add comments to your document, a header and a footer, as well as hypertext links.

Import text

If you want to use text from another document or a web page, copy it using the right click or the “Ctrl + C” function and paste it on your document, in the same way or with the “Ctrl + V” shortcut.

How to number pages in Word?

When a document has a number of pages, it may be a good idea to number them. To do this, use the “Insert” tab of the function bar and then select “Page number”. You will then have to choose the location of the inscription of the number on the page. In this section, the “Format of page numbers” option allows you to choose other parameters such as the format of the numbering or the first of the numbers entered. This will allow you to number from zero so that the number 1 appears on the second page of the document.

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By using the headers and footers tools, you can also choose to start your numbering on a page that is not the first. You will then have to choose the “Modify” option of the header or footer, to select “Different first page”. The numbers will then start from the page you have selected.

How to make a summary in Word?

The table of contents will be formed from the titles present in your document. So you need to start by formatting your text with specific heading styles. Styles are available in the “Home” tab. You can choose from Word’s preset heading styles or apply your own formatting. To customize your titles, select the text, format it, then in the “Home” tab, right click on the title style you want to choose “Update title X to match selection”.

Once all your titles are formatted as you wish, go to the page on which you want to see the summary appear. Then select “References” in the function bar, choose “Table of contents” and click on the type of presentation you want. The table of contents then appears on the chosen page with the page numbers corresponding to each title.

If you change a title in your document, then your table of contents must be updated. To do this, right-click on the location of your summary and choose “Update fields”. You can also use the “Reference” tab and the “Update table” option. Two options are then available: updating the entire table of contents or simply updating the page numbers.

How to convert a Word file to PDF?

For practical reasons related in particular to the display or sharing of a document, you may need to create a PDF file from a text written in Word format.

For this, two solutions are available to you. You can first save the document in PDF format. To do this, you click on “File”, then “Save as” and you choose the location of the recording. In the dialog box that opens you can change the title of your document and in the “Type” field you select PDF, then “Save”.

What are the advanced techniques on Word?

These advanced techniques are aimed more at common Word users. They are just as essential as the basic functions. You might indeed need it if you have the feeling of being blocked in your use of Word.

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Create mail merge in Word

Mail merge is particularly useful if you use Word to format letters. It allows you to save formatting for letters, envelopes and labels that you can reuse later to save time.

When creating your letter, you are asked to select recipients. They can come from a contact list created in Excel, for example.

Import content from Excel

The import from Excel function is generally used in addition to the mail merge function, to import a list of contacts from Excel. It is therefore essential if you need, for example, to distribute newsletters to a large number of employees.

Create a database on Excel as well as a Word document with empty areas. Then, from Word, merge the 2 documents so that the elements of the Excel file are automatically integrated into Word.

Use Word’s Review mode

Review mode is the essential tool for collaborative work on Microsoft Word. It includes in particular:

It allows a third party to add changes to the document so that they are distinguished from the first version. It is also possible to compare the document with another, which can be useful when you want to put two versions in parallel.

Add references and footnotes

When you refer to authors or want to mention a source, the “References” tab and its footnotes are very useful, since it avoids having to skim through the text at the end of the writing to add all references.

Go to the “References” pane to organize your references and footnotes. You can also format your table of contents according to the titles and subtitles integrated in the document, or your bibliography, by compiling all the references noted at the bottom of the page.

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