MS Word Handy Tips

Handy MS Word tips and shortcuts.

Adding Horizontal Dividers in Word

To add a variety of horizontal dividers in Word, type three characters and press enter.

Hyphens ( - - - )
Underscores ( ___ )
Equal Signs ( === )
Hash Signs ( ### )
Asterisks ( *** )
Tildes ( ~~~ )

Type Out a Table in Word

You can create tables in Microsoft Word by simply typing out a string of PLUS SIGNS (+) and MINUS SIGNS (-).

Start the row with a PLUS SIGN (+) and then type MINUS SIGN (-) until you have the column width you want. If you want to add a new column, type PLUS SIGN (+) again. When you’re done type a final PLUS SIGN (+) and press ENTER. Word turns your text into a table. To add more rows to your table, move to the last cell in the table and press TAB.

Filling Word Documents with Pretend Text

If you want to fill a page(s) with text to test something like printing, but don’t want to spend time pasting the same phrase over and over,

Type in =rand(x,y) and press “enter .

Where x and y are replaced by numbers.
X would be the number of paragraphs.
Y would be the number of sentences in a paragraph.
The text that gets generated is ‘The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.’

Select a vertical block of text

Press Alt + drag

Quickly Replicate Text or Graphics in Word

Here’s a quick way to make copies of text or graphics in Word:

  1. Select the item or text you want to copy.
  2. Press and hold down the CTRL key.
  3. Then use the mouse to drag the item to the desired position.

A copy of the original item is made right where you want it. This is helpful when you’re creating a document that will include a lot of repeated text or images.

Quickly Change Font Size in Office

To quickly change the font size in your Office application (Word, Front Page, Publisher or PowerPoint):

  1. Highlight the text you want to change
  2. Press: CTRL+SHIFT+> - To Increase the size CTRL+SHIFT+< - To Decrease the size

Use your keyboard to quickly change the case of text in Microsoft Word

Select the text you want to change and press SHIFT+F3. Each time you press the F3 key, the text case switches between Title Case, UPPERCASE, and lowercase.

Insert Current Date and Time in Word

You can insert the current date or time in a Word document using keyboard shortcuts. Here’s how:

  1. Position the cursor where you want to insert the date or time.
  2. Do one of the following:

To insert the date, press ALT+SHIFT+D.
To insert the time, press ALT+SHIFT+T.

Close all word documents without closing Word

Shift + click the File menu then select Close All

Shift + clicking on the File menu give one more option Save All

Return to the last place you were working

Return to the last place you were working or the place before that or before that.

Press Shift + F5 repeatedly to return to last 5 cursor positions (even if one of those positions is in another open document).

This one’s even cleverer, when you first open a document, press shift + F5 to jump to the last place you or someone else edited before closing the document.

Cycle through all open documents

To cycle through all open documents press Ctrl + F6 +F6 +F6….

It works for Photoshop and others applications as well.

Whether you’re saving a file or opening a file try these shortcuts

Alt + 1 Go to previous folder

Alt + 2 Go up one folder level

Alt + 3 Search the web

Alt + 4 or Delete deletes selected file

Alt + 5 Create a new folder

Alt + 6 repeatedly Cycle through all views

Alt + 7 Display the Tools menu

Determining the Formatting in Word

To determine what formatting is applied to a particular paragraph in Word:

  • Go to Help / What’s This?
  • When the cursor changes to a question mark, click on the paragraph.
  • Information such as font and size, alignment, indent, spacing and margins will show.

Reducing the File Size of Word Documents

If you have make documents using MS Word and you make many formatting changes for the paragraph, fonts, page etc., you will see your file size gets bigger. Microsoft Word saves files by blocking, so any change you made for your document it will create a new block with the new formatting and disappear the old block without deleting it from the file.

You can solve this problem.

  1. If you open your file and select File \ Save As and give your file a new name, it will save only the active blocks with out the old ones.
  2. If you compare the two files you will see a difference in size

There is, however, a much easier way.

  • Choose Tools
  • Options…
  • Open the Save tab
  • Uncheck Allow Fast Saves

This makes Word rewrite the entire document file from scratch each time it is saved. The save command takes slightly longer, but your files can be drastically smaller (especially if you’ve done lots of formatting changes).

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