SANDY BERGER: Microsoft Word Has Tons of Capabilities
Microsoft Word has become the de facto standard of word processors.
Millions of people use it every day, but most don't even use 10 percent of its capabilities. In fact, a few years ago, when Microsoft initiated a feedback form that allowed people to suggest additional functionality for the program, the company found that most of the suggested capabilities were already available in the program. It is just that people did not know that they were there.
With that in mind, if you use Word, investigating the program capabilities is an advisable endeavor. Microsoft gives you online assistance at the Microsoft Word Online Web site (http://office.microsoft.com/en-ca/FX010857991033.aspx).
This is a worthwhile place to visit, but looking through and reading all their documents can be a bit time-consuming. So I'm going to give you just a few tidbits about working with text in Word that I think will be a valuable quick read. Let's start with a few shortcuts to help you navigate any document:
n The Home key will move the cursor to the beginning of a line.
n The End key will move it to the end of a line.
n CTRL+Home will move the cursor to the beginning of the document.
n CTRL+End will move it to the end of the document. Often you need to select (highlight) text in order to change or delete it. Here are a few simple tricks for selecting text.
n To select any single word, double-click within the word.
n To select a whole paragraph triple-click within the paragraph.
n To select several words or lines, drag the mouse over the words. To select the entire document press CTRL+A.
n If you make a mistake, you can deselect the text by clicking anywhere outside of the selection on the page. You can use the Backspace and Delete keys to delete text. Backspace will delete text to the left of the cursor, and Delete will erase text to the right. To delete a large selection of text, highlight it and press the Delete key.
Formatting text is another common task in Word. To format text, you can use the Formatting Toolbar. Just highlight the text you want to change and click on the attributes you want to apply. Choices include style, color, size, bold and italics.
One of my favorite Word tools, the Format Painter, will help you format text very easily. You will find it on the Standard Toolbar near the Cut and Paste icons. In Word 2007, it is on the Home tab in the first section on the left.
The Format Painter's icon looks like a paintbrush. It allows you to copy the formatting of one piece of text to another. So if you already have some text with special formatting, you simply put your cursor on that text. When you click on the Format Painter icon, your cursor will turn into a paintbrush. Run the paintbrush over the text that you want to copy the formatting to, and it will automatically have the formatting of the text your cursor was on when you chose the Format Painter.
If you make a mistake when formatting, deleting, or changing text, don't fret. You can undo your last action by clicking the Undo button, which is the left-pointing arrow icon on the Standard Toolbar. Pressing the Ctrl key and the Z key at the same time is a shortcut for the Undo button.
If you really want to have some fun and impress your friends with formatting, check out these fun ways to work with text.
In older versions of Word, you can highlight a word or phrase and choose Format from the menu. Then choose Font. Choose the Text Effects tab and you will be able to surround your text with marching ants, have colored confetti fly over it, or surround it with flashing lights. In Word 2007, click on the Insert tab and choose WordArt to play with many different colors, shapes, and options.
Even word processing can be fun!
Sandy Berger welcomes all of your questions and comments on today's column. Please post them on the Compu-Kiss Message Board at www.compukiss.com/happycomputing.
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