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By Mark Finney, IT Solutions Manager @ TP3
Want to become a Word wizard? Here are my quick tips to improve your productivity with Microsoft Word.

Find your Way Home

How much time do you spend scrolling around Word documents? I bet it’s a lot. You can do this much more efficiently if you turn on the Navigation Pane. Go to the View Tab and click Navigation Pane. The pane appears on the left and it can now be used in several ways. You can click on any of the headings in the pane to navigate directly to that content. Right click on the headings for extra options such as collapse and expand. Next, you can move content by dragging it up or down in the pane. This is much easier than trying to drag pages of content around in the document itself.

Note: For the Navigation Pane to work, apply Heading Styles to your content.


Welcome Back

Word 2013 has a new bookmarking feature.  This feature makes it really easy to carry on where you left off by reminding you of exactly where you were in the document when you last edited. When it's time to go back and continue working on a document, you can open it and see the bookmark appear on the right of the screen, welcoming you back and prompting you to pick up where you left off.

Clicking the bookmark takes you back to the page you were on so you can continue. Of course you can always ignore the prompt if you're happy to stay at the start of the document.

Bookmark Word


Come to the Table

I find that many people have trouble inserting tables. They usually open the Insert Table dialog box and use the spinners to choose a number of rows and columns, and if they need to add more anything can happen!

Instead, try this: Go to the Insert Tab, choose Table and then just drag across the grid! Don’t even worry about the number of rows, we’ll get to that next, just get the columns right.

Once you’ve created a table with ONE ROW, start typing your content, using Tab to move from cell to cell. In the last cell, press Tab once more and a new row is added. Keep going like this and use the down arrow when you are ready to move out of the table.

Insert Word Table


Jurassic Trick

Jean Paul Sartre said, “Hell is other people”, or maybe he didn’t.  Either way, I think he should have said, “Hell is other people's Word documents”! We have all received documents cut and pasted from multiple sources, with little or no consistency of formatting, fonts all over the place and… well, you get the idea.

This is a nice little trick I use to quickly remove all formatting from a document so I can reformat it and clean it up. I call it my Jurassic Word trick because I’ve been using it since Version 1.0 (showing my age now).

First select all the text (or the entire document) you wish to clean. Then use Ctrl+Q to remove all manual paragraph formatting, such as indentation and alignment, and Ctrl+Space Bar to remove all manual character formatting such as bold and italics.

Note: You can of course use the Clear Formatting button in the Font group, but that also removes content formatted using styles, and that’s usually what I want to keep.


Let’s Stick Together

And finally, keeping things together. Like me, you might find it really annoying when you are typing a phone number and at the end of the line half of the number drops to the next line like this: 9629
Well, we can fix that with a non-breaking space. Type the first part of the number and instead of using a space, press Ctrl+Shift+Space. This creates a non-breaking space which will keep the whole number together. When you get near to the end of a line the whole number will move down instead of just the first part. 9629 2977.


I hope you find these tips useful in working faster, better and smarter in Microsoft Word.


Have a look at our range of Microsoft Word courses where you can learn these and many other useful features, tips and tricks in Word.




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