6 Features of Microsoft Word you Should be Using

Paolo Lenotti Feb 28, 2014


Microsoft Word is commonly used on a daily basis for both personal and professional reasons. However, are users effectively utilising all the features available to the best of their ability? Check out these 6 features of Microsoft Word you should be using (if you aren’t already).


1) HOW ABOUT CHECKING YOUR SPELLING? – You can correct your spelling errors all in one go, to ensure you haven’t left any stone unturned. This can be done by running a full Word spell check from the Review tab, Proofing group, Spelling and Grammar button (or press the F7 keyboard shortcut). When using the main Spelling and Grammar dialog box, words in your document which are not found in Word's dictionary will be listed in the Not in Dictionary box. Suggestions will be presented below with the first suggestion selected. The options you have are similar to the right-click options available for corrections as you type.

However, instead of clicking a suggestion directly, there are two buttons available: the Change button to correct this occurrence and the Change All button to replace all occurrences of the word in the document with the same suggestion. Alternatively, you can double-click the appropriate suggestion to change this occurrence. The AutoCorrect button will add an item to the AutoCorrect list replacing the marked word with the currently selected suggestion. Note that you can still edit your document when the Spelling and Grammar dialog box is displayed, so if none of the suggestions are appropriate, you can make your own correction directly in the body of the document.

2) UTILISING THE BENEFITS OF MAIL MERGE – This feature allows us to send out bulk emails, but consequently with unique elements. For example, we could produce a series of labels or envelopes for a large mailing, an email or letter that includes names and addresses and other details or a ‘directory’. Users simply create one document that contains the information that will be the same in each version, and then add placeholders for the information that will be unique to each version.

If you just want to send a single letter to one of your Outlook contacts, there may be no need to use mail merge at all. Word has an Address Book button that allows you to select and insert address details from Outlook. Just right-click in the Quick Access Toolbar and choose Customise Quick Access Toolbar, Choose commands from: Commands Not in the Ribbon and Address Book should be near the top.

3) FIND & REPLACE – Save precious time with this effective Word feature. Word Replace can search for all occurrences of a particular word, phrase or set of characters and replace them with an alternative. You will be given the option to replace all occurrences or to move through them individually, accepting or rejecting each change.

Here we are choosing to replace Word 2007 with Word 2010. Clicking the Replace All button will change all occurrences of the Find what term with the Replace with term in the entire document or the selected area and then report the number of changes made. Alternatively, Find Next will select the next occurrence of the term so you can use the Replace button to replace it or the Find Next button to leave it unaltered, and select the next candidate for replace.

4) INSERTING WATERMARKS – If you’re sending an important document or draft sample, you want to be able to protect your content without having to edit much of it. Insert a watermark specific to your objectives via the page layout button. You can also customise your own watermark, and also insert your own picture. This is great to insert your brand logo, for reports your business may produce or any other document.

Don't forget to save your file as a PDF document first, so that whoever you send the document to can’t edit or remove the watermark you have inserted.

5) INSERTING YOUR HEADER & FOOTER – It’s important to use the space in your header and footer to save space in other areas of your document. This also makes your file have a professional look that can include the page numbers across the whole document for example. However, what people don’t seem to take advantage of, is the fact that they can insert images, more specifically a company logo or an image in context with the document's overall theme.

When inserting images or text within the header or footer, it is automatically applied to the whole document, saving you time and effectively providing a consistent theme to your work.

6) USING HYPERLINKS STRATEGICALLY – One of the best ways to give your Word document that extra cutting edge is to insert hyperlinks on images and text to make your document interactive (by right clicking on the text/image and clicking hyperlink, you can then select where you wish to direct the user to) where possible. A great way to further utilise this tool, is to direct users to another article or web page that has your digital footprint all over.

These features are just a few of Microsoft Word’s user friendly tools that can be implemented rather easil. However basic they may sound, they will provide you with the extra confidence and skills needed to shine with Microsoft Word. Check out our Microsoft Word syllabus to discover other areas of Microsoft Word you might be interested in learning.

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