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Avoid the My Documents default (2003)

  • When you choose Save As or Open, Word automatically opens the My Documents folder in the resulting dialog box. If you tend to work from a folder other than My Documents, you'll save valuable time by setting that primary folder as your default.
  • To do this, choose Tools | Options from the menu bar, and click on the File Locations tab. Select Documents from the File Types list box and click Modify. In the Modify Location dialog box, open your preferred folder, and then click OK. Click OK to close the Options dialog box. Each time you start Word, it opens the folder you designated as the default working folder the first time you access the Open or Save As dialog box.
  • Regardless of which folder you've selected as the default, Word remembers which folder you navigate to during your Word session and sends you there for subsequent saves or opens. For example, if your default is the C: drive, that folder opens when you first launch Word. But, if you navigate to a folder on your network to open or save a document, Word opens that folder next time you click Save As or Open. When you close and reopen Word, the Save As or Open dialog box again defaults to the C: drive.

Make sure everyone can identify you: Change the username displayed in comments (Word 2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • Word marks your username on all of your comments. These identifiers make it easy for other people to ask you questions about changes you've made to a document. The only problem is, sometimes your computer's username is inaccurate. There's no point in making a comment if people don't know who to respond to.
  • Here's how to change the username so it appears correctly:
    • 1. Select Tools | Options from the menu bar (Word | Preferences in Word 2004).
    • 2. Select the User Information tab, and change the Name and Initials settings as desired (change First, Last, and Initials in 2004).
    • 3. Click OK.

Instantly deactivate all hyperlinks or fields in a document (Word 2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • Sometimes, you may want to deactivate hyperlinks so they act like regular document text. In fact, you may have wanted to do the same with field codes, too. Instead of digging around in dialog boxes and shortcut menus to solve the problem, Word offers two shortcut keys you can use to accomplish either task.
  • First, place the insertion point anywhere within the hyperlinked text or field you want to deactivate. (If you're deactivating a hyperlink, be careful not to launch it.) Or, if you want to simultaneously strip all the hyperlinks and field codes in your document, begin by pressing [Ctrl]A to select the entire document ([command]A in Word 2001).
    Next, press [Ctrl][Shift][F9] or [Ctrl]6 ([command][shift][F9] or [command]6 in Word 2001). Word removes any selected hyperlinks and fields—without disturbing their original display text.
  • Keep in mind that if your hyperlink's display text is different from its URL, the URL stored behind the scenes is sripped along with the hyperlink—only the display text remains.

One or two spaces between words? You be the judge (Word 2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • When typewriters were all the rage, the standard style was to use two spaces between each sentence to make the text more readable. In the digital age, new fonts make this standard unnecessary; however, the technique hasn’t quite died out. Luckily, Word’s Spelling And Grammar check can help you keep your sentence spacing consistent, no matter which standard your company uses.
  • To set the number of spaces between sentences:
    • 1. Select Tools | Options and click on the Spelling & Grammar tab.
    • 2. In the Grammar panel, click the Settings button.
    • 3. In the Grammar And Style Options list box, select the appropriate number from the Spaces Required Between Sentences dropdown list.
    • 4. Click OK twice to close the dialog boxes and return to your document.
  • The next time you run a spell check, Word will alert you when your sentence spacing doesn’t match your setting.

Balance row and column sizes in just 2 clicks (Word 2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • Working with tables can mean a lot of tweaking and fine-tuning while you adjust the look and fit of your rows and columns.
  • To balance your table’s appearance, select the rows or columns you want to adjust, then right-click on the table ([control]-click in Word 2004) and choose Distribute Rows Evenly or Distribute Columns Evenly, from the resulting shortcut menu.
  • These commands uniformly distribute the sizes of the selected rows or columns without affecting the size of the table itself.

Grab attention and make your docs easy to file with slick vertical headers

  • Traditional headers are informative, but drab and lifeless enough that your important documents get lost in the crowd--hardly noticeable. To grab your reader's attention, create an eye-catching vertical header along the side of your page that not only looks attractive, but makes paper filing a snap too.
  • To give your document a unique look, we'll:
    • Alter document margins to make way for a decorative side-page header.
    • Insert a vertical text box that resides in the header for easy formatting and manipulation.
    • Format the text box with shading and borders so it really stands out from your document.
    • Read More About This Tip Click Here > MS Word Tips

Take advantage of Word’s built-in labels to produce a perfectly branded CD or DVD

  • You've just burned the perfect CD, and you could use a marker to label it, but the results are less than professional. Instead, use Word to label your disc and its storage case for picture-perfect media that does double-duty as a marketing tool.
  • To fabricate an eye-catching CD/DVD label, we'll:
    • Utilize Word's built-in CD label layout as a blank canvas for our masterpiece.
    • Show how our label will fit onto our CD for the perfect alignment every time.
    • Save our new label as a template and as AutoText so we can reuse it any time, and with any design.
    • Read More: MS Word Tips

Instantly deactivate hyperlinks in a Word doc (Word 2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • Whether you want to remove a hyperlink that Word auto-created, or you want to strip out hyperlinks from an existing document, you can do so with a few simple keyboard shortcuts.
    • 1. Click anywhere within the hyperlinked text you want to "unlink" or press [Ctrl]A to select the entire document([command]A in Word 2004).
    • 2. Press [Ctrl][Shift][F9] or [Ctrl]6 ([command][shift][F9] or [command]6 in Word 2004).
  • Word removes the hyperlinks without disturbing the text. If you used display text to represent a hyperlink -- for instance, "Click Here" instead of the URL -- only "Click Here" remains.
  • Caution: This technique also removes any existing field codes, so use it with care.

Skip the routing process and cut your editing time in half

  • When working with a team to edit a document, you can use routing to keep everyone's changes in a single file, but you won't get it back until each person has taken a crack at it, one after the other. There's no need to wait at the end of the line if you know how to merge revisions from separate documents into a single file--you can breeze through all the edits and get the job done in a fraction of the time.
  • To combine edits from several sources into one file, we'll:
    • Simultaneously distribute a document to several reviewers to get the results back in less time than routing takes.
    • Activate the Compare And Merge Documents feature to import changes from each reviewer, complete with colored markup for easy identification.
    • Assess all the suggested changes at once and accept or reject each one t achieve the perfect finished document.
    • Read More: MS Word Tips

Tip: Separate your header and footer from your body text with an easy-to-add rule (Word 2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • To visually separate your document body from the header or footer, you can add a "rule" or thin line. But, if your first instinct is to create a tabbed underline or to use the Line button on the Drawing toolbar, you'll be glad to know there's a much better tool for the job: paragraph borders.
  • To add a rule to the header or footer:
    • 1. Choose View | Header And Footer from the menu bar, and then access the header or footer you want to format.
    • 2. To add a rule at the bottom of the header, place the insertion point in the header's last line; to add a rule at the top of the footer, place the insertion point in the footer's first line.
    • 3. Choose Format | Borders And Shading from the menu bar. Click on the Borders tab, then use the Style, Color, and Width dropdown lists to specify the type of rule you'd like to apply. Select Paragraph from the Apply To dropdown list.
    • 4. For the header, click the Bottom Border button in the Preview area, for the footer, click the Top Border button instead.
    • 5. When you've finished, click OK to close the Borders And Shading dialog box. Then click Close on the Header And Footer toolbar to return to your document.
  • To preview the results, click the Print Preview button on the Standard toolbar.

Tip: Reset your toolbars when too much customization leaves you in a lurch (Word 2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • If you're like most Word power users, you've made changes to your toolbars -- adding buttons you need or removing those you don't. But when too much customization makes you long for your default toolbar configuration, you can return to its former glory.
    • 1. Choose View | Toolbars | Customize (select Tools | Customize | Customize Toolbars/Menus on the Mac), and click on the Toolbars tab.
    • 2. If your desired toolbar isn't visible, select its check box to display it.
    • 3. With the toolbar selected in the Toolbars list box, click the Reset button.
  • Your selected toolbar should look just like it did the day you installed Office.

Tip: Instantly create a numbered list without taking your hands off the keyboard (Word 2000/2002/2003)

  • You can easily create a numbered list in Word by selecting your list text and clicking the Numbering button on the formatting toolbar. But there's an even quicker way. Simply type the number 1, press [Tab], and then type your first numbered line's text. Then, press [Enter] and PowerPoint automatically enters the number 2 and moves your insertion point to align with the first entry. As long as you continue with your list, Word continues to insert consecutive numbers. To end the list, just press [Enter] twice.

Tip: Can't read your comments? Change the Comment Style and get the results you need (2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • If you find your Comment text is too small, in a font you don't like, or in a color you'd like to change, you can fix it by editing its style.
  • The easiest way to do so is to insert a comment (Insert | Comment). Then, type a few characters, select them, and choose Format | Styles And Formatting (Format | Styles in 2000 and use the Formatting Palette in Word 2004).
  • Edit the style the way you normally would, selecting the option to add it to your template. Delete the temporary comment when you've finished. The results? Comments that look just the way you want them to look.

Tip: Customize the Track Changes color options and create just the view you need (2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • If you use Track Changes (Tools | Track Changes or Tools | Track Changes | Highlight Changes on the Mac), you already know that Word uses a different color to track the changes made by each user. Although you can't assign a specific color to each individual user, you can assign the same color for all users and you can assign specific colors for specific types of changes. When the revision itself is more important than knowing who made it, this technique can make tracked changes much easier to read through.
  • To change the color assignments for the Track Changes feature:
    • 1. Choose Tools | Options and click on the Track Changes tab. On the Mac, select Tools | Track Changes | Highlight Changes and click Options.
    • 2. Select the desired revision color from each available Color dropdown list. The By Author option assigns a unique color to each user, whereas the individual color options stay the same regardless of which user is making the changes.
    • 3. If desired, adjust the display for insertions, deletions, and formatting changes to distinguish these different types of changes with their own unique revision marks.
    • 4. When you've finished, click OK to return to your document.
  • The Track Changes property changes only apply to the documents you access on that specific computer.

Tip: AutoCorrect can correct your formatting too (Word 2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • You can use the AutoCorrect feature to quickly correct common misspellings or insert chunks of text in your documents. But did you know you can also use AutoCorrect as an on-the-fly formatting tool?
  • For instance, if you regularly create invoices and every invoice requires the word "total" to be in uppercase lettering, bold formatting, and red font coloring,you can let AutoCorrect do the formatting for you.
  • To do so, type "total" (without quotes) in a new document. Format it as desired -- uppercase, bold, and red in our example. With the word still selected, choose Tools | AutoCorrect Options (Tools | AutoCorrect in Word 2000) from the menu bar. Click on the AutoCorrect tab, and then select the Replace Text As You Type check box if necessary. Type "total" (without quotes) in the Replace text box and select the Formatted Text option button located above the With text box. Click Add, and then click OK.
  • Now, whenever you type the word "total," Word automatically applies the formatting you saved to the AutoCorrect entry. Keep in mind that you can easily undo the changes AutoCorrect makes when you type a word by immediately pressing [Ctrl]Z ([command]Z in Word 2001).

Tip: Don't re-create the wheel: Utilize a PowerPoint slide in a Word document (Word 2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • When using multiple Microsoft Office programs, you can easily share information between them. For instance, there's no reason to re-create the information on a Microsoft PowerPoint slide if you want to use it in an existing Word document to illustrate your point. Instead, just embed a copy of the entire slide in your Word document.
  • First, open the presentation in PowerPoint. In the Slides pane (or in Slide Sorter view), select the slide you want to copy, and then click the Copy button. Now, switch to your Word document. Position the insertion point where you want the slide to appear, and then click the Paste button to add the slide. You can edit the slide within the Word document by double-clicking on it and then making your changes. The original presentation is unaffected.
  • To change the embedded slide's size and layout, select it and then choose Format | Object. Make the desired changes, and click OK.

Tip: Promote or demote headings with a simple shortcut key (Word 2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • When you want to test out the look of a larger or smaller heading, don't bother reaching for the Formatting toolbar's Style dropdown list. Instead, use our handy shortcut key combinations to increase or decrease your heading in a flash.
  • To promote a heading, for example, to change your Heading 3 paragraph to Heading 2, place the insertion point in your heading and press [Alt][Shift][Left Arrow] ([control][shift][left arrow] in Word 2004).
  • To demote a heading, for example, to change your Heading 1 paragraph to Heading 2, place the insertion point in your heading and press [Alt][Shift][Right Arrow] ([control][shift][right arrow] in 2004).

Tip: Make sure everyone can identify you: Change the username displayed in comments (Word 2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • Word marks your username on all of your comments. These identifiers make it easy for other people to ask you questions about changes you've made to a document. The only problem is, sometimes your computer's username is inaccurate. There's no point in making a comment if people don't know who to respond to.
  • Here's how to change the username so it appears correctly:
    • 1. Select Tools | Options from the menu bar (Word | Preferences in Word 2004).
    • 2. Select the User Information tab, and change the Name and Initials settings as desired (change First, Last, and Initials in 2004).
    • 3. Click OK.

Tip: Keep important phrases connected: Insert a non-breaking space (Word 2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • In professional writing, it's considered a major faux pas to allow text strings or phrases such as Mr. Smith, June 11, Van der Haam, and Chapter 7 to break across a line. Instead of having to be obsessive in your proofreading, we’ll help you plan ahead to avoid this problem by using non-breaking spaces.
  • To insert a non-breaking space:
    • 1. Type the first part of your text string, such as Mr.
    • 2. Press [Ctrl][Shift][spacebar] to insert a non-breaking space.
    • 3. Type the rest of your text string.
  • To ensure you've created a non-breaking space, click the Show/Hide button on the Standard toolbar. The non-breaking space displays as a degree sign. (In Word 2004, the non-breaking space displays as a tilde above a regular space.)

Tip: Save your file and your disk space by disabling fast saves (2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • You can minimize the size of your documents by turning off Word's Allow Fast Saves feature. Although the function creates a faster save, it can also result in bloated file sizes.
  • During a fast-save, information about new changes is tacked on to previously saved information about past changes, so Word continues to store info about content you may have deleted from your document. After every 15th fast save, Word automatically consolidates this information by performing a full save. It also performs a full save when you save a document over a network, or when you save documents in other formats, such as rich text format (RTF).
  • However, you can easily minimize the size of existing files (and new files that you create) by turning off the Allow Fast Saves feature. Doing so causes Word to save documents using the more space-efficient, full-save process instead.
  • To turn off Allow Fast Saves:
    • 1. Open the document you'd like to (re)save and choose Tools | Options (Preferences on the Mac) from the menu bar.
    • 2. Click on the Save tab and then clear the Allow Fast Saves check box.
    • 3. Click OK to dismiss the Options (Preferences on the Mac) dialog box.
  • Now, save your document as you normally would. The saving process may take slightly longer, but in most cases you'll hardly notice a difference. (Note: When you disable the Allow Fast Saves feature, it remains disabled during subsequent Word sessions unless and until you enable it again manually.)

Tip: Start Word instantly with a helpful shortcut key (Word 2000/2002/2003)

  • If you use Word nearly every time you sit at the computer, you might find it convenient to launch Word using a simple shortcut key. The trick is, you'll need to create a new shortcut to Word before you can assign a shortcut key that launches the program.
  • To assign a shortcut key to Word, choose Start | Search from the Windows taskbar. Type "Winword.exe" (without quotes) in All Or Part Of The File Name text box, then choose the drive on which you installed Word from the Look In dropdown list. Select the Include Subfolders check box, and click Find Now. When the search is finished, you should see the Winword application file among the search results. Right-click on this file, choose Send To | Desktop (Create Shortcut) from the resulting shortcut menu, then close the Find utility.
  • Next, locate the Winword desktop shortcut you just created, right-click on it, and choose Properties. Click on the Shortcut tab, then enter "W" (without quotes) or a different preferred key in the Shortcut Key text box. When you do, the contents of the text box change to "Ctrl+Alt+W." This is the shortcut key you can now use to launch Word. Click OK to close the dialog box.
  • From now on, you can launch Word by pressing the [Ctrl][Alt]W shortcut key you just created. (Note: If the shortcut key you assign to launch Word is in use by another program, the Windows shortcut key won't work.)

Tip: Instantly deactivate all hyperlinks or fields in a document (Word 2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • Sometimes, you may want to deactivate hyperlinks so they act like regular document text. In fact, you may have wanted to do the same with field codes, too. Instead of digging around in dialog boxes and shortcut menus to solve the problem, Word offers two shortcut keys you can use to accomplish either task.
  • First, place the insertion point anywhere within the hyperlinked text or field you want to deactivate. (If you're deactivating a hyperlink, be careful not to launch it.) Or, if you want to simultaneously strip all the hyperlinks and field codes in your document, begin by pressing [Ctrl]A to select the entire document ([command]A in Word 2001).
    Next, press [Ctrl][Shift][F9] or [Ctrl]6 ([command][shift][F9] or [command]6 in Word 2001). Word removes any selected hyperlinks and fields—without disturbing their original display text.
  • Keep in mind that if your hyperlink's display text is different from its URL, the URL stored behind the scenes is stripped along with the hyperlink—only the display text remains.

Tip: Get the insertion point to return to its normal size (Word 2003)

  • Sometimes Word 2003 has a mind of its own—it changes the insertion point’s size for no good reason. Microsoft has yet to explain this bug, let alone offer a fix, but fortunately we can show you how to get your insertion back to the correct size whenever it happens. Here’s how:
    • 1. Select a new option from the Zoom dropdown list on the Standard toolbar. The insertion point changes to the appropriate size.
    • 2. Select your original zoom percentage from the Zoom dropdown list. The insertion point remains at the correct proportion to your text’s size.

Tip: Change the username displayed in comments (Word 2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • Word marks your username on all of your comments. These identifiers make it easy for other people to ask you questions about changes you’ve made to a document. The only problem is, sometimes your computer’s username is inaccurate. There’s no point in making a comment if people don’t know who to respond to.
  • Here’s how to change the username so it appears correctly:
    • 1. Select Tools | Options from the menu bar (Word | Preferences in Word 2004).
    • 2. Select the User Information tab, and change the Name and Initials settings as desired (change First, Last, and Initials in 2004). Click OK.

Tip: Quit squinting: Zoom in on your comments (Word 2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • When editing your document’s comments in a split window, it’s frustrating that when you change the zoom percentage in your document, the zoom percentage in the Comments window remains the same. But luckily, you can zoom in and out in the split window also. Just click in the split window and adjust the zoom percentage on the Standard toolbar.

Tip: Transform a table into an eye-popping chart (Word 2000)

  • Although tables are effective tools for organizing and presenting numerical data, it's easy to get lost in the sea of numbers they store. To make numerical data easier to digest at a glance, you can quickly transform your table into a chart. To do so, place the insertion point anywhere within the table, and then choose Table | Select | Table from the menu bar to select it. Then, choose Insert | Picture | Chart from the menu bar. When you do, the Microsoft Graph Chart mini application launches and creates a new chart and datasheet based on the table data you selected earlier. You can now customize the chart as desired. When you've finished, click outside the chart object to return to your document.

Tip: Add some quick polish with magazine-style markers (Word 2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • You’ve probably noticed the small icons that appear in newsletters and journals that denote the end of an article. Rather than using a large graphic and scaling it down, you can take advantage of Word's Wingdings and Webdings fonts.
  • To insert an icon at the end of articles:
    • 1. Place the insertion point where you’d like to insert the icon in your document.
    • 2. Type the letter of the icon you’d like to insert. For example, to insert the snowflake icon, we typed T.
    • 3. Select the letter you just typed and select the appropriate font from the Font dropdown list. In our example, we selected Wingdings, which produced a perfectly sized snowflake icon.

Tip: Remove all hyperlinks from a website paste in one fell swoop (2002/2003)

  • When copying text from the internet into a Word document, in most cases you'll want to remove hyperlinks without removing their associated text. If you have to remove several hyperlinks, rather than right clicking every link and selecting Remove Hyperlink, let a smart tag do the work for you.
  • First paste the text from the web into your Word document. Then click the Paste Options smart tag and select Keep Text Only. Doing this will also remove all of the text's formatting, such as style, font, bullets, and line spacing.

Tip: Rather than creating a drop cap, drop an entire word or phrase (Microsoft Word 2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • Creating a drop cap with the Drop Cap feature is pretty simple. But did you know you can drop the first word in a paragraph just by selecting the entire word before executing the Drop Cap command?
  • To begin, select the word you’d like to drop. You must select the first word in the paragraph. If you select more than one word or a word within the body of a paragraph, Word defaults to a single-letter drop cap, dropping only the paragraph’s first letter. With the first word selected, choose Format | Drop Cap from the menu bar. Configure the drop cap settings as you normally would and click OK when you’ve finished. Word places the selected word in a frame and drops it in accordance with our specifications.
  • As we mentioned earlier, if you select more than one word and apply drop-cap formatting, Word defaults to a single-letter drop cap. How, then, do you create a drop cap that’s more than one word in length? All you need to do is drop the first word in the paragraph using the Drop Cap feature, type the additional words within the frame, and delete the duplicate words from the body of the paragraph.

Tip: Make your picture’s background disappear (Microsoft Word 2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • You may occasionally find yourself working with an image with a solid background, such as clip art. By solid background, we mean a background that’s all one color. If an image has a solid background, it may cover important parts of an overlapping image. Luckily, you can remove a solid background using Word’s Set Transparent Color tool.
  • To get rid of a solid background, first select the image. Next, click the Set Transparent Color button located on the Picture toolbar, and click on the background you want to remove.
  • The results of the Set Transparent Color tool aren’t always flattering. If the background isn’t a solid color or it blends into the image, you may not be able to completely remove the background or you may wind up with fuzz around the edges of your image. If this happens, we recommend cropping unwanted areas instead of using the Set Transparent Color tool.

Tip: Find every field in your document (Microsoft Word 2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • Looking for those elusive document fields? Quickly navigate to them using the Go To feature. First, display the fields by clicking the Show/Hide button on the Standard toolbar, and then choose Edit | Go To from the menu bar. In the Go To What list box, select Field. Next, select the field type, such as XE, from the Enter Field Name dropdown list. Click Next to find the first field.
Tip: Save frequently used address information as an AutoText entry (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)
  • When you're creating one-off letters, labels, and envelopes in Word, typing an addressee's name and address takes more than a few seconds.  If you're a Microsoft Outlook 2002 user and the addressee is in your contacts list, you can simply type his or her name, click on the smart tag that automatically appears next to it, and choose Insert Address to add the corresponding contact information from Outlook.  But if you don't use Outlook to manage your contacts (or if you use Office 200 or earlier), you won't be able to take advantage of this feature.  Instead, consider saving your most frequently used contacts' information as AutoText entries.  Then you'll be able to insert their information in a jiffy.
  • First, type the addressee's name and address information on separate lines, just like you'd write it on an envelope.  Next, select the entire address (including the addressee name) and press [Alt][F3].  Or, select Insert | AutoText | New.  Word automatically assigns the addressee's complete address just by typing his or her name.  If Word recognizes the AutoText entry, a yellow ScreenTip appears--just press [Enter] to insert the entire address.  If Word doesn't display a ScreenTip, just press [F3] after you've finished typing the addressee's name ([command][option]V on the Mac).  You can also insert the address from the AutoText dialog box by choosing Insert | AutoText | AutoText.  Remember, you can use this timesaving trick to add addresses in the Envelopes And Labels dialog box as well as in your documents.  this technique is also a handy way to store and enter your business address using your home computer and vice versa.

Tip: Seamlessly copy information between Office applications (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • In the business world, professional reports are often compiled using data that's stored in a variety of different applications.  For instance, you may begin writing up a product performance analysis in a Word document; however, you'll quickly discover that you want your report to include a sales chart that's located in an Excel workbook, plus a bulleted list of performance goals that's stored in a PowerPoint presentation.  To get the data you need, you might take this long and winding road:
    • 1) Open the Excel file
    • 2) Select the data you need
    • 3) Click the Copy button
    • 4) Place the insertion point where the data should appear in your Word document
    • 5) Click the Paste button
    • 6) Close Excel and repeat the process with PowerPoint
  • Why plod through so many tedious steps?  Instead, try this fast and seamless technique that takes half the effort:
    • 1) Open the Excel file and arrange the Word and Excel application windows so you can see both of them onscreen
    • 2) Select the data you want to copy from excel, then hold down the [Ctrl] key and drag it to its destination in Word
    • 3) Close Excel and repeat the process with PowerPoint

Tip: Avoid merging table cells by using illusive formatting (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • Word's ability to merge and split table cells is extremely convenient.  Unfortunately, when a table has an unequal number of columns per row (and vice versa), the table's shape can become increasingly difficult to manage.  To avoid the pitfalls that can accompany asymmetrical tables, consider using combinations of custom borders and shading to create the illusion of merged cells.
  • To try this technique, create a table that contains three columns and five rows.  Next, choose Table |Hide Gridlines if gridline display is enabled.  Then, select the second and third cells in the first column.  Next, click the Borders dropdown arrow again, and this time choose Outside Border.
  • To try this technique with shading, select the fourth and fifth cells in the first column, and then choose Format | Borders And Shading.  Click on the Shading tab, and then click on the Black color swatch in the Fill panel.  Click OK when you've finished.  Both two-cell combinations you just formatted create the illusion that they're each a single cell.

Tip: Assign [Insert] to paste the Clipboard's contents (Word 2000/2002/2003)

  • As an alternative to using the [Insert] key to overwrite text, you can also use it to paste the contents of the Clipboard into your document.
  • To designate [Insert] as a paste key:
    • 1. Select Tools | Options from the menu bar to display the Options dialog box.
    • 2. Select the Edit tab, if necessary.
    • 3. Select the Use The INS Key For Paste check box and click OK.
  • To paste with [Insert]:
    • 1. Select the text or image you'd like to place on the Clipboard.
    • 2. Press [Ctrl]C or select Edit | Copy to place the text or image on the Clipboard.
    • 3. Place the insertion point in the place you'd like to paste, and press [Insert].
  • You can repeat step 3 to paste the same item over and over, or you can start at step 1 to paste a new item.

Tip: Change the default bullet format (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • As you've probably experienced, the Bullets button on the Formatting toolbar often seems to have a mind of its own.  You just never know what kind of bullet character you're going to get.  Fortunately, you can control the Bullets button's default bullet character.  When you're creating and revising a document, just use the Bullets And Numbering dialog box the first time you want to apply bullet formatting.  You can access this dialog box by choosing Format | Bullets And Numbering from the menu bar.  When you click OK to exit the Bullets And Numbering dialog box, Word remembers the bullet format you chose and assigns it to the Bullets button on the Formatting toolbar.

Tip: Find your document's word count statistics (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • Research papers, proposals, legal documentation, and similar types of documents that must be formally submitted to an authority are often restricted to a certain word count by that authority.  Word count restrictions can be put in place for many reasons, usually to make sure a document is thorough without being either too vague or too long-winded.  to help you track your document's word count, choose File | Properties from the menu bar and click on the Statistics tab, or you can user the Word Count dialog box by choosing Tools | Word Count from the menu bar.
  • Word 2002 continues to offer the Word Count dialog box, but does this feature one better by offering the Word Count toolbar, too.  You can access this toolbar by clicking the Show Toolbar button in the Word Count dialog box or by choosing View | Toolbars | Word Count from the menu bar.  The Word Count toolbar enables you to quickly determine any of the statistics offered in its dropdown list.  When you make any changes to your document, the dropdown displays the text <Click Recount To View>.  To recalculate your document's statistics, just click the Recount button on the Word Count toolbar, or press [Alt]C.  When you do, the previously active statistic is updated and displayed at the top of the dropdown list.  To view other updated statistics or to change the statistic displayed by default, simply choose it from the dropdown list.

Tip: Cut down email response time by including a default subject line (Word 2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • When you include your email address in an electronic document, you can save yourself some email-sorting time by including a default subject line with the hyperlink to your email address. To do so, select Insert | Hyperlink from the menu bar (or press [Ctrl]K) to open the Insert Hyperlink dialog box. Select E-mail Address in the Link To area. Type your email address in the E-mail Address text box and type the default subject line in the Subject text box. In the Text To Display text box, type the text that you want to appear as a hyperlink, and then click OK. If you've already created the email address hyperlink and you'd like to add a subject line, right-click on the hyperlink and select Edit Hyperlink from the shortcut menu. Fill in the Subject text box and click OK. When the user clicks on your hyperlink, the email message pops up with your email address in the To line and the subject you've specified in the Subject line. Of course, it's important to keep in mind that the user can change the subject line if he desires.

Tip: Use the Office Clipboard to collect and paste across multiple applications (Word 2000/2001/2002)

  • Beginning in Microsoft Office 2000, there's a whole new way to use the Clipboard.  Instead of storing just a single item, you can now collect and paste up to 12 items -- 24 if you're using Office XP, and even more on the Mac.  You can then paste one item at a time or the whole batch in any Office program.
  • To view the contents of the Clipboard in Office 2000, choose View | Toolbars | Clipboard to display the Clipboard toolbar.  (On the Mac, choose View | Office Clipboard.)  Click any of the Clipboard's item icons to insert that item in your document.  Or, use the Clipboard toolbar's buttons to copy an item to the Clipboard, paste all Clipboard items in your document, or clear the Clipboard.
  • In Microsoft Office XP, you can open the Office Clipboard by choosing Edit | Office Clipboard or pressing [Ctrl]C twice.  The Clipboard task pane opens, showing a thumbnail of each item it's collected.  To paste all the items on the Office Clipboard, click the Paste All button in the task pane.  To clear the Office Clipboard, click the Clear All button.  To remove one item from the Clipboard, hover the pointer over it.  Click on the dropdown arrow that appears to its right, and choose Delete.  You can customize the way the Clipboard task pane behaves by clicking the Options button.

Tip: Print only selected headings in Outline view (Word 97/2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • Once you've created your document and applied the appropriate headings, select View | Outline from the menu bar. On the Outlining toolbar, use the Show Level dropdown list to determine which headings you'd like to print. (If the Outlining toolbar isn't visible, select View | Toolbars | Outlining from the menu bar.) Next, select the Print button on the Standard toolbar to print only the headings that are currently visible in your document.

Tip: Scale a document to fit on different paper (Word 2000/2002)

  • Imagine you've created a flyer on 8 1/2-x-11-inch paper.  In addition to posting your flyer on neighborhood light poles and public bulletin boards, you also want to distribute handbill-sized versions of the flyer.  Or maybe you simply want to fit a legal-size document onto letter-size paper.  To print a document on a smaller sheet of paper than it was originally designed for, you don't need to undergo drastic reformatting efforts.  Instead, Word can do the work for you.  Just open the document you need to print, and then choose File | Print.  In the Print dialog box's Zoom panel, choose the appropriate output size from the Scale To Paper Size dropdown list.  (The options that are available depend on your printer driver.)  Next, click OK to print your document.  Word automatically scales the document output to fit on the paper size you specified.  The original document's dimensions are unaffected.

Tip: Insert a footnote on the fly (Word 97/2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • If you don't want to navigate all the way to the Insert menu to create a footnote in your document, use this handy shortcut instead: [Ctrl][Alt]F ([command][option]F in v. X). Then, once you've typed the footnote, just press [Shift][F5] to return to the in-text footnote reference.  

Tip: Make your table pop by adding a drop shadow or 3-D effect (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • Here's a neat trick you can use to add a decorative drop shadow or 3-D effect to a Word table.  First, display the Drawing toolbar, click the Text Box button, and draw a text box in your document.  Make sure the text box is selected, and then choose Format | Text Box.  Click on the Text Box tab, and change all the Internal margin settings to "0".  Click OK when you've finished.  Now, with the Text Box still selected, click the Shadow Style or 3-D Style button on the Drawing toolbar, and choose the desired option.
  • To add the table, make sure the insertion point is positioned inside your text box.  Using the Insert Table button or the Table | Inset | table command, add a table inside the text box.  Next, choose Table | Table Properties from the menu bar, click on the Table tab, and then click the Options button.  Change all the Default Cell Margins settings to "0" and then click OK twice to return to your document.  (This step isn't applicable in Word 97).  That's it! Populate the table, and then format and resize the table and text box as needed.  Depending on the shadow or 3-D style you applied, you may find it helpful to remove or change the text box's border color using the Line Color button on the Drawing toolbar.  In addition, when you resize the text box to fit snugly around the table, hold down the [Alt] key to obtain the perfect fit.

Tip: Change paragraph alignment from the keyboard (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • To change the alignment of a paragraph, you can click the Align Left, Center, Align Right, or Justify button on the Formatting toolbar.  You can also select Format | Paragraph, click on the Indents And Spacing tab, and choose the desired setting from the Alignment dropdown list.  But, when you're typing up the paragraph you need to align, where are your hands?  They're on the keyboard, of course.  Instead of braking the flow by moving to the mouse to apply alignment settings, you can keep your fingers on the keyboard using these helpful alignment shortcut keys (on the Mac, use [command] instead of [Ctrl]):
    • Align Left:  [Ctrl]L
    • Align Center: [Ctrl]E
    • Align Right:  [Ctrl]R
    • Justify:    [Ctrl]J

Tip: Create a text bubble (Word 97/2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • You can include text boxes shaped like text bubbles in your Word documents. To do so, click the Drawing button on the Standard toolbar to display the Drawing toolbar (if it isn't displayed already) at the bottom of the application window. On the Drawing toolbar, click the AutoShapes button, and then choose Callouts from the resulting pop-up menu. The Callouts submenu contains a collection of callouts, including text bubbles. Choose one you like, and then click in the document area to insert it (or click and drag to size it yourself). When you do, Word places the insertion point inside your text bubble. You can type and format its text just as you would in a regular text box.
  • If you create a text bubble and decide later that you'd like to change it to a different AutoShape, select the AutoShape and click the Draw button on the Drawing toolbar. Choose Change AutoShape from the resulting submenu, then simply choose a new AutoShape from one of the resulting submenus.

Tip: Use printed stationery in a variety of ways (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • If you've received printed stationery as a gift, but you aren't the letter-writing type, don't let it go to waste.  By getting creative with Word, you'll be able to find plenty of other ways to use it.  For instance, you can use your stationery for printed invitations and thank-you cards, grocery and to-do lists, recipes, calendars, and much more.
    • To use your stationery repeatedly with Word, create a custom template that matches its dimensions.  To do so, click the New Blank Document button on the Standard toolbar to create a new document.  Choose File | Page Setup, and then click on the Paper tab (Paper Size tab in Word 97).  Choose the appropriate setting from the Paper Size dropdown list, or change the Width and Height settings, as applicable.  (On the Mac, choose Microsoft Word from the commands list to access these options.)
    • To make sure Word doesn't print over your stationery's decorative borders.  With the Page Setup dialog box still open, click on the Margins tab.  Change the available settings as appropriate, and then click OK.
    • If your stationery contains other images you don't want Word to print over, you can add a placeholder to your template that "reserves" the space.  First, measure the image's width and height.  Then, choose Insert | Text Box and click on the Colors And Lines tab.  Choose No Fill from the Color dropdown list in the Fill panel, then choose No Line from the Color dropdown list in the Line panel.  (This prevents the text box from being visible in print.)  Click on the Size tab, and then change the Height and Width settings to match the height and width of the stationery's image.  Now, use the options on the Layout property sheet (Wrapping and Position sheets in Word 97) to specify the desired text-wrapping and positioning settings.  Click OK to return to your template, and then fine-tune the text box's position as necessary.
    • To easily distinguish the areas in your template that can support text, choose View | Print Layout (Page Layout in Word 97/2001) Next, choose Tools | Options (Edit | Preferences on the Mac), and click on the View tab.  Select the Text Boundaries check box, and then click OK.
  • After you've completed your template's design, choose File | Save As, and select Document Template from the Save As Type dropdown list.  Add a name for the template in the File Name text box, and then click Save.  To create a new document based on your custom template, use the File | New command.

Tip: Four quick ways to select an entire document (Word 97/2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • When you want to format your whole document, you have to select all of the text in the document. This can be tricky, especially when you're dealing with a long document. Fortunately, you don't have to drag the mouse from one end of the document to the other if you want to select the whole document. Here are four alternatives:
    • 1. Triple click in the left margin.
    • 2. While pressing [Ctrl] ([command] in v. X), click once in the left margin.
    • 3. Press [Ctrl]A ([command]A in v. X).
    • 4. Press [F8] repeatedly until the entire document is selected.
  • This takes about 5 clicks. When you want to deselect the text, press [Esc] and click anywhere in the document.

Tip: Creating another table of contents (Word 97/2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • You can create more than one table of contents in your Word document. A second table of contents may offer readers a more in-depth overview of the document, complementing the high-level table of contents you first created. Including both tables of contents may help users find the information they need without overwhelming them. You'll occasionally see a second table of contents in technical manuals for this very reason.
  • To create a second table of contents, place the insertion point where you want the table of contents to appear. Select Insert | Reference | Index And Tables from the menu bar. (In 97, 2000, and v. X, select Insert | Index And Tables.) Select the Table Of Contents tab in the resulting Index And Tables dialog box. Format the table of contents according to your wishes, and select OK. In the resulting dialog box, Word asks if you want to replace the existing table of contents with the one you just created. Click No, and your second table of contents appears in your document.
  • Once you've created the additional table of contents, you may need to update the fields in the first table of contents so that the page numbers are accurate. To do this, highlight the entire document by pressing [Ctrl]A, press [F9], and click OK in the resulting dialog box.

Tip: Add descriptive help text to form fields (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • When you create an electronic form using Word's form fields, it's important to make sure people understand how they're supposed to fill it out.  One way to help people successfully complete electronic forms is to add descriptive help text to each form field.  The help text you add can appear in the status bar, in a message box, or both.  To add help text to a form field:
    • If the form is protected, choose Tools | Unprotect Document to unprotect it.  As an alternative, toggle the Protect Form button on the Forms toolbar.
    • Double-click on the form field to which you want to add help text.  In the resulting dialog box, click on the Add Help Text button.
    • Click on the Status Bar tab to add help text to the status bar, or click on the Help Key (F1) tab to add help text to a message box.
    • Select the type Your Own option button, and then enter the help text you wish to provide.  (As an alternative, you can choose the desired help text from the Word's Auto Text list.  To do so, select the Auto Text Entry button, then choose the desired Auto Text entry from the corresponding dropdown list.)
    • Click OK to dismiss the Form Field Help text dialog box.  Then, click OK again to return to your form.
    • Click the Protect Form button on the Forms toolbar to protect the form.  Or, choose Tools | Protect Document, select the Forms option button, and then click OK.
  • Whenever someone fills out your form, the help text for the current form field is displayed in the status bar.  Or, if the help text is set up to work with the Help key, users can view it in a message box by selecting the form field and pressing [F1] ([help] or [command][/] on the Mac).

Tip: Displaying text boundaries makes formatting a cinch (Word 97/2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • If your Word projects tend to involve columns, text boxes, graphics, drop caps, tables, and other layout complications, you know that it can be tricky to figure out where you can type in the document. If you display the text boundaries, Word shows you the boundaries for each element of your document. First, switch to Print Layout view (Page Layout in 97 and v. X). Then, select Tools | Options from the menu bar (Word | Preferences in v. X), and select the View tab, if necessary. Finally, in the Print And Web Layout Options area (Show area in 97 and v. X), select the Text Boundaries check box and click OK. When the Options dialog box closes (Preferences dialog box in v. X), you'll see thin, gray lines that show the typing areas for your document.

Tip: Create a style by example (Word 97/2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • It's often difficult to create new styles using the New Style dialog box because you have to imagine what the style will look like when you apply it to text in your document. Instead, you can use the Style By Example feature. First, ensure that your document is displaying the Formatting toolbar. (If the Formatting toolbar isn't displayed, select View | Toolbars | Formatting.) Select a portion of text and apply all of the formatting for your new style. With the text still selected, press [Ctrl][Shift]S ([command][shift]S in v. X) to highlight the style name in the Style drop down menu on the Formatting toolbar. Replace the highlighted text with the new style's name, and press [Enter] to create the style.

Tip: Perform simple calculations with a custom button (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • You may be aware that Word lets you perform simple mathematical calculations using the =Formula field, as well as the Formula command on the Table menu.  However, you can also perform calculations by adding a little-known button to any toolbar: the Tools Calculate button.  To add the button:
    • 1. Choose Tools | Customize from the menu bar.  In the Customize dialog box, click on the Commands tab.
    • 2.  Choose Normal.dot from the Save In dropdown list.
    • 3. Select All Commands from the Categories list, then locate ToolsCalculate in the Commands list box.
    • 4. Drag the ToolsCalculate item from the Commands list box to a suitable location on the Standard toolbar.
    • 5. To customize your new button, right-click on it and choose Change Button Image from the resulting dropdown menu.  Choose a suitable icon, such as the calculator.  Now, right-click on the button again, and this time choose Default Style to display only the button's icon.  (On the Mac, you can access these settings by [control]-clicking on the button and choosing Properties from the resulting menu.)
    • 6. Click Close to dismiss the Customize dialog box.
  • To use your new button, type a mathematical expression in your document.  For example, type the expression 4+4.  Next, select the expression you just typed, and then click your new ToolsCalculate button.  Word calculates the selection's result to your document, position the insertion point at the end of the selection expression, and then insert an equal sign (=).  Now, click the Past button to past the expression's calculated result.  Our sample expression, 4+4, returns a result of 8.
  • (Note: Calculation results are static; when you modify the original expression, the results don't update automatically.  Instead, you'll need to select the expression and then use the ToolsCalculate button to calculate the new result.

Tip: Duplicate a drawing object quickly (Word 97/2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • Once you've created and formatted a graphic object (such as clip art, WordArt, or a drawing), it's much faster to duplicate that object than it is to create and format another object to match it. Though you can use Word's familiar Copy and Paste features or [Ctrl]-drag ([option]-drag in v. X) to duplicate your graphic objects, there's an even faster way. Click once on the object to select it, and press [Ctrl]D ([command]D in v. X) to duplicate it. Hold down [Ctrl] ([command] in v. X) and repeatedly press D if you want to create multiple duplicates. If you forget to select the object first, you'll notice that this keyboard shortcut opens the Font dialog box. Also, the object must be located in the drawing layer, not inline, in order for this to work.

Tip: Tweak your document's layout in Print Preview mode (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • As you may already know, Print Preview mode lets you preview your document's layout before you print it.  To activate Print preview mode, choose File | Print Preview, or click the Print Preview button on the Standard toolbar.  In Print Preview mode, you can easily change the number of viewable pages using the One Page, Multiple Pages, and Zoom buttons.  In addition, you can use the special Magnifier pointer to get an even closer look at a particular page area.  Just click on the area you wish to magnify, and then click again to restore your original bird's-eye view.
  • However, as you preview your document, you may discover some content and layout problems that need to be altered.  Fortunately, you don't have to leave Print Preview mode to get the job done.  All you need to do is disable the Magnifier pointer.  When you see something you want to change, click the Magnifier button on the Print Preview toolbar to temporarily disable the Magnifier pointer.  When you do, the Magnifier pointer changes back to Word's standard I-beam pointer.  Make the desired changes to your document.  Then, click the magnifier button again to restore the Magnifier pointer.

Tip: Print an envelope without printing its attached letter (Word 97/2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • It's easy to attach an envelope to a letter or other Word document by choosing Tools | Envelopes And Labels from the menu bar and selecting the Envelopes tab. (In Word 2002, select Tools | Letters And Mailings | Envelopes And Labels. In v. X, simply choose Tools | Envelopes from the menu bar.) Format the envelope to your specifications and click Add To Document to attach it to the beginning of the current document. (In v. X, select the Insert This Envelope Into The Active Document check box and click OK.)
  • If you've ever attempted to print the envelope without printing the document that it's attached to, you've probably learned that if you print only page 1 (assuming that's the envelope) Word prints the first page of your letter or document, not the envelope. You could always tell Word to print the first section of your document, which houses the attached envelope, but there's an even easier way to print just the envelope.
  • When you attach an envelope to a document, Word considers the envelope as page 0, not page 1. To print the envelope alone, choose File | Print from the menu bar, select the Pages option button, and then enter 0 in the corresponding text box. (In v. X, choose the From option button, and then enter 0 in the From and To text boxes.) Click OK (Print in v. X), and Word prints your envelope without printing the document it's attached to.

Tip: Changing your default font (Word 97/2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • If you consistently find yourself changing the font of your Word documents from Times New Roman to another font, consider saving yourself some time by changing the default font. This affects all documents you create based on the Normal.dot template (or another template, if you have another template open when you make this change).
  • To change the default font, select Format | Font from the menu bar. Make all the changes you'd like to font, style, color, size, and any other category you find in the Font dialog box. Instead of clicking OK when you're done, click the Default button. A message box pops up, informing you of the changes you've requested. Select Yes to make the change. If you select No, Word automatically returns you to the Font dialog box where you can make different selections or click OK and save the changes to the current document only.

Tip: Sort table data by the word or phrase of your choice (Word 2002)

  • When you have a table of names, it's often wise to store first names in one cell and last names in another.  that way, you can easily sort the table by first name or by last name.  This practice doesn't just extend to first and last names--whenever you create a table, it's simply good practice to break each unit down into its smallest parts, then store each part in a separate cell.  For instance, if you're working with a list of contacts, don't just store first and last names in separate cells.  Split each person's city, state, and ZIP code information into separate cells, too.  Breaking down information like this makes your table more versatile so it can be sorted more easily.
  • But if you find yourself challenged with sorting a list that isn't so efficiently organized, you don't have to rebuild the entire table in order to sort it.  In Word 2002, you can now use the Sort feature's advanced options to sort by a specific word or phrase in each column.  To do so:
    • 1.  Place the insertion point anywhere within the table, then choose Table | Sort.
    • 2.  Click the Options button.  In the Separate Fields At panel, select the character that separates each word or phrase in your table.  (If a character other than tabs or commas separates each item, choose the Other option button, and then enter the appropriate character in the corresponding text box.)  Click OK to return to the Sort dialog box.
    • 3.  In the Sort dialog box, set up your search criteria as usual.  However, choose the appropriate sorting unit (such as Word 2 or Field 2) from the Using dropdown lists.  when you've finished, click OK to perform the sort.
  • Note: Although these advanced sorting features are disabled for tables in earlier versions of Word, you can use them to sort text that's delimited by tabs, commas, or other characters.

Tip: Where is Word's Reveal Codes feature? (Word 97/2000/2002/2003)

  • If you're comfortable with WordPerfect but now you need to use Word, you'll likely miss WordPerfect's Reveal Codes feature. Because Word and WordPerfect apply formatting to text very differently, they have different ways of revealing formatting codes. There are, however, a couple of tricks that can help you see some of the code applied to your Word documents.
  • There's a Show/Hide button on the Standard toolbar that reveals every paragraph mark, space, return, etc. Also, you can press [Shift][F1] and click on any text to reveal much of that text's formatting. If you have more WordPerfect-Word questions, select Help | WordPerfect Help from the menu bar. The resulting Help For WordPerfect Users dialog box addresses numerous questions that will smooth your transition to Word.

Tip: Repairing a corrupted document (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • When a single document starts behaving strangely, it may have become corrupted.  Although it's often difficult to pinpoint the corruption's cause, it can be easy to salvage the document's content.  If you're using Word 2002, you can force Word to try to repair a problem document when you open it.  Choose File | Open, locate and select the problem document, then choose Open And Repair from the Open button's dropdown menu.  If that doesn't help (or if you're using an earlier version of Word), here are three more tricks that can help you breathe new life into a corrupted document:
    • One of the most effective solutions is to convert the document to a Rich Text Format (RTF) or Web page (HTM) file, then convert it back to a Word document (DOC) file.  You can do this easily using the Save As dialog box.  This conversion trick essentially strips problematic metadata from the DOC file without altering the document's formatting.
    • Another simple solution is to copy the corrupted document's content and paste it into a new, blank document.  The trick is to copy everything but the document's last paragraph mark.  You'll also avoid copying section breaks, if the corrupted document contains them.  The last paragraph mark, as well as each section break, contains a variety of formatting information about elements becomes corrupted, your entire document can pay the price.
    • If you're having trouble opening the document, try using the Recover Text From Any File feature to extract the document's text.  Choose File | Open, then locate and select the problem document.  Next, choose Recover Text From Any File (*.*) from the Files Of Type dropdown list.  Next, click the dropdown arrow next to the Open button, and choose Open As Copy.  (In Word 97, right-click on the file and choose Open As Copy.)  Word creates an unformatted copy of the problem document.

Tip: Convert an Access report into a Word document (Word 97/2000/2002)

  • If you're a Microsoft Access user, you may often need to distribute database reports to colleagues.  However, if they don't have Access on their systems or can't connect to a particular data source, they won't be able to view the report.  Although printing hard copy is always an option, it can be inefficient to work with and costly to distribute.  As an alternative, you can turn an Access report into a file that users can open and edit with Word.
  • The easiest way to convert an Access report into a Word document is using the Office Links feature.  In Access, preview the report you want to convert, or select it with in the Database window.  Then, choose Tools | Office Links | Publish It With MS Word from the menu bar.  If you're previewing the report, you can also export it to Word using the menu attached to the Office Links toolbar button.  Note that the created file is in a rich Text Format (RTF).  This means that most of the report formatting will be preserved.  However, the file won't contain any graphical objects that existed in the original report, such as pictures or embedded objects.

Tip: Quickly repeat a formatting command (Word 97/2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • While editing a document, if you find yourself repeating one command over and over, you can save time by using [F4] or [Ctrl]Y (just [control]Y in Word v. X). Both [F4] and [Ctrl]Y repeat the last single toolbar button or keyboard formatting change you made. These commands have even greater benefits when you're using dialog boxes--they repeat all the formatting changes you made in the dialog box. So, if you make 3 or 4 font changes to a word in the Font dialog box, you can select a different word and hit [F4] or [Ctrl]Y to repeat those 3 or 4 changes instantly!
  • Even better, if you're using Word 2002 or 2003, you can hold down [Ctrl] to select noncontiguous words, and then use [F4] or [Ctrl]Y to repeat prior formatting on all selections at once.

Tip: Stop text from wrapping around objects with a text wrapping break (Word 2000/2002)

  • Word's wrapping options make it easy to wrap text around a graphic or table in many different ways.  Unfortunately, these options don't always behave as you'd like them to.  For instance, imagine you've inserted a picture in your document and applied it the Tight wrapping setting, so your document text wraps tightly around all sides of the picture.  Although you want to allow a particular paragraph's first few sentences to wrap around the picture, you want the rest of  the paragraph to continue below the picture.  Instead of entering a string of hard or soft line breaks (which will ultimately clutter your document), you can use a text wrapping break to move the rest of the paragraph below the picture.  First, position the insertion point where you want the text to stop wrapping around the picture.  Next, choose Insert | Break from the menu bar, select the Text Wrapping Breaking option, and then click OK.

Tip: Using dashes effectively (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • When used properly, em dashes and en dashes can help make your writing clear and easy to read.  The longer of the two (and the more commonly used) is the em dash (N).  Use an em dash to:
    • * Denote digression, a sudden break in though, or an abrupt change in sentence structure.  For example:
      • Seymour kept searching for cluesNthe uncertainty was unbearable.
    • * Indicate interruption in written dialog.  For example:
      • "Karen?" Hugh began.  "i'm going to theN"
      • "You're not going anywhere!"  Karen interjected.
    • * Introduce or set off a definition or an explanatory clause.  For example:
      • Mike got into his carNthe only thing he truly lovedNand began to drive.
  • There are many ways to create an em dash in Word:
    • * Hold down the [Alt] key and press 0151 on the numeric keypad (Windows Only)  (Note: The NumLock key must be active for this and other shortcuts that use the numeric keypad.)
    • * Press [Ctrl][Shift][-] using the numeric keypad ([command][option][-] on the Mac)
    • * Choose Insert | Symbol.  Click on the Special characters tab.  Select Em Dash from the Character list.  Click Insert, followed by Close.
  • On the other hand, the en dash (D) is longer than a hypen but half the length of an em dash.  The en dash is most often used to connect inclusive spans such as dates (Ex: 1973D2004) and reference numbers (Ex: Chapters 6D8).  To create an en dash in Word:
    • * Hold down the [Alt] key and press 0150 on the numeric keypad (Windows Only)
    • * Press [Ctrl][-] using the numeric keypad ([command][-] on the Mac)
    • * Choose Insert | Symbol.  Click on the Special Characters tab.  Select En Dash from the character list.  Click Insert, follow by Close.
  • You can also convert hyphens to em and en dashes automatically.  Choose Tools | AutoCorrect (Tools | AutoCorrect Options in Word 2002) and click on the AutoFormat As You Type tab.  Select the Symbol Characters (--) With Symbols (N) check box (Hyphens (--) With Dash (N) check box in Word 2002), and then click OK.  When you type two consecutive hyphens (--), Word automatically converts them to an em dash.  When you type a space, a hyphen, and another space, Word changes the hyphen into an en dash.

Tip: Save all open documents and templates simultaneously (Word 97/2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • We've all had the unfortunate experience of losing changes to a document because of a power surge or application error, and we all know that the key to minimizing damage from these events is to save frequently. When you're working in multiple Word documents at once, there's a fast way to save all the documents at the same time rather than manually saving each document. To save all of them at once, press and hold down [Shift], and then select File | Save All from the menu bar.
  • When you're making changes to the Normal.dot template, such as recording macros or adding other customization, it's important to save those changes frequently. Unlike File | Save (or [Ctrl]S, [command]S in Word v. X), which only saves open documents, Save All saves changes to open templates as well.  

Tip: Give paragraphs a muted effect using shading and patterns (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • There are many ways to make a passage in your document stand out from the rest of your document text.  For instance, you can give it a different indent or jazz it up with emphatic font formatting.  However, instead of drawing readers' eyes to a particular passage, you'll sometimes need to give a passage a "played-down" or "muted" effect.  For instance, many types of forms contain a "For Internal Use Only" area in which clients or customers shouldn't enter data.
  • One way to play down a paragraph is to apply it a light font color or small font size.  Another common technique is to apply shading.  However, you can achieve other types of muting effects by combining font formatting, paragraph borders, and shading with an overlapping pattern.  To begin, select the paragraph(s) you want to downplay.  Apply the desired font formatting, then choose Format | Borders And Shading.  click on the Borders tab and apply a paragraph border if desired.  next, click on the Shading tab and choose the desired shading color.  Now, you can apply a different colored pattern over the shading color you just applied.  To do so, choose the desired pattern form the Style dropdown list, then choose a color for the pattern from the corresponding Color dropdown list.  when you've finished, click OK.

Tip: Size a table to the page's width (Word 2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • Though your table is the same width as the page when you first insert it, chances are that as you add columns, change widths, and insert text, the size of the table changes. If you'd like to return the table to its original full-page width, you can try grabbing the right edge of the table with your mouse and eyeballing the margin to line it up. But, besides lacking in precision, this process expands the right-hand column while leaving the other columns at the same width. You'll find that it's easier and more precise to use the Table Properties dialog box. Click anywhere in the table, and select Table | Table Properties. Click on the Table tab and under Size, select the Preferred Width check box. In the Measure In dropdown box, select Percent, and change the value in the Preferred Width field to 100%. Click OK. You'll notice that this trick maintains the proportions of your columns while expanding your table to fill the width of the page. If you set 100% width on an indented table, the table is pushed into the right margin. For example, if your table is indented by 0.5", it will extend 0.5" into the right margin.

Tip: Display toolbars and menus in full (Word 2000/2002)

  • By default, the Standard and Formatting toolbars in Word 2000 and Word 2002 share one row.  Although consolidating these two common toolbars frees up extra space in the document window, it also makes it more difficult to access these toolbars' buttons, since many of them end up hidden from view.  The menu bar offers a similar behavior, displaying only those menu commands you use most frequently and hiding the rest from view.  If you'd always prefer to view Word's toolbars and menus in full, you can easily change both these default behaviors.  Choose Tools | Customize, then click on the Options tab.  In the Personalized Menus And Toolbars panel, do the following:
    • In Word 2000, clear the following check boxes:
      • Standard And Formatting Toolbars Share One Row
      • Menus Show recently Used Commands
    • In Word 2002, select the following check boxes:
      • Show Standard And Formatting Toolbars On Two Rows
      • Always Show Full Menus
  • When you've finished, click Close.  From now on, Word displays the Standard and Formatting Toolbars on separate rows, enabling you to view more of their buttons at once.  In addition, when you access a menu from the menu bar, Word displays all the menu's commands at once.

Tip: Avoid the My Documents default (Word 97/2000/2002/2003)

  • When you choose Save As or Open, Word automatically opens the My Documents folder in the resulting dialog box. If you tend to work from a folder other than My Documents, you'll save valuable time by setting that primary folder as your default. To do this, choose Tools | Options from the menu bar, and click on the File Locations tab. Select Documents from the File Types list box and click Modify. In the Modify Location dialog box, open your preferred folder, then click OK. Click OK to close the Options dialog box. Each time you start Word, it opens the folder you designated as the default working folder the first time you access the Open or Save As dialog box.
  • Regardless of which folder you've selected as the default, Word remembers which folder you navigate to during your Word session and sends you there for subsequent saves or opens. For example, if your default is the C: drive, that folder opens when you first launch Word. But if you navigate to a folder on your network to open or save a document, Word opens that folder next time you click Save As or Open. When you close and reopen Word, the Save As or Open dialog box again defaults to the C: drive.  

Tip: Add or remove a table's cells without affecting its outer dimensions (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • As you may know, you can add and remove individual cells from a table by choosing Table | Insert |Cells, or Table |Delete | Cells, as applicable.  However, using these commands to add or remove cells also affects the table's outer dimensions, often resulting in a table with uneven outside edges.  If you'd like to add or remove cells from a table with uneven outside edges.  If you'd like to add or remove cells from a table without changing the table's outer dimensions, use the Split Cells and Merge Cells commands instead.  The Split Cells command lets you easily change a group of four cells into a group of six cells.  First, select the cells(s) you'd like to split, and then choose Table | Split Cells.  In the resulting dialog box, choose the number of columns and rows the selected cells should become, and then click OK.  Or, if you'd like to consolidate multiple cells into a single cell, use the Merge Cells command instead.  For instance, you can easily change a group of three cells into a single cell.  Just select the cells you want to combine, and then choose Table | Merge Cells.

Tip: Split your window to view two areas at the same time (Word 97/2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • You can easily split the window of your Word documents. This enables you to view one area of the document while making changes to another. For example, if you're writing the conclusion to a document, you may want to refer back to the introduction to ensure you cover all of the main points. To split the window, go to Window | Split. Your cursor automatically turns into a split pointer. Click where you want the screen to split (except in v. X, in which the screen automatically splits in the center of the page without a click). You can adjust the split by clicking and dragging the dividing line up or down. To remove the split screen, go to Window | Remove Split.
  • Here's a shortcut for creating and removing a split window: Double-click the small rectangle above the vertical scrollbar on the right side of the screen. This automatically splits the window equally. Double-click on the dividing line to remove the split. If you want to make one area of the split window larger than the other, drag from the small rectangle to the point where you want the split. To remove the split, you can double-click the dividing line, or you can drag it all the way to the top or bottom of the editing window.

Tip: Quickly jump from place to place in your document (Word 97/2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • While revising a document, you'll eventually tire of reaching over to the mouse to scroll up and down. The familiar arrow keys, along with [Home], [End], [Page Up], and [Page Down], are handy, but there are other shortcuts that may better suit your needs.
  • If you'd like to quickly move to the top of a specific page, press F5 or [Ctrl]G ([command]G on the Mac). This opens the Go To dialog box, where you specify the page you want. You can also jump to a particular section, bookmark, table, or other object in the Go To dialog box. This shortcut is especially handy when you're dealing with a long document.
  • Use [Ctrl][Up Arrow] and [Ctrl][Down Arrow] to move to the previous or subsequent paragraph. Similarly, use [Ctrl][Left Arrow] and [Ctrl][Right Arrow] to move left or right in one-word increments. (On the Mac, use the [command] key in place of [Ctrl].)
  • To move to the beginning of a document, press [Ctrl][Home]. [Ctrl][End] takes you directly to the end of the document. Pressing [Ctrl][Page Down] and [Ctrl][Page Up] takes you to the beginning of the following page or previous page. (Again, on the Mac, use the [command] key in place of [Ctrl].)
  • If you edit one part of your document, and then move to another part of the document to continue editing, you can easily return to the previous place you were editing. To do this, press [Shift]F5 or [Alt][Ctrl]Z ([option][command]Z on the Mac). This command takes you to the last place you typed text, not necessarily the last place you clicked the mouse.

Tip: Open tricky files by finding the right converters (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • If you're having trouble opening non-native file in Word, chances are you're not using the appropriate file converter.  Word installs many common file converters by default so you can easily open files created in other programs such as Corel WordPerfect or Microsoft Works.  To open a non-native file, click the Open button on the Standard toolbar, and then choose All Files (*.*) from the Files Of Type dropdown list in the Open dialog box (Show dropdown list in Word 2001).  Locate and select the file you want to open, and then click Open.  Word then automatically chooses the appropriate converter and opens the file, prompts you to choose the converter you want to use, or informs you that it can't open the file.  If Word can't open the file, all hope isn't lost.  You can install many additional converters from your Word or Microsoft Office installation CD.  You can also download supplemental converters from Microsoft Office Online (http://offers.elementkjournals.com/redir3/0.ASZ7GA!http:// office.microsoft.com/officeupdate) and Mac Topia (www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads.aspx).

Tip: Changing your table's horizontal position (Word 97/2000/2002/v. X/2003)

  • Changing the alignment of text within a table is easy--you follow the same steps as you would to align any other text in a document. But how do you change the table's alignment so it's centered on the page, or positioned against the right margin? First, select the table or click anywhere in the table. Second, select Table | Table Properties, and ensure that the Table tab is in view. Finally, under Alignment, choose Left, Center, or Right, and click OK. In the Table Properties dialog box, if you've selected Left under Alignment and None under Text Wrapping, then the Indent > From Left option is available. In this area, you can specify a distance to indent the table.

Tip: Reduce glare discomfort by customizing onscreen document display (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • If Word's default white document background is hard on your eyes, you can change the default onscreen color scheme to reduce your discomfort.  Simply choose Tools | Options (Edit | Preferences in Word 2001), and then click on the general tab.  In the General Options panel, choose the Blue Background, White Text check box, and then click OK.  Word changes the default white document background to blue.  Text that users the Automatic font color is displayed in white.  Keep in mind, this color scheme is for onscreen use only; printed documents aren't affected.

Tip: Use paragraph spacing to apply cell padding in tables (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • In a recent tip, we explained how you can adjust a table's cell margins to add breathing room between cell borders and cell contents.  You can achieve a similar effect by adding paragraph spacing to a cell's contents.
    • To add space a the top or bottom of a cell, select the first or last line in the cell (as applicable), and then choose Format | Paragraph.  In the Spacing panel on the Indents And Spacing sheet, enter the amount of space you want to add in the Before or After text box (as applicable).  When you've finished, click OK.
    • To add space along the left or right edge of a cell, select the entire cell, and then choose Format | Paragraph.  In the Indentation panel on the Indents And Spacing sheet, enter the amount of space you want to add in the Left or Right text box (as applicable).  When you've finish, click OK.

Tip: Base a table of contents on a portion of your document instead of the whole thing (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • Word makes it easy to create a table of contents (commonly referred to as a TOC) that maps to your document's styles.  You'll typically want a TOC to map the content throughout your entire document; however, you may occasionally wish to limit a TOC to reference just a portion of the document body.  To accomplish this task, you don' need to waste time manually paring down a full-document TOC.  Instead, you can use a bookmark to indicate which portion of your document you want to reference.
    • 1. First, select the portion of your document you want to reference in a TOC, then choose Insert | Bookmark.  Enter a one-word name for the bookmarked selection in the Bookmark Name text box, and then click Add.
    • 2. Place the insertion point where you want the table of contents to appear, and then choose Insert | Index And Tables (Insert | Reference | Index And Tables in Word 2002).  Click on the Table Of Contents tab, and use the available options to configure your table of contents.  When you've finished, click OK.
    • 3. Word adds a new table of contents that references your entire document.  To reference just the bookmarked portion instead, select the table of contents, and then press [Shift][F9] to reveal the TOC's filed code.  It will look something like this: {TOC\o"1-3"\n\h\z\u}.  Position the insertion point on the left side of the field code's closing brace (}), and then type "\b BookmarkName" (without quotes) where Bookmarkname is the name of the bookmark you created earlier.  Your field code should now look something like this: {TOC\o"1-3"\n\h\z\u\b MyTOC}.  When you've finished, press [F9] to update the field.  If Word asks what you'd like to update, choose the Update Entire Table option, and then click OK.  Your table of contents should now reference only the information you bookmarked.

Tip: Format envelopes for efficient sorting and delivery (Word 97/2000/2001/2002)

  • You can help the folks at the post office sort your mail more easily by adding a POSTNET (POSTal Numeric Encoding Technique) barcode and/or a FIM (Facing Identification Mark) to printed envelopes and mailings.  A POSTNET barcode is a machine-readable representation of the delivery address and ZIP code.  You'll often find one printed above the delivery address on mail you receive at home and at work.  A FIM is a special mark commonly used to identify the front of a mailing for quicker sorting.  You'll often find one printed in the upper-right corner of two-sided mailings like order reply cards and payment envelopes.
  • To add these items to a mailing, choose Tools | Envelopes And Labels.  (In Word 2002, choose Tools | Letters And Mailings | Envelopes And Labels.  Next, click on the Envelopes tab.  Enter a delivery address and return address as you normally would, and then click Options.  Select the Delivery Point Barcode check box if you'd like to add a POSTNET barcode.  Select the FIM-A Courtesy Reply Mail check box if you'd like to add a POSTNET barcode.  Select the FIM-A Courtesy Reply Mail check box if you'd like to add a FIM.  Next, specify the desired envelope size and address formatting as you normally would, and then click OK.  Finally, click Print to print the envelope or mailing immediately, or click Add To Document (OK in Word 2001) to review it before you print it.  (Note: You can use this procedure to apply a POSTNET barcode or FIM to printed address labels, too.)  Keep in mind that we can't guarantee your mail delivery will be any faster than usual, but applying these items might increase your odds.
  • (In Word 2001, choose Tools | Envelopes, and then configure your envelope as you normally would.  Choose the Delivery Point Barcode and/or FIM-A check boxes, as applicable.  next, click Print to print the envelope immediately, or click OK to add it to a new document.)

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