Dawn Bjork Buzbee
The Software Pro®
Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT)
Certified Microsoft Office 2010 Specialist (MOS 2010) Master Instructor
Certified Microsoft Office 2007 Specialist (MOS 2007) Master Instructor
Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS) Instructor
Certified Microsoft Office Expert
Certified Women's Business Enterprise (WBE)
WOSB (Women-Owned Small Business) Certified
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2003: 5 Time-Saving Tips
Whether you have used Microsoft Word for years,
have just switched from WordPerfect or are new to word processing, try
these easy steps to save time and simplify your work in Word:
Turn off Personalized Menus and Toolbars
Although it is a default, Personalized Menus and
Toolbars is a terrible "feature" which limits your initial view to
select toolbar buttons and menu commands. Do you only have one row of
toolbars at the top of the screen? When you click on a menu, does it
expand only after a few seconds? If so, you will save yourself a lot of
frustration by turning off this personalized display:
- Choose Tools > Customize, and click on
the Options tab.
- For the section, Personalized Menus and
Toolbars, check/select the options "Show Formatting and Standard
toolbars on two rows" and "Always show full menus." Note: in
Microsoft Word 2000, you will need to Uncheck each of these options
(the descriptions are a bit different too).
- Pick Close to see a full display of
your main toolbars and your menus.
Stop Automatic Text Changes
Does it seem like Word randomly changes the
capitalization or spelling of text in a document? AutoCorrect is
to blame. As the name indicates, AutoCorrect automatically corrects the
spelling of common misspelled words but also makes other changes
including capitalizing the first letter in a sentence, table cell, or
line of text. To review your choices, pick Tools > AutoCorrect
Options, choose the AutoCorrect tab and uncheck any option
that gets in the way of typing your text.
Stop Automatic Numbered Lists (and More)
Have you ever tried to create your own numbered
list or outline and watched the numbering or formatting change once you
press [Enter] for the next line? This is a huge annoyance for
anyone that wants to build their own custom layout for an outline rather
than working with the choices in Word. Do you type your e-mail address
or website into a document and then watch as it suddenly changes to blue
underlined text (a hyperlink)? Do you ever enter fractions or quotes
that automatically re-format? You are a victim of AutoFormat As You
Type. To customize Word so that it works for you and not against
- Choose Tools > AutoCorrect Options
- Select the AutoFormat As You Type tab.
I recommend that you uncheck all of the options in the last 2
sections including Automatic numbered lists. Turn off choices
in the 1st section as desired.
- Pick OK to finish.
Each of the formatting options that you turn off
can still be added when you want them. For instance, automatic numbered
lists can be created via a toolbar button or under the Format
Modifying Your Default Font
Are you frequently changing the font in your
documents? Take a few minutes to change the default font used for new
- Create a new,
- Choose Format
> Font. Change the font from the standard Times New Roman 12
point to the style and size you want such as Arial 12 point.
- Next, don’t pick
OK which only changes the current document. Instead, choose
- You will see a
prompt asking if you want to change the default font. This change
will modify the normal template also known as the normal.dot
file which stores many of the Microsoft Word settings. Select Yes
to confirm the changes.
Customizing Page Layout and Margins
Ever since the days of Word 1.0, the default
margins for a document have been 1” for the top and bottom and 1.25” for
the left and right margins even though most people prefer 1” margins for
each side. It’s also easy to change the settings for margins regardless
of what you like to work with:
- Continue with a
new, blank document.
- File > Page
Setup, and pick the Margins tab.
- Change the
margins to 1” all around or your most frequently used choices.
- Make other
changes in these dialog tabs. For instance, you might want to set a
custom footer or make changes to the Paper source.
- To set your
custom defaults for all new, blank documents, pick the Default
- As before, you
will be prompted to confirm the change to the normal template.
Choose Yes to continue.
Once your preferences are in place, you won’t have
to repeat these steps but you do have the flexibility to customize
To insure that Microsoft Word remembers the customized changes, exit
out of Word, re-start and test each of these time-saving techniques.
© Dawn Bjork Buzbee, MCT, The Software Pro®
Dawn Bjork Buzbee
is The Software Pro®
and a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) as well as a certified Microsoft Office
Specialist (MOS) Master Instructor, certified Microsoft Applications Specialist
(MCAS) Instructor, and a certified Microsoft Office expert. Dawn shares smart
and easy ways to effectively use software through her work as a software
speaker, trainer, consultant, and author of 8 books.
This article and
more can be reprinted at no charge in your publications and website with
copyright and attribution.
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To cancel out of a displayed dialog
box, press [Esc].
|Microsoft Word has
more than 30 toolbars. Fortunately, most of these only display as
needed for specific features.