Microsoft Word Tips: Make it Work For You

1. Get comfortable with the Track Changes feature

Tools > Track Changes

Track Changes is fantastic if you frequently proofread documents for your co-works. It clearly marks the places you have made any edits and changes, then the author can accept or reject the adjustments you’ve made. You can even make comments about the reasons you made a certain change or ask a question in the margin.

WARNING: Be sure to accept all changes and save your document before presenting it to a client or prospect—you don’t want them to see all of the edits which were made to the document. (They don’t have to know how the sausage is made…)

2. Use Find and Replace for efficient editing and formatting

Edit > Find > Advanced Find and Replace

If you are editing a document and you realize that every time the author wrote your they meant you’re. You can easily and quickly fix this by using the find and replace function. Yet another excellent trick using find and replace is, if your company has a unique font they use for all documents you can find all Times New Roman for example and replace it with the font your company uses for their marketing.

3. Customize your toolbars to suit your daily needs and routines

View > Toolbars > Customize Toolbars and Menus

If you spend any significant amount of time in Microsoft Word, you ought to create a workspace that mirrors the nature of your work. That could mean getting rid of needless toolbar clutter. It could also mean adding or repositioning certain buttons and functions which you use frequently.

4. Eliminate formatting frustration: Add the “Show all nonprinting characters” button to your toolbar

This helpful button allows you to see all of the formatting elements at play in your document, many of which are otherwise invisible. When Word starts to act strange and you can’t understand why your text isn’t doing what you would like it to do, simply click the “Show all nonprinting characters” button to determine what’s happening and how to fix it. Boom.