Microsoft Word Help


Richard, CAP Youth Intern
What is Word?
Microsoft Word is a word processor, a writing program in other words. It allows you to create documents, tables, and really anything that you need to write.
The Interface
The major part of Word is the segment showing the page that you are writing on. You can type whatever you want here and the results will show up on screen. You can place an indent in the text by pressing the TAB key. To insert a page break, hold CTRL and then press ENTER.

Along the top of the screen there are several different buttons as well:

  • File: This brings down a menu of the most important options. From here you can create a new document, save your progress, open a previously saved document, print what you have written, and exit the program.
  • Edit: This allows you to alter what you have written. You can undo a mistake, cut out or copy selected text, or paste a selection into the document.
  • View: From here you can change the onscreen layout of the page, zoom in and out, and add or remove toolbars.
  • Insert: This allows the insertion of a picture or other object into the document.
  • Format: You can alter the font (typeface), the paragraph settings, or add bullets or numbering.
  • Tools: Allows you to check your spelling and grammar, change the language, or get a word count.
  • Table: This selection deals exclusively with tables and charts.
  • Window: Allows the creation of a new window.
  • Help: From here you can select the Help files for Microsoft Word and its functions.
Important Functions
Aside from writing, there are several other functions important to using Word.

Starting a New Document
To start a new document, go under File and click "New", or click the icon of a blank sheet.

Saving Your Document
The first and most important is saving. Saving will store all of your progress on the computer, allowing you to access it later on. To save, go to the File menu and click "Save", or click on the icon of a brown floppy disk near the top of the screen. When saving a document for the first time you must give it a name so that you can call it up again. Whenever you exit Word, you will be asked to save your progress if you have not done so. Once a document is saved, you can bring it up by going to the File menu and clicking "Open", or clicking the icon of the open folder. You can then select the document you wish to view.

Printing Your Document
If your document is finished and you have a printer, you can print it by going under File and selecting "Print" or pressing the icon of the printer. You can also see what the printed document will look like by selecting "Print Preview" from File or clicking the page and magnifying glass icon.

Editing the Text
There are a variety of commands in Word that can assist greatly in editing your work and manipulating the text.

Copying and Pasting:
When you need to duplicate text or move text to another point in your document, there are three commands that can help. After selecting the text you wish to manipulate, go under file and select either "Cut" to remove the text from its current position, or "Copy" to duplicate it. Then choose where you wish the text to go and select "Paste". The icons for these commands are, respectively, a pair of scissors, two pages overlapping, and a clipboard.

If you make a mistake, such as mistakenly deleting something, you can fix it by finding "Undo" under Edit. This will reverse the last few actions taken. The opposite is also possible by selecting "Redo" afterwards.

If you wish to correct any possible spelling or grammar errors, the "Spelling and Grammar" option will check for any errors and then suggest corrections when available. (Note: The spelling check does not account for Canadian spelling of such words as "colour" or "defence"; you can either ignore these or add them to Word's dictionary.) Word will usually highlight spelling and grammar errors with a coloured underline- red for spelling, green for grammar.

Text Style:
There are also several options for changing the style of your text. Under Format you will find the "Font" menu. From here you can change the font, or typeface, change the text size, add styles such as bold, italics, or underlined, or add a variety of other effects to the selected text.

Formatting Text:
Look of your writing from the "Paragraph" menu under Format. Here you can choose the to align the text left, right, or centered, as well as modify the indent and spacing settings.

Adding Pictures and Charts
Sometimes a document requires more than just text. You may need a diagram to illustrate an example or a table showing results.

Inserting Images:
Adding a picture requires going under Insert to the sub-menu Picture. From there you can choose from pictures on the hard drive, clip art (Pre-made pictures for Microsoft Office), AutoShapes (Basic drawing tools and shapes), WordArt (Text with a special visual effect), and a chart. To insert clip art and pictures on file, you simply need to choose what picture to insert. AutoShapes require you to select the shapes you want and combine them for the end result. To use WordArt you have to choose the visual style you want, then enter the text you wish displayed. Creating a chart is more complex. You must input the data for each axis on a spreadsheet in order for it to be displayed. All of these pictures can be resized and moved as necessary.

Adding Tables:
You may also need to add tables to a document. There are two main ways to do this. First is to go under Table, then the sub-menu Insert, then click "Table". You will then be able to create a pre-sized table with any number of rows and columns. The other option is to go under Table and select "Draw Table". This will allow you to draw the divisions between cells and resize any row or column. Once drawn, you can fill in whatever information you need. If you run out of cells, you can press TAB at the last on to create another row.

Useful Shortcuts There are many keystrokes that can save you going through menus to perform basic tasks. Here are some of the most helpful:
Save: CTRL+S
Open: CTRL+O
Print: CTRL+P
Undo: CTRL+Z
Redo: CTRL+Y
Copy: CTRL+C
Paste: CTRL+V
Select All: CTRL+A
Bold Text: CTRL+B
Italics: CTRL+I
Underline: CTRL+U
Align Left: CTRL+L
Centre: CTRL+E
Align Right: CTRL+R
Single Spacing: CTRL+1
Double Spacing: CTRL+2