If you use Microsoft Word to create your documents, then you’re likely familiar with the features you use every day. But there are plenty of features that fly under the radar that could be just as useful, if not more.
Here, we’ll look at several Word features you should be using. These tools can save you time, improve the readability of your document, and even enhance your overall Microsoft Word experience.
1. Quick Parts for Inserting Blocks of Text
Using the Quick Parts tool in Word, you can save things like snippets of text, signatures, tables, and more. Then simply reinsert them in a couple of clicks.
Select what you’d like to save in your document by dragging your cursor through it. Go to the Insert tab, click the Explore Quick Parts drop-down arrow, and choose “Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery.”
Give your Quick Part a name, add any other details as you wish, and click “OK.”
Then to reuse your item, go to the same drop-down box and select it. It’ll then pop right into your document.
You can use other features of Quick Parts to save time as well. Take a look at using the AutoText feature or explore adding fields with the Document Properties.
2. Focus for Distraction-Free Writing
If you do a lot of writing in Word, especially for things that need your full attention, you can enjoy distraction-free writing with Focus.
Turn the feature on by selecting “Focus” in the status bar or on the View tab.
You’ll see your document take over your entire screen with no ribbon, status bar, or anything else to get in the way of your concentration.
Move your cursor to the top anytime to redisplay these items or to deselect Focus and return to your normal view.
3. Dictation for Speech to Text
You might be in a situation where you’re unable to type your document as you normally would. With the Dictation feature in Microsoft Word, you can speak your words just as you would type them.
Go to the Home tab and select “Dictate” in the Voice section of the ribbon.
When the dictation toolbar appears, just start speaking. Click the microphone icon to pause and resume.
You can select the gear icon to adjust settings for your spoken language, automatic detection of punctuation, and filtering of sensitive phrases.
Use the X on the top right of the toolbar to close the Dictation tool when you finish.
4. Microsoft Editor for Document Review
Another terrific feature in Microsoft Office is the Editor. With it, you can check your document for spelling, grammar, punctuation, readability, and more, all in one spot.
Go to the Home tab and select “Editor” in the Editor section of the ribbon.
When the sidebar opens, you’ll see your score at the top. You can then review necessary Corrections, optional Refinements, and see if similar documents appear on the web.
Select “Document Stats” in the Insights section to view counts of words and paragraphs, averages of characters per word and words per sentence, and readability scores for grade level and passive sentences.
Use the X on the top right of the Editor sidebar to close the tool when you finish.
5. Clipboard History for Pasting Copied Items
When you’re putting together a document, you might find yourself moving blocks of text around with a cut or copy and paste. On the other hand, you might use those actions to insert portions of text like names, addresses, or instructions over and over. With the Clipboard tool, you can view your history and quickly reuse clipboard items.
The clipboard in Microsoft Word holds up to 24 items at one time. This means that all of those things you cut or copied throughout the day are just a click away.
Go to the Home tab and click the arrow on the bottom right of the Clipboard section of the ribbon.
The Clipboard history displays in a side panel on the left. From there you can review the items, select one to reuse it, paste them all, or clear the history.
6. Screenshot Tool for Quick Images
Have you ever needed a screenshot of another application on your desktop or even a portion of a window? Word’s built-in screenshot tool has you covered.
Go to the Insert tab and click the Screenshot drop-down arrow in the Illustrations section of the ribbon. You’ll see any other open windows on your desktop at the top. Simply select one and its image will display right in your Word document.
If you prefer to caption a portion of a window or other application, choose “Screen Clipping” in the drop-down box instead.
When your cursor changes to a crosshair, drag to capture what you need and release.
Your clipping will appear in your document immediately.
If needed, you can edit a screenshot or clipping like any other image in Microsoft Word.
7. Researcher for References and Citations
One more feature in Word that goes a bit unnoticed is the Researcher tool. With it, you can look up most anything on the internet and insert details for it without ever leaving your document.
Go to the References tab and choose “Researcher” in the Research section of the ribbon.
The Researcher sidebar opens on the right. Enter your search term into the box and press Enter.
You’ll then see the results of your search. Select one to read more. You can copy and paste the text you see into your document, then click the plus sign on the top right of the item in the sidebar to add a citation for it.
Researcher is a handy and helpful tool for essays, papers, and research documents.
These awesome features can help you no matter what type of document, article, or paper you create in Microsoft Word. Will you take advantage of them?