Using Microsoft Word? Here’s How To Become a Time-Saving Ninja

903514 Using Microsoft Word? Here's How To Become a Time-Saving Ninja

Microsoft Word is one of the most widely used word processors in the world. With over 1 billion users, chances are you use Word for writing documents on a regular basis. However, many users only scratch the surface when it comes to utilizing Word’s powerful features that can save you time.

In this blog post, we’ll walk through 12 actionable tips and tricks to help you work more efficiently in Word and truly become a time-saving ninja!

Set Up Default Formatting

Instead of manually formatting every new document you create, you can set up default formatting that automatically applies. This includes setting a default font, font size, line spacing, margins, and more.

To access the default formatting options:

  1. Click the “File” tab
  2. Click “Options”
  3. Click “Save” under “Default options for Word”
  4. Adjust any formatting options
  5. Click OK

Now any new document will open with your preferred defaults already set!

Enable the Navigation Pane

The navigation pane provides an outline view of your document headings on the left side, making it easy to jump between sections.

To enable:

  1. Click the “View” tab
  2. Check the box next to “Navigation Pane”

You can then click any heading in the pane to instantly jump to that section.

Use Building Blocks

Building blocks allow you to store reusable content like cover pages, tables, text boxes, headers and footers. Instead of recreating them each time, you can quickly insert these elements into new documents.

To use building blocks:

  1. Navigate to the “Insert” tab
  2. Click “Quick Parts”
  3. Select the building block you want to insert

This saves a huge amount of time compared to formatting these items manually.

Learn Keyboard Shortcuts

One of the fastest ways to navigate Word is by using keyboard shortcuts. Some of the most helpful include:

  • Ctrl + S: Save document
  • Ctrl + P: Print document
  • Ctrl + Z: Undo
  • Ctrl + Y: Redo
  • Ctrl + B: Bold highlighted text
  • Ctrl + I: Italicize highlighted text

Check out this list for more shortcuts that can expedite your editing.

Set AutoCorrect Options

AutoCorrect allows you to create shortcuts for commonly used phrases that expand automatically as you type. For example, set “scty” to autocorrect to “Society”.

To configure:

  1. Navigate to the “File” tab
  2. Click “Options”
  3. Select “Proofing”
  4. Click “AutoCorrect Options”
  5. Enter your shortcuts

This way you can type faster without having to write everything out fully each time.

Use Document Templates

Starting from a template can help you skip repetitive formatting steps for common document types. Word offers a variety of templates for letters, reports, resumes, and more.

Access templates by:

  1. Clicking the “File” tab
  2. Selecting “New”
  3. Browsing template options
  4. Choosing one to start your document

This gives you a formatted foundation to build upon so you don’t have to start from a blank page.

Compare Document Versions

When collaborating with others, Word’s compare feature lets you see the changes made between two versions of a document.

To compare:

  1. Click the “Review” tab
  2. Select “Compare”
  3. Choose the older version and newer version to compare
  4. Review inserted, deleted, and moved text

This makes it easy to see exactly what was changed without having to meticulously scan the documents.

Use Focus Mode

Focus mode eliminates on-screen distractions so you only see the text you’re editing. This is helpful when you really need to concentrate.

Turn on focus mode by:

  1. Clicking the “View” tab
  2. Checking the box next to “Focus Mode”

The ribbon, navigation pane, and other elements temporarily disappear so you can focus solely on writing.

Dictate with Speech Recognition

If you get tired of typing, Word’s dictation capabilities allow you to speak aloud to insert text.

To start dictating:

  1. Navigate to the “Dictate” button on the ribbon
  2. Click the microphone icon
  3. Start speaking

This hands-free approach can save your fingers and be faster than manually typing everything.

Track Changes

When collaborating on a team, the track changes feature lets you see exactly who made which edits in the document. This helps improve transparency.

To track changes:

  1. Go to the “Review” tab
  2. Check the box next to “Track Changes”
  3. As people edit the document, changes will be visually tracked

You can then accept or reject changes made and see a revision history.

Use Quick Access Toolbar

The quick access toolbar allows you to customize shortcut buttons for frequently used commands like save, undo, redo and more. This keeps them conveniently accessible as you work.

To customize:

  1. Right-click the toolbar
  2. Select “Customize Quick Access Toolbar”
  3. Choose commands to add

Having one-click access to these functions can really speed up your workflow.

Review Readability Statistics

Word can analyze your document and provide detailed statistics on aspects like word count, reading level, sentence length and more.

To review statistics:

  1. Click the “Review” tab
  2. Select “Word Count”
  3. Scroll down to see readability data

Use this information to refine clarity and simplicity for your audience.

Transform the Way You Use Word

By mastering these tips and shortcuts for Microsoft Word, you’ll be well on your way to working faster and more efficiently. Cut down on needless steps and manual formatting to become a true time-saving ninja!

Word has many powerful features waiting to be uncovered. Keep discovering new functions as you continue using this popular writing program. Work smarter, not harder!

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