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Not the spacebar!

Become familiar with Microsoft Word’s ruler, tabs, tables and basic spacing techniques and you’ll find it easy to produce any type of document, from a résumé to a report.

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Lovely Charts

Here are five useful tools and services to ease your work tasks, from handling PDFs to creating charts to replacing Microsoft Office in its entirety.

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Word’s Format Painter

When you need to apply the same formatting to multiple parts of a Microsoft Word document, there’s no need to go through the same motions repeatedly. Word provides a smogasbord of techniques for formatting a bunch of elements in a document quickly and efficiently.

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Side-by-side view in Microsoft Word

If you have a document open in Word 2007 or Word 2010 and you open another document, that second document is displayed in the same window as the first. To view the now-hidden first document, you can’t, as you might expect, swap between the two documents by pressing Alt+Tab…

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Microsoft has long produced software with a belt-and-braces approach, offering a choice of ways to perform a particular task. For example, in Word, you’ll find a smorgasbord of methods for cutting, copying and pasting text. There’s the usual cut, copy and paste via keystroke, menu or toolbar. There’s also the Office Clipboard, which is like […]

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Most text selection in Word involves selecting horizontally – selecting a line or a paragraph of text. Sometimes, though, you need to select a vertical slab of text. To do that, hold down the Alt key while you click and drag your mouse over the text. This comes in handy when someone sends you an […]

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If you frequently find yourself wanting to edit the same document you were using in your last Word session, you can create a shortcut which does just this, using a command-line switch. Here’s how: Right-click an empty spot on your desktop and choose New -> Shortcut from the pop-up menu. Click the Browse button and […]

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Have you ever wanted to delete the document currently open in Word? I find I often want to do this when I’m trying to clean out a whole bunch of old documents: I open each one, check the contents and, if I no longer need it, delete it on the spot. Word won’t normally let […]

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How do you omit the page number on the final page of a Word document? I was asked this recently by someone who is using Lulu.com’s self-publishing service. Lulu had asked her to resubmit her book with a completely blank final page – no page number, nothing. Finding the solution to this seemingly simple request […]

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You’ve probably heard the stats: 80% of Microsoft Word users make use of only 20% of its features. My guess is that only about 0.1% of Word users use the handy calculator built right into the program. I’m not talking about the SUM() and AVERAGE() fields or any of the other of Word’s useful but […]

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column-selection

Most text selection in Word involves selecting horizontally – selecting a line or a paragraph of text. Sometimes, though, you need to select a vertical slab of text. To do that, hold down the Alt key while you click and drag your mouse over the text. This comes in handy when someone sends you an […]

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One of Word’s quirky, tucked-away features is the rand() function. It lets you quickly insert a block of text in a document. To use the function in pre-2007 versions of Word, at the beginning of a line type =rand() and press Enter. Word inserts three paragraphs, each containing five sentences like this: The quick brown […]

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