Monthly Archives: February 2019

Wise up to Word features to make a writer’s life easier

Writing usually means typing, which usually means using Microsoft Word software. Word has many powerful features which can make life easier for a writer. The longer the document, the more important it is to know about and use features in Word wisely.

Many of the features make it easy for a writer to make changes, update a document after changes, ensure consistency and format a document for effortless reading. The exact commands can vary with the version of the software, but be aware of what is possible.

Here are some ideas for easier formatting:

  • Insert a page break to start a new page, not multiple hits of the Return button.
  • Insert a section break to switch the page orientation between portrait and landscape.
  • Use Styles to ensure consistency in formatting of headings and text throughout.
  • Use auto-numbering for headings, lists and tables.
  • Use cross-references to refer to chapters, sections, tables and figures.
  • Create a table of contents – the easy way.
  • Set paragraph formatting to avoid widow and orphan lines.
  • Explore the use of macros to simplify common, repetitive tasks.

Word can be very complex, so how can you learn about using Word efficiently?

  • Ask someone more experienced in Word and long documents to show you.
  • Explore all the features of your software, by clicking on all the menus and options.
  • Use the inbuilt Help function in Word – the new way to read the manual.
  • Search online for tips and help.
  • Go to a workshop for practical hands-on experience, with or without your own computer.

There’s always more to learn about writing and Word. Please contact me for editing, writing or communication inquiries at rhdaniels@bigpond.com