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 firstname.lastname@example.org