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This collection of tips and tricks will save you time and maybe some frustration. Some tips can be used in more than one Office application, many of these carried over from older versions of Word.

Selection Techniques

Opening Multiple Documents

Viewing Two Parts of a Document Simultaneously

Double-Click for Hot Spot Dialog Boxes

Remove Red and or Green Wavy Lines

Turning Off Bullets, Letter or Numbered Lists

Selection Techniques

There are several selection techniques you can use while working in a Word document.  Here are two you may not have known about. 

A large block of text:  If the text to be selected goes past your screen, click and drag is too fast, place the blinking cursor at the first character to be selected. Using the right scroll bar, scroll to the end of your selection. Point to the last character of your selection. While holding down the SHIFT key, click. You have just highlighted your selection.

A vertical column:  Place the blinking cursor at the first character. While holding down the ALT key, click and drag over a vertical area to select.


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Opening Multiple Documents

If you need to work with more than one document at a time, Word makes it easy to open multiple files. There is a catch: these files must be in the same folder. Use the selection techniques to select the files, then click the Open button.

Selecting One File:  Click once on the file.

Selecting Consecutive Files:  Click on the first file, point to the last file.  While holding down the SHIFT key, click on the last file.

Selecting Non-consecutive Files:  While holding down the CTRL key click on each file.

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Viewing Two Parts of a Document Simultaneously

When working with a long document you may want to see two parts of the document same time. To split the screen:

  1. Select the View tab, from the Window grouping select Split.

  2. The document screen view will appear to have a gray line drawn through the middle.  Moving your mouse up or down adjusts the amount you view in each screen. 

  3. Click one time to anchor the split. The screen will now appear with two vertical and horizontal scroll bars.

  4. Remember each pane is showing the same document. Use the vertical scroll bar to display the desired portion of the document in each pane. For example you could view page 1 of a 15 page document in the upper screen view, while viewing the bottom of page 7 in the lower screen view.  

  5. To return to a single view, either double click on the split bar or from the View Window grouping click Remove Split


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Double-Click for Dialog Boxes

If you use the right mouse to receive contents sensitive menu, try double-clicking on these hot spots for their dialog boxes.

Page Setup: To display the Page Setup dialog box without going to File/Page Setup, double-click in the empty space to the right or left of the ruler.

Tabs: To adjust a tab, double-click on a tab marker and the Tab dialog box appears.

Go To: To quickly display the Go To dialog box double-click the page or section number located in the status bar.


Spelling and Grammar:  To quickly jump to the next Spelling or Grammar mistake double-click the Spelling and Grammar icon on the status bar.  An "x" on the icon indicates that the document contains spelling or grammatical mistake.  This icon will not appear if you have the spelling and grammar feature turned off.


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Removing the Red or Green Wavy Lines

These lines are the built in Spelling and Grammar checkers.  The red line means the word could not be found in the Microsoft Dictionary. The green wavy line represents a grammar style error as defined by one of Microsoft's Grammar Styles. You can turn off both of these features or just one.

  1. Click the File Menu, select Options, then click on Proofing.

  2. From the section: "When correcting spelling and grammar in Word" remove the check marks for Check spelling as you type and Check Gramar as you type.

  3. Click OK when done.

Note: It is always a good idea to remove this option when doing a large mail merge or working on a large document. If your document appears to have a lot of red and/or green lines, it will slow down movement in the document.

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Turning off Bullets and Lettered or Numbered Lists

The Auto Format as You Type holds many default settings you may find annoying.  For example; if you type a persons name who uses a first initial like: B. Ann Smith, then press the return to type that persons address, most likely the letter C. shows up.  This is an alphabetical list.  If you start a line with an asterisk, it becomes a bullet. This may be what you want once in a while but not all the time. To turn on or off these setting:

  1. Click the File Menu, select Options, then click on Proofing.

  2. Auto Correct Options is display first.  Click the Auto Format as You Type button.  Now select the AutoFormat As You Type tab.

  3. Under the section Apply as you type r emove the check marks for "Automatic bulleted lists" and "Automatic numbered lists."

  4. Select the Auto Format tab.

  5.  Again remove the check marks for "List Styles and Automatic Bulleted Lists."

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 |  Last updated January 30, 2014

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