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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.

Selection Techniques

Opening Multiple Documents

Save All and Close All

Viewing Two Parts of a Document Simultaneously

Double-Click for Hot Spot Dialog Boxes

Pick-up Where you Left Off Editing
Edit in Print Preview

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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Saving Time with Save All and Close All in Word

Two handy commands in Word are Save All and Close All. These commands are both located in the File Menu, but there is a trick to accessing them. Hold down the Shift Key then click on the File Menu.   Save becomes Save All and Close becomes Close All. This also works in Excel.

Save All: Word will automatically save all the modified documents and present the Save As dialog box for those that haven't been previously saved because of changes. Save leaves the file on the screen for further modifications.

Close All: Word will prompt a "save this document" dialog box for each document that needs to be saved before being closed. If the document has not been previously saved, the Save dialog box will appear. If a document has not been modified since its last save, Word will close that document.

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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. Click the Window Menu and 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 click the Window Menu and select 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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Pick Up Where you Left Off in Word

To pick-up where you left off editing a document, reopen the document and press Shift F5 before you do anything else. This shortcut executes a built-in Go Back Macro, which moves the insertion point to the recent editing location.


Edit in Print Preview

When you click the Print Preview Button on the Standard Toolbar or chose Print Preview from the File menu, you see the document as it would appear printed.  What if you find something you want to change? You don't have to leave Print Preview to fix it.

  1. Click within the text area you want to edit, this will enlarge your view.

  2. Click the Magnifier on the Preview Toolbar.

  3. The pointer now changes from a magnifying glass to an I-beam.

  4. Move the blinking cursor to the area that needs to be corrected.  Edit as you would in a normal Word document.  All Word commands are available through the menus.

  5. To return to the Preview mode, click the Magnifier Button and then click the document page.

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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. Select Options from the Tools Menu.

  2. Select the Spelling and Grammar tab.

  3. Remove the check mark from the "Check spelling as you type" and "Check Grammar as you type.

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. Select Auto Correct from the Tools Menu.

  2. Select Auto Format as You Type tab.

  3. Remove the check marks for "Automatic bulleted lists" and "Automatic numbered lists."

  4. Select the Auto Format tab.

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

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 |  Last updated January 10, 2013

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