User:Rewood/Microsoft Word for Windows XP

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What is Microsoft Word?

Microsoft Word is the universal text editing program on Windows machines everywhere. Word is a part of the Microsoft Office Suite which includes Excel, Access, and PowerPoint among other things and is commonly distributed with Outlook.

Starting Word

To open Word, consider the type of machine you are on. First try going to the Start Menu in the lower left hand corner. Select 'Programs'. Move down in the list of Applications until you find Word. Click once. If you have a Window with applications displayed (the Novell Application Launcher) on your machine, browse through "All" or look under "Unity Applications" and the Office Applications menu. Word should be listed there along with other Microsoft Office applications.


Once Word is open you should automatically be taken into a blank file. In newer versions, a window will appear on the right asking you if you would like to open an existing file and usually display some of the most recent files you have worked on. This window can be closed by clicking on the 'x' in the upper right had corner. The default Word environment has a toolbar at the top of the page which will allow the user to choose from several quick options.

  • Open a new document
  • Open a saved document
  • Save the current file
  • Search the document
  • Print the document
  • Print Preview
  • Spell and Grammar Check the Document
  • Cut- Copy- Paste Undo- Redo
  • Insert a Link
  • Insert a Table
  • Insert an Excel Spreadsheet
  • Create Columns

In addition, there are several options for adjusting the text. There is a window that displays the currently selected font. The window next to it displays the currently selected font size. There are also options for Bold, Italics and Underlining.

Additional Toolbar options:

  • Align Text left
  • Align Text Center
  • Align Text Right
  • Justify
  • Insert Numbering
  • Insert Bullets
  • Increase Indenting
  • Decrease Indenting
  • Line Spacing
  • Draw
  • Adjust Text color
  • Adjust background color
  • … and more.

If you would like to add items to your toolbar you have the option by clicking on the double arrows at the far right end of the taskbar. The options listed above appear by default as part of the Standard and Formatting toolbar's, however, there are many other toolbars you can use. Some will appear when you add objects they apply to, such as the 'Tables and Borders' toolbar and the 'Word Art' toolbar. They can be extremely handy, so do not be afraid to play with them.

You may notice that not all toolbars open at the top of the screen, below the menus. Some toolbars open at the bottom of the screen and others appear in their own boxes at random locations in the Word screen. These toolbars can be moved and managed by clicking on the menu bar or at the edge of the toolbar as shown below.

Getting the Basics

If you choose, you can simply begin typing. If you need to open an existing document, please go to 'File', then 'Open'. You should get a browser window that, among other things, lists all files that can be opened in Word. Files accessible in Word include all files with a .doc extension. Word will also read .txt or text files and later versions of Word can open other files such as .html (webpage's).

When trying to find a file to be opened in Word, be sure that you have checked the selected File Type. Word opens all of the following file types (in addition to the ones mentioned above):

  • Older versions of Word
  • WordPerfect
  • Address Book files
  • Excel Worksheets
  • Rich Text Format (WordPad)
  • Lotus
  • Works

There is also an option to retrieve the text from a selected file. Once you have the text you would like to work with you can begin using Word more fully. To add or remove text, simply place your cursor where you would like to work and type or delete. You can also choose to "Insert" When clicked once, that button will type over the text in its place as you type. Once clicked again, it text will default back to inserting the text before the following type. Please try this on your own to see the difference.

As you type, you may notice wavy red and green lines appearing under your text. The red lines indicate misspelled words. The green line indicates perceived incorrect grammar. To get assistance from Word in fixing these mistakes, please go to 'Tools' then 'Spelling and Grammar' (or hit F7 on your keyboard). Word will pop up with a wizard to help guide you to find correct spellings or grammar.


If you would like to apply a specific style to your document, Word has plenty of options. The 'double A' icon on the task bar will show you some Style Formatting options for the section of the document you are currently working in. To see more options for formatting the full document, click in the Format Menu. If you would like to see what Word will do to Format your document, click the 'Auto Format' button. In addition, there are separate menus for formatting fonts, borders and shading, numbering and paragraphs. To see what formatting has been applied to the document, click on 'Reveal Formatting'. This will cause a window to pop- up on the left- hand side of your Word screen. It will let you know what formatting is currently in place in each portion of your document. To make changes, simply click on the item (should be underlined and in blue).

When typing or adding lists or other objects to your paper you may notice a pop-up. This is the auto- complete function which, when clicked will attempt to take the next logical step. For example, if you have typed "1." and some text and then hit enter, auto- complete will attempt to put a "2.". To undo the auto- complete, click on the icon and choose from the appropriate menu. To make other auto- complete changes, go to 'Tools' then 'AutoCorrect Options'.

Insert Menu

When trying to add page numbers, header and footer information and pictures, go to the 'Insert' menu. This menu will allow you to add page numbers and assign where the numbers will be displayed. It will also allow you to insert page breaks, date ad time information and symbols such as the following: The Auto- Test menu allows you to add a great deal of important formalities, useful in many papers:

  • Attention Line
  • Closing
  • Mailing Instructions
  • Reference Line
  • Salutation
  • Personal Signature
  • Company Signature

It also includes the following header and footer options:

  • Author, Page number, date
  • Created by
  • Created on
  • Filename
  • File Path
  • Last print date/ time
  • Last save date/ time

The insert menu also has an option for "Picture" This menu has a great deal more options for objects to add besides pictures. This menu will let you insert and modify each of the following types of objects:

  • Chart
  • Organizational Chart
  • Custom Shapes
  • WordArt
  • Drawing space
  • Clip Art
  • Pictures from file
  • Pictures imported from scanner

Handy Tools

The Tools Menu has many useful options aside from the Spelling and Grammar check mentioned earlier. There is a Word count tool, options for protecting your document, and an Options menu, that allows you to customize many of the basic functions of Word. In addition, this is also where the Mail Merge option is.

Commonly used, Mail Merge will allow you to import information from another document, such as Excel, into a useful format in Word. For example, you can insert addresses listed in a spreadsheet onto a Word page to be printed onto an envelope. Under "Tools" and "Letters and Mailings" there are options for the Mail Merge Wizard, the Letters wizard, displaying the Mail Merge toolbar and 'Envelopes and Labels'.

When using the Mail Merge wizard, the user is given the option of working with any one of the following types of documents. The wizard will take you through the steps of deciding on a document, deciding how it will be used, finding or creating the source document with the information to be imported and finishing the document off. To close the wizard, click on the 'x' in the upper right hand corner. To find out more about the steps involved, click on the Step at the bottom of the wizard, displayed in blue.

Useful Tricks

If you want to reference an earlier section of the document, you can create a split. Simply go to the Window menu and click "Split". Once selected you can decide where you want the split on the Word screen and maneuver the document in the top and bottom sections of the screen.

Under "Tools" there is an option to Auto- Summarize. It can go through your document and find key words or statements and string them together. These sections will be highlighted and you can choose to use them (or not) to correctly summarize your paper. You can also choose to create an Executive summary of your document as part of your current document or in a whole new document. In the "View" menu there is and option for "Header and Footer". This will give you another alternative for customizing the information placed at the top and bottom of each individual page of your document.

In the "Format" menu, check out "Themes". These are preset themes that will apply certain styles, colors, backgrounds etc., to your entire document.

Saving and Printing

When saving your document you have a number of options. By clicking 'Save', Word will automatically assign a name, generally consisting of the first few words of the document, and save as a ".doc".

Alternately, you can choose the 'Save as' option and save the document as any of the following:

  • HTML
  • WordPerfect
  • Text
  • Rich Text Format
  • Different Word versions

When you plan to print, don't forget to first look at your document with Print Preview (there is an icon for this on the desktop). Print Preview is mainly useful for allowing you to look at all of your pages together, this will help you to see the layout of text and images and make changes if needed. You can choose to look at the pages one at a time or up to six at once. When you are ready to print, go to File- Print.

You may also choose to click on the Printer icon on your toolbar however, if a default printer is selected, the page will usually begin printing automatically. If not, you should have a window pop-up that will ask you where you want to print to.

On NCSU campus you may occasionally find that Acrobat Distiller is the default. If this is the case, please click on the drop down menu and select the printer you would like to use. This pop- up window has a great deal of other options as well. You can choose to print more than one page of the document per printed page, choose which pages of the document to print or choose how many copies.

If your document requires different paper, click on the "Options" button in the lower left hand corner. Along with more customization, there is an option for which printer tray (or manuel feed) you would like the document to print from.