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3 Great Tips for Using Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a wonderfully powerful and efficient program, but sometimes accessing that power is not as simple or intuitive as you would hope.  It’s really frustrating when you just know you should be able to accomplish a certain task with the software, but you just can’t figure it out.  Sometimes, even using the Help feature from within the program isn’t much help.  I’ve been using Microsoft Word for many years, and I’ve trained others to use this beautiful piece of software.  I would like to share with you 3 useful tips for getting the most of your Microsoft Word experience.

Creating Lists with Bullets and Numbers

  • Type your list and press [Enter] at the end of each item in your list.  If your information runs onto the next line, just let it run and don’t press [Enter] at the end of the first line
  • Select the list. Using your mouse, highlight all the text in your lists.  Once it is highlighted, look up in the toolbar and click on either the bullet list or the number list icon.  These icons have 3 little short lines with either small dots or numbers on the right side.
  • If you decide to switch from bullets to numbers, just highlight the area again, and click on the other icon.

Changing the bullets to another character – Sometimes you may not be satisfied with that plain little black dot and you want to make your bullet points more interesting.  No problem!

  • Look on your menu options along the top of your page.  You’ll see one labeled “Format.”
  • Click on “Format” and choose “Bullets and Numbering.”
  • Make sure the Bullets tab is selected.
  • Select one of the bullet styles that are available.
  • If you’re not happy with any of the styles shown, just click on one of the styles shown, then click on “Customize.”  You will be shown some different options. Some fonts are little graphics that can be used, or you can choose a character, a symbol, or even an appropriately sized picture.
  • When you’re finished selecting the bullet you like, just click on OK.

Changing the formatting of a word every time it appears – If you’ve used a particular word more than once in a document, and you have a reason to change the formatting, it’s easy to do when you use the “Find and Replace” tool.  Let’s say you want to change the color of a word each time it appears, or you want to make the font bold, or make it ALL CAPS, then is the tip for you.

  • Make sure you are at the very beginning of your document.
  • Press [Ctrl+H] and this will bring up the Replace tab in your “Find and Replace” tool.
  • The Find What and the Replace With boxes should be empty.
  • Enter the word you want to find in the “Find What” box.
  • Press the Tab key to move to the “Replace With” box. If you are simply changing the formatting and not changing the words(s), then put the same word in the “Replace With” box.
  • Click on “Format” at the bottom of the box.  If you don’t see it, click on “More” and your options will be expanded.  Make the changes from the formatting menu.  You can change the font, the font color, size, and many other options that you will see listed.
  • When you’re finished with your changes, click OK.
  • To complete things, click “Replace All.”

If you need help with any of the Microsoft Office products, click here for a 10-page FREE report on Office Tips and Tricks.


Please leave a comment and tell me what you struggle with most in Microsoft Office products.