Basic concepts

6. Make changes, fix mistakes, edit your document

Basics of editing in Microsoft Word: how to add, delete, change, copy, move and format text. How to find and replace text. How to check spelling and grammar.

7. Use page numbering and let the text flow from page to page

Don't type in page numbers by hand! How to get Microsoft Word to put page numbers in your document automatically.

8. Print your document

Basic guide to printing your Word document.

Basic concepts of Microsoft Word: An introduction

This page, and those that follow from it, present the Basic Concepts of using Microsoft Word. For new and experienced Word users.

1. Start typing your new document

Basic steps in creating a new Word document and entering simple text.

2. Rules for typing in Word

Three rules for typing in a Word document. Within a paragraph, just keep typing. Press Enter only once at the end of every paragraph. Use the spacebar only once at the end of each sentence.

3. Use styles to format text

Formatting text in Microsoft Word. How to use Word styles to format text in Word.

2.1 Why you should not press Enter at the end of every line

When typing in a Word document, don't press the Enter key at the end of every line. This page explains why.

2.2 Why you should press Enter only once to end a paragraph

When typing in a Word document, press Enter only once to end a paragraph. This page explains why.

2.3 Why you should use one space after each sentence

When typing in a Word document, press the spacebar only once at the end of each sentence. This page explains why.

4. In Microsoft Word, use tables and tabs to arrange text

Don't use the spacebar in Microsoft Word to position text. In Word, it's often easier to use a table to lay out text in columns.


How to control bullets in Microsoft Word 2000, 2002 and 2003

In Word 2000, 2002 and 2003, you can control bullets by using the built-in List Bullet styles. This page explains how to use the List Bullet styles to get reliable bullets that you can control.

How to control bullets in Word 2007 and Word 2010

In Word 2007 and Word 2010, you can control bullets by creating a list style, and then attaching the 5 built-in List Bullet paragraph styles to the list style. This page explains how to create your list style, how to attach the built-in List Bullet paragraph styles, and how to use them to get reliable bullets that you can control.

How to control bullets in Microsoft Word

Overview of how to control bullets in Microsoft Word.


Design Mode in Word 2007 and Word 2010: How to detect it and turn it on and off

Word 2007 and Word 2010 have a 'Design mode' button for editing content controls. .FormsDesign and .ToggleFormsDesign detect or toggle Design mode.

Word VBA resources

A list of tools, add-ins, websites and books for Word developers. Most apply whether you are using VBA, .NET or other languages to access the Word object model.

How to detect whether a Word COM Add-in is connected and, if not, load it

Word's object model provides a COMAddIns collection of COMAddIn objects. In theory, the .Connect property of a COMAddIn object should tell you whether the add-in is connected and/or allow you to load it. In practice, not so.

Creating images to customize the Ribbon in Word 2007 and Word 2010

For graphic designers: what kind of image is required for use as a custom image when customizing the Ribbon in Microsoft Word 2007 and Word 2010?

Word.Application.Options.LabelSmartTags doesn’t work in Word 2010. But there is a workaround.

In Word 2010, Smart Tags are re-named as Actions, and are deprecated. The user can still turn on the recognition of Actions but we can no longer read or write the corresponding option in the object model. This article proposeds a workaround.

Selecting or referring to a page in the Word object model

It's common to feel that you need to cycle through all the pages in a Word document and perform some processing on each page. This article discusses why it's not possible for developers to refer to a printed page using the Word object model, and some workarounds.

How to create a ribbon button to show the Signatures pane in Word

The FileViewDigitalSignatures command in Word is broken. But you can work around this by creating a custom button on the ribbon to display the Signatures task pane directly.


Border basics for developers

What borders are available for which style types? How can I format line style, weight and colour of borders?

“Letters are missing in my watermark when I print”

Does your watermark in Word look fine on screen, but print as "D AFT" instead of "DRAFT"? Or "CON IDE TI L"? This article explains how to avoid watermarks losing some letters when they print.

Hyperlinks: different colours for text and underline in Microsoft Word

When you create a hyperlink in Microsoft Word, you can't have different colours for text and underline. It's a bug. Here's one (poor) workaround.

Change the colour or remove the underline from hyperlinks in Microsoft Word

How to format hyperlinks in a Microsoft Word document to remove the underline, or change the colour (or the color!).


Page (that is, section) borders

How to control page borders (which are actually section borders).

How to create a glossary in Microsoft Word

Word has no built-in mechanism to create glossaries. This article describes several methods for creating a glossary using Word's built-in features.

Managing pagination (or, avoiding page breaks where you don’t want them)

How to get the page breaks you want in a Microsoft Word document---and how to avoid page breaks where you don't want them.

Is your image slipping? How to get your images to stand still

Word has two ways to position an image: floating and inline. Most problems with images occur because the image is floating when it should be in line. This article explains how to identify whether an image is floating or inline, and how to format your image as floating or inline.

Managing Word

How to get Word to automatically fill the Edit > Find and Edit > Replace boxes with the selected text

When you do Edit > Find, Word remembers the text you last searched for. I'd like Word to default the 'Find' text to the text I've selected in the document.

Asking questions, getting help

4 ways to get free information about how to use Word.

Complete Word Count

The CompleteWordCount add‑in allows you to see a full word count for the different areas of your document.

What version of Word do I have?

Start up Microsoft Word. Compare these pictures to Word running on your computer to find out what version of Word you have.

Word 2007 and Word 2010: Ribbon tutorial

Get to know the new Ribbon in Microsoft Word 2007 and Word 2010. Info on how it works, what's new, and what to look out for.

Numbering, headings, outlines

How to create numbered headings or outline numbering in Word 2003 and earlier versions

Don't use Format > Bullets & Numbering. It's not what you need. How to set up reliable, robust heading or outline numbering in Word 2003 and earlier versions.

Why use Microsoft Word’s built-in heading styles?

16 reasons to use Word's built-in heading styles. Word's built-in heading styles have "magic" properties that you can't recreate in custom styles.

How to create numbered headings or outline numbering

How to set up numbered headings or outline numbering in Word.

How to create a table of contents in Microsoft Word

Two easy steps to creating a table of contents in a Microsoft Word document. Plus: how to customize your table of contents so it looks just as you want. And, 10 tips about Word tables of contents.

How to use the Document Map in Microsoft Word

The Document Map shows an overview of your Word document. It lets you navigate rapidly. It's most useful when you're working on a big document. Here's how.

Sharing documents

How do I control how a Word document opens from the internet or an intranet?

Microsoft Word does not control how a Word document displays in Internet Explorer. It's a Windows thing. Use the File Types command within Windows to control how a Word document displays in Internet Explorer.

How to use the Reviewing Toolbar in Microsoft Word 2002 and Word 2003

If you're using track changes in Microsoft Word, use the Reviewing Toolbar to control the display of tracked changes and comments. For Word 2002 and Word 2003.

How tracked changes have made businesses and government look foolish

Examples of businesses and governments that published documents containing tracked changes that they didn't want to be public!

Hints for producing academic papers that you have to submit in soft copy

Students in universities and colleges sometimes submit assignments, research papers and essays as a Microsoft Word document. This page provides some hints for how to do this most effectively.

What happens when I send my document to someone else? Will Word mess up my formatting?

Myths, urban legends, misunderstandings and confusion reign. Don't save your document if the 'Automatically update document styles' box in the Templates and Add-Ins dialog is ticked. If that box is not ticked then Word will not mess up your formatting if you send your document to someone else.

Editing a document that someone else has prepared: 6 tips for managers

Even if you don't create many Word documents, you may edit documents your team members have created. 6 tips on how to edit a document someone else prepared.

How does Track Changes in Microsoft Word work?

There are four steps to tracking changes: 1. Tell Word to track changes. 2. Tell Word to display Tracked Changes. 3. Tell Word how to display Tracked Changes. 4. Tell Word to accept or reject the changes This page explains how.


How Paste Options works in Microsoft Word 2002 and 2003

In Word 2002 and 2003 you sometimes see a clipboard thingy with a drop down list every time you paste text. What is it? What does it do? How to use it.

Why I don’t use Custom Table Styles in Microsoft Word 2002 and 2003

In Microsoft Word 2002 and Word 2003, I've given up trying to use Table Styles for professional documentation. This page explains why.

How the Styles and Formatting pane works in Microsoft Word 2002 and 2003

All about the Word 2002 and Word 2003 Styles and Formatting pane. What it shows you (and what it doesn't). How to decipher its symbols strange text.

Why does Word sometimes override bold and italics when I apply a paragraph style, but sometimes it does not?

If you apply a style to a paragraph, and less than half the text in the paragraph has direct formatting, then Word retains the direct formatting. If you apply a style to a paragraph, and more than half the text in the paragraph has direct formatting, then the style overrides the direct formatting.

How styles in Microsoft Word cascade

A Word style can be based on another style. A style inherits the format of its parent. This gives you powerful control over the format of your document.

How to reinstate the Styles combo box in Microsoft Word 2007 and Word 2010

Customize the Quick Access Toolbar to display the Styles combo box. It shows what style has been applied to the selected text as you move around your document.

Borders in character and paragraph styles

How to control borders in Character and Paragraph styles. Includes bugs, annoyances and limitations.

Tips for Understanding Styles in Word

Using styles in Microsoft Word is the best way to create consistent, well-formatted documents. In Word, a style is a collection of formatting instructions. Typically, a style is associated with a structural element of the document. For example: Title, Caption, Body Text, Footnote.

How to apply a style in Microsoft Word

15 ways to apply a style using the mouse or the keyboard in Microsoft Word.

The basic way to format text in Word is to apply a style: A Tip for managers

For managers: Word formats everything with styles. Controlling the format of Word documents using styles increases both productivity and consistency.

How to detect frames in paragraph styles

In the user interface, it is obvious if a paragraph style has a frame. It's not so obvious in the Word object model. There is no built-in method to determine whether a style has a Frame. This article identifies one possible way around this problem.

Shading (ie background colour) in table styles

For developers: how to set the background colour in a table style using the Microsoft Word object model. There are 7 ways to set shading (ie background or foreground colour) on elements of a table style in Microsoft Word. Most don't work. This article describes what does seem to work, and identifies the bugs and annoyances in setting shading in table styles.

4 ways to control page breaks within tables and table styles (for developers)

For developers: How to prevent a whole table, or just one or more rows, from breaking across a page. The Microsoft Word object model has 4 ways to manage, or prevent, tables from breaking across a page. Some of them work.

Borders in table styles

What borders are available for table styles, how to control them, and how to avoid the bugs and inconsistencies in the Word object model.

Background and foreground: Shading in paragraph styles

For developers: The background colour in a paragraph style is controlled through the Shading object. It manages background and foreground colour and texture. The Word object model is straight-forward, but you need to choose the right texture as well as the background and foreground colours.


What is the relationship between a Microsoft Word document and its template?

Describes how a document is based on a template, what effect the template has when a new document is created, and what role the template plays when a document is being edited.

What happens when I attach a new template to my document? or How do I copy content and settings from a template to a document?

You can attach a new template to a document. But when you do so, you might not get the results you expect. This article explains what happens when you attach a template to a document, and how to achieve what you may think should have happened.

How to save a Word document as a template

If you save a Word document as a template, your template will start life with all the accumulated baggage and garbage that the document had acquired. Here is how to create a pristine, clean, new Word template in Word 2007 or Word 2010.

Specifying cover images for Microsoft Word templates

For graphic designers: about the best size and format to supply front and back cover images to be used in a Word template.

Front cover images in Microsoft Word report templates

In a Microsoft Word template for a business report we often need a front cover with a big image and text overlaying the image. How to do it and traps to avoid.

Word and Excel