Productivity Boost : 11 Time-Saving Microsoft Word Hacks

Lesser-known but highly effective tricks to make Word you new best work friend.

Image sourced from IFC.

Microsoft Word tips? I know what you’re thinking: Is it 2002 again? Am I back in my primary school’s IT class?

No- we’re most definitely in 2017. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that Microsoft’s software is a relic of the past lost in memory lane. In fact, its used by over 1.2 billion people worldwide. Most likely, including you too.

While most might look at the program as a familiar annoyance that’s been around since your primary school days, you can get some serious amounts of work done with it quickly if you know how to use it correctly. And no, I don’t mean knowing how to create columns, change fonts, or change text size.

Here are 11 lesser-known but highly effective tricks to make Word you new best work friend.

1. Don’t Waste Time Formatting Everytime

You don’t have to waste another minute playing with every style feature for every doc you create. Instead, save your favourite formatting so you can easily apply “Quick Styles” to any text in just seconds.

Here’s How

2. Cut And Paste Different Sections of Text

Usually you can only work with one text selection at a time. And that can be frustrating if you’re moving a lot of text around. But, with Word’s “spike” function, you can collect several selections and paste them all at once to a new location. Less scrolling, more working!

Here’s How 

3. Stop Wondering Why Your Formatting Isn’t Showing Up Right

Save yourself from those I’m-gonna-smash-this-computer moments by showing formatting marks. Then you’ll see where every space, tab, paragraph (and so on) really is so you can weed out what you don’t want. Because who hasn’t gone crazy at automated double-spacing that you didn’t sign up for?

Here’s How

4. Control Auto-Corrections

One of the most common complaints I hear from users is that they can’t stop their computer from changing certain things they type. It’s meant to be helpful, but you don’t always want three dashes turned into a horizontal line or bullet points for every list. End those “argh” moments by turning off automatic formatting.

Here’s How 

5. Collaborate With Others Simultaneously

If you’re also a Google Docs user, you know how handy it is to be able to edit a document simultaneously with your co-workers. Word 2016 keeps a copy of your work in the cloud so you can “co-author” with other people even at the same time. Plus, you’ll be able to access it from different devices so you can edit it from any device.

Here’s How

6. View Two Docs Side-by-Side for Comparison

When you need to look at two documents compared to each other, you could always open them in two separate windows. But, use this trick and you’ll be able to “sync” the text of both so that they scroll together—making your checking easier than ever.

Here’s How

7. Do More in Less Time

How about making your own keyboard shortcuts for any task you do repeatedly? You can assign (or change) shortcuts to any functions that don’t have one already. Your whole life could be as easy as copy/paste is for you right now.

Here’s How

8. Get More Information About Your Current Doc Right Now

One useful feature of modern Word is the status bar at the bottom. You’ve probably noticed it, but also noticed the info there hasn’t been so helpful for you. By customising it, you’ll see exactly what you need to know.

Here’s How

9. Stop Typing the Same Words Over and Over

Your computer’s a powerful beast, so put it to work and save yourself precious keystrokes by having certain phrases or even whole sentences or paragraphs ready to be inserted anytime, anywhere.

Here’s How

10. Keep Certain Docs Readily Available

Why not tailor your “Recent Docs” list to show the ones that you need most often? That means less time searching for file names you can’t quite remember and more time actually in the document you need to utilise.

Here’s How

11. Know If Your Content’s Right for Your Readers

This is one (fast) way to find out how easy your text is to understand. That way, you can be 100% sure it’s appropriate for your audience.

Here’s How

There’s a reason Microsoft has kept its place as an important productivity tool all these years. And now you can get the most out of it with these tips to do your work faster (and with a whole lot less frustration).


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