A tool as complete as Word allows you to customize its menus so that you have closer to the functions you usually use in your day today. Surely most of them would sound to you, but you didn’t use them either because you didn’t know how to put them into practice or you couldn’t configure them to your liking.
These essential functions must include many more that make Microsoft Word, with its defects, a professional tool that aims to cover all the needs in terms of writing and layout of texts. Today we will focus on aspects of Word that will help us work faster, saving time and effort in applying changes to our documents that can be applied with a few mouse clicks.
By default, Microsoft Word has its own format (text alignment, size and font …). The inertia is to change the format after writing the document, either by selecting all the text (CTRL + A) and applying the changes (size, font, aligned, line spacing if necessary, etc.) or by hand, selecting several paragraphs, then a subtitle, and so on.
But if we have our own aesthetic tastes and we use them regularly, why not configure Word to work as we want and not with its default settings?
First, you can change the default font of new documents. As simple as going to the Font dialogue box, select the font and size we want and click on the Set as default button. Word will ask if you want to apply that change to the open document or to all the blank documents that you open from now on.
From here, thanks to the styles of Word we can configure typographic combinations to apply several changes to different pieces of text with a single mouse click.
By default, Word already has its styles (Normal, Title 1, Title 2, paragraph, etc.). By right-clicking on the style gallery and left-clicking on Modify … a dialogue box will open to configure each of the existing styles and include new ones with the name you want.
The styles allow you to apply a specific format (font, size, alignment, line spacing, etc.) in a selected text faster than if you had to change all attributes by hand.
As in the case of the default font, you will be asked if you want to apply the style changes to that document or to everyone you create from that moment.
In addition to having our own preferences regarding the text format, surely on many occasions, we create the same type of document where many fields, titles or notes are repeated, especially in the case of legal or bureaucratic forms or texts.
Why write again the redundant fragments or copy them from an old text if we can create our own templates, that is, preconfigured documents where we just have to add the new text.
To create a new template we just have to create a normal and current document, apply how much we need to use repeatedly in subsequent documents and, once everything is ready, Save as and Templates. You indicate a name that will help you find it easily and then configure it as a Word template if it does not come by default.
Each time you create a new document from the template, it will remain saved as such but your new document will already include the content you previously configured. In addition, you can alter it for specific cases, especially in the case of dates or data that change in each document.
Letters, reports, newsletters, meeting summaries … With the templates, you will save time and get your periodic documents to have a homogeneous and professional design.
Search for and replace
The Search and replace function, in addition to being essential if you want to master Microsoft Word, will prevent you from spending excessive time looking for errors when writing a wrong name or date that is repeated in the document.
From Edit,> Search and replace (CTRL + H) you can search and, if appropriate, apply the change from a single dialogue box.
But Search and replace does not stop there. It also allows you to search for images, tables, comments and any content that you have included in the document. If the document is hundreds of pages, this function will be very useful.
From Edit> Search you will see the search box. In the magnifying glass icon, you can filter by type of content you are looking for, and thus streamline the results: graphs, tables, equations, notes, comments …
Search and replace also allows you to find specific formats in case you don’t see them with the naked eye and want to change them. Edit> Search and replace and in the search box, click More >>> and according to the options you choose from font, size or style, you will get the desired results.