You have to create an important document for work or university; what is the first thing you do? Open a word processor, of course. And of all those out there, Microsoft Word is the gold standard.
However, even regular Word users may not realize how powerful the application is or how many Microsoft Word tricks and features there are beyond the simple editing commands we all know.
Taking some time to explore the darker corners of Word can make the program even more useful. When you discover all these tricks and start using them, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.
Do you want to know all the tricks and shortcuts that Microsoft Word can offer? Here are 18 of our favourite Microsoft Word tricks and features that can save you time and energy while you work!
Microsoft Word tricks and features to get the most out of it
1. Recover an unsaved document
There are different ways to retrieve these types of documents.
When you start Word again, the program searches for AutoRecover files and then displays the data in the Document Recovery task pane. From there, we can reopen and save them.
However, if you don’t find your document, you can always look for it in temporary files. The steps to follow are as follows: Click on the “File” tab in the upper left corner, then click on “Manage Document” and select “Recover Unsaved Documents” from the drop-down list.
If it has been a recent loss, it should appear there. It only remains to open the recovered File and save it.
2. Create an automatic backup of the document
In this section, we will see how with a few simple steps, you can create an automatic backup, thus guaranteeing that you will never lose information.
To do this, follow these steps: File > Options > Advanced > Search. Within this, you must look for the option «Always create a backup.» You accept the changes, and from that moment on, whenever you save changes to a Word document, a backup copy of the document will be made automatically.
3. Translate a document
With this tool, you can translate all the text or part of it into another language. To do this, click on “Review” from the top ribbon and then “Translate.” A small drop-down menu opens where you can choose to translate a selection of text or the entire document.
We can also access this option by selecting the text and then pressing the right mouse button; in this drop-down, we find the translate option. In the menu on the right, the language of the text is automatically detected and translated into the default language.
4. Use smart search
Being Office 365, a connected office suite, it offers us some very advantageous options from Word itself. An example is searching for terms in Bing without leaving the document.
To do this, select the Word and click the right mouse button. In the menu that appears, we choose the smart search option. On the right, a menu opens where the Word’s meaning and other search options appear.
5. Find synonyms quickly
When writing a text, using the exact Word several times is common. It is enough to use a synonym to prevent our documents from being repetitive.
You can do this search without leaving Word. To do this, you must right-click on the Word and hover over the synonyms option. This is how some of them will appear. You can also click to bring up a panel on the right that shows us all the available synonyms in list format.
6. Create random filler texts
Sometimes when we create a template and want to know what the final result will look like, we may need some filler text. Word itself offers you the possibility of generating it through two different options.
When we type at the beginning of a line =rand() and press Enter, the program will automatically create a text of five paragraphs with a variable number of sentences. If we write two numbers separated by a comma inside the parentheses, we can modify the text that appears. The first number establishes the number of paragraphs that will be generated, and the second, the sentences that each one will have.
With this option, the text will be in the default language of Word.
Similarly, the =lorem() command works when we type it at the beginning of a line and press Enter. The difference lies in the language of the text; in this case, it will always be in English.
7. Protect a document with a password
Another of the tricks and functions of Microsoft Word that ensures that only whoever you choose can read the content of your document is to protect it with a password. To do this, click on File> Information> Protect document when saving the document. Different options appear within this drop-down; click on encrypt with password.
8. Remove text formatting
Sometimes, when we work on a text document, we include paragraphs obtained from the Internet or other documents with a different format than the one we are using. To avoid having to go through the entire document looking for parts with different fonts or are in bold, etc., it is quickest to remove all formatting from the text. To do this, select the text, click on “Start,” choose the option “Clear all formatting” to remove the formatting, and be able to apply your style from scratch.
9. Move paragraphs without affecting the document
Restructuring a document quickly is possible if, on the top toolbar, we click on “View” and then on “Outline.”
We see that the layout of the document changes, showing a view in outline mode where each paragraph is marked with a circle; this allows us to move it without any effort. When you finish configuring the text, press “close outline view.”
10. Customize your autocorrect
Word has a built-in autocorrect that automatically fixes some recurring misspellings. You can configure this tool by adding other mistakes that you make regularly.
To do this, press File > Options > Proofing > AutoCorrect Options. A window will open where you can automatically add new words you want to replace as you type.
11. Add a watermark
Adding a watermark has a double function. On the one hand, it gives a more professional look to the text file you have created. And at the same time, it is also very useful to prevent others from appropriating the document’s authorship.
To do this, click Page Layout > Page Background > Watermark on the top ribbon.
You can choose between the default options or even add others.
12. Convert a PDF to Word
A systematic search on the Internet for many years now is how to edit the content of a document in PDF format. You can find many pages on the Internet that perform this function in a few minutes. What you may not know is that Microsoft Word also has this option. In a very simple way, you can open a document in PDF format as if it were a text document and work on it. Click “File,” “Open,” and select the PDF.
When you open it, Word will show you a message indicating that the conversion may take a while. You have to click accept, and the conversion process will be ready in a few minutes.
13. Save your Word document as a PDF
As in the previous section, Word allows us to save our Files in PDF format without resorting to other tools.
In this case, the process is extremely simple; you have to go to File> Save as> This PC. You can name your document from here and select the format you want to save it in. This is one of the most useful Microsoft Word tricks and features that not everyone knows.
14. Sign any document
Your most important forms may require a form. Thanks to this feature, you can draw a signature using Word and add it to any document.
To do this, in the top bar, click Insert > Shapes. Within Shapes in the “Lines” section, you must click on the icon on the far right, allowing you to draw freely. You will be able to write your signature, and once finished, it will become an image that you can move and resize.
Drawing it with the mouse can be a bit awkward, but you can do it better if you have a touch screen or tablet.
15. The dictation tool to write by speaking
This is one of the most useful Microsoft Word tricks and features that not everyone knows. With the “Dictate” button at the top right of the “Start” menu in Word, you can easily convert your speech into words. This is great for taking quick notes or transcribing interviews.
16. “Focus” mode can save you from distractions while you work
Writing with Word means working on your computer, which means having access to the Internet and many other distractions. Thanks to Word’s “Focus” mode, that is why you can concentrate only on your writing.
This mode puts your document on full screen and removes all buttons, leaving only the screen. To set this tool, click on “View” at the top of the screen and then on “Focus.”
17. Use pre-made templates to save time
Instead of starting from scratch when creating a resume, menu, brochure, or other projects, you can use a Word template. These templates are provided by Microsoft and are set up so you can start editing right away.
You will see templates appear every time you create a new document. To use one, click on the one you want. You can also use the search bar to find new templates beyond the pre-installed set.
You also have the option to create a custom template for your most common projects.
18. Basic keyboard shortcuts and customization
Word has many keyboard shortcuts used to carry out various actions within the program and increase our efficiency.
- CTRL + C: Copy
- CTRL + V: Paste
- CTRL + E: Select all the text
- CTRL + J: Justify the text to the right and left
- CTRL + P: Print
- CTRL + U: Open a new blank document
- CTRL + space: Remove formatting from selected text
- CTRL + Alt + O: Insert a footnote
- CTRL + Alt + I: Print
Adding others is always a good option, customizing them to assign the combination of keys we want.
The process is as follows: File > Options > Customize Actions Ribbon. Then you have to click on the Customize button that appears below the list of available commands.
To continue improving the productivity of your work and your collaborative environment, you can rely on other Microsoft tools, such as Microsoft TO-DO, Microsoft 365, and Microsoft Teams.
Also Read: How To Put Password To Word And Excel Files