Our tips on MS-Word make your life easier and increase your productivity at work.

Microsoft Word Tips and Tricks to Increase Productivity

I understand the small and big problems you face in your daily work when using Microsoft Word. Here I am presenting solutions for these day-to-day MS Word problems in simple and illustrated fashion. If you don’t find solution to your problem in the articles listed below, please feel free to ask me a question in the comment section. These Microsoft Word tips and tricks are important as they increase your productivity in office. Also, in my experience, these tips save you time to easily grab a cup of coffee! :-)

Quick Tips
  • To select an entire paragraph make three rapid clicks anywhere in the paragraph
  • Ctrl + click selects sentence. Click anywhere in a sentence while holding Ctrl key down will select the sentence
  • To create a horizontal line type 3 hyphens and then press Enter
  • Ctrl+ makes a word subscript and Ctrl Shift + makes a word superscript
  • Pressing backspace while holding Ctrl key down deletes the preceding word
  • USe Format Painter feature to quickly apply a particular format to a new area.
  • Typing =rand(8,10) and then pressing Enter will automatically generate random text you can use for testing the page formatting, fonts, etc.
  • To move cursor to the location where it was when you last save the document press Shift + F5
  • Select some text -now if you will press Ctrl + Shift + > the font size of the selected text will increase. To decrease the font size use Ctrl + Shift + < combination
  • To quickly create a table type a plus sign (+) then press Tab key; again type a plus and again press Tab key; do this as many times as the number of cells you want in your table. Then press Enter. And table shall appear!

These tips on Microsoft Word make your life easier and increase your productivity at work.

Learn how to save images from MS Word document. If document has a lot of image inserted in it and you need them as separate files, you can easily save them all with this method.

Learn how to find and replace images in an MS-Word document. With this method you can select and replace all the images in a document in one go.

Registered trademark symbol (®) is distinct from trademark sign ™ and service mark ℠. There are several methods to type it in computer.

Legal use of various Trademark Symbols, differences among trademark, registered trademark and copyright symbols. Also know how to type trademark sign in MS Word.

Copyright symbol © can be easily typed and inserted in MS Word, MS Excel, Windows Notepad, Apple Mac, HTML, JavaScript and plain text etc. Learn how to type it this symbol of legal importance to protect your intellectual property. Press Alt key and then type 0169 on NumPad of your computer. Alt + 0169 is the shortcut for typing © symbol.

Learn how to type degree symbol in MS Word, Excel, HTML and Unicode. Inserting degree sign in documents is often required while typing temperatures, angles, coordinates etc. The easiest method of typing degree symbol in MS Word is to use the key combination of Ctrl+Shift+@ and then press space bar.

Learn to create strikethrough shortcut key for MS Word, MS Excel, MS Outlook etc. Microsoft doesn’t provide any built-in key combination for the strike through command.

It is easy to change default font style, size, color etc. in all the MS Word documents. You can edit normal.dot template file with the click of a button.

“When you open a new document, its style is based on a template called normal.dot. Whatever styles and formatting are set in normal.dot template —the same gets applied on all the new documents. Earlier, it was possible to open normal.dot template and make changes. But now, even better, you can edit this template without even opening it.”

An MS Word document can be split so as to display two copies with independent scroll bars. It is useful in tasks like editing and tallying in large documents.

“Remember, once the document is split, some of your actions will apply to the copy which is active at that moment. To activate a copy, just click anywhere inside it. However, any editing or formatting will affect both the copies. For example, if you make some text bold in the upper copy –the same text will become bold in the lower copy as well”

An MS-Word document split into two copies.

Now you can type anywhere in an MS Word document. No need to keep pressing space bar to position typing cursor. This feature is available in Office XP and above.

“With this feature, Microsoft intended to imitate a paper sheet in MS-Word. You can write on a paper sheet wherever you want. Now you can do the same in your computer as well. Say good bye to position text with the help of spaces!”

Learn how to remove red / green underlines showing spelling and grammar mistakes in an MS Word document. These zigzag lines show errors. You can remove all the error indicating lines in one go for a particular document.

“This method is useful because it hides spelling / grammar errors only in a particular document. It does not completely switch off the spell checker. Spell checker will duly show errors in all other existing and new documents that you’ll create.”

Filling dummy sample text as placeholder in an MS-Word document is a very common requirement. Learn how to use rand & lorem functions to insert text easily.

“As soon as you’ll type this and hit space or enter –three paragraphs of sample text (with four lines in each para) will appear in place of this command. You can even control the number of paragraphs to be inserted and number of lines in each paragraph.”

For many people it is useful if open the most recently used document automatically opens when they launch MS-Word. It’s easy enough to do, let’s see how.

“A box will pop-up and it will ask you to browse or type the location of the file to be opened. In this case we want to open winword.exe (this is the file that launches MS-Word). Click on Browse button and go to the location where this file is located. Once you find it, select this file and click OK button. Usually this file is located in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office folder.”

Learn how to quickly move to the most recent (last) location in an MS-Word document where you were editing. SHIFT+F5 key combination can help you.

“for example, lets say, at present you are on page number 14 in your document and need to paste a paragraph here. The paragraph to be copied is present in the same document on page number 347. You will move to page 347 and copy the paragraph. But is there is a way for returning back to the page where you were working (i.e. page 14)? Yes, there is a way!.”

MS-Word has a feature that enables you to hold more than one data pieces in clipboard and then paste all of them in one go. This is cut paste extended!

“Regular clipboard can hold only one piece of text or image at any given time. When you copy another piece of data –it overwrites the data that was already there in clipboard. This is where Spike comes into the picture. It is an extended clipboard which can hold multiple pieces of data. Therefore, in case of Spike, incoming data pieces do not overwrite the existing data.”

Learn how to type, insert or add the Indian Rupee (indicated as INR or Rs) symbol in HTML, MS Word, Excel or text document using Unicode. You can add Indian currency Unicode symbol on computers with Indic language support.

“Indian government launched new symbol for the Indian currency on 15 July 2010. Earlier, a more general Rs. Symbol was used to indicate Indian Rupee (INR). From the word processing point of view it was much easier to type it because both the constituent characters (i.e. R and s) were available on English keyboard.”

Learn to select free form rectangular arbitrary block in MS Word. You can select a vertical area and also begin selection in the middle of a line.

“Selection of text is one of the most basic task in MS-Word. You can issue a lot of commands that work only on a selected piece of text. Such commands range from simple copy or cut to doing calculations among a number of other things.”

Selecting arbitrary rectangular block in MS-Word

Setting a password on a file is a good way to keep the content safe from unauthorized access. Learn how to protect your MS-Word files with password

“Placing a password on MS-Word document provides a simple way to keep secret data secret. When a user will try to open a secured file –password will be asked for. It is as simple as that. This is so easy that one does not need to be a power user to set password and open secured files.”

Insertion of more rows and columns is an action often taken while working on a document. Learn how to do it easily and quickly.

“Tables are among the most often used features of Microsoft Word. MS-Word offers a great deal of options to design and manage the tables in a document. In order to create a new table, you need to go to the Insert tab and use Table button. Then you can drag your mouse over a grid presented in the resulting menu to select the number of rows and columns you need for your table.”

This method can save you time as you can quickly fill the entire column of an MS-Word table with serial numbers or serial alphabets. It works in similar fashion to Fill Handle feature of MS-Excel.

“There is a way to fill a column with sequential numbers in MS-Excel –but there is no similar way available for MS-Word tables. So, I lazily began to enter serial numbers one by one manually but then I thought there must be a way to do this tiny task in a more efficient manner. And I found one. And it turned out to be extremely simple and intuitive too! Here is how you can do this on click of a mouse and save yourself time for a coffee break!”

Learn how to format a date field while doing Mail Merge. You can easily have the date formatted as you wish using field codes and switches.

“When you do Mail Merge and if you are using a date field, sometimes MS-Word picks date field from source and prints it in a unwanted format. But, thankfully, we can change the format of date to suit your purpose.”

MS-Word: Field Codes button

Learn an easy trick to reverse the order of content of a list in MS-Word. This trick does not use any script or code. It is plain and neat solution that could save you a lot of time.

“The other day, a friend of mine asked me an interesting question. He had a Microsoft Word document which contained a long numbered list of about 200 items. And he wanted the same list in reversed order. That is, the last item in the list should become the first, second-last should become second and so and so forth.”

Select text > Click on Insert tab > Table > Convert Text to Table

Learn how to change order (sequence) of a set of words by swapping them around in Microsoft Word. This is done using regular expressions (wildcards).

“Sometimes, we need to swap the order of two (or more) words and change their sequence. Depending upon the size of the document, this task could turn out to be nightmarish. But with proper use of regular expressions, you can perform it in a jiffy!”

Learn how to find and replace numbers, digits, numerals in a given MS Word document. You can find certain numbers or range of numbers and replace them with nothing or anything.

“At times we find ourselves in a situation wherein we need to find and replace only numbers (numerical digits) in a given document. It is quite easy to accomplish using Find and Replace facility given in MS-Word. Here is how we can accomplish this.”

Learn how to insert a column break in MS-Word to make columns of different sizes. With this, you can make a column shorter than the other.

“As per the normal behavior of columns in MS-Word, you have to fill the first column with content before moving onto the next column. MS-Word users sometimes, however, want to only partially fill the first column and move onto the next one. Let’s learn how we can accomplish this.”

Insert Column Break in MS-Word

Learn how to insert two column or multiple columns in MS Word document. This layout gives your pages a more professional look like that of a magazine.

“Often times, we want to write text in two (or more columns) just the way they publish text in newspapers, magazines and books. Two column text is easier to read because readers’ eyes don’t have to move across the full width of the page.”

Learn how to find certain type of formatting and replace it with another format in MS Word document. For example, you can find all the bold words and make them italic in one shot.

“People are used to with find and replace facility in MS-Word know how to find text and replace it with some other text. But it is indeed possible to find formatting and replace it with other formatting!”

Basic steps for recording, writing and running a macro in MS Word. The same steps apply for other applications in MS-Office package.

“In order to write a Visual Basic program to run in MS-Office packages (like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access etc) you need an editor. Microsoft has provided you with one. To bring this editor to the fore take the following steps.”

Learn how to write a macro to do multiple find and replace operations in MS Word in one go. You can change multiple words with this VBA macro.

“Nowadays, I am working with a lot of Unicode text in MS-Word. All the pieces of the text invariably need editing. There are some commonly occurring mistakes which I have to keep correcting in various documents. So, I thought it would be great if I could run several find and replace commands in one go.”

Give your document a professional look by using Roman numerals for Table of Content (TOC) and introduction etc. The rest of the documents will have separate page numbering.

“To get around this problem, you need to given TOC a section of its own. Insert a section break at the beginning of the document and then insert TOC in that section. The main document will remain in second section. Now you can give different page numbers to both the sections.”

Learn how to convert just a few pages to landscape orientation in MS Word document using section break. Rest of the pages will remain in portrait layout.

“Big tables, graphs and images sometimes don’t fit into the portrait layout –but when we try to change the layout to landscape, MS-Word applies changes to the the entire document. Here is the solution to this problem”

MS-Word can easily create table of content. This is very useful feature especially you are working on large amount of text, like a book. Learn how to insert a table of content in MS Word document.

“Such a table is often used by the readers to get an overall idea about the content of the document as well as a navigation means. In MS-Word, it is quite easy to create Table of Content (TOC). Many people who do not know about this feature try to manually create TOC –but you can imagine how tough such manual process would be.”

Step-by-step guide on how to remove or replace paragraph breaks. There is no need to do it manually. MS Word can do it for you!

“the paragraph break or line break is represented by invisible character (¶) which looks like a flipped P. You can toggle the visibility of this character by clicking a button given on the Home tab in M Word. The button bears the same symbol.”

Smart curly quotes provided by MS Word look pretty but can be a real nuisance sometimes. Learn how to replace them with simple straight quotes.

“When caught in such a situation, for the life of you, you just somehow want to get back to straight quotes (it happened with me a week ago –and that it why this post!). MS Word does not provide a simple way to toggle between smart and plain quotes.”

Learn these MS Word shortcuts. You can work faster with the help of keys like CTRL+C (copy), CTRL+V (paste), CTRL+A (Select all) etc. Be a keyboard warrior!

shortcut keys work faster than doing the same thing with mouse. When you are typing in MS Word, pressing shortcuts is easier because you don’t have to leave your keyboard and get hold of mouse.

A simple method to remove unnecessary spaces before and after lines in an MS-Word document.

“More often than not I get MS-Word files in which a lot of lines either begin with unnecessary spaces or they have lots of trailing spaces –and if it is a really bad case –lines will have both leading and trailing spaces. Not-so-tech-savvy people use leading spaces to align lines.”

Sometimes we need to transpose (invert or reverse) a table in MS Word. Learn how to change columns into rows and rows into columns of Microsoft Word table. It can be done with the help of MS Excel.

Transpose function of a table in Excel.

Learn how to delete a document or file from your computer. The steps are same for deleting any kind of file including Microsoft Word document. Process is almost same for both PCs (Windows) and Mac.

Delete a document from your computer.

Get rid of horizontal line that automatically appears when you type dashes (hyphens) and press enter key. Learn to remove it and permanently deactivate it.

The first thing that you need to understand about this line is that it is NOT a line. It is actually a border. This is why you can not select it with a mouse click and because it is unselectable —you can not press delete button to remove it.

This is how you can remove automatic horizontal line in MS-Word.

Learn how to insert code snippets with syntax highlights in an MS Word document. This method will preserve the color coding and inserted code blocks will be much easier to maintain.

go to Insert tab and then click on the Object option. A new box will appear with a list of objects that you can insert in your MS Word document. Select OpenDocument Text from the list and click OK to insert the object…

I hope these MS Word tips and trick helped you save some good time in office. Should you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I will try my best to assist you. Also, please send me more useful MS Word tips, if you have any. Thank you for using TechWelkin!

63 thoughts on “Microsoft Word Tips and Tricks to Increase Productivity”

  1. Word 2013 has an option in Index to choose run-in style for the index. Is there a way to get this same run-in style in my end notes?

  2. whenever i am trying to type something in ms word or notepad , it automatically include numeric number in every word in window 8, can you please advise a solution???

  3. office 365 student

    If you’re getting gibberish or very poorly formatted text from PDF, there is no straightforward way to get the text straight in an MS Word document.

  4. I have a list of names followed by their ID number. The id numbers do not have the same amount of digits. Some may have 6 others 10 or 12. How do I select just the numbers on the list?

  5. Thanks for sharing these tips! Microsoft word is widely used but it has some many functions that many are not aware of. The more you pick up the more effectively you work. I always keep a look out for new tricks.

  6. I am helping my brother create a very long proposal since he broke his wrist and is now having to do most everything with his left (not dominant hand)…So, here is our questions:

    is there a way to automatically, by one key, have a password ready to input, rather than type it out each time? He has about 10 different accounts that he constantly opens and that would be a huge help, if he can just type one number….(would that come under the Redhot key someone talked about earlier? thanks so much —by the way, your blog is fantastic!!

  7. Why is it that I create a newsletter… and I have inserted solid colored shapes… and over the shapes I have images, but many times when I save the document the solid colored shapes come forward hiding the images which have been pushed backward. I then go and select one by one all the solid colored shapes and change the order to send them all backwards… one by one. I save the document and many times they revert back to the front hiding my images once again.

  8. How does one insert a paragraph # instead of a page # in Word? When I insert a reference and choose “edit citation” I can put individual page numbers, multiple page numbers, but am at a loss as to how to add a paragraph inside the Pages box.

  9. When table is copied from MS Word and pasted in Excel, number figures does not come in number format. I have to do it manually to change from general to number format one-by-one. Is there any shortcut for this problem?

    1. Hi Ajitesh, Excel recognizes numbers and paste them as numbers (I tested it in MS Office 2007). Although, in the formatting box, it shows “General” but the cells with number are calculable (e.g. you can calculate sum of them). So, I guess you don’t need to manually change the format to numbers.

  10. say you are always typing the same names (in meeting minutes), is there away to have it automatically insert when you start typing that word in Microsoft word just like in Excel

    1. Hi Liz, there is no such facility in MS Word. You can use Auto Insert and Auto Correct, but using these features would be more of a task than typing the names manually. Guess, good old copy-paste method is probably the best in this scenario.

      1. Hi there, a solution that could speed up the process for you is to type the initials of each speaker, and if full names are required simply perform a find & replace afterwards for each initial set.

          1. You can download a free macro utility called AutoHotKey that has a “smart string” feature, where you can assign a whole name to one or more keystrokes i.e. type BZ and get Bob Zimmerman or anything that you define

    2. Yes Liz, you can do it thru predictable text. Go in settings, typing, hardware keyboard and switch on show text suggestion as I type.

  11. hi… i am mostly involved in preparing applications for attorneys. One common problem i face is, my attorneys frequently come across certain words and incorrect use of punctuation marks (such as to use comma or period inside quotes instead of putting it outside) which they do not want to see in the application.. I tried using macro code to highlight those words but they wouldn’t find the punctuation marks. Can u pls help??

    1. Hi Ishwarya, I think you’re facing problem with that macro because you’re not escaping the quotation marks. In the find string and replace string you should write CHR(34) instead of double quote mark. That should solve the issue and the macro will be able to find quotation marks as well.

  12. Hey, I was just wondering, as a writer in my manuscript I have scenes which I mark with an image (in place of the ***) to notify the reader it is now in a new character’s pov. However I need to modify that image. How can I select all copies of the image (there are probably a hundred of them) and replace it with the modified version. Thanks.

  13. While creating a document, how can I lock the 2nd page that is already edited so that a change on the 1st page will not affect the 2nd page? How can I achieve this?

    1. If I understood your question properly, I think all you need to do is to insert a page break at the end of the first page. This will keep the content of second page static until you fill the first page.

  14. In a Word table I want to increase the date by 1 day in each cell. So I type the start date and the next cell will be that date +1, the next cell will be that date +2, etc. Easy to do in Excel but can’t figure this out in Word.

    1. Hi Bryan! As you know, it can be easily done in Excel. So, why don’t you make your table in Excel and then copy-paste the table in MS Word?!

      1. I’m making a table that needs to be filled in by the user on a regular basis. The table has 7 consecutive days across the top. I’m just trying to automate this date process as at the moment they are manually typing every day across the top. I would have thought there was a simple way to just enter the first day and have the next 6 days magically appear without extra effort. I can easily do this in Excel but thought Word would be able to do this as well, as it is rather simple. I’m not able to use VBA for this (local restriction) and can’t have people copy the tables in Excel and paste in Word, that would be more effort than they would be saving by not typing each and every day. I just thought this would be a simple process for Word, with some built-in function, but I can’t seem to work it out.

        Just a simple table, I type the first date and in the next cell, the next day appears (start date + 1). I’m pulling my hair out here, I don’t think it can be done!

        PS. No, I can’t just use Excel instead of Word, not an option!

        1. Hello again Bryan, In such a situation, I think the easiest way would be to put Calendar Controls in seven cells. This control will not auto increment the date, but it will make the manual date input easier. To insert Calendar Control, go to Quick Access Toolbar (the tiny downward arrow on the right side of the undo-redo buttons)… then go to More Commands option… select All Commands in the left side “choose commands from” box… add “Date Picker Content Control”. The control icon will appear in the Quick Access Toolbar. Click it to insert it at desired place.

  15. In MS Word I have 15 page document. Consider that I was typing in 15th page and then I saved and closed the document. The next day when I open the document, it should open for me in 15th page instead of first page. Whenever I open a document I need to open the last page I worked. Do we have any shortcut or option to do the same? Each and every time I hate scrolling to last page. Please provide me some solution

    1. Hello, yes, it is possible to go back to the last editing position. When you open the document, just press SHIFT + F5 and MS Word will scroll to the point where you were editing at the time of closing the document. I have a detailed article on this option. It’s link is given above on this page.

  16. I have one word file of 200 pages. In this file there are some tables. I want to convert these tables into images. how i can do? I already did this by using ms office picture manager in which there is a facility of taking photo of selected portion by clicking on camera icon. But now I have forgotten.

    1. For taking screenshots of the tables and then use them as images, you can use Snipping Tool which comes as part of Windows. Search for Snipping Tool in your programs.

  17. I wish to make multiple word file for different people and the content being the same. What is the fastest possible way to do so.
    Example:
    Mr xyz,
    ……
    Content
    ……
    There are like 40 people i want to address, which means copy pasting 40 words files and replacing the names. Is there a way to do so faster ?

    1. Well, Prateek, the proper way of doing this is to use Mail Merge. But as you have just 40 files to make, I guess the effort of setting up mail merge could be more than saving the the same file 40 times with different names. It’s your call as to what you are more comfortable with.

  18. Hi Lalit,

    I want to create a macro in MS word which could highlights the below example :

    Suppose if I have $12 million in word document then I don’t want to touch these two words ($12 & million) as long as they fall in the same row but if $12 is in one row and million is in another row then I want to create a macro which could highlight $# & million when both of these words don’t come in the same row.

    1. Hi Arvind,

      Interesting question. Assuming that you want to keep the $# and million together, you can use Find and Replace as below:

      Find: $(??) million
      Replace with: $1^smillion

  19. I created a couple of macros and they work just fine (Word 2010) but their names, one came out just fine but the other added words I didn’t put in. I put in “DoubleIndentPlus” and it prints up in the ribbon as “Normal.NewMacros.DoubleIndentPlus”, I created another macro called “Scan” and it came through just as “Scan” What did I do wrong with the first one?

    1. Hi there! One of the probable reasons could that “Scan” is a reserved keyword in MS Word. It may also be a command name that already exist. In such cases, user-chosen names are not allowed. Change the name and then try again to save your macro.

  20. i want to write a sentence a hundred times in word. how can i do this with shortcuts without actually needing to write them ?????

    1. How about using good-old copy and paste technique? Select the sentence, press CTRL + C to copy it. Then keep on pressing CTRL + V to paste it!

      1. In addition after you do it once you now have two lines, copy both and paste now you have 4 lines, copy four and paste and you now have 8 lines, copy the 8 and now you have 16. Etc. You”ll do a hundred lines in just a few iterations that way.

  21. Can you help ? I need to repeat a small amount of wording many times on one page. If I type it once, can I repeat it many times on a page.
    Thanks, Tom Bradley

    1. Hi Tom, you can always do copy paste! But I guess you already know that. You would need to elaborate your question a bit and state your need more clearly.

  22. Help me I have many word files 1000+ on my computer want to search files which has specific word and how many times a particular word appears

    Ex want to know my name appres how many times in each files

    1. Standard MS Word does not provide this kind of facility. You will have to use third party tools or a macro.

  23. once i used a shortcut in which i added new words in my document ie for example for "ENTER YOUR EMAIL" i coded it as "eye" and while i typed a big document i just typed "eye" and it automatically changed to "ENTER YOUR EMAIL" . it was grate and speedy. i have forgotten how i did it .
    help

  24. all of a sudden my screen just turned into a small white paper closer to the left…..instead of the normal big paper. How do i change it back to how it was in default

    1. This could be because you have unknowingly reduced the zoom level. Please open your document and set the zoom level back to 100% … the zoom scale is given in the right-bottom corner of the MS Word window. Hope this helps!

  25. hi…is there a way to bold certain words at one go. Say the word 'input' which appears many times in different places. Thank you.

    1. It depends on how the PDF file was encoded. If you’re getting gibberish or very poorly formatted text from PDF, there is no straightforward way to get the text straight in an MS Word document.

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