Stuck With Microsoft Word 2003

Microsoft Word is a wonderful word processing program. Most people are still using the 2003 version as opposed to the 2007 version, mainly because the 2007 version had many changes in where they put things, and of course those notorious ribbons.

For those people who are using Word 2003, there is some things one can do that many people may not know about. Here are five tips for how to get more out of this program.

1. The AutoCorrect function. This is probably your best friend long term, but something most people never think about. The program comes with a dictionary, but it’s a very incomplete dictionary. Some of your typos it will recognize and correct for you, but others it won’t.

What you can do is go into AutoCorrect. You get there by clicking on Tools and coming down to it. There’s a menu that opens up, and you’ll see two little boxes. In the first one, you can type your misspelled word, or typo. In the second, you type in the correct spelling of the word. From that point on, every time you have a typo, the program will automatically correct it for you. This is great to use if you notice you’re always mis-typing the same words over and over.

2. There are terms all of us use that it highlights with the little red squiggly line. We always have to either ignore the line or tell the program that it’s good. But it only remembers it while you’re looking at the document, and the next time you open your document, the red line is back again. What you can do is right-click on the word, slide down and select “add to dictionary” and it will be saved in your dictionary. You’ll never see that red squiggly line again.

3. Do you wish to change the font and size of your font so that, whenever you open a new document, it’s set to what you want? Easy to do. Open a blank document. Go to the top and change to the font you want to see, and then change to the size you want it to be. Then go to Save As, and instead of saving it as a .doc file, you want to change to a .dot file. You’ll see one file in there, and it will be called Normal.dot. Click that, because what you want to do is write over the original file’s specifications. It will ask if that’s what you want to do, and you say yes.

However, maybe you don’t want to make it a permanent change. If that’s the case, change the name of the file to something else, then whenever you open your Word program you can go to your open files folder, change to .dot, and open the new template you saved.

4. This is an easy one that many people don’t know about. If you wish to erase a line you just typed and you don’t want to use the backspace button, all you have to do is hit Ctrl-Z and it will erase your entire line. Actually, Ctrl-Z will keep erasing the last things you typed until you decide to stop. And, if you decide you want to put it back, hit Ctrl-Y. However, if you’ve erased a lot of stuff then want to do Ctrl-Y to put it back, it won’t remember everything you erased, only a couple of the items.

5. Are you sharing your document and don’t want people to change things? Or maybe you want to protect it from people who might be looking at your files and you don’t want just anyone seeing what you’ve written. You can password protect your file by going into Tools and coming down to Protect Document. Once there, you’ll see a menu with choices and a place to type in a password. That’s all you have to do, and now you have control over who sees your content.

And there you are, five tips that will help you save time, as well as do some other things you may want to do with Microsoft Word. By the way, these same things are available in Word 2007 also, but how you access them is different.

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