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Top 5 Microsft Word Timesavers

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As someone who has spent well over a decade and a half as an expert Microsoft Word user and trainer, I have found a handful of shortcuts and timesavers that I can't live without. These are the easiest way to select text, insert a page break, repeat a previous step, copy and paste formats, and use your clipboard to copy multiple items. These tricks allow me to spend time focusing on my content, rather than completing complex steps or wasting mouse clicks. Even though you may know how to complete these tasks, you might not know the easiest way. Following these simple tricks will help you save time and clicks when working in Word.

Accurately Select Text

Photo © Becky Johnson

Most users know how to select text by clicking and dragging. This tends to lead to problems. Either the screen scrolls too quickly and you end up with too much text selected and have to start over, or you miss a part of a word or sentence.

Select a single word by double-clicking the word. To select an entire sentence, press the CTRL key on your keyboard and click anywhere within the sentence. Triple-click within a paragraph if you need to select the entire paragraph. You can also press and hold the Shift key and then press the Up or Down arrow to select entire lines of text. To select an entire document, press CTRL + A or triple-click in the left margin.

Easily Insert a Page Break

A page break tells Word when to move text onto the next page. You can let Word automatically insert the page breaks, but every now and then, you may want move the break. I usually manually insert page breaks when I want to start a new section or a new paragraph on the next page; this prevents it splitting between two pages.

The easiest way to accomplish this is to press CTRL + Enter.

Repeat Your Last Step

Sometimes you complete a task--such as inserting or deleting a row in a table, or setting complex formatting through the Font window--and you realize that you have to perform the exact same step multiple times. Pressing F4 repeats your last step. If the last step was clicking 'OK,' then the selections made will be applied. If your last step was bolding text, then F4 would repeat that.

Format Painter

Format Painter
Photo © Becky Johnson

The Format Painter has to the least used and yet most useful tool in Word. The Format Painter is located on the Home tab in the Clipboard section. It copies the format of the selected text and pastes it where you choose.

To copy the format, click anywhere in the text that has the format applied. Single-click on the Format Painter icon to apply the text one time. Double-click on the Format Painter to paste the format to multiple items. Click on the text that needs the format applied. To turn off the Format Painter, press ESC on your keyboard or click the Format Painter again.

Copying Multiple Items

Word Clipboard
Photo © Becky Johnson

Copying and pasting may be a common task in Word; however, not everyone knows that you could copy up to 24 items on the Clipboard. Many users will copy one thing, say from another document, and then toggle to the current document and paste the item. If there is a lot of information to be copied, this method becomes tedious.

Instead of the constant toggling between documents or programs, try copying up to 24 items in one location, and then toggling and pasting the information. The Clipboard defaults to appear after your copy two items; however, you can adjust this by clicking the Options button at the bottom of the Clipboard pane. To paste the collected data, click where you want to paste the item. Then, click on the item in the Clipboard. You can also click the Paste All button at the top of the Clipboard to paste all of the items.

You can also Change When Your Clipboard Appears.

Give It a Try!

It is amazing how incorporating a few timesavers can make your word processing life easier. Try using a new tip for a few weeks to make it a habit and then use the next trick. These 5 timesavers will be a part of your word processing repertoire in no time!

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