Microsoft Word (MS Word)

 Microsoft Word (MS Word)

Microsoft Word (MS Word)

Microsoft Word is a popular commercial word processor created by Microsoft. MS Word is also one of the widely used programs in the suite. There are many features of MS word. Although many other applications give it a competition, nothing has defeated it to date. It is available for both Windows and Apple operating systems. Microsoft Word is in the Microsoft Office productivity package, although it is also available as a standalone application. Microsoft Word was first released in 1983 and has seen various revisions since then. It’s compatible with both Windows and Mac computers. 

Features of MS word helps to make professional write-ups, editing and formatting the existing documents. It also helps in creating graphical documents comprising images, and more. Millions of office workers, students and home users to create, read and edit documents use this software program. It can also be useful to familiarize yourself with the basic features and characteristics of the application. 

Now, let us first understand some basic aspects of the application. You can open the application on your personal computer while following these simple steps:

Start → All Programs → MS Office → MS Word

Microsoft Office Button

Covered earlier in MS Office Section.

The Ribbon

A ribbon is a command bar that organizes a program’s features into a series of tabs at the top of a window. It is located below the Quick Access Toolbar and the Title Bar. It comprises seven tabs; Home, Insert, Page layout, References, Mailing, Review and View. Each tab has specific groups of related commands.

The Ribbon is organized into 8 different Tabs; File, Home, Insert, Page Layout, References, Mailings, Review, and View. Each Tab has several Groups, where similar tools and features are found.

The Ribbon

1. Home Tab

This Feature of MS word has options like font colour, font size, font style, alignment, bullets, line spacing, etc. The Home tab can change the color, size, font, and alignment of the text. The Home tab can also cut, copy, and paste text. The Home tab has 5 groups; Clipboard, Font, Paragraph, Styles and Editing. 

2. Insert Tab

You can enter tables, shapes, images, charts, graphs, header, footer, page number, etc., in the document. The Insert tab has 7 groups; Pages, Tables, Illustrations, Links, Header & Footer, Text, and Symbols 

3. Page Layout Tab

The Page Layout Tab holds all the options that allow you to arrange your document pages just the way you want them. You can set margins, apply themes, control of page orientation and size, add sections and line breaks, display line numbers, and set paragraph indentation and lines. The Page Layout tab has 5 groups; Themes, Page Setup, Page Background, Paragraph, and Arrange.

4. References Tab

The References Tab allows you to now create a table of contents, footnotes, citations, cross-references, select MLA or APA or ISO formats and so on. You can also turn your Works Cited into a collection of records and use them in the future. 

5. Mailings Tab

The Mailings tab displays tools and features used to print envelopes, labels, and send mass communications. The Mailings tab has 5 groups; Create, Start Mail Merge, Write & Insert Fields, Preview Results, and Finish. 

6. Review Tab

The review tab is useful in a number of ways. For instance, you can use it for proofing your document, adding or removing comments, and tracking changes among other things. The Review tab can check spelling and grammar, add comments to a section of the document, or change the language of the document. The Review tab has 7 groups; Proofing, Language, Comments, Tracking, Changes, Compare, and Protect. 

7. View Tab

The View tab enables you to switch between Normal or Master Page, and Single Page or Two-Page Spread views. This tab also gives you control over showing boundaries, guides, rulers, and other layout tools, zooming the size of your view of the publication, and managing Publisher windows you have open.


Microsoft Word

Title Bar

The title bar will tell you the name of the file (I.e. Document1) and the application you are currently using. When you first start Word, the menus and toolbars display basic commands and buttons. 

Status Bar

A status bar is a horizontal window at the bottom of a parent window in which an application can display various kinds of status information. The status bar can be divided into parts to display more than one type of information. 

Quick Access Toolbar 

Quick Access Toolbar lies next to the Microsoft Office Button. It is a customizable toolbar that comes with a set of independent commands. It gives you quick access to commonly used commands such as Save, Undo, Redo, etc. When you click the drop-down arrow next to toolbar it offers more commands. 


The Ruler is located below the Ribbon around the edge of the document. It is used to change the format of the document, i.e. it helps you align the text, tables, graphics and other elements of your document. 

Tab Stop

A tab stop is the location where the cursor stops after the Tab key is pressed. Tab stops are used in word processors to allow users to align text. Below is a picture of the ruler in Microsoft Word; each left tab stop is denoted by a bold “L” symbol. If these were right tab stops, the “L” would be backward. In Microsoft Word, the tab selector, also called the tab indicator, is a button to the left of the ruler that provides tab marker options. 

Below are explanations for each type of tab stop.

 Left – Text is extended to the right of the tab.

 Center – Text is centered in the middle of the tab.

 Right – Text is extended to the left of the tab.

 Decimal – Text before the decimal point extends to the left, and text after the decimal point extends to the right.

 Bar – A vertical bar is shown on the tab.

 First Line Indent – Indents the first line of a paragraph.

 Hanging Indent – Indents all lines of the paragraph, except the first line.

MS Word Shortcut Keys

Ctrl+0 – Toggles 6pts of spacing above the paragraph.

Ctrl+A – Select all contents of the page.

Ctrl+B – Bold highlighted selection.

Ctrl+C – Copy selected text.

Ctrl+D – Open the font preferences window.

Ctrl+E – Aligns the line or selected text to the center of the screen.

Ctrl+F Open find box.

Ctrl+I – Italic highlighted selection.

Ctrl+J – Aligns the selected text or line to justify the screen.

Ctrl+K – Insert a hyperlink.

Ctrl+L – Aligns the line or selected text to the left of the screen.

Ctrl+M – Indent the paragraph.

Ctrl+N – Opens new, blank document window.

Ctrl+O – Opens the dialog box or page for selecting a file to open.

Ctrl+P – Open the print window.

Ctrl+R – Aligns the line or selected text to the right of the screen.

Ctrl+S – Save the open document. Like Shift+F12.

Alt+F, A – Save the document under a different file name.

Alt+X – Show the Unicode code of a highlighted character.

Ctrl+T – Create a hanging indent.

Ctrl+U – Underline the selected text.

Ctrl+V – Paste.

Ctrl+W – Close the currently open document.

Ctrl+X – Cut selected text.

Ctrl+Y  Redo the last action performed.

Ctrl+Z  Undo last action.

Ctrl+Shift+A  Sets the selected text to all capital letters.

Ctrl+Shift+D  Adds double underline to the selected text.

Ctrl+Shift+E  Enable or disable revision tracking.

Ctrl+Shift+F  Opens Font window to change the font.

Ctrl+Shift+L Quickly create a bullet point.

Ctrl+Shift+>  Increase selected font +1pts up to 12pt and then increase font +2pts.

Ctrl+]  Increase selected font +1pts.

Ctrl+Shift+<  Decrease selected font -1pts if 12pt or lower; if above 12, decreases font by +2pt.

Ctrl+[  Decrease selected font -1pts.

Ctrl+/+C  Insert a cent sign (¢).

Ctrl+’+<char>  Insert a character with an accent (acute) mark, where <char> is the character you want. For example, if you wanted an accented é you would use Ctrl+’+e as your shortcut key. To reverse the accent mark, use the opposite accent mark, often found on the tilde key.

Ctrl+Shift+*  View or hide non printing characters.

Ctrl+Left  arrow Moves one word to the left.

Ctrl+Right  arrow Moves one word to the right.

Ctrl+Up  arrow Moves to the beginning of the line or paragraph.

Ctrl+Down  arrow Moves to the end of the paragraph.

Ctrl+Del  Deletes word to right of cursor.

Ctrl+Backspace  Deletes word to left of cursor.

Ctrl+End  Moves the cursor to the end of the document.

Ctrl+Home  Moves the cursor to the beginning of the document.

Ctrl+Spacebar  Reset highlighted text to the default font.

Ctrl+1  Single-space lines.

Ctrl+2  Double-space lines.

Ctrl+5  1.5-line spacing.

Ctrl+=  Set selected text as subscript.

Ctrl+Shift+=  Set selected text as superscript.

Ctrl+Alt+T  Insert trademark (TM) symbol.

Ctrl+Alt+1  Changes text to heading 1.

Ctrl+Alt+2  Changes text to heading 2.

Ctrl+Alt+3  Changes text to heading 3.

Ctrl+Alt+F2  Open new document.

Ctrl+F1  Open the Task Pane.

Ctrl+F2  Display the print preview.

Ctrl+Shift+>  Increases the font size of selected text by one point.

Ctrl+Shift+<  Decreases the font size of selected text by one point.

Ctrl+Shift+F6  Switches to another open Microsoft Word document.

Ctrl+Shift+F12  Prints the document.

F1  Open help.

F4  Repeat the last action performed (Word 2000+).

F5 Open the Find, Replace, and Go To window in Microsoft Word.

F7 Spellcheck and grammar check selected text or document.

F12 Save As.

Shift+F3 Change the text in Microsoft Word from uppercase to lowercase or a capital letter at the beginning of every word.

Shift+F7 Runs a Thesaurus check on the selected word.

Shift+F12 Save the open document. Like Ctrl+S.

Shift+Enter Create a soft break instead of a new paragraph.

Shift+Insert Paste.

Shift+Alt+D Insert the current date.

Shift+Alt+T Insert the current time

File Extensions in MS Word

File Extensions in MS Word

Document– .docx

Macro-enabled document– .docm 

Template– .dotx 

Macro-enabled template– .dotm 

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