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For this week’s Top Tip Tuesday, here’s some tips on using Microsoft Word. We all use it at one time or another to create documents, but sometimes it’s good to know some quicker ways of doing things to save time and be more efficient.

  1. Use Templates to Save Time

Whether you want to create a newsletter, calendar, CV, or basic flyer, Microsoft Word has a template for that! Save yourself valuable time and start out with a template so most of the formatting, layout and more is already set-up for you.

How do you do this? Simply open Word and click ‘New’. Under the ‘blank document’ there’s a whole range of templates to choose from. If you want something specific, you can search for online templates in the box above.

  1. Create a Custom Template for your Common Projects/Documents

You might find you create a similar document more often than not; in which case you can actually create a custom template!

Create a new document and format however you like. Then when you go to ‘Save As’, you can change the file type to ‘Word Template - .dotx’.

You’ll then go to the ‘Custom Office Templates’ menu where you can save your new template with a unique name, and you’ll see the template appear under the ‘Personal’ heading whenever you create a new document.

  1. Convert PDFs to editable Word Docs

If you have received a PDF document instead of a Word doc, you can still create an editable .docx file from it, as when you open the PDF in Word, it will automatically convert into a Word doc format, which means you can carry on editing rather than making notes with pen and paper!

  1. Protect your Document with a Password

Now that working from home is pretty common, you may want to protect your documents on your home computer (well, you may want to do that at the office too, but certainly it could be important at home just in case).

You can add a password protection to the document, which will add that extra security.

Simply click ‘File’ in the top-left corner, and then go down to ‘protect document’ and ‘encrypt with password’.

Make sure you use a password you’ll remember!

  1. Use the Dictation Tool to Type By Speaking

Here’s a really useful tool if you want to take quick notes or even transcribe interviews. Along the ribbon at the top of the Word document under ‘Home’ is the ‘Dictate’ icon. Literally, click to activate! You will need to make sure you’ve given Word permission to access your computer’s mic before you can use it.

  1. Use Smart Lookup to Search the Internet straight from Word

A great little tool set-up within Microsoft Word is ‘Smart Lookup’. Every time you highlight a word or phrase and right-click it, you’ll see ‘Smart Lookup’ appear – or it may be called ‘Search’, offering a shortcut to browse the internet. It’ll also show the definition of the word and synonyms.

  1. Some Great CTRL Key Shortcuts

Here are some great ways to navigate your document in Word more efficiently:

  • Hold CTRL and press Right Arrow – To go right, one word at a time
  • Hold CTRL and press Left Arrow – To go left, one word at a time
  • Hold CTRL and Backspace – To delete a whole word at a time
  • CTRL + SHIFT + Right Arrow – Highlight one word at a time
  • CTRL + END to move cursor – To the end of the line
  • CTRL + HOME to move cursor – To the beginning of the line
  • CTRL + Page Up – To move up one page
  • CTRL + Page Down – To move down one page
  • CTRL + Up Arrow – To move cursor up one paragraph at a time
  • CTRL + Down Arrow – To move cursor down one paragraph at a time

That's all for today! Tune in next week for our regular Top Tip Tuesday.