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How To Save Time And Learn New Things - Fast And Free!

Microsoft Word Tutorial

Drew's Personalizing,
Customizing Word® Tutorial
Word processing is where many of us spend our time. So let’s see if we can pick up a few shortcuts and ways to make our efforts faster, more productive and well, learn how to do things we didn’t even know we could do. Below you’ll see my toolbar for Word 2000. It’s virtually the same as my Word 97 bar, so you can use everything in this tutorial with just about any version of Word.
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There are two really important points to this tutorial. Point one is that you can save a ton of time by simply clicking on what you want to do without navigating through the drop down menus every time you want to use a ‘tool’ or function. You don’t have to follow my bar, create your own using any of the hundreds of options Word gives you and that match your daily needs.
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The second thing about this tutorial and the toolbar customization is that no matter how good a Word user (or user of any software program) you may be you can’t know it all. So you might just pick up a feature that you didn’t even know that Word had. I learn these all the time.
If you think I know it all, you’d be really wrong. The trick to learning a software program isn’t knowing everything, it’s knowing everything that helps you use the program for YOUR specific use. That’s why I try to read the manual cover to cover for every program I use.
I find all sorts of things that I can do that I never would have even thought of myself. I activate those parts of a program and use them from that time on and probably forget everything I don’t need.
Plus, learning to use software is really something you learn
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on the street. You read something or a friend tells you or someone like me writes about it.
Heck, I think I’ve learned more from my geek friends than I ever learned in any class, book or CD about using a program.
Anyway, since almost all of us use Microsoft Word®, let’s explore what we can do.

Onward to the Word Customization tutorial.



Here’s my toolbar. These are the one-click aids that I use to get all my writing done quickly and easily. You may choose some different one-click button tools, but do spend a few minutes thinking about what tools you’d like to have as you search for the ones you know about.
You’ll be amazed as you scroll through your options just how many things you can do.


 
Here you are getting ready to customize Word. Just pull down the tool menu and select Customize. It’s easy.


Here’s the box of choices that you get. It’s really easy to use. It’s like the pull down menus. If you want to select something from the pull down View Menu, click on View to the left. Here I’m selecting from the Edit menu.
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I want to put the Search Button on my bar. All you do is click on the Customize Menu Icon you want and drag it up to your tool bar. Isn’t that easy?
And once it’s there, you can drag it from place to place so that it’s in the exact order you want it. Group things that you use or think about as groups together.
To take something off the bar, just drag if off. It’s so easy that once you’ve done it once, you’ll be customizing yours over and over again till it’s perfect for you. One more thing. Do you see 2 icons down from where I’ve selected Find, the A-B Replace? That’s the search and replace button. I have that on my bar right to the right of Search. It’s a very handy thing to use.



Bonus Tip.
Oh and once you have that tool open, check out the more button and then the Format And Special Character Menus at the bottom. Did you know you could search for a paragraph mark or a period? It’s easy and you’ll find lots of things that will make it easy to get your work done FAST.


OK, here’s one I really like to use. This is just the same as the example above except that this time we’re in the Format Menu and we are choosing Change Case. Most people don’t even know this exists. Check out my bonus tip below to see what you can do.


Bonus Tip -
When you read my reviews have you noticed that I use Upper/lower case (Like This With Each Word Starting As A Cap.) for my headlines, all caps for my crossheads and an occasional all capped word?
Here’s where I do it. Once you click Change Case, you can change any copy you’ve highlighted to Sentence or Lower case if you inadvertently typed it all caps, Upper case or Title Case like my headlines.
How often have you been in all caps and typed a sentence that was lower first character and capped the rest? Well just click toggle case and it’s all fixed. This is really a time saver for me and I hope for you too.




OK here’s one that will stop you from going crazy. Or at least it has helped me. If you’re using Word 2000 or after, Microsoft decided that you don’t want to look at the entire drop down menu when you go to View, Edit etc.
I guess everyone but me loves this but it drove me crazy. All I saw were the items I normally used and I had to wait for a delay for the others to show up.
Well, cosmetically it’s pretty but I want all my menus all the time. Again, I guess Microsoft knows what people want, but if you want to change it back to seeing it all, all the time, while you have the customize menu open, click on the tab marked Options and UNCHECK the darn “Menus show recently used command first” box and you’ll be back to normal. I feel better already.


Bonus Tip
My wife is working on our second son’s wedding. (Remember both my sons are getting married this year.) Anyway she couldn’t figure out how to put 2 columns in the middle of her page. Here’s how easy it is to do.
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If you look up on the toolbar, you’ll see the little square with 2 sets of lines. First highlight the portion of your text that you want divided into columns (of course it can be the entire page if you like. Just don’t highlight anything. (Unless you have other pages in the document that you want to be one column or a different number of columns.)
Anyway, as you can see from my little animation, all you need to do is move your mouse over 2-4 columns and that’s the way it will be. Well, I guess the kids can get married now. OK, Back to the tutorial.



OK THIS ONE IS IMPORTANT. I think almost everyone keeps all their efforts in the default “My Documents” folder. This drives me crazy.
I can never find anything. In fact, it drives me so crazy that I refuse to use My Documents at all. Not only can’t you find anything, but who ever cleans it out. So you can have hundreds of documents with years worth of your work that you don’t use and don’t care about. So, you’ll never find anything. I know, on my last 486 computer using Windows 3.1, I did it that way too. Well, never again.
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Here’s how to change Word, and just about any program to saving your documents in a logical, easy to find, easy to use format.
Back to the tools menu. Choose Options this time. And do spend a few minutes reviewing your options because this is where you can set the spell check level, business or formal etc, printing, saving and much more. But we are going to click the tab marked File Locations.
Oh one more thing. I’m going to write a short tutorial on saving and finding files on your computer. If you’re like me and just about everyone else, you constantly can’t find letters, memos and other fields you’ve created. Frankly, the problem is easily solved.
The smart people at Microsoft provided us all the tools we need, but for some reason, we just don’t seem to know about them or use them. Now you will.




Back to the tutorial. As you look at the picture above you can see I’ve highlighted Documents and Location. This is so easy. Click the Modify button and move down to the next picture. And don’t worry, you won’t break anything.




This is what you see when you click the Modify button. As you can see you’re in the My Documents folder. (yech) Do you see mine is empty (except for what came with my computer)? I don’t keep anything here. You see I do practice what I preach.
Check yours out and see if you can find anything. OK Click the Arrow to the right of where it says My Documents above. Not my red arrow but the one on your screen. And onto the next picture.




Here you see a list of all your folders. For this example I’m just going to have all my documents put on my desktop. So whenever I save a document I can see it on my desktop.
Of course you might want to create a folder for the project you’re working on now or have a few general folders. As you can see you can change anything any time. The main thing is that you won’t be stuck in My Documents any more unless you want to be.


And here’s the picture of where I’ll be saving my documents from now on, or till I feel like clicking the modify button again. It just takes a few seconds. Wasn't that easy?


And just like life which is circular we're back to my Toolbar again. I hope you put lots of time saving one-click Icons on yours so you'll save lots of time and effort just like I do.


 
A few last things that I want to mention.
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OK, that’s it for today. Next time I think I’ll show you how to
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put shortcuts and folders on your desktop task bar (Oh, you didn't know you could do that?) and much more. Oh and I think that a tutorial on using the ‘auto-correct’ to insert words, sentences and paragraphs is a must.
Stay tuned. Still have questions? Did I miss something in my Microsoft Word Tutorial Drew's Personalizing, Customizing Word® Tutorial
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(probably)? I’ll be constantly updating and increasing the information in this tutorial so it’s worth checking back. If you'll eMail Me, I'll add it . PLEASE Click the link below to tell me what to add and what you thought of this tutorial.

Enjoy. . . Drew



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