Microsoft Word has a tool or option for formatting almost any type of document you could want or need.
But the original purpose of Word was to process words — and it has tools to make that task easier, too.
Text is still the basis of communication
When people talk about a word processor’s power, they typically mention font options, paragraph design, styles, headers and footers, graphics support, and other formatting tools. I know; I wrote about that subject in the Aug. 11, 2011, Best Practices story, “Word 2010 tricks for more polished documents.”
Word’s formatting tools have become immensely more powerful over time, but the app’s core function remains unchanged: processing words. When creating or editing a document, you spend a lot more of your time entering words, rearranging them, reconsidering word choice, and fixing punctuation than you do picking a font or margin. (At least I hope you do.)
Writing is hard work. Believe me — as a professional writer, I know that fact all too well. But I’m paid by the word; most likely, you’re not! There’s no reason to make writing harder than necessary.
Formatting aside, Word has tools that can make the writing process easier. Below, I’ll describe two ways to create reusable, boilerplate text. I’ll also explain quick and easy ways to switch between uppercase and lowercase text, and I’ll review Word’s proofing tools.
These tips work in Word 2010 and 2013. Some might work — perhaps with slight changes — in earlier versions of Word.