BOOT CAMP 333 (06/07/04)


Top Tips 4 -- More Word Tips


This week’s selection of tips for Microsoft Word are mostly concerned with the program’s more obscure features that even some long-time users may not have come across so without more ado here’s a quick and simple one to get started.


If you want to emphasis a single word in a document, by making it bold, italic or underlined the natural thing to do is to use precision mousing to carefully highlight the whole word, but there’s no need. Just place the cursor anywhere within the word and click the appropriate style button or use a simple keyboard shortcut, i.e. Ctrl + B for bold, Ctrl + I for italic and Ctrl + U for underline. In case this doesn’t work go to Tools > Options > Edit and make sure 'When selecting, automatically select entire word' is checked.


This tip is for owners of ‘wheel’ type mice, hold down the Ctrl button and spin the wheel and the text display will ‘zoom’ up or down in size with the zoom ratio displayed on the toolbar.


As you know you can highlight horizontal blocks of text by clicking and dragging the mouse but did you also know you can highlight vertical blocks? Just hold down the Alt key, click and drag. Right click on he highlighted area for all of the usual options. You never know, it might come in handy one day…


Here’s a nifty tip for budding secret agents. You can conceal words, sentences even whole documents within documents using another little known Word feature called Hidden Text. Just highlight the block of text that you want to make invisible then go to Format > Font and under Effects click ‘Hidden’. The words will vanish from the screen, and they can’t be printed but they are still there. In order to make them reappear you have to go to Tools > Options and select the View tab and under Formatting marks click ‘Hidden Text’.


If you want to make Hidden Text or any other Word feature that you regularly use easier to get at you can create a custom toolbar button? Here’s how; right click into an empty area of the Toolbar, select Customize then the Commands tab. Scroll down the Categories list to Format and click, then scroll down the Commands list to Hidden (or the feature of your choice), click then drag and drop it onto the Toolbar. You can leave it as it or whilst it is highlighted (with a black border) right click the button and select Change Button Image, choose an icon then click Default Style. To remove a toolbar button right-click into the toolbar, select Customize, click to highlight the button and drag it off the toolbar.


Word’s ‘Adaptive’ menus are supposed to be helpful by displaying the most frequently used commands but in practice they can be a real pain when you want to access a command that’s not shown. You can switch it off so that all commands are permanently displayed by going to Tools > Customize, select the Options tab and deselect ‘Menus show recently used commands first’.


This one is for lecturers and aspiring newsreaders as it lets you turn Word into an Autocue or Teleprompter, with your script or speech automatically scrolling up or down the screen. Right click into an empty area of the Toolbar, select Customize then the Commands tab and in the Categories window select All Commands. In the right hand Commands window click, drag and drop AutoScroll onto the toolbar and if required change the button as outlined in the earlier tip. Close the Customise box, click on the AutoScroll button and use your mouse to adjust the scrolling speed and direction by moving the arrow that appears in the right hand scroll bar, with a little practice you can control the speed quite accurately. To stop AutoScroll just click the left mouse button.


Did you know that Word document files contain a whole lot more than just the text you see on the screen? It’s called Metadata and, depending on the version of Word that you are using, it will include your name and company name, the name of your computer and network server or hard disc where the document is stored, the names of anyone else who has worked on the document, details of document versions and revisions, information about the templates you have used, hidden text and comments. You may well not want others to see all this, indeed several court cases have turned on Metadata hidden inside Word documents, if so it’s a good idea to sanitise your Word files before they leave your PC.  In all recent versions of Word you can view Metadata by going to Open on the File menu, in the Files of Type box select ‘Recover text from any file (*.*)’ and open the document. The facility to remove Metadata was introduced in Word 2002 onwards, go to Tools > Options click the Security tab then under Privacy Options check ‘Remove personal information from this file on save’. In Word 2000 it’s a little more complicated so you might like to read Microsoft Knowledgebase article 237361, which you can view by typing the KB number into Google.


Next week – Windows XP System Restore





A simple and ideally memorable sequence of two or three key-strokes, used to invoke a frequently used action or activity within a program or application



Mouse with a built-in thumbwheel, used to quickly scroll through documents, web pages or menus



Changes the size of text and graphics displayed on the screen, it has no effect on the actual font size or appearance of the document when printed.




Hyperlinks are one of Word’s most powerful features and invaluable for navigating around long documents or automatically linking to web page or other documents stored on the PC. To jump to another part of the same document highlight a word or block of text, go to Bookmark on the Insert menu, give the bookmark a name then go back and highlight the word or words that you want to link to it, right click and select Hyperlink, click the Bookmark button and select the Bookmark from the list. To Hyperlink to another document or web page highlight the word you want to turn into a link, right click and select Hyperlink then type in the web address or use the File button to browse to another document.

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Boot Camp Index















Top Tips Index

Windows XP

Windows Vista

Internet & Email

Microsoft Word

Folders & Files

Desktop Mouse & Keyboard

Crash Bang Wallop!

Privacy & Security

Imaging Scanning & Printing

Power, Safety & Comfort

Tools & Utilities

Sound Advice

Display & screen

Fun & Games

Windows 95/98/SE/ME






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