The world’s most popular productivity suite, Microsoft Office, has been in the news lately, with the consumer preview of Office 2016 debuting last week. But before you get excited about that shiny new upgrade, which won’t even be available for several months, remember that existing versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint still offer plenty of supercharged abilities. Sure, Word 2016 will feature real-time collaborative editing. But let’s wait for Microsoft to work out the kinks, shall we?
This QuickTip highlights the kind of strategies and shortcuts that can maximize the version of Word you’re already using.1) Quickly toggle between text cases. Rather than digging through multiple toolbar menus to change text from UPPERCASE to lowercase to Camel Case (Where The First Letter Of Every Word Is Capitalized), simply highlight a block of text and press Shift+F3 to choose between those three options.
2) Display a list of all your open documents. Press Alt + W then W by itself. Want to compare two documents side by side? Press Alt + W + B.
3) Edit and save PDFs. Sick of copying text from a PDF and pasting it into a document, only to find a pesky line break after every single word? Open a PDF in Word 2013, click “Enable Editing,” and go to town. Once you’re done, click “Save As,” select “PDF,” and all your cross-formatting problems will be solved.
4) Turn Track Changes on quickly. Rather than digging through Word’s extensive drop-down menus, press Ctrl + Shift + E to turn Track Changes on quickly.
5) Rearrange items in a bulleted or numbered list. Press Alt + Shift, or right click the bullets or numbers to reveal Restart Numbering and Continue Numbering options.
6) Use keyboard shortcuts to quickly select blocks of text. Do a lot of editing? These tricks will save time and effort. Triple-clicking anywhere within a paragraph selects the entire paragraph; pressing the CTRL key and clicking anywhere within a sentence selects the whole sentence; and holding down the ALT key then dragging your mouse over any rectangular area allows formatting to be applied across that entire selection.
7) Embed videos or cloud-based photos directly into a document. These capabilities make Word 2013 totally worth it. For videos, click “Insert,” then “Online Video,” then paste an embed code or search via video provider. For Photos, Word 2013 allows users to pull their own photos from Microsoft One Drive for use in a document. Simply click “Insert,” “Online Pictures,” and then browse away.
8) Look up a word’s definition, translation, or synonyms. Right-click on any word in a document to show its definition, translate it into another language, or view its synonyms.
9) Make a specific word, line, or phrase point to a specific Internet link. Copy the link you want to use, highlight your desired text, press Ctrl + K or Command + K, and then paste in the URL.
10) Recover unsaved documents. Gasping in horror after Word closes unexpectedly, wiping out your unsaved content? In Word 2013, click “File,” then “Info,” then “Manage Version,” then select “Recover Unsaved Documents.” Then click “Save As” immediately!
Email from Larry Schweitzer