Microsoft Office 2007 Tour

The tutorials given in this chapter are taken from Introduction to Computer Literacy by Mark D. Bowles.

It is now time to open up Microsoft Word and begin examining some of its most exciting features. It would be impossible to explain all of the icons and functions of the applications we will be reviewing in the next few chapters. Instead, the goal here is to explore some of the features you will use most often. The best way to read these sections is with Word open on your computer. Follow along as you read, and experiment with the various features that are discussed. This will give you a much better understanding of the layout and "feel" of Word.
Section A: The Main Document
Section B: The Home Ribbon
Section C: The Insert Ribbon
Section D: The Page Layout Ribbon
Section E: The References Ribbon
Section F: The Mailings Ribbon
Section G: The Review Ribbon
Section H: The View Ribbon
Word Shortcut Keys

Note: Microsoft Office 2010 was released in June of 2010. It includes several new advanced features and has some small differences from Office 2007. However, the basic functionality of the menus and tools remains the same as in the 2007 version. These tutorials can be used for both versions of Office. For more information on the changes in Microsoft Office 2010 please see the following:

Section A: The Main Document

Let's begin by identifying some of the main elements of the Word screen. The first thing that you notice when you open the program is a big, white, vertical rectangle on a light blue background. This is your paper or Document, awaiting your brilliant thoughts and ideas! Click inside this white box, and you will see a small vertical black blinking bar. This is your cursor, and when you type, letters and numbers will appear on the screen directly to the left of the cursor.

The Ruler and Margins

Just above and to the left of your paper are what look like horizontal and vertical rulers that are divided into numbered inches (the smallest marks are at 1/8-inch intervals). If you don't see a ruler in your document, click on the "View" tab at the top of your screen, and then check the box "Ruler" to make the rulers appear. A standard piece of paper is 8.5" from left to right, and 11" from top to bottom. The Word ruler guides show you exactly where you are typing on this standard-sized paper. The rulers can also be used to set your margins, which define where you can and cannot type on your paper. On the top ruler guide, you will notice that roughly the first inch is light blue. This is your leftmost margin. The part of the ruler that is white is your active paper where you can type. The rightmost margin is the light blue section at the end of the ruler. The ruler provides an easy way to adjust the margins of the paper. Hover your pointer (using your mouse) over it, and it will turn into a double-pointed arrow. When you click and hold your mouse button, a vertical dotted line will appear. This is your left margin, and you can drag it left or right. You can do the same thing with the right, top, and bottom margins, too.


At the very bottom of the screen, you will find other important information. On the left, you will see what page number you are currently working on, and how many total pages are in your document. To the right of that is a count of the total number of words. Moving all the way to the bottom-right corner of the screen, you will see a number with a "%" after it and a minus (–) to plus (+) sliding bar. This is how you zoom in and out of your paper. If you slide the bar to the right, the percentage of zoom increases, and you see your document at a much more detailed level. It is like moving your face very close to a book in real life. If you want to see the document from further away, slide the bar leftward, toward the minus end. There is no correct number here, so experiment to see where the zoom is the most comfortable place for you to edit and write in your document.


Now let's take a look at the top of your screen, which is where you will find access to the powerful features of Word. The top bar is known as the Ribbon, which changes when you select any of the seven main tabs or menu options (Home, Insert, Page Layout, References, Mailings, Review, and View). We will explore each of these main tabs in the rest of this tutorial.


In the upper left-hand corner of your screen, you will see a circle with a Windows logo on it. This is the Office Button, and you will click on it to perform some basic Word functions and also to update your Word Options. Go ahead and click on it, and you will see a list of functions on the left side. The most important are described below.

New is the option that you will select to open a new document. The steps to do this are Office Button, then New, and finally Blank Document. You can open as many documents at one time as you like. After you select New, you will see a pop-up box with a list of Templates. These are important because they are predesigned Word documents that are ready for you to use. Some of the most popular templates are brochures, calendars, faxes, newsletters, and memos.

Open and Save

Again, in the Office Button, Open is what you should select if you want to edit an existing document that you created earlier. This will open up a window in My Documents where you will see all of your personal files and folders. From there, you can find the document you want to edit. Double-click it, and it will open in Word. Save is important because it enables you to keep all your hard work safely on your hard drive or flash drive so that you can access it again in the future with the Open command. Although Word has an Autosave function, it is a good idea to manually save your document frequently by clicking the Save button.

One other important point is that when you select Save As, you can change the file name and also its format. If you click the "Save as type " drop-down box (as pictured above), you can see some of the many file format options. The option highlighted in the illustration allows you to save the Word document in a format used by an earlier version of the program. Although the latest version of the program will open all the older versions, if you are sharing a document with someone who has an older version of Word, that person would not be able to open the newest version. In technical terms, this means that software is backward compatible but not forward compatible.


The Print option is also here, and this is what you will select to send your document to a printer. When you select Print, another window opens with several options for you. The first is a drop-down box where you see the default printer, and also a list of all other printers that you can select on your computer. Then you can define which of the pages you want to print in the Page Range. This includes All for the entire document, Current Page for just the page where your cursor is now, and Pages, which allows you to specify a range of pages to print.

Word Options

There is one other important button you should know about here. At the bottom of the Office Button window, you will see Word Options. There are numerous options to explore here, so we will focus only on some of the most important ones. You will access these by selecting the options on the left side of the Word Options box. These options include Popular, Display, Proofing, Save, Advanced, Customize, Add-Ins, Trust Center, and Resources. Let's take a look at a few of the most helpful of these to get you started. Popular has several frequently used functions, such as changing the background color from the standard blue to silver or black. Display provides ways to change how the document content is displayed on the screen and also how it looks when you print it. Proofing is the place you will go when you want to change how Word formats and corrects the text that you type. It is important to make sure the boxes next to "Check spelling as you type" and the "Mark grammar errors as you type" are checked. When these options are selected, Word will underline words and phrases that it thinks are misspelled or grammatically incorrect so that you can fix any errors immediately. The Customize option is helpful because it enables you to add commands to the top of the screen and to the Quick Access Toolbar. Simply find the commands that you use most often, select Add, and they will appear for you on this toolbar.

Finally, the Save option is to let you customize how Word documents are saved. You should save your files in the most recent format unless you will be sharing them with someone who has an older version of Word. A file format is the way that a particular computer application stores its information. If you are in Word and save your file with the name AshfordFinalPaper, the program will add to this name an extension that indicates the file format. The extension in Word 2007 is .docx, and it indicates what program the computer should use to open it. Older versions of Word save files with the .doc extension as the default. There are hundreds of different file extensions that you will encounter as you use different programs. Microsoft uses .ppt or .pptx for a PowerPoint presentation (more on this in Tutorial A3), and .xls and .xlsx for an Excel spreadsheet (again, more on this in a later tutorial). Web pages often use .html as an extension, and images often have .bmp, .jpg, .tif, or .gif as file extensions. Audio files might have extensions such as .mp3 or .wma, and movie files can be identified with the .mov, .wmv, .mpeg, or .avi extensions.

With a general introduction to the Word screen behind us, we are now ready to look at what we can do with Word.

Questions to Consider

  1. Which button in Word do you select to get to your printing options?
  2. What are the names of the seven main "Ribbons" or tabs in Word?
  3. What is a template, and where would you find one in Word? List some examples.
  4. How do you add buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar?
  5. How do you print a document?
  6. What is a file extension, and what are some common ones?

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Section B: The Home Ribbon

Now we can proceed to exploring the various Ribbons. The following sections will each explore a different Word Ribbon, so make sure you have the program open as you read. We will begin with Home, because that is the default tab that is selected when you open Word. The Home Ribbon is important because the most commonly used functions reside here, so this is where you will spend most of your time in Word.


If you look at the Ribbon, you will note that it is divided into five main sections: Clipboard, Font, Paragraph, Styles, and Editing. The Clipboard is for "cutting and pasting." No scissors and glue are required here; instead, this is a generic term that can be used across all Microsoft applications to describe what you do when you want to literally copy text or an image from one place and paste it somewhere else. Remember that you never have to retype something to move it. Copy and paste it!

Quick Access Toolbar

To get some practice cutting and pasting, go ahead and type some sample text onto your paper. We will use this sample text to experiment with. This is a good time to mention that you cannot make a mistake that you cannot recover from, because all Microsoft products have an Undo and Redo function. The very top bar of the screen is the Quick Access Toolbar where your most frequent tasks can be placed, and they do not change when you adjust the ribbons. Take a look at some of the icons that are there now (later, you will learn how to add your own). The first one is an icon of an old 3.5" floppy disk, and when you click it, you will Save your document. The next icon (a curved arrow that points toward the left) is the Undo button. Type some text, delete it, and then select the Undo button to see what happens. If you change your mind and decide that you really want to keep what you undid, then you can always select the Redo icon (the curved arrow to the right of the Undo button).

Cut and Paste

Now, back to the Home Clipboard. After you type in some text, go ahead and highlight a portion of it by clicking and holding the left mouse button and moving your pointer over the text you want to copy. If you want to Cut it, select the scissors icon, and the text will disappear, although it is not really gone. It has been copied to the Clipboard. To see it, look for a very tiny arrow on the Clipboard Ribbon (to the right of the word "clipboard") pointing to the bottom right. Select it, and a panel on the left will open up that shows the actual Clipboard. There is your cut text. Now, if you want to Paste it to a different part of your document, simply move your cursor there and select the large Paste button on the Ribbon. The keyboard command Control C (which means that you press and hold down the Ctrl key while at the same time pressing the C key) will also copy text. Control V will paste it.


The second area of the Home Ribbon that we want to look at is the Font section. The word Font refers to the style and size of the text that you are using in your document. There are lots of different font styles, and you can combine as many styles as you like on a page. The default is Times New Roman, but to see all the font styles, select the drop-down arrow next to Times New Roman. Find what you like, select it, and you will start typing in this font. The font point size determines how large the text is, and the default setting is the number 12. The larger the point size, the bigger the font. Below these options are important icons. The "B" icon enables you to put text in boldface, the "I" stands for italics, and the "U" will let you underline words. You can also change the text color by selecting the down arrow next to the A with a red bar under it. Find a color you like, select it, and the highlighted text in your document changes to that color.


The third area of the Home Ribbon is the Paragraph section. At the top, you will find three important icons that enable you to format lists (bulleted or numbered) or outlines (multilevel lists). Highlight the text you have written in your document, and click each of these icons to see what happens. This is a great feature for taking notes or planning out a final paper for an Ashford course. Under those icons are buttons to "justify" your text. The first is Left Justify, which is what you will use most of the time. This will keep a straight left margin, and when you type and get to the end of a line, the computer will move the next word down to the following line. (There is no need to hyphenate words any more.) The second icon is Center Justify. Use this to center text on your screen. The third is Right Justify. The final option here is simply called Justify. This is for when you want to align text so that the left and right margins are straight, to make your document look like a page in a published book.


One final icon to note in this section is the one that has an A and a Z on it. This is the Sort icon. This is a great feature when you are alphabetizing a list of names, such as when you are building a bibliography. If you have lots of authors listed and they are not in alphabetical order, highlight them, select this button, and Word will organize for you. Numbers can also be sorted.


The fourth area of the Home Ribbon is the Styles section. All of your text can be assigned different styles, and the default style is called Normal. You will see this listed as the third option in the Styles section. There are lots of different options. For example, if you want to have a dramatic title for your paper, go to your first page, highlight your title, and select the Title style. Or if you are writing a paper with subheadings, you can do the same thing for added emphasis. Highlight your subsection name and then select one of the heading styles. We will see how important this feature is later when we look at building a table of contents.

Find and Replace

The final area of the Home Ribbon, all the way to the right of your screen, is the Editing section. The most important part of this is the Find option with the binoculars. When you have a very long document and you want to search for a specific word or phrase, select this icon, type the word or phrase in the "Find and Replace" box, and Word will find it for you. An even more powerful feature is the Replace option. Let's say that you realize that you mistyped an author's name many times in a document. You should not try to change all of these yourself, because it would take a long time and you might miss some of them. To fix the error quickly and easily, let Word do it. If the author's name was "John Reed" and you accidentally called him "John Read," follow this procedure to fix it. Click the binoculars, enter "Read," select the Replace tab, and type "Reed" in the Replace With box. Finally, select Replace All, and Word will fix your entire document.

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Section C: The Insert Ribbon

Now go ahead and click on the Insert Ribbon, and you will see Word change the screen with seven entirely new sections. These are Pages, Tables, Illustrations, Links, Header & Footer, Text, and Symbols. The general theme for this area is that this is where you will go when you want to add things (thus the name "Insert") to your Word document. These insertions might include additional pages, page numbers, images, or hyperlinks to Web pages.

Inserting Pages

The first area of the Insert Ribbon is the Pages section. The first icon, called the Cover Page, presents you with many different templates that you can use for a title page of a report or paper. Click on Cover Page now, select one you like, fill in the information, and you will instantly have an attractive beginning page for your document. (Keep in mind that these templates do not always comply with APA format, which is a requirement for your Ashford papers.) The second and third icons in this section, Blank Page and Page Break, are similar in that they add a new page to your document.

Inserting Tables

The second area of the Insert Ribbon is the Tables section. Tables are a very important way for you to build charts of data in Word. To do this, select the Table drop-down arrow, and you will see a 10 x 8 grid (10 boxes from left to right and 8 boxes from top to bottom). Go ahead and try it now, and select (don't worry you can easily change your mind later) the size of table you want. If you want a 4 x 4 table, then start your mouse pointer in the upper-left corner, move it four boxes to the right and then four boxes down. Click your mouse button, and instantly a blank table with 16 squares is inserted into your document.

Example of a 4x4 table with a design

You can now type in each of these boxes. You will also notice that two new ribbon options appear at the top of the screen called Table Tools, and they provide you with Design and Layout options to make your table look exactly the way you want. Design lets you change the style and color, and Layout is where you can insert and delete columns and rows.

Inserting Clip Art and Pictures

The third area of the Insert Ribbon is the Illustrations section. This is a fun area that lets you enliven your document with graphics and pictures. The first icon, called Picture, will open up your My Pictures folder. This is where you should store all the images that you download from your digital camera. Find an image that you want to insert into your document, double-click it, and there it is. The second icon is Clip Art, which provides access to thousands of free cartoons and other images from Microsoft that you can use to illustrate your ideas. When you select this icon, a Clip Art window will open on the right side of your screen. You can then enter key words that describe the types of images you are looking for, and Word will find them for you. For example, type in the word "dog," and see how many dog clip art images show up (you can even type in the name of a specific breed of dog to narrow down the possibilities). When you see an image you like, double-click it, and it will appear in your document. The third icon is Shapes, which lets you build your own simple graphics. Clicking on it reveals a drop-down box in which you can select lines, arrows, basic shapes (circles, squares, and so on), callouts like the "balloons"" in which the words appear in comic strips, and stars. The final icon in this section is Charts, and we are going to skip that for now because this important topic will be covered in our spreadsheet tutorial.

Inserting Links

The fourth area of the Insert Ribbon is the Links section. Bookmark and Cross-Reference are ways for you to mark items or locations in very long documents so that you can easily access them. For example, if you are writing a paper and find that you are frequently referring to a chart on page 37, then bookmark it, give it a name, and in the future you will be able to access it easily. The Hyperlink icon is something that you will probably use more often. Highlight some sample text in your document and then select the Hyperlink icon. You will then see an Address bar at the bottom where you can enter the name of any Web site. Click OK when you are done, and you will see that the sample text that you selected is an active Web link (blue underlined text). If you hold down the Control Button and single-click on the hyperlink, Word will take you to that Web page. This is helpful if people will be reading your document electronically, but if you are simply going to print it out and give to someone, you do not need to use this function.

Modifying the Header and Footer

The fifth area of the Insert Ribbon is the Header & Footer section. Headers and footers refer to the space at the top and bottom of your page that is reserved for items like page numbers, chapter headings, draft status, time, date, author name, or other information. If you want to use this space, selecting the Header icon, the Footer icon, or the Page Number icon will enable you to customize these areas however you like. To enter a page number, you have a number of different options. Select the Page Number icon, and you will see a variety of options for placement at the top or bottom of the page, and also numerous formatting options. For example, if you want a page number at the bottom of the screen, select the Page Number icon, hover your pointer over the Bottom of Page option, and then Word will display dozens of different options from which you can select. Make your choice, and Word will then number your document.

Inserting a Text Box

The sixth area of the Insert Ribbon is the Text section. This section has a couple of extremely important features, and Text Box is likely to be the one you use most often. As you begin using Word, you will soon see that you cannot just click anywhere on your document and enter text. For example, if you wanted a letter "A" to appear in the middle of your page, you would have to press the Enter key until the cursor was in the middle of the page, and then press the space bar until you reach the center of the line (or you could use the Center Justify icon we learned about earlier). But an easier way to place text wherever you want is to create a Text Box.

When you click on the Text Box button, you will first see multiple styles of text boxes, but for now, just select the Draw Text Box option at the bottom. Your pointer will then turn into a small cross, and you will be able to use it to draw a box of any size you like. The box that you draw becomes your Text Box. You can move it around by selecting the edges and dragging it. But most importantly, you can type inside the box and then move it anywhere you like on the screen.

When you click on Text Box, you will also notice a new ribbon option that appears at the top of the screen called Text Box Tools. This will give you several options for coloring or adding 3D effects to your box.

The final area of the Insert Ribbon is the Symbols section. We do not need to spend much time on this feature, but it allows you to insert specialized mathematical symbols as well as characters used in languages other than English.

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Section D: The Page Layout Ribbon

Now we are going to move to the third ribbon, which is called Page Layout. This is an important ribbon because it allows you to change the overall look and layout of your document. You will notice that some of the icons are "grayed out," or inactive, here. This means that they are not available until you perform some other function such as highlighting or selecting text or clip art. When you do that, the icon will then darken and become active for you. You will see examples of this below.

Page Themes

The first section of the Page Layout Ribbon is Themes. This section will only make changes to your document if you have already selected Styles with different headers. We covered this feature in the Home ribbon. Once you have Styles applied and you select the Theme icon, you will find many different professional looks for your document, such as Civic, Metro, and Opulent. Just pass your mouse pointer over them, and watch your document change. But remember that this feature will not do anything unless you have Styles already assigned.

Page Orientation

The second area of the Page Layout Ribbon is the Page Setup section. You will find that with all Microsoft programs, there are often several different ways to perform the same function. Which one you use is based on your preference, and here we see some options we have encountered before, such as the Margins and Breaks icons. One very important button here is the Orientation icon. When you first open Word, you see a large white box that is taller than it is wide. This is called a Portrait orientation, and it is the format you will use for your class papers. However, you can also select the Landscape option if you have text or images that are longer from left to right than up and down.

Page Background

The third area of the Page Layout Ribbon is the Page Background section. The first option is the Watermark icon. A watermark is a lightly shaded text block, or image, that appears in the background of the main words of a paper. Here you can have Word set up several standard options such as "Confidential," or you can enter your own custom mark. The second option is Page Color, where you can simply change the color of the background from white to any other color you can imagine. However, class papers at Ashford should always be in the standard white color. The final option here is Page Borders, where you can insert different styles of borders around the outside of the page.

Paragraph Indenting and Spacing

The fourth area of the Page Layout Ribbon is the Paragraph section. The first option here is Indent, which will change a single paragraph. If you want to change the indent for the entire document, you would select the Margins option that we discussed earlier. You can also change the spacing before and after a paragraph here. Typically, this should be "0 pt," which means that no additional space will be added before and after each paragraph.

Arranging Text

The final area of the Page Layout Ribbon is the Arrange section. You will need to have a Text Box on your screen to try out some of these features, so go ahead and draw one. It is also a good idea for you to insert a clip art image into the box. The first option is Position. Select your text box and click on this button and when you pass your pointer over it, you will see the text box move around the screen. The next two options, Bring to Front and Send to Back, are for layering images on top of each other. You will likely not need these unless you are performing more advanced graphical design functions. The Text Wrapping option is important because this is a tool that enables you to tell Word how you want your words to be wrapped around any image or text box. This is great for brochures or flyers that you might create, because it gives them a very professional look. The final option in this section is the Rotate icon. Select your clip art, and when you press the Rotate button, you will see that you can spin it left or right, or flip it vertically.

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Section E: The References Ribbon

The References Ribbon is a dream come true for a researcher. From automatically updating a table of contents, to creating footnotes and pictures that renumber themselves, these features are essential for all college students to learn to use well. Even though you will not use all of these features right away, it is important to learn about them so that when you are working on longer documents, you will have these skills at hand. Make sure that you practice all of these features. As with all new skills, they will take you longer the first time you use them, because you will be trying to understand what they can do. But with practice and repetition comes speed, and soon you will be "thinking in Word."

Table of Contents

The first area of the References Ribbon is the Table of Contents section. This is a great tool for long documents with multiple chapters or subsections. Again, for this to work, you have to apply header Styles to subsection titles. Once you do this, Word will automatically create a table of contents. Simply go to the first page of your document, select the Table of Contents icon and then choose the style that you want, and Word will create a complete table of contents with page numbers for you. As you write, you will have to periodically update the page numbers and titles in the table of contents. To do this, left click on the table, select Update Field, and then select Update Entire Table. The Table of Contents is also a great way for you to access your document. Find a subsection you want to go to, hold down the control key, and then click with your mouse, and Word will take you right to that section of the document.


The second area of the References Ribbon is the Footnotes section. A footnote is what you use to indicate that you are relying on the words or ideas of another author. (For your Ashford research papers, you will use APA formatting, which has parenthetical references that do not require footnotes.) When you select the Insert Footnote button, a small superscripted number will appear where your cursor was, and then that number will also appear under a line at the bottom of the page. Here is where you will enter all footnoted information. A helpful feature when you are editing and rearranging a paper is that Footnotes will renumber themselves automatically. For example, if you move footnote 3 to the start of the document, it will be changed automatically to footnote 1, and the other notes will also change to sequential numbers.


The third area of the References Ribbon is the Citations & Bibliography section. This is a feature that you can use if you want to automate your bibliography. The bibliography is a list of all references that you use in a research paper. To automate your bibliography, you have to tell Word what all of your sources are. Begin by selecting the Insert Citation drop-down box, and then select Add New Source. Here you will get a dialog box where you will fill out all the information on each of your sources, such as author, publisher, and date. Next, you will select the Style option and choose APA for your format. Finally, go to the end of the document, select the Bibliography drop-down box and then select Insert Bibliography. For short papers with fewer than 10 references, you may find that it is easier to simply type the references yourself and not automate them. Again, that is up to you.


The fourth area of the References Ribbon is the Captions section. This works much like the Footnotes section, except that Captions are used to number and identify images, figures, and pictures. To see how this works, insert an image and then select the Insert Caption icon. You will see a dialog box with the words "Figure 1" on top. This is the number that Word will update if you move the image around in your document, renumbering it just as Word does with Footnotes. You can also type your own identifying text after it to describe or caption the picture.


The fifth area of the References Ribbon is the Index section. You would only use this if you were writing a book, and you wanted to create an index from all of your text. This is not something that you will be doing at this point in your educational career, so we will not spend much time on it. The final reference section is called the Table of Authorities. Again, this is an area that you will not use right away, but if you go into the field of law, you will find this to be a great tool.

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Section F: The Mailings Ribbon

If you have ever wanted to send the same letter to a large number of people, or even if you send out holiday cards every year, this section is for you. The Mailings Ribbon has two main features. The first is to create envelopes and labels, and the second is called Mail Merge.

Envelopes and Labels

Let's begin with the simpler of the two features, which is Envelopes and Labels. Look at the Create section of the Mailings Ribbon. There you will find two icons. The first is Envelopes, and it is used to print a mailing address and a return address on any size of envelope. When you select it, a dialog box will appear. If you are writing a letter, Word will try to determine the proper Delivery Address, but be sure to verify that it is correct. If it is not, then modify it in the first box. Under that is a Return Address. Once you are done, select the Options button to change the size of the envelope. Double-check it by selecting the Preview option. If it looks good, then you can click on Print or select Add to Document to save it for later printing. The second icon in this section is Labels. If you go to an office supply store like Office Max or Staples, you will find sheets of many different sizes of labels for addresses, nametags, or shipping. Avery is a well-known maker of such labels. When you purchase a box of labels, Word gives you a predesigned template that matches the size of your labels. Select the Labels icon to see how this works. When you do this, you will see the label size that is the Word default. You can change this by selecting Options. Then you can decide whether you want to create one label or a full page. If you want a full-page option, then select New Document, and the template will be created on a new page that matches the labels you just purchased at the store.


The other four sections of the Mailings Ribbon have to do with the Mail Merge features. This is a very powerful feature of Word and also more complicated than other features that we have looked at so far. The general idea behind it is this. Let's say you have a letter that you want to mail to 50 different people. Mail Merge will allow you to type the letter once, enter all of the custom fields and address information in a database, and then "merge" the Word document and database together to either email or send as postal mail. Because this is a complex process, Word has a helpful Wizard to assist. Wizards are tools that walk you step by step through a complicated process. You should use the Wizard the first time you attempt a Mail Merge, but after that you may find that you prefer doing it manually. For now, let's walk through it with the Wizard.

Mail Merge: Starting Your Document

To begin, select Start Mail Merge and choose the Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard. You will notice that a new panel opens up on the right side of the screen. The first decision you must make is the type of document you want to create. This is Step 1 of 6. Examples are letters, email, envelopes, and so on. Select Letter for our example, and then look at the bottom right side of the screen and select Next: Starting Document.

Step 2 is where you tell Word what document you want to use. You can use a preexisting one, but for now go ahead and write a sample letter in the Word document that is open, and make sure the option to Use the Current Document is selected. Again, look at the bottom of the screen and click on Next: Select Recipients.

Step 3 is where you tell Word the names and addresses of the people to whom you want to send the letter. Let's assume that you do not have any contacts saved yet, so select Type a New List and then under that select Create. A New Address List dialog box will appear, and you can begin typing in the information about each of the intended recipients, such as first name, last name, company name, and address. You can select Customize Columns to add new types of information. Of course, you can enter more than one name, so when you finish with the first one, simply select New Entry and repeat the process.

Mail Merge: Fields

You are now ready for Step 4. At the bottom-right corner of the screen, select Next: Write your Letter. At this point if you have already written your message, you will want to start entering fields that correspond to the information you entered in Step 3. You do this by selecting Insert Merge Field from the Write & Insert Fields section of the Mailings Ribbon. When you do this, you will be able to choose from all of your fields. Let's say that in your letter you want to begin it with the word "Dear," but you want to customize all 50 letters by including the person's first name. Place your cursor after the Dear and select Insert Merge Field, then select First Name, and finally click on Close. You will notice that your document looks like this: Dear «First Name». Go ahead and enter any other Fields that you want in your letter and then select Next: Preview Your Letter.

Mail Merge: Preview Recipients

In Step 5 you can see what all of your letters will look like for all 50 recipients. At the right side of the screen, you will see "Recipient 1." Arrows underneath will enable you to cycle forward and backward through your database of 50 letters. Leave it at Recipient 1 for now and then look at your main document. You will see that your field codes such as «First Name» have now disappeared and have been replaced by the actual information. Quickly check through all of the letters to make sure they look good, and then select Next: Complete the Merge. You are now at Step 6, the final step, and you have the option to print all letters for all of your recipients. Again, this is a complicated process, but the above guidelines and the use of the Wizard should help you through it.

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Section G: The Review Ribbon

The Review Ribbon has several valuable tools that you will use most often after your document is completed. The first area of the Review Ribbon is the Proofing section. Most importantly this includes the Spelling & Grammar check. Your automatic spell check and grammar check should already be turned on. Do this by selecting the Microsoft Office Button, Word Options, Proofing, and "Check grammar with spelling." It is always a good idea to run this option after you are finished with a document because it will also provide readability statistics. You turn on this feature by selecting the Microsoft Office Button, Word Options, Proofing, and then clicking the "Show readability statistics" box.

Below is an example of the readability statistics for a simple sentence. Much of the information is self-explanatory. The Flesch Reading Ease number rates text on a 100-point scale, with 100 being the easiest to read and 0 being the most difficult. The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test rates the text on a standard U.S. school grade level. For example, if the number is 8, it means that an average eighth grader should be able to understand the document.


The Proofing section also includes a Research icon where you can enter a search term and Word will explore online databases like Encarta to find the answer. This feature is rarely used, and it is better just to go online yourself to research. For example, should you need a definition of a word as you work, an excellent place to go is An even better option is to use the Ashford library (more about this later). You can also find other helpful commands here such as a Thesaurus (where you can see words that are similar in meaning to each other) and a Word Count button.


The second area of the Review Ribbon is the Comments section. If you are working on a group project and want to review each other's work, you should become familiar with this section. Highlight some text that you want to say something about, and then select the New Comment icon. This will create a red comment balloon off to the right of the page and a dotted line extending to your highlighted text. You will see "Comment [yourname]:" and here is where you should type your thoughts. This does not change the actual document, but allows you to record your thoughts for other people to see. If you want to actually edit the document with a suggested change, consider using the next section of this ribbon.

Track Changes

The third area of the Review Ribbon is the Tracking section. This is a very important area when you are working with teams because it allows you to edit a document (cut, paste, delete, add) in such a way that Word will show all of the edits that you have made. To turn this feature on, select the Track Changes drop-down box and select the Track Changes option. When Track Changes is turned on, for example, if you delete something Word will not erase it but instead show it like this: Here is an example of how deleted text looks with Track Changes. Word can also place the deleted text in a bubble off to the side of the screen. Enable this option by selecting the Balloons icon and selecting Show Revisions in Balloons. Then when you pass this document back to your team members they can decide whether they want to accept or reject each of your changes. This is done by using the Changes section, which is the fourth area of the Review Ribbon. If you like the change that was suggested, highlight it and then press the Accept button. If you do not like a change, then click on the Reject icon. To see all of the suggested edits, select Final Showing Markup in the drop-down box. The word markup refers to all of the edits. To see the document without the edit marks, select Final in the drop-down box.

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Section H: The View Ribbon

Congratulations! You have made it to the final Word ribbon, which is called the View Ribbon. Since you have made it this far, the options in the View Ribbon should be somewhat self-explanatory to you.

Viewing Your Document

The first area of the View Ribbon is the Document Views section. Typically you will leave this on the Print Layout option. This is WYSIWYG, so whatever you put on your document will print out exactly as you see it. The second area of this ribbon is the Show/Hide section. This feature enables you to turn off and on various parts of your display, such as the ruler bar on top or gridlines if you want help precisely placing objects on your page (gridlines look like graph paper). The third area is Zoom, and we have encountered this feature in an earlier section.


The fourth area of the View Ribbon is called Window. Here, you can decide how you want to display the various windows that you are working on. For example, New Window is a feature in which a new window opens for you to work in while a view of the current document also remains. The Arrange All icon will take all of your Word windows and equally fit them on your screen. The Split icon divides your current document into two sections so that you can work in two different places in the same document at the same time. This is very helpful for long documents.


The final area of the View Ribbon is the Macros section. A Macro is a powerful function that enables you to automate some of your repetitive tasks. In other words, you can combine several tasks within Word and transform them into one single command. As you progress in your computing expertise, you can program these tasks using Visual Basic for Applications, which (as we discussed earlier) is a programming language. For now, the easiest way to begin exploring this function is to record a sequence of your actions and have Word remember them for a later replay.

How to Record a Macro

Here are the steps you need to take to record a Macro. First, select the drop-down button under Macros and select Record Macros. You will then see a dialog box that lets you name your Macro, provide a description, and also assign the macro to either a Button or a Keyboard command. When you are done, select OK, and your recording will begin. You will notice that your mouse pointer changes into a small cassette tape icon, and this means that Word is recording your actions. Take your time. Word is not recording how long it takes you to perform the task. It is only remembering the sequence of steps. One example of a Macro might be to change your default printer from your LaserJet to your InkJet, and print the current document in a presentation-quality color. A second Macro could then reset your printer to the LaserJet. If you go back and forth between these printing options, you will find that a Macro will save you much time. The types of macros you create are limited only by your imagination.

This ends our journey into Word. Remember that practice makes perfect and that you will need to keep practicing to become perfect! But since no one ever is perfect, please refer to this guide whenever you need reminders. Also, Word has a very good help feature that you can access in the top right corner of the screen. It is a small blue question-mark icon, and after you select it you can type in keywords for whatever information you require. Now go forth and enjoy your newfound familiarity with the powers of Word.

Questions to Consider
  1. What is the first Ribbon you see when you open Word?
  2. Which Ribbon would you select to change the page margins?
  3. What is a Theme? What is a Style?
  4. How do you insert a Text Box, and what is it used for?
  5. What are the steps required to insert an image into a document?
  6. How do you add page numbers to a document?
  7. Where is the Table of Contents creator located?
  8. Which Ribbon would you select to address an envelope?
  9. What are the main steps of the Mail Merge function? When would you use it?
  10. What is the best way to Spell Check your document?
  11. What are some features you could use when you are editing a document with a group of people?
  12. What is a Macro? What can you use it to do?

Word Shortcut Keys

The information in the following table comes from

Command Name

Shortcut Keys

All Caps




App Maximize


App Restore


Apply Heading1


Apply Heading2


Apply Heading3


Apply List Bullet


Auto Format


Auto Text






Browse Next


Browse Previous


Browse Sel




Center Para


Change Case


Char Left


Char Left Extend


Char Right


Char Right Extend




Close or Exit


Close Pane


Column Break


Column Select




Copy Format


Copy Text


Create Auto Text


Customize Add Menu


Customize Keyboard


Customize Remove Menu




Date Field


Delete Back Word


Delete Word




Do Field Click


Doc Close


Doc Maximize


Doc Move


Doc Restore


Doc Size


Doc Split


Double Underline


End of Column


End of Column


End of Doc Extend


End of Document


End of Line


End of Line Extend


End of Row


End of Row


End of Window


End of Window Extend


Endnote Now


Extend Selection


Field Chars


Field Codes






Font Size Select


Footnote Now


Go Back


Go To

CTRL+G or F5

Grow Font


Grow Font One Point


Hanging Indent


Header Footer Link












Justify Para


Left Para


Line Down


Line Down Extend


Line Up


Line Up Extend


List Num Field


Lock Fields

CTRL+3 or CTRL+F11



Mail Merge Check


Mail Merge Edit Data Source


Mail Merge to Doc


Mail Merge to Printer


Mark Citation


Mark Index Entry


Mark Table of Contents Entry


Menu Mode


Merge Field


Microsoft Script Editor


Microsoft System Info


Move Text




Next Cell


Next Field

F11 or ALT+F1

Next Misspelling


Next Object


Next Window




Normal Style




Open or Close Up Para


Other Pane

F6 or SHIFT+F6



Outline Collapse


Outline Demote


Outline Expand


Outline Expand


Outline Move Down


Outline Move Up


Outline Promote


Outline Show First Line






Page Break


Page Down


Page Down Extend


Page Field


Page Up


Page Up Extend


Para Down


Para Down Extend


Para Up


Para Up Extend




Paste Format


Prev Cell


Prev Field


Prev Object


Prev Window




Print Preview






Redo or Repeat


Repeat Find




Reset Char


Reset Para


Revision Marks Toggle


Right Para




Save As


Select All


Select Table


Show All


Show All Headings


Show Heading1


Show Heading2


Show Heading3


Show Heading4


Show Heading5


Show Heading6


Show Heading7


Show Heading8


Show Heading9


Shrink Font


Shrink Font One Point


Small Caps


Space Para1


Space Para15


Space Para2




Start of Column


Start of Column


Start of Doc Extend


Start of Document


Start of Line


Start of Line Extend


Start of Row


Start of Row


Start of Window


Start of Window Extend








Symbol Font




Time Field


Toggle Field Display


Toggle Master Subdocs




Un Hang


Un Indent






Unlink Fields


Unlock Fields


Update Auto Format


Update Fields


Update Source




Web Go Back


Web Go Forward


Word Left


Word Left Extend


Word Right


Word Right Extend


Word Underline