Microsoft Word Tips
For the best Word tips go to
Reveal Formatting Pane
Did you ever wonder what font, paragraph and line spacing, and other formats are being used in your document? Instead of selecting some text and trying to figure this out by looking at groups in the ribbon, try viewing the Reveal Formatting Pane. This handy tool will show you - at a glance - everything you need to now about a particular part of your document.
To turn on the Reveal Formatting Pane, press SHIFT-F1. You'll see the pane at the right of your screen. Now, if you need to make changes to the Font, Paragraph, or Section, you can click a blue link and instantly go to the modify area.
Normal.dotm Template File
if the normal.dotm file in Word is the cause of problems, rename or delete it. When Word is restarted, normal.dotm will be recreated. However, the normal.dotm does save personal preferences such as Custom Styles, Margins, and a few others. Deleting the normal.dotm will result in these settings being lost. No problem for most Word users, as they can reset their margins - the most frequently changed setting.
It is usually recommended to change the View setting of Folders to show Hidden Files and Folders, but this can show folders and files that, if changed or deleted, could cause your PC to not work properly.
So, a better way to find the normal.dotm in Windows 7 or later is to click start (7), or Windows Key, R (7, 8.1, 10) and type the following:
This will open the folder that contains the normal.dotm file for the currently logged in user. This prevents the accidental deletion of another user's normal.dotm. Just remember: When Word is restarted, a new normal.dotm is created, but not saved until you make a change (e.g. set margins) or exit Word. One other type of file that can be safely deleted is any file that begins with a tilde (~), as it is a temporary file that was leftover from a previous instance of Word. These can cause problems when trying to open a file with the same name (Less the tilde).
Check the Reading Level
Did you ever want to know if your document is difficult to understand? Turn on the Readability Statistics and discover the answer.
Choose File, Options
Choose Proofing from the Category list
Under the "When Correcting Spelling...." heading, place a check in the "Show readability statistics"
Now, when you run a spell check, you'll see the Grade Level of your document (see figure). Try to keep it below 7 for an easily understood document.
Inserting Sample Text
There are times when you want to fill in sample text to practice tasks in Word. Microsoft Word has the rand() function to accomplish this.
In Word, type =rand() and press Enter. Word 2007-2013 will insert three paragraphs about some new Word features. If you need more paragraphs, insert a number in the parentheses. For example, =rand(33) will insert 33 paragraphs. If you need more than three sentences per paragraph, just use two entries in the parentheses, separated by a comma. For example, if you type =rand(4, 15) you'll get fifteen sentences in each of four paragraphs.
If you'd like pseudo-Latin to appear, type Lorem() instead of rand().
Note: You must have the Autocorrect "Replace text as you type" for this to work. In Word 2007 - Office button, (Word 2010-2016, File button) Word Options button, Proofing, Autocorrect Options button, place a check in "Replace text as you type."
Trouble Starting Word
If you are not able to start Word, it may be caused by more than a problem normal.dotm file. Try using the /a switch by holding the CTRL key while starting Word. (startup switches are used to start programs in different ways. Search online help for "startup switches office programs" for more info) Word will start without any add-ins global templates, or the normal template. If Word starts, you can be certain there is a problem template or add-in. To find files that start with Word, exit Word, click Start, and then type (or copy and paste):
Click OK to discover any items loading as an add-in. Next...
click Start (7, 10), or Windows Key, R (7, 8.1, 10) and type (or copy and paste) the following:
Press the Enter key to discover any templates that are loading.
You may have to rename the files you discover, then restart Word. If Word starts, you can repeat the process, correcting the renamed files to their original name, one at a time, until the problem re-occurs. This will pinpoint the problem file.