Five of the Most Underutilized Features in Microsoft Word

1. Style Formatting

Changes the look of text so there is consistency within the document. It is very useful for making changes to an entire document such as a training manual. They can be used to create headings that feature the same font throughout a document and can also be used to create bullets and page numbers.

Styles can be modified by right-clicking on a style and making changes. For example, you may like Heading 1, but not the font size. Simply right-click on Heading 1, select Modify and select a different font size.


If you change a Heading that is already in use, all of them will automatically change, making your editing time much faster. For example, if you are using Heading 1, and you change it to Heading 2, all instances of Heading 1 will be changed throughout the document without you having to do it manually, one by one!


2. Paste Special (unformatted)

When you copy and paste from another source, particularly the Internet, the text in a Word document will look unusual. There will be spacing problems, font problems, and page layout problems. If you try to change font sizes, colour and spacing all manually, some of these changes will be difficult to see until printed. Using the paste special will copy the text into a blank document using the default font so you can make your own changes more easily.


3. Quick Parts – Fields

Quick Parts allow the user to insert fields like dates, author name and path (file location) with an embedded code that automatically updates. Instead of typing the date or path manually, the code is inserted within the document. Quick Parts are found on the INSERT Tab in Word 2013 and 2016.

4. Format Painter

The Format Painter is used to copy a format, such as a colour, font size or style, from one section of a document to another. You just highlight the text that looks the way you want, click the Format Painter (it’s on the HOME tab), then sweep it across the text you want to change. A quick way to align bullets in a paragraph that does not look the same as another set of bullets is to use the Format Painter.

This feature is also available in Excel and PowerPoint, and although it has been around for a long time, people are unaware of its potential benefits.

5. Find & Replace (more)

Find and Replace is great for finding words within a document, but did you know you can also find other items like Fonts, Styles, Graphics and Section Breaks, to name a few?

To find these Formats and Special features, select Replace from the HOME tab. At the bottom of the Find and Replace window, you will see Format and Special. Instead of typing words in the Find what and Replace with boxes, you will click on one of the items in the list.

For example, you may wish to replace all the Heading 1 styles with Heading 2 all in one action.

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