Hints and Tips in Word 2003

Rebecca Day - 15 th June 2011 - speaking to the Computer Branch

In Word 2003, most things start from the STANDARD, FORMAT and MENU toolbars at the top of the page.  Hover over or click your cursor on each icon to find out what it one does.  (Word 2007 has a different, “Ribbon” structure, but the same features will be in there somewhere - so, for 2007 users I’m afraid it’s get the Manual out/make friends with HELP on the MENU Bar/post questions on the internet or, of course, ask a member of the friendly BFHS Computer team!)

As well as the Standard and Format Toolbars you have a choice of many others which you can use by going to VIEW, TOOLBARS and clicking on the ones that will help you with a particular task, from the drop down list.  Try some out.  Then go back to VIEW, TOOLBARS and untick them when you have finished with them.

What does the Pilcrow on the toolbar do? (also known as the “backward P” on your top toolbar or the “Enter” mark).  It’s actually a “switch”.  Work in VIEW, PRINT, LAYOUT and click for on or offOFF shows your page as it will print and ON shows marks that tell you how you have set up your page (the marks never print) – try typing something to find out what they mean e.g.when you switch it on you will notice that between words is a small dot at mid-height, one for each space - if a line of text ends with this dot, Word has checked the margins and automatically “wrapped” the text down to the next line while you type.  

  1. The Pilcrow mark at the end of a line shows that the ENTER key has been used to start a new line.
  2. A small back arrow at the end of a line shows that the SHIFT key and ENTER was used to start a different sort of new line, which allows you to bypass any settings (numbering, double line spacing etc), for one row at a time.
  3. Arrows pointing right show that the TAB (tabulation) key on your keyboard, has been used to space words or figures out. A row of dots on the line ………… shows the SPACE BAR has been used.   Because you can see how the formatting has been done, it’s very easy to change it when you need to. 

Don’t forget to RIGHT CLICK - it took me ages to remember to use this and it’s the quickest way to access many functions including CUT, COPY, PASTE and all sorts of other useful tasks - but do remember to first highlight any text you plan to change! 

FIND AND REPLACE - So you’ve typed something (maybe several times) but decide you want to change it.  It can be hard to find, and be sure you have found every instance. If you go to EDIT, FIND and enter the word you are looking for, if it’s there, Word will find it for you in all its locations. If you decide to alter the word once you have found it, click on REPLACE and type your change in.  You can then look at each match and decide which matches to change or leave alone.  Experiment with other features which enable you to change punctuation etc.  A word of caution – you must enter exactly what you want to find -searching for ‘members’ won’t find ‘member’ and looking for ‘member’ will also bring up ‘remember’ unless you ask it to search for whole words in the MORE drop-down box. 

Now for a bit of BREAKING AND ENTERING!  Do you wish you could change where the end of your page comes?  When you just need to add one or two more lines?  Word automatically starts a new page when it reaches the bottom margin but you can change this.  Using CONTROL and ENTER will start a new page (or “break”) where you want it.  If you go to INSERT, BREAK, you will see other BREAKS to choose from – some can be used for setting just parts of a page - to allow for a section with columns or different margins etc. Have a play and see what you get – use your curvy back arrow to recover. 

 Do you use the RULERS at the top and left side of your page?  First go to VIEW (on the header bar at the top of your screen) and click on PRINT LAYOUT.   Then go to VIEW and click on RULER (you may need to click on the down arrows to find it).

You can now see, and quickly change, the size of your page and margins by finding, clicking and dragging the double arrows between the grey and white area on the Ruler. It takes a bit of practice to hover where the colour changes until you locate them.  For more Margin options go to FILE, PAGE SET UP and MARGINS where you will see a handy little sub menu of options – have a look at “Margins” and “Paper”.    

Why not try out some of the other options under VIEW – these are on/off switches - easy to turn off if you don’t like what you find. 

HEADER & FOOTER is a good one - it can set up a repeat heading on every page; insert page numbers etc – try out the pop-up menu.  Hover your cursor over each icon and it will tell you what it does. 

The TAB KEY - so much easier and more accurate than tapping the Space Bar – anything you place on the page using the TAB KEY will line up with the text above – this doesn’t always happen if you use the Space Bar.  

Better still, for lining data up, do you know your TABLES?  On your toolbar, if you click on TABLE, INSERT, TABLE you can choose how many columns and rows you want to begin with – this one is 2 rows and 5 columns.








              0118 9772345         0118 9772345



You can highlight columns, rows or the whole table by finding (hover over the lines) and clicking on the black arrow at the top or the angled white arrow at the side.  Once highlighted, you can change the position, size, font etc of your text within the table by using your toolbar buttons.  Tabbing out of the last cell will create the next row and each box will expand downwards automatically as you type.  To make rows and columns larger or smaller – hover over the table lines to find split twin arrows and click to get a dotted line, then drag the line to where you want it.

WANT TO SORT YOUR TABLE?  You can enter data in any order and sort it later.  Just highlight the whole table and go to TABLE, SORT and decide which columns to use for your sort.

With your cursor inside the table look at TABLE, TABLE PROPERTIES to see more setting options for Table, Row, Column and Cell.  Look at TABLE, TABLE PROPERTIES again and under ROW, untick “allow row to break” option.  This will stop your boxes having some data on one page and some on the next.

Want your HEADING ON EVERY PAGE?  Highlight your header row, go to TABLE, use the down arrows and tick HEADING ROWS REPEAT.  

DON’T WANT TO SEE THE LINES?  Place your cursor in the table, go to TABLE and click on HIDE GRIDLINES. 

Finally – let us remember Poor Richard and Lucida and their friends - If you want to change your font, highlight your text and click on FONT and FONT SIZE on your toolbar to choose.

For a wider range of options, click on FORMAT then FONT – there’s lots of fun to be had with effects like marching ants.

If you would like to attend a workshop at the Centre on using Word and/or Excel, please let a Committee member know.

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