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3 forgotten (but still useful) tips for Microsoft Word

3 forgotten (but still useful) tips for Microsoft Word

Many Microsoft Word shortcuts and commands have been sitting on the shelf gathering dust over the years, but plenty of them are still useful to those who remember them. These 3 handy tricks – that some may have forgotten – apply to any version beyond Word 2007.

Spike it

Most users are familiar with the keyboard shortcuts for Copy and Paste but there is another overlooked function that may be even more useful. With Spike you can relocate several bits of text, images, and tables from within one document to a different section of the same document (or even to another document) all at the same time.

First, you need to highlight an area you want to cut. (Note: Spike is only used to cut, not copy.) Then press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + F3. This action places your first selection onto a special clipboard. You can keep adding to that clipboard using Spike without each new cut replacing the old one. Once you have added all the sections you need, open a new document (or click somewhere in the same document, if you prefer).

Press Ctrl + Shift +F3 to place everything you cut out into the new location. This action will also clear the Spike clipboard.

Remove all manual formatting

Word formatting offers so many options these days that users can sometimes get confused using a variety of paragraph styles, number sequences and fonts.

If you have got into such a mess that you what to simply start over again, there is a trick to remove all formatting and regain an element of control.

Just look for the button on the Home tab of the Ribbon which looks like the letter A with an eraser over top of it. Ever wondered what it does? Well, now you know. Simply highlight the text you want to clear and click that button. All manual formatting will be removed and the text will revert to the underlying style.

Auto generate filler text

It’s not the best tool for the job, but many people use Word to create newsletter-style layouts in columns with text wrapped around images etc.

Often when planning a layout, you’ll need to use filler text (Lorem Ipsum) to gauge page breaks, image sizes and other graphical elements. Did you know that you can generate this filler text by using a special command. Type this text into the document body:

=lorem(p,l)

Replace the “p” with the number of paragraphs you want and replace the “l” with the number lines you want. The command will fill in the text for you automatically. Go on – try it.

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