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Microsoft Word is a well-known processor that many have come to rely on. Created in 1983, Word made its start in the form of free demos on old-school floppy disk. Since then, it has developed into one of the most dependable word processors available. There are numerous features, and an easy to use interface means that nearly anyone can pick it up.


The Ribbon first made its appearance in 2007. Surprisingly, it was not well received initially. Over time, Microsoft took user feedback and created an element that makes the Word experience easier and more personalized. The best part of the Ribbon is how customizable it is. Any feature can save to the Ribbon. Users can put their most needed tools in the Ribbon to save time.

Furthermore, the Ribbon is well organized. Even if you have not yet customized the Ribbon to your needs, you should not have too many problems finding what you need. The categories for each section of the Ribbon is at the bottom of the Ribbon. Above this, there are customizable options. For example, under the Insert tab, the Ribbon has sections labeled Pages, Tables, Comments, and more. Under the Pages, section users have the option of inserting a cover page, a blank page or page break. Under the Tables section users can insert tables, and under the Comments section, users can insert comments. It’s pretty straightforward.

Something that sets the 2016 version of word apart from other versions of Word is the ‘Tell Me’ function. This function is at the top of the Ribbon, to the very right of the tabs. Here, you can type in whatever task you would like to perform, and Word will give you the ability to do this. The ‘Tell Me’ function saves time, as you will not be hunting through the different tabs looking for a function that doesn’t even have a button. For example, if you want to perform character counts, you can just type this into the ‘Tell Me’ function. Next, the word count option will be available, which can tell you the character counts. No need to search for the character counts button, as it does not exist.

Research and Insight

The research and insight option has many student-friendly implementations. However, the business applications have quickly become apparent. Whether you are writing papers or collecting information on other businesses, this function can help you out.

Under References in the Research tab, there are options for smart lookup and researcher. With smart lookup, you can research within your Word document. Thus, it eliminates the number of times you will have to switch to other windows, saving you time. To use smart lookup, users need to enable the function the first time. Afterwards, the option to research within your Word document will be available without delay.

The smart lookup tool uses Bing search engine and provides clean, safe results. The standards of the results make it perfect for use inside the office or out. If you would prefer a different browser Chrome is also available, though your search results may vary if you change browsers.

Other features available under the References tab include:

Citations– Styles are available, and users can edit citations after being created.

Specified search– Having the option to specify what kind of search you want to do makes sure you get the kind of results you want.

Bookmark– Save the research you have been doing with the bookmark option. If you want to change gears and work on something else quickly, you will know that whatever research you are doing in Word will be saved.

Add and Cite– In the reader view users have the option to add and cite any source they need. Highlight the desired addition, and drag it to the page. The creation of a citation will help users verify the credibility of a source.

Quick Parts

With Quick Parts, you can further save time when working. If there is information that you use often, but do not want to type repeatedly, you can save this information as a quick addition. Quick Parts are especially useful when inserting information that may include phone numbers or any information that you would have to look up each time to provide.

To create a quick part, highlight the desired text. Navigate to Insert, then Quick Parts and then Auto text. Select save selection. Next, users will have the option of creating a new Building Block. After filling out the information there, the Quick Part will be available. Users can sort their Quick Parts into categories to make them more easily accessible. Also, users can edit Quick Parts and delete them as well.

Themes and Styles

Under the Design tab, users can choose styles to add personality to their documents. These styles will change the font, font color, heading features and more. There are also options to customize style features like color. Users will even be provided a preview before selecting a style, to make sure it is what they want. The style feature lets users try out different looks for their documents without having to create every design element themselves.

The style options are good for getting started with the look and feel of your document. It can inspire the way you would like to design your document or take care of all the design elements for you. By right-clicking, you can modify style features, and you can always make changes to spacing, the watermark, borders and more.

Table of Content

The table of contents feature is under the References tab. There are options for an automatic or manually created table of content. If you are using the automatic option, select format and right click for placement options.

Headings and page numbers are in the table of contents, and if any information changes you can always update the table to ensure it is correct. To do this, just click the update table option.

Format Painter

To use the Format Painter, you must first navigate to the Clipboard section of the Ribbon under the Home tab. The Format Painter lets users adjust elements, and then forget about them. You can add shapes and send text to the foreground with this function.

To take the formatting of an element select that element and go to the Format Painter. Next, click the element from which you want to take the formatting. The Format Painter will save the formatting of that element for future use.

Find and Replace 2.0

The find and replace function has been around long enough for most people to understand how it works and use it well. Under the Home tab, find the Find option under the Editing section. Now, you can search for specific terms in the document.

To replace, select the Replace option. Here you can search for font, style, size, color and more. You can update the formatting of any of these elements here. You also have the option of using the replace all function, which will make whatever replacements you want throughout the whole text document.


Microsoft introduced autocorrect in 1993 with the release of Word version 6.0. This function is very useful for correcting spelling errors and even providing synonyms for words. If you right-click, autocorrect will even give you a read-aloud option for words.

You can set autocorrect to fix repeat mistakes if you have some recurring corrections. Go to File, then Options, then Word Option and then Proofing. These steps will give you options for autocorrect. Here you can adjust autocorrect, and tell it what words you want to be corrected automatically.

Sharing and Collaborating

Word with OneDrive gives users the ability to share and edit the same document easily. OneDrive eliminates time looking for the latest version of a document, and lets you get straight into working.

When you save a file make sure you save it in OneDrive, this allows others to edit the document in real time, while you are also working on the document. This addition of Cloud changes the way we collaborate for the better and saves you time.


Word defines a section as a page or pages with the same formatting. To separate sections, go to Layout, Breaks, and then Section Breaks. The break will continue after wherever you have your cursor at the time.

You can also edit sections under the Layout function. Here, you can format the text however you would like. You might want to add columns or other design features. Word ensures that only the feature you want changes made to will change, rather than the whole document.

Mail Merge

The Mail Merge Wizard makes all aspects of the Mail Merge as user-friendly as possible. The wizard will take you through a step by step guide, and gives you options to choose which document you want to mail.

Users have the option of sending the mail out to clients on an existing list or creating a list at the moment. Recipients can be sorted or edited as needed. There are also options for formatting and features such as including addresses or names with the letter you are mailing. The preview option makes sure your letter is just how you want it before you send it out.

The experts at Global Data Systems are fully versed in the features of Word. They can help you become an expert too. Call (888) 849-6818 or email Info@GDSConnect.com  for assistance.

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