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Word has dozens of tools to make the editing process as easy as possible. Understanding and taking advantage of Word's tools is a major time saver in preparing your documents. Learn about the various tools Word offers with the following articles.

Tips, Tricks, and Answers

The following articles are available for the 'Tools' topic. Click the article's title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.

Adding an Equation Editor Tool
If you use the Equation Editor a lot in creating your documents, you'll benefit by making sure it is accessible as quickly as possible. Here's how to add it to a toolbar so you can get at it right away.

Auto Creation of an Acronym List
If you use a lot of acronyms in your documents, you may want a quick way to compile those acronyms and their definitions into an appendix. This tip provides several different approaches you can use to creating just such a helpful addition to your document.

Automatic Scrolling
Spend a lot of time scrolling around in your document? You might find one of Word's hidden scrolling commands to be a nice navigational feature.

Automatic Sound Clips
Want to add some sound to your documents? It's easy. What isn't so easy is configuring a sound clip to play whenever a document is opened. Here are some ways you can accomplish this task.

Automatically Saving Versions
The versioning feature in Word can be very handy as you develop your documents. Here's how to set it up so that a new version is saved every time you close the document.

AutoText Entries Don't Stick
AutoText can be a great tool, but it is of little worth if you can't get Word to remember the AutoText entries you create. This tip examines some of the things you can check out if your AutoText entries disappear each time you restart the program.

Breaking a Document Link
Word allows you to link external information into your documents. If you no longer need to maintain the active link, you can easily break the link by just a mouse click or two.

Can't Place Merge Field in Header Of a Catalog Merge Document
Word can perform several different types of mail merge operations, and the type you choose can affect how you are able to use merge fields in the merge document. This tip explains how catalog merges are different from other types of merges, and how that affects placing merge fields in a header or footer.

Catching Single-Letter Spelling Errors
There have been times when I've reviewed my writing and found lots of "lone letters," detached by a single space from the words to which they belong. Word, however, didn't mark these lone letters as spelling errors. Here's why, along with how you can approach this problem.

Changing an AutoShape
Got an AutoShape you previously added to a document, buy you now want to change to a different shape? You can change AutoShapes at will, using the techniques described in this tip.

Changing between English Variants
What is the easiest way to switch between English spelling variants in a document? This tip examines a couple of ways you can handle the desired conversion.

Changing Document Links
If your document contains links to information in other documents, you can modify the source document that is linked to without actually getting rid of the link. This is done by using the Links dialog box, as described in this tip.

Changing Label Printing Order
If you want to change the order in which labels are printed when doing a mail merge, Word doesn't provide many options. This tip examines some ideas on how you can change the printing order to match your needs.

Changing the Office Assistant
How to change the Office Assistant character in Word.

Changing to UK English
Understanding how Word uses the Language settings.

Checking for Commonly Confused Words
Word will check your document for Commonly Confused words to ensure the proper verbiage is used.

Comparing Document Versions
Do you need to compare two versions of a document to each other? Word provides a tool that can make this easy, as described in this tip.

Converting a Text Box to a Frame
These days, most people using Word know what text boxes are but have no idea about frames. Yet, for some purposes, frames are a better choice. This tip focuses on how to convert an existing text box into a frame.

Correcting Student Papers
If you are a teacher, you may be looking for ways you can use Word's features to correct papers your students send to you electronically. Word provides a wealth of features that can be used toward this end.

Counting Characters in Text Boxes
When you do a word count, the value that is returned does not include any text contained in text boxes. This may not be a significant problem, unless you have a large amount of text in those boxes. This tip discusses ways you can deal with this issue.

Creating a Quick Letter
Word provides a handy wizard that is helpful in creating basic letters quickly and easily. This tip discusses the Letter Wizard and how you can use it.

Creating an Executive Summary
Word includes an "executive summary" tool that allows you to automatically summarize a document. This tool provides a great starting place for creating almost any summary.

Creating Labels
Using Word to create and print labels is a snap. All you need to do is provide the text you want on the labels, pick a type of label, and then format the text to best fit the label you chose. This tip shows how to do it all, step by step.

Curving Text Around the Edge of a CD
Word works great with text, but not so great if you need to do some specialized things with the text, such as printing it on a curve. This tip discusses some of the options you can follow when trying to print text on CD and DVD labels.

Deleting an Old Document Version
Word allows you to maintain different versions of the same document all within a single document file. Here's how to delete an old version of your document if you've taken advantage of this feature.

Disappearing AutoText Entries
Some detective work on disappearing AutoText entries in Word.

Displaying Quick Document Statistics
Need to see how many pages, words, paragraphs, or lines are in your document? Word makes it easy to retrieve such information.

Embedding an Excel Worksheet
Word and Excel are both integral parts of Microsoft's Office suite of applications. As such, Word allows you to embed worksheet information directly in your documents. Here's how.

Equation Editor Font Color
If you want to change the color used by the Equation Editor, you may be out of luck. In fact, the best solution may be to upgrade to MathType, instead.

Filtering a Discussion
See exactly what you want to see during your Discussion.

Finding Changes by Editor
Creating a Macro to find changes made by different editors.

Fonts in WordArt
Want to make sure that people can view your WordArt as you intended? Then you'll want to make sure that you follow these font tips.

Getting Rid of Blank Labels in a Filtered Merge
If you are filtering a mail merge in Excel, and you get blank labels in the printout in Word, chances are good that something is going wrong. (Filtering should suppress those blank labels.) This tip provides some guidance on what you should look for in your merge document to get the desired results.

Getting Rid of the Office Assistant
How to turn off the Office Assistant in Word.

Handling Long Lines in Address Labels
When you print address labels, you only have a limited amount of horizontal space for each line of the label. If your labels have too much to fit in the available space, you need to start thinking about how you will handle the lines that run over.

Hiding Smart Tags
If you don't want to see Smart Tags displayed in your document, you can instruct Word to hide them. Here's how to make the simple configuration change to turn them off.

Ignoring Punctuation in Names
If you have a word that includes punctuation as part of the word itself, then you may be frustrated by how Word treats that word when checking spelling and grammar. Here's how you can get Word to ignore the punctuation.

Importing AutoCorrect Entries
The AutoCorrect feature in Word is quite handy, but getting a lot of entries into the feature can be tedious. This tip provides a macro that will allow you to enter entries quite a bit faster.

Inconsistent Adding of Words to a Custom Dictionary
Custom dictionaries are a great way to adapt the spelling and grammar checkers to your needs. If you find that Word isn't adding words to the custom dictionaries consistently, here's some things you can check to correct the situation.

Inserting a Sound File in Your Document
Got an audio file you want to insert in your document? It's easy to do when you use the Object dialog box, as described in this tip.

Locking the Position of Tools
Don't want your toolbar tools to move around on you? You might think you are out of luck, but here is a way you can make sure that all of your tools are displayed all of the time.

Merging Only a Date from Access
When you are merging data from an Access database, you may get more information than you want, especially when it comes to times and dates. There are two potential solutions to this problem, both of which are detailed in this tip.

Only Showing Readability Statistics
Perform a grammar check, and Word displays some statistics that represent an analysis of your words. By writing a macro you can access these statistics and display whatever part of them you want.

Pop-up Windows in Word
Want to add a small pop-up window over a word in your document? There is no way to do this directly in Word, but you can use the Web features of the program to simulate such a feature.

Printing a Discussion
There are times you may have to work offline. Here is how to print out your discussion.

Quickly Accessing Spelling and Grammar Options
You can change the way Word handles spelling and grammar checks through the menus. But there is a quicker way to access the dialog box where you set your preferences. This tip will save you valuable time when making simple changes to this feature.

Recovering Corrupt Document Files with StarOffice
A possibility to try if you have a corrupt document.

Refreshing the Discussion
To keep up with the Discussion, you will need to refresh the comments to make sure you are in-the-know.

Removing All Bookmarks
Need to get rid of a lot of bookmarks all at once? Word doesn't provide a way to do it, but you can use the short macro in this tip to accomplish the task.

Setting the AutoRecover Directory
When you are using Word, it normally saves temporary AutoRecover files that reflect the latest state of your document. If you want these AutoRecover files to be stored in a certain place, you can configure Word to make that specification.

Sharing AutoText Entries in a Network
Creating AutoText entries can be a great way to improve your productivity with Word. At some point you may want to share those entries with others. Here are some ideas on how you can do the sharing.

Small Red Dots under Addresses
Does your document have all sorts of different colored underlines on it? Tracking down what most of them are can be easy, but what are those red or purple dots that appear under some things? This tip explains not only what they are but how to get rid of them.

Specifying Sub-entries in an AutoMark File
An AutoMark file allows you to quickly and easily create an index from a document. This can be a great boon for large documents. This tip explains more fully what an AutoMark file is, how to use the file, and how it should be put together.

Starting a Discussion
Tips for getting your Discussion started.

Stopping Smart Tags from Being Saved
Don't want Smart Tag information saved with your document? It's easy to make sure that Word doesn't save it, as described in this tip.

Turning Off Spell Checking
For some documents, you may not want spell checking turned on. There are two ways that you can turn it off, depending on whether you want to affect the entire document or only a portion of one. This tip covers both methods.

Understanding Discussions
Discussions in a valuable tool for workplace collaboration on the same Word document.

Understanding the Organizer
The Organizer is a great tool for, well, organizing the information stored in your templates. This tip introduces the Organizer, gives an overview of what it can do, and provides information on how to display this handy tool.

Updating Document Links
If you establish dynamic links between documents, then you can force Word to update those links whenever you want. How you do the update depends on the version of Word you are using, as described in this tip.

Using AutoComplete Tips
AutoComplete tips are a nice, handy reminder of what you can enter into your document with just a keypress or click. In some versions of Word, you can turn off these tips if they bother you. This tip explains how to turn them on and off.

Using Mail Merge to Complete Documents
Mail merge can be used to put together groups of documents that rely on common information. This tip shows how mail merge could be used to make your document generation easier.

Using the Discussion Pane
Tips for using the Discussion pane during a Discussion session.

Using the Organizer to Manage AutoText
There are times you need to move your AutoText entries from one template or document to another. Use Organizer to do this with ease.

Using the Organizer to Manage Macros
There may come a time when you want to copy or rename macros. You can do this quite easily by using the Organizer tool provided by Word.

Using the Organizer to Manage Styles
One of the things that the Organizer is great at doing is managing styles. You can use it to move them between templates and documents, rename them, or delete them. This tip shows how.

Using the Organizer to Manage Toolbars
The Organizer is a great tool for managing different elements that can be stored in documents and templates. This tip shows how you can use the Organizer to manage toolbars.

Using the Reviewing Toolbar
The Reviewing toolbar is a handy location for many of the tools often used by editors when working on a document. Here's an overview of which tools are available and what they do.

Versions Not Saving Correctly
If you use Word's versioning tool, you may notice that you sometimes get errors with the versions in your documents. This is not uncommon in large, complex documents, as explained in this tip.

Vertically Centering Labels
Want the text printed on your labels to be centered vertically? It's not that hard, and this tip shows the easiest method.


More Information

The following are additional topics related to the subject of Tools. A bracketed number after the topic indicates how many articles are related to that subject.


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