Ever wish you could easily figure out why there’s an extra space between paragraphs, change capitalizations without retyping or do a quick calculation in Word?  Here are 8 timesaving features in Word to help you do those things and more.  Here are 8 timesavers that work in Word 2010 and 2013.  Click on each tip to see a screen shot of the suggestion.

Add a Calculator to Word 

Sometimes you need to figure out some arithmetic and you don’t want to bring up your computer’s native calculator.  You can easily add this feature to Word.

Go to File > Options > Quick Access Toolbar, switch to All Commands and click on the Calculate Command to add to the Quick Access Toolbar. After you save, you will see a non-descript gray circle at the top of your Word window. Now, if you highlight an equation in your document and click that circle, you will find an answer to your calculation at the bottom of your window.

Change Capitalizations the Easy Way

You can easily change the capitalization of any text with a click of a button: whether you would like to convert the text to lower case, Sentence case, UPPERCASE, or—for some unknown reason—tOGGLE cASE.

First, highlight the text you wish to affect. On a PC, go to the Home Tab, click on the “Aa” pull-down menu near the font/size menu.

Highlight an Entire Sentence with One Click

Just hold down the Ctrl key and click on any word to highlight the entire sentence.

Write Text Anywhere on the Page.  Really.

You can use Word as a whiteboard of sorts and easily place text anywhere on the page.  Just click twice on any place on the page and Word will allow you to start typing there.  Word automatically inserts hard returns and tabs to allow you to enter text.  Avant garde poets, this function is for you.

Auto-Update Date & Time

Sometimes you have a document that you use again and again, but just update a few key details. If this happens to be a document like a letter that includes the date and/or time, one nifty little trick is to allow Word to update the date automatically.

Under the Insert tab, click the Date & Time button and a pop-up window will appear. Click the date format you want and then be sure to click the “update automatically” box in the bottom right corner. Now the date will automatically be updated every time you open (or print) the document.

Easily Convert to a PDF or HTML doc

Word makes it easy to convert your doc to a PDF or HTML file. When you “save as” a file, you’ll see a “Save as type” pull-down menu, which will provide a bevy of options including PDF and Web Page.

Show Hidden Characters

If you are working on a complex document with different styles, columns, and formats, you might soon find that something seems a little… off.  Perhaps an extra space between paragraphs or excess spaces in the middle of sentences.  The best way to see what’s going on is to make all the invisible marks (hard returns, soft returns, tabs, spaces) visible.  To turn this function on and off press Ctrl-Shift-8.

Paste Text Without All That Pesky Formatting

How many times has this happened to you? You copy some text from a web page to use in a Word document you’re preparing, but when you paste the Clipboard’s contents into your document the formatting messes up your document.

If you want fine control over the formatting of what you paste, use one of the Paste Special options. They’re available when you click the arrow beneath the Paste command on the Home ribbon, but there’s a much easier keyboard shortcut:

Instead of using Ctrl+V to do a standard Paste, press Ctrl+Alt+V to open the Paste Special dialog box shown here. The exact options vary, depending on what you copied, but for most text you can choose the Unformatted Text option to merge the text into your document without any extraneous formatting.

For even more tips about working with header styles, setting up your own default formatting for new documents, or replacing styles and formatting, check out the full articles at ZDNet and PCMag.