Microsoft Word made its debut in 1983 and has been a valuable tool in business ever since.  The software allows you to express yourself through writing in a countless number of ways.  Here are eight Microsoft Word tips and tricks that are sure to ease your writing process and increase your productivity.

1.  Locate Your Last Edits

Editing a document can be a lot of work, especially if you have multiple pages of content.  The changes you make are likely spread out, and you may even be fixated on certain areas trying to get the wording just right.  Don’t get lost in your revisions. Simply locate the last few places you edited with the simple shortcut SHIFT + F5.

2.  Use the Case Tool 

Everyone has been there: you’re typing on your computer, then look up and see that caps lock was left on.  Thankfully, there’s no need to backspace through your hard work; instead, change the text case.  The case tool corrects selected text to be lowercase, uppercase, sentence case, and more.  Here’s how to change the text case in Microsoft Word.

3.  Create a Graph or Chart

Gone are the days of copying and pasting data into your documents.  Microsoft Word isn’t just for writing, it’s for graphs and charts too.  With numerous choices and customizable options, you can now show off your data in countless ways.  Here’s how to create a graph or chart in Microsoft Word.

4.  Utilize Footnotes

If you’ve ever wanted to clarify something in your document, but didn’t want to go “into the weeds” on the subject, footnotes may be for you.  Helpful to readers and organized with superscripts, footnotes can easily refine and explain references you make throughout the text.  Here’s how to create a footnote in Microsoft Word.

5.  View Your Readability Statistics

Documents that are meant to be read by a diverse audience should be easy to understand.  Microsoft Word can help determine the readability of your document by using the Flesch Readability Test.  This test looks over your paper and grades it based on sentence averages and ease of comprehension.  Here’s how you can view your readability statistics in Microsoft Word.

6.  Automatically Update the Date and Time

If you regularly update a document, don’t manually change the date and time; let Microsoft Word do it for you.  Capable of eighteen different formats, this quick trick will surely save you time with every edit you make.  Here’s how to automatically update the date and time in Microsoft Word.

7.  Create a Table of Contents

Stay organized and locate information with ease by creating a table of contents.  Great for longer documents, the table of contents will create in-page links that will direct you and your readers to the headings and text they want to find.  Here’s how to create a table of contents in Microsoft Word.

8.  Use Different Page Orientations in the Same Document

Typically, Microsoft Word documents are set to one orientation: portrait or landscape.  But sometimes you may need a specific page layout to effectively display your content.  The solution?  Use different page orientations to display large images and graphs.  This page setting will ensure your subject matter is clear and easy to read.  Here’s how to use different page orientations in Microsoft Word.

Microsoft Word is one of the most helpful writing tools available.  It provides you with a seemingly endless list of options you can use to personalize your work.  Overall, there is so much to learn; and these eight Microsoft Word tips and tricks will surely aid you in the writing process.

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