Could you use one or two dozen hours returned to you? Most people would.
If you use Microsoft Word a great deal, there are opportunities to do things much faster and more accurately. Here are three ways to save time and be more accurate.
NAVIGATION AND SELECTION
Instead of scrolling back and forth, use keyboard shortcuts.
Pressing the control and down arrow keys together, for example, will take you to the next paragraph. Pressing the control and page down keys together will take you to the top of the document’s next page.
Similarly, using the home and end keys will get you to the beginnings and ends of lines. You can then press control and use the left and right directional keys to jump to the exact word you want. Try it out. It’s much easier than squinting and wishfully clicking.
If you regularly create similar documents with similar content, stop cutting and pasting or saving an old one under a new name; use a template that has the content you need and blanks or fields for the information that changes.
For an example, let’s look at sales documents.
If your sales contracts and proposals are largely the same, with the exception of the customer’s name and some particulars about products, services and signers, save a “clean” document with just content and no names or specifics. It will format properly each time, reduce the amount of cutting and pasting, not to mention embarrassment over accidentally leaving the previous customer’s name or other information in a new customer’s document (ouch)!
To create a template, click on file, save as, (then computer if you’re using Office 2013). In the save as type: field, choose Word Templates (or Word Macro-enabled Template if needed). Check at the top in the address field. Word has already found your templates library. Now, just click save. When you need this template, click file, new and then custom in Office 2013 or My Templates in 2010. You’ll see the templates you created in there.
Are you always opening old documents to find a particular paragraph, diagram or chunk of text? Starting with Office 2007, Microsoft Office has included a feature called Quick Parts. Think of it as a permanent clipboard. For example, if you’re always typing “ABC Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) corporation with headquarters in Atlanta, Ga.,” simply select that text, click on the insert tab, and in the text group, click the Quick Parts button. Then choose “Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery.”
Now, when you need it in any document, just click the Quick Parts button, and you’ll see it as a selection at the top. You can save whole paragraphs, SmartArt diagrams, signature blocks and objects like red circles or rectangles. If you use them frequently, think about adding the Quick Parts button to your Quick Access Toolbar. Name your favorite Quick Parts with an underscore as the first character to get them to appear at the top!