1) File names: The .doc extension tells you at a glance that the file is a Microsoft Word document:

xxxxxxxx.doc = Word document    (for example, Letter to the Editor.doc)

2) Help Menu:  When in doubt, pull down the Help menu. Click on Help, then on Microsoft Office Word Help. Type the topic you need help on in the Search box (for example, margins), then press the Enter key on the keyboard. Click on any blue text that appears with the answer that best meets your needs.

3) File Menu:  Pull down the File Menu by clicking on the word “File” at the upper left hand corner of the screen. 

4) Open/New: 1) Click on New from the File Menu to create a new document, letter, fax cover sheet, etc. 2) Click on Open to open an existing document. You should then see the files in the My Documents folder, which is where Microsoft Word automatically saves your Word documents. Scroll down or sideways to see all of the documents. Click once on the document you want to open, such as Letter to the Editor.doc, then click on the Open button.

5) Save/Save As: Click on Save As the first time you save your letter, document, fax cover sheet, etc., in order to give it a name. Click in the File Name: box to move the blinking cursor there, and then type the file name you want. Be sure that My Documents appears in the Save in: box. Then click on OK.

Click on Save the next time you want to save the document (for example, after you’ve typed in more text). You don’t need to click on Save As for this because your document already has a file name.

6) Close: Click on Close when you have completed your letter, document, etc. If your document has not yet been saved, the computer will ask you if you want to save it. Click on No if you don’t, Yes if you do (and then type in a file name for the document).

7) Esc (ape) key: Whenever you want to cancel or back out of a menu or dialogue box, press Esc. (The Esc key is found in the upper left-hand corner of the keyboard.)

8) Tab key:  The Tab key moves the blinking cursor to the right one tab stop.  Shift-Tab will move the blinking cursor to the left one tab stop. (The blinking cursor is the only place where you can type in text.)

9) Word Wrap/Enter: You only need to press the Enter key when you want to start a new paragraph. The computer automatically “word wraps” your typing when it gets to the end of the line. To see where you’ve typed an Enter, click on ¶ at the top right hand corner of your screen on the “Toolbar.” (This ¶ symbol is called the “Paragraph symbol.”) Each Enter you typed is represented by a   ¶ symbol in the body of your text. Click on the Paragraph symbol button again to hide the Enters, Tabs (which are represented by right arrows    ), and Spaces (which are represented by dots  ……. ) in the body of text.

10) Selecting text: Click where you want to begin highlighting, and while holding down the left mouse button, drag the mouse to the right and/or down to highlight the selected text. Release the mouse button when you have selected only the text you want to highlight.

11) Scrolling: Click on the upper or lower arrow buttons 5  6 on the right side of the screen to scroll the text area up or down respectively. Or click and drag the button which moves between the two (upper and lower) buttons. Likewise, you can scroll the page horizontally using the left and right arrow buttons and the sliding button at the bottom of the screen.  3   4

12) Changing fonts: Drag over the text you want to change, as in Step # 9 above, to highlight it. Click on the Down Arrow button next to the Font Name (for example, “Times New Roman”) window at the top of the screen. Scroll down on the list of Font names and click on the one you want, for example, Arial.  Do the same for the Font Size, which is right next to the Font Name window. (The Font Size is usually set to 10 or 12 points). 

13) Bold, Italics, Underline, etc.: Select the text as in Step # 10 above and click on one or more of the following buttons above the Ruler. 


  B               I             U

       Bold         Italics    Underline


14) Justification: Look to the right of the Bold, Italic and Underline buttons (See Step #13 above) for Left, Center, Right, and Full Justification. Look closely on the face of the button to determine which type it is. (They all have five tiny lines on them to represent lines of text and how they align to the margins.)

15) Moving text: Select the text you want to move and then click on Edit and then on Cut.  Move the flashing cursor to the place where you want to move the text to by clicking there with the I-beam cursor (so called because it looks like an I-beam used in construction). Then click on Edit and then on Paste


             I-Beam Cursor:    

Alternatively, select the text and use Ctrl-X for Cut (which deletes the original text from the document after transferring it to the “clipboard”), or Ctrl-C for Copy (which leaves a copy of the highlighted text in its original place after transferring it to the clipboard), and then use Ctrl-V for Paste after you move the blinking cursor to where you want the text on the clipboard to go. (The Ctrl keys are at the lower left-hand and lower right-hand corners of the keyboard. You can use either one.)

Note: The “clipboard” is a temporary holding place in the computer’s memory for text and graphics.

16) Indentation, Tabs:  

1) TABS–Click multiple times on the small button with a squarish “L”   on it. (This button is located to the far left of the Ruler at the top of the screen.)  As you click, you will notice that the button changes first to a Center Tab button, then a Right Tab button, a Decimal Tab button, and then back to a Left Tab button. Click on the lower part of the Ruler Bar (with the mouse cursor) with the Tab button set to the type of Tab that you want (Left, Center, Right, or Decimal) to put a corresponding Tab stop on the Ruler Bar at that location. (Later, you can move the Tab stop by clicking on the Tab marker and dragging it to its new position on Ruler.) You can delete any Tab markers by clicking and dragging them (∟ ) off of the Ruler Bar. [Notice that all of the Preset Tab markers at 0.5” intervals, which are represented by tiny vertical marks on the lower part of the Ruler, before the first Custom Tab stop disappear, as soon as you place the first Custom Tab stop on the Ruler Bar. To restore the Default Tab stops, just click and drag the Custom Tab markers off of the Ruler Bar.]

2) INDENTATION –To change the indentation of your paragraphs, click and drag the small gray triangles on the left and right edges of the Ruler Bar. The upper small half-triangle on the left margin moves only the first line of the new paragraph. [CAUTION: Be sure you highlight the entire paragraph, column, page, or document before you move these indentation markers!]  The lower small half-triangle on the left margin moves the rest of the paragraph

                                        The Left Margin:                                                           The Right Margin:


17) Header, Footer, Page # : Click on View  on the Menu Bar at the top of the screen. Click on Header/Footer.  Type in the text that you want in the Header or Footer in the appropriate window after clicking on either Header or Footer. You can format the text by highlighting it and then going up to the Toolbar in the main window. Insert page numbers by clicking on Page Numbers. (You can also move the flashing cursor to where you want to put the page numbers, after changing to Print Layout view under View and clicking on Insert, then Page Numbers.)

You can have a different Header and/or Footer for just the first page of your document by clicking on File, then on Page Setup, and then on the Layout tab. Click on Different first page to have a header or footer for the first page that is different from the header or footer on the other pages in your document. Click on OK.

18) Print/Print Preview: To see your document on the screen before you print it out on the printer, click on File, and then on Print Preview. To print the document on your printer, select Print instead. Select the number of copies you want. Select the pages you want printed out by clicking in the Pages box, then typing the page number(s) you want to print out. For example, to print just page 1, type 1. For multiple pages, type, for example, 1, 3, which will print out pages 1 and 3,  or   1-3 to print out pages 1 through 3, (including page 2).

19) Page Setup: Landscape” vs. “Portrait” – Landscape means the page will be printed turned on its side, so that it is wider than it is high (i.e., 11” wide X 8½” high for Letter-size paper).  Portrait means 11” high X 8½” wide (like this page that you are holding).

20) Number of columns: Click on Format  on the Menu Bar at the top of the screen. Then click on Columns. Type in the number of columns you want on the page. Click on OK.

21) Envelopes/mailing labels:  Click on Tools, then on Letters and Mailings, then on Envelopes and Labels. Click on the Envelopes or Labels tab, depending on which you want to print out. Type in the recipient’s address and your return address (if needed). Then click on Print.

22) Spell Check: Click on the button on the Toolbar that has “A B C” above a  ü  ( i.e., a check mark). Select Ignore or Ignore All (for each occurrence of the error) if the computer asks you if an unusual word or name that is not found in its dictionary is misspelled. Click on Change or Change All (for each occurrence of the error) if you would like to change the spelling to the one the computer suggests and highlights in the box below (or click on another suggestion). Click on Add to Dictionary if the word is not misspelled and you want to add that word to the computer’s spelling dictionary so that it will not stop on that word again in the future.