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Beginner’s Guide to Microsoft Word

The Microsoft Word program is likely the most commonly used software out of everything available in the Office suite. Students in schools around the world begin to use it at a fairly young age, and proficiency in using Word is a fairly basic requirement for many jobs.

Word has added several exciting features over the years that make the program so much more than just a text editor. 

Let’s dive in and explore more about the applications of Microsoft Word and how it can help any project appear both dynamic and professional.

Basic Features of Microsoft Word

While most people know that Microsoft Word is a word processor, some fewer people realize the full breadth of Word’s capabilities. Here, we’ll walk you through some of the most commonly used functions that Word has to offer:

Home and Insert: The Home menu in Word is where most people tend to feel comfortable. It has basic functions like choosing your font, the color and size of the font you chose, and the alignment of your document. This space also allows you to change your line spacing and add bulleted lists if you’d like. You can use the Insert menu to help add tables and other images to your document. This menu also offers tools like headers, footers, and page numbers so your document can look more professional. 

Design and Layout: Once you have the text and images in your document to your liking, the next step is to make sure it all looks visually appealing. This is where the Design and Layout menus come in handy. With these menus, you can further customize the appearance of your project by changing the margins, orientation, and spacing. The Design menu offers several themes that you can uniformly apply to your document for a consistent look. 

References and Review: The References menu in Word is particularly useful for folks in academia. This tab allows you to create a table of contents, footnotes, bibliography, and captions. The Review menu is where you’ll find all of your tools to fix any errors you may have made while working on your project. This menu contains a thesaurus as well as tools to help check your spelling and grammar. You can also use this tab to track your word count and leave comments if you’re editing a document for someone else. 

Pros and Cons of Using Microsoft Word

Regular users of Microsoft Word enjoy using the software for several reasons. First, it allows multiple users to collaborate on a single project with ease. Several different editors can leave comments and make changes that other users can see. The preloaded templates are another aspect of the program that many enjoy. Creating a simple text document is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of creations you can make with Word. There are templates for things like brochures, newsletters, and to-do lists. Microsoft Word’s unique DOCX file format also takes up significantly less space on your computer, which is particularly appealing for those who spend a lot of time in Word and create multiple projects daily. 

Although Word is among the most popular word processing programs in the world, there are still some aspects of the software that users occasionally struggle with. First, some feel that the program is costly. To ensure you always have the most up-to-date software, a subscription is required. Microsoft does offer customers the option to purchase Word outright, but these of course do not come with any options to upgrade; this means you’ll have to re-purchase the program as newer versions are released. Others feel that the software is too complex and that most people don’t need even half of the available tools; new users may feel overwhelmed by such a vast range of features. The features can also be difficult to get the hang of. While there are tools for inserting images and other graphics into your project, getting the exact outcome you had hoped for can be a challenge. It can sometimes take a lot of finagling to get your text aligned the way you want it. 

Personal and Professional Uses of Microsoft Word

It’s virtually impossible to list all of the careers that require experience in Microsoft Word to be successful. The program is used across industries to write proposals, requests for funding, and even textbooks. Of course, jobs like editors or freelance writers will use it more than someone in the marketing business for example, but the program has applications in any business. Microsoft Word also comes loaded with several resume templates, so it would be beneficial for anybody in the job market to get familiar with using the program!

Microsoft Word isn’t just for professionals either. It can produce greeting cards, calendars, and shopping lists to help your home run more efficiently. Regardless of your profession or personal needs, everyone can find useful applications when they work with Microsoft Word.

Learn Microsoft Word With Career Centers

If you’re interested in boosting your skills, you can look into taking a Microsoft Word course with Career Centers. These courses are taught by expert instructors who value small class sizes so each student can receive individualized attention. With Career Centers, you have the option of taking courses live online or remotely at their New York City Campus. Career Centers also offers free course retakes to their students within one year of the original course.

If you’re a complete beginner at using Microsoft Word, you might be interested in the Microsoft Word Level I course. Here, you’ll learn about inserting objects into your text like charts, images, and special characters. They also offer a Microsoft Word Level II course, which covers more advanced word processing skills like customizing your graphics and implementing themes and styles. If all of this sounds appealing to you, check out the Word Expert Certification Program. This class combines the materials taught in the Level I and Level II classes but at a reduced rate. Finally, Career Centers has a Word Specialist Certification Program available. This makes a great addition to any resume and includes the cost of the exam and proctoring. 

Learn more in these courses

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