Word Tricks: Boost your productivity

If you're anything like us your time at the computer is spent in Microsoft Office. We here at OfficeDuck definitely consider ourselves power users. But we decided to take on the challenge of finding at least 5 tricks that even power users may not have heard of you yet. Do you know about these Word tricks?

1. Clipboard on Steroids: Multi-Copy, Spiking and History.

Working with the clipboard is one of the most used features for document editing. There is much more than the a copy and paste.

Have you ever wanted to copy many blocks of text at once? You just press CTRL and then select them each one at a time. To copy, just use the familiar CTRL + C (or CTRL + X if you want to cut).

Also there is Spiking. Assume you have a long document and want to cut (or excerpt) different parts of it into a new document. You don't want to be holding CTRL all the time. Select a part and press CTRL + F3. Repeat for each part and Word will store it in order. When you're ready just press CTRL + SHIFT + F3 to insert it all at a new location.

Finally if you need copy paste a lot having a history is helpful. Just click on the small arrow next to the Clipboard toolbar. You can paste any of the last 50 items you copy pasted.

2. Selecting a whole sentence

This is almost an extensions of the first tip. But if you CTRL click a word you select the whole sentence.

3. The return of the simple "Save as ..."

Some changes over the year have made us ask: "Why would they do that to us?". None more than the new time consuming Save dialog. Press save and this rather over engineered screen popups.

Heavy keyboard users will already know to use F12 to jump to the "Save As" dialog. But it's also handy to have an icon to click. At the top of the screen there's the quick access toolbar. You can customize as you wish. For example by adding the "Save As" button.

Click on the arrow to open the menu

Select”More Commands…”

Scroll down to find the “Save As” command

Press “Add” to add it to the menu and then “OK”

The Save As menu button is not on your quick access menu

Unfortunately there is no similar alternative for the "Open" screen. Bummer.

4. Editing PDF documents in Microsoft Word

This one is such a secret we're astonished every time. Take any PDF document and just open it in Word as you would any other document. Voila. You can now edit the contents. This is great for forms that don't have built-in text fields.

It warns you that the document may not look exactly the same. From our experience this is only the case for PDFs that have a complex design.

5. Hidden Text

At Duck HQ we don't like making two copies of the same document with only minor differences. For example a paper form. One version for people to fill out and another with example data or explaining how to fill out the form.

With another of our word tricks you can create just a single document. Then print it once as-is and a second time with hidden text displayed.

Change the text of the parts of the document that should be filled out by users to “hidden”

Start the print dialog as usual and go to “Page Setup”

Select “Print Options”

And for the “explanation guide” (not the form a person would write on) select print “hidden fields”.

One last bonus for our Word tricks:

Would you like to move a whole paragraph up or down in the document? Click anywhere in the text to move. Then hold ALT and SHIFT and press the up or down key to move.

This post was originally posted on our sister site which has now been merged into MailMerge365.