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Microsoft Word step-by-step

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 17:10 -- admin

One of most popular and commonly used text editing applications in the world, Word is a product of the company called Microsoft which also makes the Windows operating system. It is packed with numerous features for document creation and formatting. It allows the use of graphics and tables in the documents as well.

The tutorial is especially useful for people with low or no vision. The tutorial has been divided into two parts - a basic introduction (given below) and advanced formatting:

Opening Word

Press windows key, then go to programs submenu and then select Microsoft word by using down arrow or the letter M repeatedly. In some computers Microsoft Word could be inside Microsoft Office sub menu as it is a part of larger package called MS Office.

Press Enter, Word will open and you will get the message Microsoft Word Document 1 Edit.

The Word Screen

Like all applications in Windows the program window of MS Word contains the Title bar at the top followed by the Menu bar, the toolbars, one or more toolbar, formatting bar, the document window and the status bar at the bottom. There also could be ruler bar below the formatting bar.

This complete program window can appear in any of three sizes on the screen

Restore: It covers 2/3 rd part of the screen

Maximize: It covers the complete screen except the area of the task bar.

Minimize: It appears as an icon in the taskbar

It is important to note that the taskbar is always visible.

Application menu: Pressing Alt and spacebar together gives Application control menu, which has the above-mentioned options for selecting the size of the window. Press enter on the option you want. The option that is currently applied is dimmed. JAWS announce this item as grade. Grade means that, particular item is currently not available for execution.

Title bar: The TITLE BAR appears at the top of the window and it contains the name of the document followed by the name of the program. At the right hand corner of the bar there are three buttons: Minimize, Maximize/Restore and Close button.

The menu bar

Like all applications running under windows environment, WORD too has a menu bar which provides a complete list of what can be done in this application. Menus are lists of available commands. This is a horizontal bar situated just below the title bar. It has the following items written on it from left to right.

File, edit, view, insert, format, tools, table, help.

Each of these items has a menu which drops down when they are clicked or activated.

The ALT key is used to access the menu bar. On pressing ALT the PC cursor (the selection cursor) goes to the menu bar and highlights the first item which is FILE. The RIGHT and LEFT ARROW keys are used to move between the different menu bar items.

The DOWN ARROW should be pressed on the menu item to unfold its drop down menu which will have various commands. The UP and DOWN ARROW keys are used to select any particular command. Some of these commands may have a sub menu of their own which can be opened by pressing ENTER or the RIGHT ARROW key. Some of the menu bar items may have three dots or ellipsis. This indicates that this command has a dialog box associated with it which will open when this command is activated. To activate any command given in the menu, select it and press ENTER. There is an alternative short cut way of accessing and activating menu items. Every item both on the menu bar and in the drop down menu has one letter in its name underlined which is also called HOT KEY. This HOT KEY can be pressed to activate that item. For example the menu bar item FORMAT has the letter O underlined. Therefore to open the format menu two methods can be used.

Either press ALT to activate the menu bar and then use the RIGHT ARROW to move to FORMAT and then press DOWN ARROW to open the drop down menu or, press ALT to activate the menu bar and then press the letter O to open the drop down menu directly. It is important to remember that the hot keys function within respective menus, for example if you are inside FILE menu and then you press the letter O, the OPEN command on this menu will be activated as its hot key is also O.


It contains graphics of frequently used commands for use by the mouse. Tool bar items are available in the menu bar. Press the Alt key to activate the menu bar. The Ctrl tab key at this stage takes you to the various Tool bar options. Use left or right arrow keys for navigation within a toolbar.

The document window

This window covers the largest part of the program window and displays active documents. It is important to note that any number of document windows can be opened, although each window may not be fully visible as only one window is active. The document window is the child window of the main MS-WORD window. The issued commands or keystrokes affect on ly the active document window.

Status Bar

It is in the form of a thin horizontal strip at the bottom of the program window

It shows your present position in the document. It is read using Insert plus page down if the screen reader being used is JAWS.

It contains information about current page number line, section etc. a typical message will look like:

Page 4 Sec 1 4/23 At 3.3" Ln 7 Col 5

This conveys the following message about the position of the insertion pointer in the document.

Page 4: This is the page number of the document.

Sec 1: The pointer is in section one of the document. Note that sections are used to divide a document into several parts to facilitate different type of formatting of each part.

4/23: This indicates that you are on page four and there are twenty-three pages in total in this document.

At 3.3": This indicates that the pointer is 3.3 inches below the top edge of the page.

Ln 7: You are on seventh line of the current page. Remember that lines are counted for each page only.

Col 5: The insertion pointer is on fifth column. The first character of the line is taken as the first column and so forth.

Exiting word

Press ALT to activate the menu bar, press down arrow on the file menu and then select EXIT and press ENTER. Alternatively use Alt plus F4 to close Word.

If you have made some changes Word asks you whether you want to save the changes or not.

Press ENTER on YES or NO as the case may be.

Creating a new document

Press enter on New in the file menu. A dialog box opens with different options for the type of document that you want to create. These options are arranged on different TAB PAGES. Select BLANK DOCUMENT from GENERAL page if you want to create a simple document.

Control plus N can also be used alternatively. By using the Ctrl N key the document typed dialog box will not appear and immediately after pressing Ctrl N a new blank document will open.

The new documents which open have temporary names such as DOCUMENT 1, DOCUMENT 2 etc. in the order of their creation.

Entering text

It is done through the alpha numeric keys on the key board

The text gets inserted to the left of where Insertion pointer is positioned on the screen. The pointer keeps moving towards the right as more and more text is inserted. The insertion pointer can be identified as a blinking I-beam shape on the document window. If it is not blinking then no text can be inserted.

Saving a document

First decide a file name and location; that is, in which drive and/or folder you want to save this file.

Select SAVE AS..from FILE menu and press ENTER. Alternatively press Control plus S. A dialog box opens. This is another option of save in the file menu. When a document is being saved for the first time either of them can be used. But when a existing document needs to be saved with a different name, different format or at a different location then only SAVE AS.. can be used. Using SAVE.. on a document which has already been saved at one location saves the document at the same location along with the changes made in it. The Ctrl S key activates SAVE AS.. command when saving the file for the first time, it activates the SAVE.. command if the existing document is being saved again.

The SAVE AS dialog box has the following fields.

File name: Type the file name you had decided.

Save as type: This is a COMBO BOX having options of different formats in which the document can be saved. Every application program uses a specific format to save information in the memory disks and this is also indicated by extensions in file names. MS WORD saves its own files in the DOC format and therefore the files carry .DOC extension. However it also allows files to be converted into several other formats like RTF (Rich text format), TXT (Text), HTM (Web page) etc.

Save in combo box: Select the drive using up and down arrow keys and press ENTER.

List view: Select the folder in which you want to save and press enter.

Finally press enter on SAVE button.

Closing a document

Go to file menu and press ENTER on CLOSE or alternatively use control plus F4 to close the document which is active.

Opening an existing document

An existing document is nothing but a file which is on a storage medium: hard disk, floppy or CD. It has a name and definite location.

Press, Control plus O, or press Enter on Open in File menu.

The Open dialog box opens. It is similar to save dialog box.

It has similar fields, namely File name, Look in and List view.

Press Enter on OPEN after selecting the file from the list view or typing the file name along with the full path in the file name edit box.

Working with Multiple Documents

• The list of all open documents is available in the WINDOW menu. The active document has CHECKED marked after it. To switch to a different document press

ENTER on its name in the menu.

• Use Control plus F6 to move between open documents.

Use this command repeatedly to switch between all open documents.

Navigation and Reading Commands

The following are the commands for navigation in a document:

Move One Character Left


Move One Character Right


Move One Word Left


Move One Word Right


Move to Beginning of Line


Move to End of Line


Move One Paragraph Up


Move One Paragraph Down


Move to Beginning of Document


Move to End of Document


Scroll Up or Down One Screen


Changing the document view

In the view menu there are different options for display of the document.

Normal: A section of the page appears on the screen. The margins are not visible. This option is used generally while creating documents. The page breaks appear as dotted line.

Print layout: Shows the page, as it will appear after printing with the margins on all four sides of the page. The page breaks are clearly evident.

Outline: Shows the structure of the document and is helpful while developing the contents of the document. It is easy to drag portions of the document from one place to another in the document.

Document Map: It shows the main headings of the document in a vertical pane which opens on the left side of the document window. It is useful for directly moving to any part of the document and for keeping a check on your position in the document.

Zoom: It is used to increase the size of the text for better visibility. It doesn't affect the size of the characters on printing.

Correcting and deleting text

Backspace and Delete key are used for deleting text. BACKSPACE deletes the character to the left of the insertion pointer whereas DELETE key erases the character on which the pointer is present that is to the right of the pointer. For example if the pointer is placed on the letter O of the word 'continent' the backspace key would erase the character C and the delete key would erase the letter O. The backspace key is normally used to erase the incorrect text entered at the time of typing.

CONTROL plus DELETE, deletes the whole word if you are at the beginning of the word.

CONTROL plus BACKSPACE deletes the previous word.

Cutting, copying, and pasting text

Selecting text: First you need to select the text. Shift key is used with the navigation commands to select the desired portion of the text. For example, the command for moving one word right is Ctrl Right Arrow. The command for selecting a word is Ctrl Shift + Right Arrow. Similarly, command for moving to the end of the current line is END KEY and the command to select from the text from the current position to the end of the line is Shift + End. Many actions can be performed on this selected text such as converting the case of a text, making a text bold, underline or italics.

Copying selected text to the clipboard: The selected text can be copied onto the clipboard by using the copy command provided in the Edit Menu. The clipboard is the portion of the memory where the text is stored temporarily. The text inside the clipboard is removed immediately when the new text is written on to it.

Moving to the place where selected text is required to be copied: This step is accomplished using the normal navigation commands.

Pasting the text from the clipboard: This is done using the paste command which is listed in the Edit Menu. The text which was send to the clipboard by using the copy command is now copied onto the new place in the document.

Cut command: The cut command can be used instead of the copy command. If the copy command is used, then the text remains as it is at the place from where it is copied. Thus the text from its original place is not erased. When the cut command is used instead of the copy command, the text from its original place is erased. The Paste command, however, brings the text back at the position of the insertion pointer. Thus if we use the cut command, the text is moved and if we use the copy command the text is copied.

Note: The accelerator key for: copy is Ctrl C, Cut is Ctrl X and Paste is Ctrl V.

Using the undo, redo/repeat commands

Undo and Redo /Repeat commands are in the EDIT menu.

Undo (Control plus Z) cancels the last command: It is very useful when a wrong command is given by mistake. If 5 commands were issued the first undo command would cancel the fifth command, the second undo command would cancel the fourth command and so on.

Redo (Control plus Y) repeats the last command: It is often used to save typing effort. However, if the redo command is used after one or more undo commands, the redo commands cancels the effects of these undo commands.

Inserting Bookmarks

Bookmarks are used for remembering a location in the document. WORD places an electronic mark at the point in the document you want. This mark is later useful for reaching to that particular point in the document.

Place your insertion pointer where you want to insert the bookmark.

Press Enter on Bookmark... which is in the INSERT menu.

It will ask you for a name. Give any name you want to this bookmark and press Enter on ADD BUTTON.

The bookmark will be inserted at that point in the file and its name will appear in the bookmark name combo box of the Go to dialog box besides this dialog box.

The bookmark dialog box has DELETE BUTTON and GO TO BUTTON which can be used for removing the bookmark and going to that bookmark in the file respectively.

Using the find/replace/go to commands

Find feature is used to search particular string of characters, special characters or specific formatting in the document. This command appears in the EDIT menu. Control plus F is the accelerator key.

On giving this command a dialog box opens. It has an edit box for typing the text you want to search in the document.

When you want to find occurrence of particular text in the document you type the text in the edit field and then press ENTER on FIND NEXT button. Word searches the document for that text and it places the insertion pointer where it finds the text for the first time in the document.

Press Escape to close this dialog box. Read the current line it will have the desired text. If you want to find out if the text is appearing again in the document then repeat the above process. This time the pointer will be placed at the second occurrence of the text in the file. The Ctrl Page Down key and the Ctrl Page Up key can be used to search the next or the previous occurrence of the word searched once.

If any text with a particular type of formatting that is font or paragraph formatting is to be found in the document then press the MORE button in the dialog box. This dialog box will now contain more fields including FORMAT BUTTON MENU and SPECIAL BUTTON MENU. These buttons can be used to define the special character or formatting that you want to search.

REPLACE is a feature of MS WORD for searching a particular text in a document and replacing the same with the specified text. The Replace command is in the EDIT menu and Ctrl plus H is the short cut command. In the FIND WHAT edit area of the dialog box type the text you want to remove. In REPLACE WITH edit box type the new text. Press the find next button to reach to the first occurrence of the word to be replaced. At this juncture:

The find next button can be used to leave the word as it is and jump on to the next occurrence of the word.

The change button can be used to replace the current word and jump to the next occurrence of the word.

Change all button can be used to replace all the occurrence of the word in the document.

Special characters and formatting can also be replaced by using the MORE button and then selecting the desired option from the FORMAT and SPECIAL BUTTON MENU.

Go to command is used to go to a particular location in the document. The GO TO command is in the EDIT menu and the accelerator key is CONTROL plus G.

A dialog box opens which has a field named GO TO WHAT and it is a list box. This list has various options which can be used for going to a particular place in the document. The options are: PAGE, SECTION, LINE, BOOKMARK, COMMENT, FOOTNOTE, ENDNOTE, FIELD, TABLE, GRAPHIC, OBJECT, and HEADING.

The next field is an EDIT box. Select the option which you want to use from the GO TO WHAT list box and then enter the relevant information in the edit box. For example - if you select PAGE, you will be prompted to enter the page number and if the option selected is BOOKMARK, you will be asked to enter the name of the bookmark in the edit box which now becomes an EDIT COMBO field and also displays the names of all existing bookmarks in the file.

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