Learning Word

Microsoft Word is a very large program and has great capabilities. Proficiency in Word is really beyond the Beginning Computer User class. However, the default format items will allow you to create a document. The demonstration here will give you a feeling for some of the capabilities of this program.

The appearance of text, tables, and other elements within a Word document are controlled by a style. A style is simply a name for a set of properties applied to a character, paragraph, table, or inserted object. Most of the styles apply to a paragraph. Some, e.g. bold, can also apply to one or more characters within a paragraph.

Create Your First Document

  1. Create a new Word document
  2. Add a heading
  3. Write the text
  4. Save the document

New word document

This is a typical window when you create a new Word document. The window of the document contains the name of the file and indicates that it is a Word document. This figure shows three toolbars at the top of the window:

These three toolbars, will allow you to create many different types of documents. The standard toolbar has a few features similar to those in most applications. These are drop-down menus. Click any of them and additional menu selections specific to Word apper in the drop down box.

Add a heading

Click the down arrow button on the style selector control, style selector so that "Heading 1" is visible.

Type "Jimmie Cone" followed by the enter key.

Add some information

Note that the style selector control again displays "Normal". This indicates that newly added paragraphs will be styled with the "Normal" style. Add some information about Jimmie Cone. Each paragraph ends when the Enter key is pressed.

Save the document

Click the "File" menu, and select "Save As...". Use the standard dialog box to save the file.


Templates Make a Beginner Look Good

New documents can be created using a template that is on your computer or the Microsoft web site. A template is a special document that allows you to easily create a professional document without needing to design it yourself. Templates exist for many types of document.

A template has an extension of .dot. A template contains a set of predefined styles applied to paragraphs. Click "New..." from the File menu. A menu opens with two sets of choices. The top of the menu are the New documents. Each of

Blank creates a blank document with default styles. The "From Existing Document" will create a blank document and imports styles from an existing document.

The lower portion of the menu shows links to templates. These are short documents with defined styles. View "Templates" and "On My Computer..". A new pop-up window (Templates) will open with several tabs. Each of these shows a group of templates that was part of the Word installation package. While the New choices in the top of the menu create a new blank document, The Templates menu choices create a document with temporary text and a compatible set of styles. Replace the temporary text with your own and you have a professionally designed document.

For this example,

Each template is professionally designed, and has a set of style sheets defined for the template you selected. Observe the style selector on the formatting toolbar as you place the cursor on each line.

You can change the template look by changing one or more of the style sheets defined in the template. Viewing styles on templates is a good way to learn.

More Detail About the Tool Bars.

There are many tool bars that are used in document creation. Three of the most used are shown in the previous screen shots. These are all near the top of the window. The visibility of the tool bars can be controlled from the View menu.

Standard Toolbar

The standard toolbar contains a set of icons that do common functions. Move the cursor over the top of any of them, and a tip will appear with a brief description. Many of these are commands from the standard menu at the top of the window.

The Formatting Toolbar

The next toolbar is the formatting toolbar. The appearance of each paragraph in a document is determined by the format [style] of the paragraph. Word has many styles defined by default, and allows the user to change any of these, or to create many new styles.

The first button, will cause a window showing many of these styles to appear on the left. Click it a second time and the window will retract.
The style selection button, shows the current styles used in the document (or a few default styles). Click this button for a new document, and Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, and Normal style selections are displayed.
The font selection button, allows the font-face and font-size to be controlled. The font-faces displayed are dependent on those installed on the computer. Font-size ranges from 8 point up to 26 points. There are 72 points per inch. So, 8 is about 1/9th of an inch high. Size 32 is 1/2 inch high. This control works on text selected at the moment, or the current paragraph if no text is selected.
The next three buttons cause any selected text to be displayed as Bold, Italic, or Underline. If the text is already bold, italic, or underlined, selecting one of these buttons a second time will toggle the state. All three of these can be applied to any selected text.
A paragraph can be left-aligned, centered, right-aligned, or justified by selecting one of the paragraph alignment buttons.
The spacing of lines in a paragraph can be changed by the line spacing control. Standard choices are 1.0 (single line spacing), 1.5 (one and a half line spacing) and 2.0 (double spacing).
Two styles of lists are bulleted paragraphs and numbered paragraphs. The list controls turn this feature on or off.
Paragraphs can be indented (or unindented) using the indent selector. The indent for a paragraph is also show in the small diamonds in the ruler (described later).
Paragraphs, tables, table cells, and inserted objects can have a border. The border selector can add or remove a border from the selected object.
The color of a block of selected text can be changed using the text color control.

The Ruler

The ruler displays the a ruler, and shows the left margin, right margin, and tab stops. The ruler shows these for the selected paragraph. Each paragraph can have a differnt ruler. The ruler allows tab stops to be set any place within the line.

The tab selector is initially a left tab. Type a tab character, and the text following the tab will be displayed at a position controlled by the tab stops. A tab stop can be left-aligned,centered, or right-aligned. Numeric text can be aligned to a decimal point. A vertical bar can be placed on the line.
The tab selector changes with each click. Click once to get a center tab. Click again and the selector is a right tab. Click any place on the ruler to set a tab stop. The type of tab stop is determined by the tab selector button state when the ruler is clicked. To remove a tab, just drag the tab out of the ruler.
The indent of a line can be controlled by the three controls at the left, and one at the right of the line. These are the first line, remaining lines, and left indent.

The ruler can also show other information when tables or images are included.

Learn More

This summary describes only a small fraction of the features included in Word. Word can display data in a table, include a graph illustrating data, and images. This introduction, however, is enough to allow you to create a wide variety of documents.

There are many books available for checkout from the library. These can be kept for three weeks. Check the card catalog to look for titles available anywhere in the library system.

The library also makes the Safari collection (electronic books) available. You can read books here using a computer connected to the internet, or from any computer connected to the internet. All you need is a library card.

Check for courses offered by Adult Education and at Montgomery College. These are generally not free.

Online [free] resources

Here are a few online resources that you can use.

Free Word 2003 Tutorial by GCN Learn Free

Word 2003 Training from Microsoft

Online Word 2003 Help from Microsoft

Word 2003 Demos [video clips] from Microsoft

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