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Microsoft Word Tutorial


Working with Files Working with Text Formatting Paragraphs

Typing & Inserting Text

To enter text, just start typing! The text will appear where the blinking cursor is located. Move the cursor by using the arrow buttons on the keyboard or positioning the mouse and clicking the left button. The keyboard shortcuts listed below are also helpful when moving through the text of a document:

Move ActionKeystroke
Beginning of the lineHOME
End of the lineEND
Top of the documentCTRL+HOME
End of the documentCTRL+END

Selecting Text

To change any attributes of text it must be highlighted first. Select the text by dragging the mouse over the desired text while keeping the left mouse button depressed, or hold down the SHIFT key on the keyboard while using the arrow buttons to highlight the text. The following table contains shortcuts for selecting a portion of the text:

Whole worddouble-click within the word
Whole paragraphtriple-click within the paragraph
Several words or linesdrag the mouse over the words, or hold down SHIFT while using the arrow keys
Entire documentchoose Edit|Select All from the menu bar, or press CTRL+A

Deselect the text by clicking anywhere outside of the selection on the page or press an arrow key on the keyboard.

Deleting Text

Use the BACKSPACE and DELETE keys on the keyboard to delete text. Backspace will delete text to the left of the cursor and Delete will erase text to the right. To delete a large selection of text, highlight it using any of the methods outlined above and press the DELETE key.

Formatting Text

The formatting toolbar is the easiest way to change many attributes of text. If the toolbar as shown below isn't displayed on the screen, select View|Toolbars and choose Formatting.

[formatting toolbar]

  • Style Menu - Styles are explained in detail later in this tutorial.
  • Font Face - Click the arrowhead to the right of the font name box to view the list of fonts available. Scroll down to the font you want and select it by clicking on the name once with the mouse. A serif font (one with "feet" circled in the illustration below) is recommended for paragraphs of text that will be printed on paper as they are most readable. The following graphic demonstrates the difference between serif (Times New Roman on the left) and sans-serif ("no feet", Arial on the right) fonts.
    Serif example
  • Font Size - Click on the white part of the font size box to enter a value for the font size or click the arrowhead to the right of the box to view a list of font sizes available. Select a size by clicking on it once. A font size of 10 or 12 is best for paragraphs of text.
  • Font Style - Use these buttons to bold, italicize, and underline text.
  • Alignment - Text can be aligned to the left, center, or right side of the page or it can be justified across the page.
  • Numbered and Bulleted Lists - Lists are explained in detail later in this tutorial.
  • Increase/Decrease Indent - Change the indentation of a paragraph in relation to the side of the page.
  • Outside Border - Add a border around a text selection.
  • Highlight Color - Use this option to change the color behind a text selection. The color shown on the button is the last color used. To select a different color, click the arrowhead next to the image on the button.
  • Text Color - This option changes the color of the text. The color shown on the button is the last color chosen. Click the arrowhead next to the button image to select another color.

    The Font dialog box allows you to choose from a larger selection of formatting options. Select Format|Font from the menu bar to access the box.

[font dialog box]

[format painter]  Format Painter

A handy feature for formatting text is the Format Painter located on the standard toolbar. For example, if you have formatting a paragraph heading with a certain font face, size, and style and you want to format another heading the same way, you do not need to manually add each attribute to the new headline. Instead, use the Format Painter by following these steps:

  1. Place the cursor within the text that contains the formatting you want to copy.
  2. Click the Format Painter button in the standard toolbar. Notice that your pointer now has a paintbrush beside it.
  3. Highlight the text you want to add the same format to with the mouse and release the mouse button.

To add the formatting to multiple selections of text, double-click the Format Painter button instead of clicking once.  The format painter then stays active until you press the ESC key to turn it off.

[undo]  Undo

You can always undo your last action by clicking the Undo button on the standard toolbar or selecting Edit|Undo... from the menu bar. Click the Redo button on the standard toolbar or select Edit|Redo... to erase the undo action.

Getting Started Working with Files Working with Text