Major Word Sections and Task Lists

Word offers nine standard menus. The commands found within each one are described in detail throughout the various chapters of this book. The following sections present a mini-synopsis of each menu, the useful functions the menus provide, and where in the book to go for details.


Use the File menu to control Word files. Start, save, close, and print documents, edit document properties, and exit the Word program. The File menu’s most frequently used commands are included as the first six commands on the Standard toolbar. These six commands also contain some anomalies. Normally, the menu command and the toolbar equivalent perform the same task in the same way. Not so with the New button and File New, and the Print button and its menu companion, File Print. In both cases, the menu command opens a dialog box for setting options and the button performs the command using default actions.

Use the Shift Key for More File Menu Options

If you press and hold the Shift key before opening the File menu, the Close command becomes Close All (meaning all open documents) and the Save command becomes Save All. Use these changes to close and/or save all open documents without repeatedly opening the File menu.

Keyboard shortcuts

Create a new document: Ctrl-N
Open a document: Ctrl-O
Save a document: Ctrl-S
Save a document with a new name (Save As): F12
Print a document: Ctrl-P
Close the active document: Ctrl-F4
Exit Word: Alt-F4

File task list

Create a new document: File
Open a document or search for a document: File
Save a document: File
Save as a document as a web page: File
Save multiple versions of a document: File
Preview a document before printing: File
Preview and print a document: File


The Edit menu offers the ability to undo previous actions (and redo any undone actions), select the entire document, delete content, and search your document for a particular word, phrase, or code, such as a paragraph mark or a non-breaking space.

The Edit menu’s Cut, Copy, and Paste commands move document text around inside and between documents. In addition, you can paste objects from other applications, such as a section of an Excel worksheet or a PowerPoint chart, to a document and create a link to the source content by using the Paste Special command. The Edit menu also provides a way to maintain this linked content (Edit Links), and to edit the linked object (Edit Object).

Keyboard shortcuts

Undo last action: Ctrl-Z
Redo last undone action: Ctrl-Y
Cut content: Ctrl-X
Copy content: Ctrl-C
Paste cut or copied content: Ctrl-V
Select the entire document: Ctrl-A
Find specified text or formatting codes: Ctrl-F
Browse (Find) next item: Ctrl-Page Down
Browse (Find) previous item: Ctrl-Page Up
Replace found content with new content: Ctrl-H
Go to a particular page or section: Ctrl-G (or F5)

Edit task list

Undo the last action: Edit
Cut, copy, and paste content: Edit
Paste linked content: Edit
Select an entire document: Edit
Search a document for a particular word, phrase, or code: Edit
Replace a word, phrase, or code with another: Edit
Move to a particular page or section in a document: Edit
Update or remove links to a document: Edit


The View menu provides a series of commands for changing the way a document window looks and works. Choose from four main views, or turn off all onscreen tools and elements, showing only the document itself in Full Screen view. Toggle views of the ruler, comments, or any of Word’s toolbars.

Finally, use the View menu to change the display size of a document. Zoom in close to make intricate changes in the position of a graphic, or zoom out to see a document’s “big picture.” The Zoom feature’s Whole Page view is a great alternative to Print Preview, in that you can both see and edit the entire document.

Keyboard shortcuts

Change to Normal view: Alt-Ctrl-N
Change to Outline view: Alt-Ctrl-O
Change to Page Layout view: Alt-Ctrl-P

View task list

Change to Normal view: View
Change to Print Layout view: View
Change to Web Layout view: View
Build a document outline: View
Display various toolbars: View
Turn on the ruler: View
Open the Document Map: View
Create a header and/or footer for a document: View
View comments for a document: View
Change to Full Screen view: View
View multiple pages of a document, or use zoom on a single page: View


The list of items you can insert in a document is extensive — everything from the date and time, to a scanned image, to a link that accesses a web site when clicked.

One of the Insert menu’s most powerful commands is Insert Object, which inserts content from another application. Add a blank object and build it using the native application’s tools (which appear within the Word application window), or add an object from an existing file.

Keyboard shortcuts

Insert a page break: Ctrl-Enter
Insert a Bookmark: Ctrl-Shift-F5
Insert AutoText: F3 or Alt-Ctrl-V
Insert a Hyperlink: Ctrl-K

Insert task list

Force a page break within a document: Insert
Insert page numbers: Insert
Create or insert an AutoText entry: Insert
Insert a field: Insert
Insert a special character or symbol: Insert
Create a footnote or endnote: Insert
Place a caption with a figure or table: Insert
Generate a table of contents or index: Insert
Add clip art or other graphic elements: Insert
Create a cross-reference to another part of a document: Insert
Insert an object from another application: Insert
Bookmark your document: Insert
Insert a hyperlink to another file or a web site: Insert


There are several levels of formatting in Word. Format individual characters by applying different fonts, text colors, and font sizes. Format paragraphs by applying indents, tabs, and styles. Format sections with page layout and margin settings.

The Format menu also customizes the way Word automatically formats a document (a.k.a. AutoFormat) — making such changes as converting fractions to symbols (1/2 to 1/2), displaying web addresses as hyperlinks, and automatically numbering or bulleting lists as you type.

While the most commonly used formatting commands are represented on the Formatting toolbar, you’ll find that the Format menu’s dialog boxes provide an extensive set of tools for changing fonts, setting alignments, and applying colors and borders to text. The toolbar equivalents are often faster to use, but they don’t offer the options and the same degree of control over how the formats are applied.

Keyboard shortcuts

Open the Font dialog box: Ctrl-D
Change the case of text: Shift-F3
Perform an AutoFormat: Alt-Ctrl-K

Format task list

Format characters and words: Format
Format paragraphs: Format
Apply character and paragraph styles: Format
Set indents, alignment, and line spacing: Format
Change bullet character, size, and color: Format
Apply custom borders and shading: Format
Convert paragraph text to columns: Format
Set custom tabs: Format
Change the case of selected text: Format
Apply a background to a web page: Format
Choose a theme for a document: Format
Apply and customize Word’s AutoFormat settings: Format
Format the selected graphic, text box, AutoShape, or other object: Format


The Tools menu provides access to most of the commands in Word that don’t involve inserting objects, formatting text, using tables, or working with files. These commands include spelling and grammar checking, online collaboration tools, mail merge, and macros.

The Tools menu also contains commands for setting various Word options and for customizing Word’s menus and toolbars. The multi-tabbed Tools Options dialog, for example, contains settings that control the way Word looks and works. The Options Dialog controls the basics, such as where files are saved, and which application window elements are displayed, as well as the settings that are a matter of personal taste and need, including how and when the spelling and grammar checking feature works.

Keyboard shortcuts

Spelling and Grammar: F7
Open the Thesaurus: Shift-F7
Open the Macros dialog box: Alt-F8
Open the Visual Basic Editor window: Alt-F11
Open the Microsoft Script Editor window: Alt-Shift-F11

Tools task list

Spell-check a document: Tools
Find a synonym with the Thesaurus: Tools
Change the language settings for Word: Tools
Get a word count for a document: Tools
Create an automatic summary: Tools
Create or edit an AutoCorrect entry: Tools
Change AutoFormat settings: Tools
Collaborate with coworkers: Chapter 13
Merge different versions of a document: Section 13.3
Use mail merge to create form letters or labels: Tools
Record a new macro: Section 18.2.1
Customize Word’s interface: Section 3.3
Change Word’s application and document options: Section 3.2


Use the Table menu to control complex lists, create forms, or even provide layout for a page. Create formulas that reference cells within the table, referring to the cells by their column letters and row numbers, just like in an Excel worksheet.

Rather than setting indents to control the horizontal and vertical flow of text, create a table to house the text, and use the easily adjusted width of the table columns to control where text falls on the page.

The Table menu contains commands for drawing “freehand” tables or inserting a specified number of uniform columns and rows. There are also tools for changing the size and appearance of table columns and rows, and for converting tabbed text to tables.

Keyboard shortcuts


File task list

Draw a cell or block of cells: Table
Insert a uniform table: Table
Delete rows or columns: Table
Delete a table: Table
Insert columns or rows: Table
Merge table cells: Table
Split table cells: Table
Format a table automatically: Table
Convert between text and table format: Table
Sort table rows: Table
Perform a calculation within a table: Table
View and edit table properties: Table


Use the Window menu to switch between open Word documents and choose how to display multiple open documents. The New Window command creates a duplicate window for the active document. Work in either window and scroll to view different portions of the same document.

Keyboard shortcuts

Switch between open documents: Alt-Esc or Alt-Tab

Window task list

Open a duplicate window of the active document: Window
Arrange a group of windows for easier viewing: Window
Split a document window into separate panes: Window
Switch between open documents: Window


By default, help comes through an animated Office Assistant in which you type a question and choose a help topic from those offered in response. Alternatively, turn the Assistant off and use a more traditional help window. If none of the articles offered meet your needs, search for help on the Web from Microsoft’s tech support site.

Other help features include special tools for WordPerfect users, a What’s This feature that opens ScreenTips explaining interface elements and character formatting, and the Detect and Repair command, which searches for problems in Word’s application files and attempts to fix them.

Keyboard shortcuts

Open Word Help: F1
Activate What’s This? Help: Shift-F1

Help task list

Start Word Help: Help
Hide the Office Assistant: Help
Invoke What’s This? Help: Help
Run Detect and Repair: Help
View the Word version and System information: Help
Go to the Microsoft Office help pages on the Web: Help

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