Chapter 2. How Word Works

It’s surprising how many Word users I know (and I mean long-time, sophisticated users) who still get annoyed with many of Word’s little quirks and yet never try to figure out what Word is really doing. Instead, they accept these quirks as a matter of course and almost subconsciously correct any errors that result.

For example, try selecting two consecutive paragraphs by dragging the pointer over them, cutting (or copying) them, and then pasting them somewhere else in the document. Notice that Word doesn’t copy the formatting of the second paragraph, but does for the first paragraph. Many users do this over and over again, get annoyed by it, and fix it each time by manually reapplying the style or formatting to the second paragraph. There is a pretty easy way around this (and you’ll learn it later in the chapter), but until you learn what Word is doing, it’s not easy to see the solutions to these kinds of problems.

This chapter takes an under-the-hood look at Word. Among other things, it covers:

Global architecture

Each time you start Word, it actually creates a new interface, based on built-in program information, global templates (like, user-defined templates, and document settings.


All kinds of information besides text are stored in Word files, including graphics and inserted objects. Every Word document also has an attached template file that controls the styles, toolbars, and macros in that document. In addition, Word uses temporary (

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