Catch-up: MS Office 2010 Word

Microsoft Word is one of the most widely used pieces of software on the planet, the de facto word processor for businesses, schools, governments and most home users. It rapidly overtook Word-star and every other word processor in the world, gaining features – and bloat – with each release. It is now one of the most feature-packed programmes in existence. If there’s something you want to do to a document, Word can do it – if you can work out how and where to find the option.

Word hasn’t received nearly as significant changes in Office 2010 as Outlook…

Search
Document search used to have its own menu; you would go through the document, one instance
of the word or phrase at a time. Search in Office 2010 is now modelled after an online search engine. That means context.

The search interface is changed to open as a left-side pane, with options for narrowing the search. Search now enables you to search charts, tables, footnotes and other content. It also displays a navigable map of thumbnails of your document.

The results provide a short text excerpt from your document, which provides context for what you’re trying to find. When you’ve located the instance, you can click on the preview in the sidebar to jump to that place in the document.

The new Search is quicker and easier in most cases, but you can still access the older menu by clicking on the arrow besides the search magnifying glass, in order to get to the Advanced Find and Find and Replace, which are similar to the older search function. You can navigate directly to a specific page or other document element by using the Go To function. Finally, you can search for graphics, tables, and equations by selecting these options from the drop-down menu.

Formats
Text formatting now includes special effects such as bevel, glow, reflect and shadow; typography options include ligatures and small caps.

Screenshots
Word now has a built-in tool for inserting screenshots Word documents. From the Insert tab, select Screenshot and you’ll get a list of screenshots already taken to insert into Word. There is also a Screen Clipping option, which allows you to take a screenshot anywhere in Windows and insert it into a document.

Quick Parts
We have a facility in previous Word versions called Autotext entries, for making repetitive tasks easier and quicker. It allows you to boiler-plate snippets of content to insert into common documents.

Now you can create a Quick Part, which is an enhanced type of auto-text with a new interface.
Select the content for the Quick Part, go to the Insert tab, find the Quick Parts button and select the drop-down menu. Choose Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery, which will prompt
you to name the Quick Part. You can also create categories of Quick Parts to make management easier.

Any of your Quick Parts can be inserted by using the Quick Parts button and then selecting it from the drop-down menu.

Building Blocks
Quick Parts belong to a larger category of Microsoft Word tools called as Building Blocks; any type of saved content that is not a document, but rather a portion of a document. You can use very complex design elements in numerous documents whilst preserving the formatting, something Word has been notoriously bad at in the past.

You can apply Building Blocks to Headers and Footers, after which they can be selected and automatically added to one or all of the pages of a document.

There is a Building Blocks Organizer which you might want to add to your Ribbon if you use this feature a lot, although it is extremely basic. The organizer window consists of a list of Building Blocks on the left and a preview pane on the right. The Edit Properties button invokes a menu so that you can change the category and so on. The Insert and Delete buttons place or remove the Building Block in your document.

.Doc and .Docx Compatibility
Microsoft switched to .docx in Office 2007. It was a significant change and still causes grief because so many users don’t understand the lack of compatibility with older versions of Microsoft Office.

The new .docx format is now the standard for Microsoft Word. All versions of Microsoft Word from Office 2007 onward use this format, everything earlier is unable to open .docx. You can fix this by downloading an Office compatibility pack, but this can’t support all the embedded features of 2007 and 2010 .docx documents. AJS

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