Category Archives: Using Word

Add a check box in a document

The easiest way to add a check box to a document in Word, is to go to Insert, Symbol, and then More Symbols.  Find the square box shaped symbol, click on it, and click Insert.  (Close the Symbols window now.) To change the size of the box, select (highlight) it, then return to the Home tab, and increase the font size until the box is the size you want.

Venn diagrams in Word

To add a Venn diagram to a Word document:

Click on the Insert tab on the top ribbon, then click on SmartArt.  In the window that opens, choose Relationship, and then from the pictures available, choose the sort of Venn diagram you want, and click OK.

The dialogue box that opens allows you to type in text for each of the main circle shapes:

Venn diagram

It doesn’t let you add text to the overlap though.  If you want to add text to the overlap areas, go back to the Insert tab, and choose Shapes.  Choose a shape that resembles the overlapping portion  (probably an oval), and draw it and rotate it so that it sits on top of the overlap.  Then right click on the oval, click Edit Text, and type the text you want.
Then right click the oval and click Format Shape; on the Fill tab click No Fill; on the Line Colour tab click No Line and then click Close.

Collapsing or Expanding the top ribbon in Word

If you are editing a Word document, and you would like the top ribbon to take up less space on your screen, you can collapse it.  Either type CTRL and F1 , or click on the tiny arrow at the top right of the screen next to the question mark.  Do the same again to expand the ribbon back up.

CTRL and F1 will toggle between the two states.

In Word, set default style to 2003

If you open a document in Word 2010 that was previously opened in Word 2003, you might find that it looks different – which can be annoying!  Some of the default options (line spacing and so on) were changed between Word 2003 and Word 2010.  If you want your documents all to look like they did in Word 2003, then:

On the Home tab, choose Change Styles then Style Set, then Word 2003.  If you want this to be the default from now on, choose Change Styles then Set as Default.

If you have Office 365, you will find that Word no longer has the Change Styles option, or a style that calls itself 2003 – instead you can use the Word 2003 Look template.


Using the Mailings functions in Word 2010 to fill cells in a table

This post looks at one of the things you can do with the labels function in the Mailings category in word. (There is another blog post that covers printing address labels specifically: Printing address labels from Outlook contacts .)  In this post, I talk about how to fill cells in a table, by treating them as labels.

You can create labels for any data that you like – you need a file to provide the input data, and then you set up your labels using Merge Fields – which I will refer to just as Fields.  When the labels are generated, the Fields are populated with the data from your input file.

To set up your input data, create a spreadsheet (in Excel) containing the information you want to print on to labels, or in this case, fill the cells in a table.  The rows of the spreadsheet contain the information you want to use.  The first row of the spreadsheet must contain titles (or column headers); these will be the names of the Fields used to populate your labels or cells.  The row immediately below the titles contains the information for the first label or cell; each subsequent row contains the information for each subsequent label or cell.

Having created your spreadsheet for the input data, now go back to word, and set up your table. Go to the Insert tab, choose Table.  Select the number of rows and columns you want your table to have.  When you click in the table, you get a new tab above the top ribbon – the Table Tools tab. Choose Layout.  Select the whole table, then change the dimensions of the cells using the height and width options, until the table has the dimensions you need.

Go to the Mailings tab, click on Select Recipients, and choose Use Existing List.  A new window will open, where you can browse to the location of the spreadsheet you created earlier, and choose it.  You now get a window called Select Table.  Make sure the first (top) sheet is selected, and the box is ticked to say the first row contains headers.  Click ok.  (This is telling word where your input data is.)

Now click on Insert Merge Field.  A window will open, with the Fields available, which will be the column headers from your spread sheet.  Insert them into the first cell of the table, where you would like them to be.  You can have line breaks between the Fields, or not, and you can format each Field individually.  To format a Field, highlight it, then go to the Home tab, and you can use any formatting options – the font, the font size, alignment, etc.

When you have finished setting out the first cell in the table, go back to Mailings, and click  on Start Mail Merge, then choose Labels; when the new window opens to allow you to choose a label type, just close it.  Now click on Update Labels (on the top ribbon) and the Fields and formats you have chosen will be added to every cell.  Click on Preview Results to see how your labels will look.  If you are not happy, click ons Preview Results again, and you can make adjustments to the first label.  Click on Update Labels, then Preview Results, and repeat the cycle until you are happy.

Click on Finish & Merge, Edit Individual Documents,  choose All in the new window.  Now you can print your labels (and save them to print again).

Printing Address Labels from Outlook contacts

This is a useful way of printing address labels from Outlook contacts if you’ve got a batch of labels to do; it’s a bit long winded just for one or two.  (I’ve never found a quick way to do just a single label; I use copy and paste.)

An earlier post
Printing Address Labels with Word
goes through the steps for printing address labels, but if you have several different folders of contacts within Outlook, that method may not let you choose the folder containing the contacts you want.  For instance, you might have contacts in a Work folder and in a Home folder, and you wish to print labels for one or the other.

So, open Outlook.  Select the contacts folder that you want to use, then click on Mail Merge in the top ribbon.  You get a dialog box (like the one below), choose Mailing Labels at the bottom, then click OK.

Mail Merge Contacts

Then you get something like this:

outlook2Click Setup, and you get to choose your labels, then click Close.

You now get a Word document set up with lots of blank labels, and you need to go through the process of Edit Recipient List, Address Block, Match Fields, Update Labels, Finish and Merge.  For detailed instructions on all of this, please see my post
Printing Address Labels with Word

Word Templates – make your own

If you have a particular type of document that you use a lot, you can save time by saving it as a template.  For example, you might set up your own template for letters, with your address etc; or you might set up your own template for invoices.

To save something as a template, do Save As and then one of the following:

For Windows 7 : On the left hand pane of the Save As box, scroll to the top of the folders level, click on Microsoft Word, then click on Templates.

For Windows Vista: Click on Favourite Links, then Templates

  For Windows XPSave In Trusted Templates

Then give it a name, and change the file type to Word Template, and save it.

Next time you want to create a new document using your template, do File, New, My Templates and select your template.


To insert a single landscape page into a Word document

You have a Word document, which is in the normal portrait layout, and lets say you want one page in the middle of the document to be in landscape – maybe for a table, or a chart.

This is easier to do on an existing document with several pages of text.

Open the document in Word, and turn on Show/Hide formatting so that you can see all the hidden formatting marks that Word puts in.formattingmark







Choose a page of the document to change to landscape, and go to the end of the page before – so if page 3 is going to be landscape, go to the end of page 2.  Click on Page Layout, and then Breaks, then choose Next Page under Section Breaks.  You should see a Section Break appear in the document.


Now, do it again – click on Page Layout, and then Breaks, then Next Page under Section Breaks.

Now you have two Section Break delimiters.  Type (or paste) some text between them.


Click on the text you inserted, between the Section Break delimiters, go to Page Layout, click on Orientation, and choose Landscape,  You should end up with one landscape page,  The trick is, the landscape page must be bracketed by Section Breaks – it won’t work with Page Breaks.



Multi Level List in Word

In Word, if you have a multi level list – in other words a list that has 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 etc and also 1.2.1, 1.2.2 for the items, this can be a useful tip.

To change the level of an element of the list – for example maybe item 1.2 should really be item 1.1.1 – what you do is:

Click on the item you want to change; right click with the mouse, choose Numbering, then Change List Level, then choose the appropriate level.

Add a text box to a word document

Here’s how to add a text box to a Word document:

Open the Word document how you normally do.
Choose “Insert” from the options along the top.

The main part of the ribbon has changed now to give you different options – choose “Text Box”.  If this now opens a new window, click on the “Simple Text Box” option, and a text box will appear in you document.  If a text box does not appear, but the cursor changes to a “+” shape, then hold down the left mouse button and drag diagonally to draw a box.

You can resize the box, type in it, colour it…………

If you already have some text in your document, the Text Box may be sitting on top of your text.  To change how this looks, you need to format the box.  The Format tab may have opened automatically, in which case you will see an option “Position” in the top ribbon.  Click on this, and as you move the mouse over the choices, word shows you how your text box will look.  Choose the one that suits what you want to do.  (if the Format tab didn’t open automatically, click on it, then choose “Position”.)