Top 6 Microsoft Word options

Mar 19, 2020 | Word Hints and Tips

Did you know that you don’t have to put up with many of the default settings you get with Word if they don’t fit with the way you work.  Here are 6 of my favourite Microsoft Word options to change.  All these options are available from the File menu and options.

Open files in reading view

As we are trying to reduce waste the more we can read on our screen without printing it out is going to help.  That is why Microsoft Word has a reading view.  This doesn’t show how the document will print out but is optimised for screen reading.  It can be set so that it opens email attachments and other uneditable files in reading view and is found in the general section of the options.

Always show formatting marks

Formatting marks can be helpful to see what is going on in a document particularly when the layout is going awry.  The show/hide icon does this on a more ad-hoc basis but to make it more permanent or to choose the specific formatting marks there is the option to turn on tabs, spaces, paragraphs and more.  This Word option is located in the display section.

Spelling options

We always assume that if we have spell checked our document that there will be no more spelling errors.  Did you know that words that are fully entered in upper case or that have numbers in them are not checked.  It makes sense as they could be abbreviations or codes of some sort.  But what if we need them checked?  From proofing options, and when correcting spelling in Microsoft programs, just untick the relevant boxes if you need to.

Changing the default save location

When you save it always defaults to saving in documents but how many of us save our files here?  By changing this location to something more appropriate will save a lot of time given the number of times we save throughout the day.  It is available from the save Word option on the left-hand side of the options.  Just change the default local file location to something you prefer.  This can be changed in a similar way in the other Microsoft products.

Automatic saving

For years there has been an autorecover option that has prevented too much work being lost if you forget to save and the computer crashes or the battery power goes.  In Office 365 there is also the option of autosave one drive or SharePoint files by default.  This check box option is situated right at the top of the save options and by default is switched on.  However, if you are used to playing around with your spreadsheet and then closing without saving if it goes wrong you will find that the file has already saved with your errors included.  By switching this off you can work with it as before.  This option also exists in Excel and PowerPoint so you may choose to turn the option off here too.  This can be temporarily switched on and off from the slider at the top left corner of the screen but this is not a permanent change.

Change the default paste option

If you find that you regularly need to change how your text is pasted then it might be worth changing one or more of the pasting options.  Defaults include when pasting into this or other documents.  This is available in the Advanced section under cut, copy, paste.

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