Date: 04/03/2015 | By: Liz Painter

These tips from Les Gutteridge of 101 SystemWorks aim to help you work faster and more efficiently in Microsoft Word (and many of them work in PowerPoint and Outlook too).

Font Size and Case
You can grow the font size of any selected text 1 Point More or 1 Point Less by using Ctrl+] or Ctrl+[. This is great for experimentation if you are not quite sure what size you really want.

Please stop deleting then retyping text if you discover your text is in the wrong case by mistake (e.g. CAPITALS, lower case, mIXED cASE).
All you need to do is select the bad text and press Shift+F3. Try it.

Putting the Breaks in (!)
You should not press Enter enough times in order to get onto the next page. Just press Ctrl+Enter.
This produces a “future proof” result even if you change the margin settings.

And for bulleted or numbered text, if you want a new line within the same bullet point press Shift+Enter.
You won’t produce a new bullet that way.

Shades of F7
Red squiggles indicate spelling mistakes.
To check a solitary error, right hand click it or press Alt+F7 and you will be offered a correction.

Press F7 to start a full Spell Check.

Finally, you can replace any word with another word of close meaning – simply click the word that you want to replace and press Shift+F7 to invoke the Thesaurus. A list appears on the right hand side of the screen showing alternative words to choose from. This tip will help you improve the readability of your masterpiece document!

Saving Stock Text to use again and again
E.g. use “HYAW” to expand into “Hope you are well?” – the stock phrases can be many sentences long and can even include graphics.
You set up Building Blocks (AutoText): Type the stock phrase, select it, press Alt+F3, then provide a “trigger” name in the next dialog.
To use a Building Block (AutoText): Type “trigger” name, then press F3 (In my example, I would type HYAW then press F3.)

Find/Find & Replace Formatting
Not only can you use Find/ Find & Replace to navigate to or change words and phrases but you can search for formatting too.
E.g. you can get Word to look for Tahoma Size 10 and convert it to Calibri Size 12 throughout the document without disturbing any other formatting.
Begin Find (Ctrl+F) or Find & Replace (Ctrl+H) (alternatively, click Home Tab, Find or Replace on far right hand side of tab).
Click the More≫ or ≪Less button on the dialog to see other search options.
Click Format / Special to make choices to search for…
Click Replace/Replace All/Find/Find All etc as required.

101 SystemWorks has been building high quality IT solutions and providing bespoke training to businesses since 1993. Based in Birmingham, we are ideally located to work with clients both in the West Midlands and across the country. We help you ensure that your business benefits from efficient IT systems and from well trained, informed staff. Our business solutions are sophisticated yet simple to use and our Microsoft Office training is thorough, effective and designed to help your team get the best from Excel, Word, Access, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Les’ next course, his Excelling with Excel Workshop is at the Business Development Centre in Erdington (B23 6HP) on Monday 8th December at 2pm. This entertaining and hugely informative workshop is loaded with great shortcuts to help tiresome tasks fly. The cost is £80 per person – click here to book.

You can also call Les on 07973 507371 or email on