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Lesson 1 – MW for Beginners

SPH September 22, 2020

Here is the best Microsoft Word Tutorial for creating high-quality formatted documents. Learn these skills carefully, and then use the knowledge you gain when writing your next important document. You may even try practicing in Microsoft Word on your home computer to get the hang of things. Otherwise, here we go.

With this tutorial, you will learn many skills that will come in handy, such as using templates, basic document formatting, and inserting objects. Keep reading to find out more.

How to Find Recent Documents in Word

When you open Microsoft Word using the desktop shortcut, the startup screen will have a blue panel on the left, which shows any documents that you have opened recently, sorted by most recent. You can pin a document on this panel by navigating your cursor over to the right of a document name to the small pin-shaped icon and clicking it. Click it again to unpin the item at any time.

Now, that document will always come up when you open Word, regardless of recent activity.

Word Templates

The right half of the Word startup screen shows available document templates. There are several basic options, but for more online templates, use the search bar at the top. Try a generalized search, like “business” or “letters” for the most results.

How to Set a Default World Theme for Startup

To lessen the number of changes you must make when starting up Microsoft Word, you can set a default color theme. Go to the Design tab, click Colors, then Customize Colors toward the bottom of the drop-down menu. A separate box will appear. Create your new theme and press Save. Now, click “Set as Default” under the Design tab.

How to Zoom

Use the View tab to zoom in or switch back to 100% visibility. Toward the middle of the ribbon (top section of tools), there is a Zoom category, which has the zoom options you need plus three alternate viewing options for viewing multiple pages at once. You can also zoom by dragging the slider at the button right-hand corner of the screen.

Locating and Using the Tell Me Box

The search bar at the top of the Word window will help you find tools. For example, if you cannot find the Adjust Margins button, you can search for “margins,” or even just “mar,” and it will give a few suggestions for tools. The Tell Me feature saves a lot of time, especially if you are just beginning to use Word and do not know the location of all the tools.

To customize the margins further, locate the Margins button under Layout.  When you click Margins, a Page Setup box will show up; this is where you can change the exact measurements.

How to Add a Sidebar

First, change the margins to make the text pushed to one side of the document.

You can do this by going to Layout > Margins > Custom Margins… and then changing the right margin to a larger number. Press Ok.

It should look like this:

The best way to add a sidebar is by going to Insert > Text Box and then selecting a style. There are a few textboxes that have “sidebar” in the name that works best. Move the sidebar around by clicking and dragging it.

To switch the next page back to regular margins, go to the Insert tab, click Margins, then click Custom Margins at the bottom of the menu. In the page setup box, change the margins, and then select “This point forward” before hitting Ok.

Quote Box

Use a textbox to insert a relevant quote in the center of a page. You can change the formatting after selecting a style in the Insert tab.

You can also use a shape as a quote box. Under Insert, select Shapes, and then choose the shape you want. Adjust it to a reasonable size by clicking and dragging on one of the corners and then use the layout options box next to it to select “Fix position on page” and change the text wrapping.

To make the text around the shape look nicer, select all the text in the document, and then click the Justify button on the home tab. The Justify option is next to the other alignment buttons in the Paragraph section.

Editing Text

The fastest way to edit text is to select the text OR right-click. Editing tools should appear, like this:

You can change the font style, size, color, boldness, or other settings right there. Otherwise, use the font settings on the Home tab.

Click the small arrow in the bottom right-hand corner of the Font section in the ribbon to pull up even more font settings. You can also use these settings to set a default font.

How to Insert Filler Text

If you want to fill part of a document with random text, like when displaying a template, type the following statement anywhere:

Change the number according to how much randomized text you need. Then, press ENTER. It should look something like this:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Maecenas porttitor congue massa. Fusce posuere, magna sed pulvinar ultricies, purus lectus malesuada libero, sit amet commodo magna eros quis urna.

(This small bit of random text is from using the lorem statement with a 1 in the parenthesis.)

Line Spacing

To change the space in-between lines of text, find the Line Spacing Options button on the Home tab. The icon looks like this:

It will display several options for line spacing so that you can change it to either single (1.0) or double (2.0) or another line spacing distance.

Numbered and Bulleted Lists

To make a numbered or bullet point list, select one or a few lines of text and then click either the Bullets or Numbering icon in the Paragraph section of the Home tab. Once you hit the button icon once, you do not have to keep hitting it to add more lines, you simply continue typing and then hit enter when you want to continue onto the next point.

When you make a list, there is a way to start typing on a secondary level. With the appropriate lines of text selected (that are bulleted or numbered already), click either Increase Indent or Decrease Indent to change the level of indention. You can find these buttons to the right of the bullet list tools.

Spell Checking

If autocorrect is already on, which it usually is by default, spelling errors will correct themselves as you type. Unfortunately, the autocorrect feature does not always pick up on errors. Uncorrected, misspelled words show a squiggly red line underneath, and you can quickly fix it by right-clicking and selecting an option from the drop-down list.

The Review tab is something you can use for more help with grammar and editing. On the left side of the review tab, you can use the Check Document button to scan the document for spelling and grammar errors.

The Thesaurus is another excellent tool, which is right next to the Check Document button. Click Thesaurus and then highlight a word to see synonyms; these will show up on the right side of the screen. Click a word in the Thesaurus to insert it in place of the word you highlighted.

How to Insert a Hyperlink

You can add a clickable link to a line of text. To insert this hyperlink, highlight some text and then right-click and press Link. A dialog box will appear in the center of your screen, which will allow you to enter the URL address that you want to use as a hyperlink. Once you add the hyperlink, whoever accesses the document can Control+Click on it to go straight to the website.

Drop Caps

A drop cap can make a text document look more attractive, whether it is the start of a new chapter in a book or the beginning of an article. The Drop Cap tool is in the Text section of the Insert Tab.

Typically, you will use the “Dropped” drop cap choice; although, there are a few different options for styles of drop caps.

How to Insert WordArt

WordArt is another fun tool for making a document more enjoyable to read. The WordArt tool is in the same section as the Drop Cap tool on the Insert Tab.

Highlight a word or sentence, then click WordArt and select a style. You can move the created WordArt image around the same as you would a picture.


You can also insert SmartArt. SmartArt is on the Insert tab in the Illustrations section. Click the SmartArt button and then find the right art for what you need in the box that pops up. Once you insert SmartArt, click in one of the text areas and type what you want.

How to Insert a YouTube Video

On the Insert tab, click Online Video. Now, you can search YouTube for a video through the box that pops up, or you can insert an Embed Code from the web.

Insert and Format Pictures

To insert a picture from your computer, go to the Insert tab and select the Pictures tool; this will bring up a dialog box that will let you search a picture in your computer files. Click Insert when you find the image you want to use, and the picture will insert itself.

You can resize the picture by clicking and dragging one of its corners. Make sure you have the picture selected first, which you can do by clicking it once.

Layout options are available for inserted images. The quickest way to change the layout is to select the picture and then click the little box just to the right as you see here:

That box brings up Layout Options. Each of these options has a different way that it adjusts text when you move the image around the document.

When you have a picture selected, there are tons of different effects you can add. Picture styles are good to use, and you can preview them by just hovering the mouse over one before clicking.

Inserting Shapes

Go to Insert > Shape. The settings are similar to formatting a picture. If you want to overlap the shape onto a picture, move it in the right spot, and then right-click to choose either Send to Front or Send to Back, which will reorganize which image is showing first. These options are also on the formatting tab; menus that pop up when you right-click are just more convenient.

Group multiple images by holding shift while selecting each one, right-click, then select Group.

Customizing Margins and Page Layout

You can change margins by using the Margins tool on the Layout tab. There are a few default options that you can use, but you can also create custom margins to make more specific adjustments.

Page Layout options are right next to the Margins tool. Use these options to change the document to a portrait or landscape layout. The landscape layout pretty much turns the page on its side so that it is wider than it is tall.

Change the page size on the Layout tab by clicking Size over on the left.

How to Add a Blank Page

The easiest way to add a blank page is to insert a page break. You can click Page Break at any point in the document, and it will jump the cursor down to the next blank page. This tool is under the Insert tab.

Inserting a Header or Footer

The header and footer tools are also on the Insert tab. Use these to add information that you want to show on every page of the document.


When you are finished, you can then print the document by going to File > Print. It will bring up some options you can change as to which pages you want printed, the printer it will print to, and orientation. Click Page Setup at the bottom to pick more specific criteria for printing.

How to Save as PDF

To save a document as a PDF file, you can click Save As in the File tab. If you have the “Save As Adobe PDF” button, use that. Otherwise, go to Save As, and select the PDF document type before hitting Save.

Practice Skills

Practice making documents using these skills and apply them to future projects. Also, check out the other tutorials for Microsoft Office to learn more essential skills.