Five Customizations to Make You More Efficient in Word

The image above shows a selection of customizing options within Microsoft Word that can be really handy and save you time when working on a document. Some are pretty self-explanatory, but some are probably functions that you aren’t aware of, so we picked five from the list that need little explanation and will help you become more efficient in Word:


1. Automatically create drawing canvas when inserting AutoShapes: When working with shapes a drawing canvas allows lines to act as linked connectors between shapes. Turning this option on ensures that whenever you insert a Word shape it will be inserted within a drawing canvas.


2. Use smart paragraph selection: When turned on, selecting all the content of a paragraph will automatically cause the paragraph marker to be selected. This ensures that the formatting of the paragraph is retained if it is moved and that empty paragraphs are not left behind.


3. Use smart cursoring: Most people will want to leave this option enabled. If turned off, when you scroll to a new page using the vertical scroll bar, then press one of the cursor keys, you will jump back to the page you started from and the insertion point will move on that page rather than the current page.


4. Use overtype mode: Normally Word functions in insert mode, meaning anything you type will move existing text to the right. But with this option ticked, typed text overwrites the text to the right instead of moving it. In addition, you could tick Use the Insert key to control overtype mode, which allows you to toggle between insert and overtype mode as you need. You can also include the mode indicator in the status bar where it can be clicked to toggle the mode by right-clicking the status bar and ticking Overtype.


5. Mark formatting inconsistencies: With this option ticked (under Keep track of formatting), Word will mark what it considers as inconsistently formatted text with a blue squiggly underline. Its analysis is not instantaneous though, so sometimes it takes several minutes for the wavy line to appear.