6 super useful features in Microsoft Word


Macros are a method of automating tasks you repeatedly perform in Microsoft Word. Under the View tab you can start recording your Macros. This launches the Macro Recorder Dialogue Box (a popup window). You can name your macro and add a description if you want. Your macro name can’t have spaces. If you want to separate your words, you can use Underscore or capitalize the first letters of your words. You can use both if you want. This just makes your name easier to read. The macro recording starts as soon as you click OK. Now you can record your workflow. It could be creating a table, a letterhead or anything that you need to use frequently. In our case, we needed to create a comparison table for apps.


When you finish recording your macro, click Stop Recording to save the macro in your app. Next time you want to use that macro in a new document go to View Macros, choose your macro and Run it.

This automation will save you a lot of time. Even cooler, you can add this Macro to your Quick Access Toolbar making your Macro accessible with a single click.

Create custom tabs

You can create custom tabs in Microsoft word. All your tabs (Home, Insert, Draw tabs, etc.) in the app are in this section called a Ribbon. In other apps, it would simply be called a toolbar. Not in Microsoft Word, it’s a Ribbon.

To customise this ribbon, tap on the down-facing arrow on the top blue Quick Access Toolbar.  Go to More Commands. In the popup window that appears select Ribbon, because that is what you want to customise. Tap the Plus icon and click on New Tab. With your new tab selected, tap the Settings icon to rename it. Something you’ll remember, hopefully. Each New Tab comes with a New Group. This is important because you can only add features (which Microsoft Word calls commands) to groups.

To add the features you want, select the group you just renamed. On the left side, you have a list of Commands/features you can add to your selected group. You can add the following:

  • Popular commands
  • Commands Not in the Ribbon
  • All Commands
  • Macros

To add a command, select it and then click the forward-facing arrow. The command appears under your selected group. If you accidentally add the wrong command, tap the backwards-facing arrow to remove it. When you’re happy with your features, Save your changes.

Note: once created, you can’t move your custom tab to a different location on your ribbon. It’s therefore important to create it exactly where you want it from the start. If you want the tab between Home and Insert, select Home before adding a new tab (using the plus icon). The app then creates your new tab under Home. You can reorder commands/features within custom tabs, tough. Bright side!

Customise your Ribbon

Still, on this popup window, you can remove tabs from the Ribbon by simply unchecking the tabs you don’t want. Save to effect your changes. Quite useful if you prefer a minimalist interface.

The top blue toolbar in Microsoft Word is called a Quick Access Toolbar. You can also customise it. You have access to some features that you can quickly remove and ad by simply ticking or unticking them. The funny thing is, you can add all the commands/features (on the Ribbon) to this Quick Access Toolbar. Can someone help us understand why Microsoft Word has two toolbars? Seeing they both can have the same functions?

Type anywhere without a text box

You can add text anywhere in your Microsoft Word document. Simply double-tap on the page and start typing. This feature is very useful for diagrams, charts and images. Who else hates using text boxes?

Format painter

You can copy formatting from one location to another using the Format Painter feature. Select the text with the formatting you want. Click the Format Painter (on the Home tab) to pick up the formatting, then select the text you want to change. When you want to use it multiple times, double-tap the Format Painter icon.

Page breaks

A Page Break marks where one page ends and the next begins. It allows you to start a new page without filling the previous one with text. It can be useful when you want to start a new chapter on a separate page or create a reference page for an assignment.

To apply a Page Break, place your cursor where you want your next chapter to begin. Go to Layout > Breaks > Page. Your new chapter moves to the next page. You can’t add text after the Page Break. In case you want to add more text to the previous, you need to see where your Page Break is located. Go to the Home tab, and tap the Show/Hide formatting marks icon ¶. This will reveal your Page Break and you can easily add more text before the page break.

The amazing thing about page breaks is that, no matter how much more text you add to your previous chapter, your next chapter is not affected. It will always be on its own separate page. If you’ve ever had trouble with adding references to your assignments, this will make your life much easier.

When your document has columns you can add Column Breaks to add text to the next column without filling your current column, just like your Page Breaks.

What cool features do you love using in Microsoft Word?

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