7 Tricks To Increase Your Productivity With MS Word

MS Word may just be one of the greatest pieces of software put out there by Microsoft. It is being used by more than 1.2 billion people (Source: Microsoft) and it becomes an inevitable fact that not everyone is well versed in all its features. According to research conducted on the behalf of the University of Manchester, 52% of people encounter daily difficulties while using Word meaning that there is considerable time being wasted trying to solve issues or manually doing things that could be automated. How much of this loss in productivity is represented in companies’? It is difficult to pinpoint to a definite number, however one can imagine that it adds up to quite a few hours a year and thousands (if not hundreds of thousands!) pounds lost a year.

We at MyHelpster gathered 7 tricks to increase your productivity with MS Word. 


1. Converting Word Docs straight into PPT slides

Using PowerPoint is a normal recurrent practice of many offices, whatever the industry or role you are in. Rare is the day where you don’t hear the word PowerPoint or presentation. Another normal recurring thought is that it is quite a chore to do these presentations and that it easily eats up on valuable time that could be spent elsewhere. Instead of writing the slides content one by one, time can be easily saved by inserting Word text directly into your PowerPoint presentation. Therefore, simply click on the Home tab, pointing your cursor to the second column called Slides. Under New Slides there is an arrow that can be clicked on, and following that select option number two in the bottom of the dialogue window – Slides from Outline.

A pop up will appear and ask for the location of the file to be converted into PowerPoint. Each paragraph break will start a new slide. Attention, there is a trick to this: Content should be typed in bullets points to maintain the presentation consistency. The precious corporate time you have just freed can be used in beautifying and editing the presentation and in performing other more relevant activities.



2. Improve Workflow by arranging multiple Word documents

A very useful feature of Microsoft Word that is frequently ignored is the ability to arrange multiple Word docs in order to improve workflow. If you do a quick ordering you can significantly improve your work process as opposed to going back and forth by opening and minimizing Word docs.

Click on the View tab located in the Ribbon, and when you see the Arrange All button, click on it. You will see that all the docs that you have open will be arranged as seen in the screenshot below. Attention, this feature will not include a document if it is minimized.


tricks to increase your productivity with ms word_point 2



3. Make use of keyboard shortcuts for small tasks

Using keyboard shortcuts can save significant amounts of time in the long run. Below are a few examples:

  • Use Control-A to select all the text in your document at once
  • Use Control-B in order to bold selected text
  • Use Control-I to italise selected text
  • Use Control-N to create a new document
  • Use Control-P to print out your document
  • Use Control-S to save a document
  • Use Control-U to underline the text.
  • Use Control-V to paste previously copied text
  • Use Control-X to cut out text
  • Use Control-Y to repeat or redo the last action you did

Again, only one of many tricks to increase your productivity with MS Office.




4. How to recover a Word document that has not previously been saved

Everyone has gone through this moment: spending hours writing up a document only to see it disappear before having the opportunity to save it. However, this is not irreversible and not everyone seems to be aware of this. If you follow the steps presented below you can have it back in your screen in no time:

  1. Click on File, then on Info and subsequently on Manage Versions.
  2. A small dropdown will appear in which you select Recover Unsaved Documents and voilà, the Word doc you thought was lost forever is back in front of you.



5. Get rid of the excess spaces when you copy web text.

You will notice that when text is copied and pasted from the Web it may not appear aligned to the left in Word. You can skip all the manual re-formatting of the copied text by simply selecting the text, pressing Control-E and Control-L. This will allow you to center and align the text to the left, removing those unnecessary spaces.



6. Make use Word’s hidden calculator

Did you know that Microsoft Word has a calculator that is hidden? You can use it by writing a Math’s expression in the document you are working in, highlight it, click on the calculator button and the results of your expression will appear on the status bar. To add the Calculate Command to the quick access toolbar, simply go to Word Options, click on quick access toolbar, then on all commands and simply add the calculate command to it.



7. Re-use previously formatted headers

You can save time in the office by re-using headers which you have already formatted as opposed to doing a new one each time. Once you have a good header that you use for certain types of documents, letters and/or reports you can save it and avoid going through the process of doing it every time you produce the same document.


Press Control-A in order to select the header’s content. Once you do that, click on the Insert tab, then on Header and click on Save Selection to Header Gallery. A pop-up will appear called Create New Building Block in which you can give your header a new name and add a description if you want. Then click OK and your header is saved for future use!

There we are, you are well set to start of and to impress your colleagues, peers and competition. Be assured that the 7 tricks to increase your productivity with MS Office work!

Read this so you can know which MS Office package is the most suitable for you. If you have any formatting issues, maybe this can help. As for the conversion of other types of files into word, start looking from here.



Written by Susanne Webster