Word Wisdom: Discover Hidden Productivity Gems in Microsoft Word


Microsoft Word is a must-have product for most of us as the foundation for our document creation and editing requirements. But did you know it offers many secret features and shortcuts that dramatically increase your productivity? Look for these hidden treasures in the Word desktop client and Word Online.


Streamline, Research Your Information Collection.

Have you ever been working on a project or writing a paper and needed to jump back and forth between Word and your web browser to gather information? The Researcher function in Word’s desktop client streamlines this process by allowing you to find trustworthy sources and content from within Word. Navigate to the References Ribbon and select Researcher.


Breaking Down Language Barriers with a Translator

The built-in Translator in Word, available in the desktop app and Word Online, can translate your entire document or particular content into another language, making multilingual communication a breeze. Select what you’d like to search, right-click on the selection and select translate.


Dictate: Let Word Do the Typing

The Dictate tool, accessible in both the desktop software and Word Online, allows you to talk directly into your microphone, and Word will transcribe it. A big time saver, particularly for people who dislike typing. This can be found in the Home ribbon under Voice > Dictate.


Smart Lookup: Instant Answers and Definitions

Have you ever encountered a word or phrase you’re unfamiliar with? Smart Lookup, available in both the desktop version and Word Online, gives definitions, wiki pages, and top relevant online searches directly from Word. Just select what you’d like to search, right-click on the selection and select search.


Keyboard Shortcuts: Boost Your Workflow

Keyboard shortcuts in Word, like in Outlook, can save you a significant amount of time:

Go to a Page, Section, Line, Footnote, Endnote, Comment, Field, or Table: F5.

Select Text Quickly: Shift + any arrow key (e.g., Shift + Right Arrow will select the text one character at a time to the right).

Create a New Paragraph without Breaking the Current Formatting: Shift + Enter.

Move Between Revisions: Shift + F5 (After opening a document, press Shift + F5 to return to where you left off).

Change Text Case: Shift + F3. Highlight the Text and use this shortcut to cycle through upper, lower, and sentence cases.

Insert Hyperlink: Ctrl + K.

Show or Hide Paragraph Marks and Other Hidden Formatting Symbols: Ctrl + Shift + * (asterisk).

Delete one Word at a time: Ctrl + Backspace/Delete.

Open Thesaurus: Shift + F7.

Insert a Footnote: Alt + Ctrl + F.

Insert an Endnote: Alt + Ctrl + D.

Go to the Beginning of the Document: Ctrl + Home.

Go to End of Document: Ctrl + End.

Open Find and Replace: Ctrl + H.

Quickly Save As: F12.


Read Aloud: Auditory Proofreading

Read Aloud, which is accessible in both the desktop version and Word Online, reads TextText aloud, assisting you in spotting errors that you may have missed while reading the TextText yourself. A valuable tool for proofreading documents. This feature can be found under the Review Ribbon > Read Aloud.


Collaboration: Co-Authoring in Real Time

Use Word’s collaboration tool, accessible in both the desktop program and Word Online, to collaborate with your colleagues in real time. Co-authoring a document allows you to observe changes as they happen, avoiding requiring numerous document versions. This is available for all cloud-shared documents via SharePoint or OneDrive.

In conclusion, these hidden gems in Microsoft Word might help you increase productivity and improve your document creation process. Don’t simply stop typing; investigate these features right now!