Microsoft Tricks for Writers, Students, and Marketing Professionals

Microsoft Office is used by over 1.2 billion people worldwide, with some of the most popular apps and services including Microsoft Teams, Word, Excel, OneDrive, and PowerPoint. To stay at the top of its game, Microsoft is constantly updating these services, providing new features and tools based on user demand.

Just a few recent updates include document searching via Project Cortex; a new all-in-one office app that combines Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in a single user interface; and natural language search. Microsoft also entices users with shortcuts and strategies that make writing and editing documents easier. Just a few of the most useful hacks can be found below.

Writing Assistance with Word Editor

Even if you dedicate yourself to writing full-time, it is always possible for a typo or grammatical slip-up to wrest from the quality of your writing. If you work in writing, you are a student who regularly hands in essays, or you are a copywriter for a marketing firm, this type of mistake is one you simply cannot afford to make.

One click on Word’s Editor button will reveal a host of suggestions, many of which you will find useful. For instance, it will inform you if a sentence is too wordy, if it is too colloquial, or if it contains flaws such as double negations. Word Editor will also advise you if you have used the passive voice.

Sometimes, this voice is necessary in a phrase, and you can simply choose to ignore the suggestions and keep your text as is. Other suggestions should always be heeded. For instance, Editor will advise you if you have used a word indicating some form of bias (including racial and age bias) and any bias should always be eliminated from your documents.

Word Dictate

Microsoft Word now allows you to dictate the contents of your documents, giving your tired fingers a rest. The feature can be a big boost to your health and wellbeing if you write thousands of words a day like bloggers and freelance writers do. This feature allows you to choose from an array of different languages, ranging from Chinese to French.

Mentioning Collaborators in Your Document

Word now allows various people to work on a document at once through its co-authoring tool. For a big project in which various people need to check and amend a document, the ability to @ mention specific collaborators is key, as it calls them to action.

Doing so is easy. Simply highlight the area of the text you wish to call their attention to, click on Review, add a new comment, type the @ symbol, and then the person’s name. This person can then reply to your comment. Any time you mention someone, they will be notified via email on Outlook. The person can reply directly to your comment via Outlook, which is a handy shortcut.

Adding Subscripts and Superscripts

Some documents contain measurements and formulae that required the use of superscripts or subscripts.

To transform a normal number into superscript or subscript on Word Online, or superscript format, simply highlight the relevant number and click on the Superscript or Subscript option, located under the Home tab in the ribbon above your document. To remove this format, highlight the text and click on the relevant button once again, and the text will revert to its original format.

Taking a Screenshot

If you want to insert a screenshot into your Word document easily and quickly, go to the ribbon above your document and click on Screenshot. Choose the image you wish from the browser, and it will immediately appear in your document. You can either insert an entire active window that is open, or use the Screen Clipping command. The latter allows you to crop the specific area you wish to appear on your screen.

Styling Your Text with Headings and Titles

If you have a long document with various headings and subheadings (a manuscript is an example of such a document), then using styled heading and titles is practically obligatory if your text is to look professional. To use this feature, highlight the text you wish to serve as a title, go to the Home tab and browse through the plethora of heading styles. Heading 1 is larger than Heading 2 and there are other options that will indicate whether the title is a main or a subtitle.

Microsoft Office has a wealth of useful tools for writers, students, and indeed, anyone who relies heavily on Docs. Users can work on shared documents, mention each other, and reply to comments. They can also add subscripts, screenshots, and headings that prioritize specific parts of your text.