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Use these quick tips to become a Microsoft Word pro

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Would you like to become a Microsoft Word pro? We’ve got the answer with our Word TechMail. This message is chock full of valuable information that can save you time and effort. Below, you’ll find several examples of what the Word TechMail has to offer. Get valuable tips on creating tables, formatting pages, links to Word resources, and much more, all delivered straight to your inbox every weekday. Best of all, it’s absolutely free! Sign up for the Word TechMail today!

Printing custom keyboard assignments
Advanced Word users take advantage of one of Word's most powerful features: the ability to assign custom keyboard shortcuts to macros or built-in Word commands. If you're supporting Word users who come from WordPerfect backgrounds and who are accustomed to using [Alt]-key combinations to run their macros, you can customize Word's keyboard to use whatever keyboard shortcuts your user prefers.

The problem with customizing keyboard assignments, of course, is teaching your end users which shortcuts correspond to which tasks. And if you're breaking in a new employee and you want that person to use the same shortcuts as everyone else in the department, there's no better training tool than a printout that describes which key combinations go with which functions.

Fortunately, Word makes it easy to generate such a reference sheet. Use File | Print and then select Key Assignments from the Print What dropdown list. When you click OK, Word will print a list of customized keyboard assignments for the Normal template and for any other active templates.

Keying the space that binds
You can enter a nonbreaking hyphen by pressing [Ctrl][Shift]- (hyphen). That tip comes in handy when you want to keep a hyphenated phrase together on a line. That is, when you want to prevent the hyphenated phrase from getting split up when Word generates a line break.

Sometimes, however, you may want to bind a phrase together whose words are separated by spaces, not hyphens. For instance, you might want to keep a title such as Mr., Ms., or Mrs. together with a person's first and last names, or you might want to format a date such as Dec. 25, 2000 together on a line.

In those cases, you'll need to enter a "nonbreaking" space. To enter a nonbreaking space, just press [Ctrl][Shift][Spacebar]. You'll know a non-breaking space when you see it. Unlike the dots that designate normal word spaces, Word uses the degree symbol (°) to indicate the location of a nonbreaking space.

Taming the wild mouse
If your users are inexperienced, you might want to disable Word's drag-and-drop text-editing feature. Being able to move information so easily is handy, but a careless or inexperienced user can quickly scramble a document by dragging and dropping text inadvertently.

To turn off Word's drag-and-drop feature, use Tools | Options and then click the Edit tab. Deselect the Drag-and-Drop Text Editing option and click OK.

Once you turn off the drag-and-drop feature, keep in mind that you (and anyone else) won't be able to move or copy text using the mouse until you reactivate the option.

By the way, turning off this feature doesn't merely prevent you from dragging and dropping text with the left mouse button. It disables the drag-and-drop capability of the right mouse button, as well.
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About Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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