Software

Nine changes to the default Word 2013 settings

The default Normal Template

This gallery is also available as a post in the Windows and Office Blog.

Microsoft Word has been the primary tool of my trade for many years now (at one time it was WordPerfect) and for the most part I am happy with the application - well, at the very least, I am comfortable with it. However, every new version of Word requires some tweaking to make it work the way I want it to work and Word 2013 is no exception.

Now, the changes I make may not make sense for you and I am not suggesting that everyone do exactly what I do, but I am suggesting that you take a few minutes to adjust the default settings in Word 2013 to make it work the way you want it to work - at least as best you can. And, I mean before you starting using it, not after. A few minutes now can save you some frustration later.

Change the Normal Template

This suggestion is probably the most obvious and the most often overlooked. I don't like the default font and spacing in Word - I haven't liked it since 2007. Personally I like the Arial font and I like my paragraphs spaced evenly, so I change the default Normal Template (Figure A) right away.

Credit: Images by Mark Kaelin for TechRepublic

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

5 comments
jimlonero
jimlonero

This message is to TechRepublic, more than to the author. The presentation format of this article (and many of those like it) of showing each screen shot per page is terrible and is a drag. Many times, I find it takes a while to load and format each separate page. The wait is just ridiculous, sometimes, up to a minute. Not only do I wait for the page to load, depending on the network usage, but then the page needs to format itself. At some point, the frustration is too much and I quit without finishing the article. Can you get all of the screen shots and explanations into one single web page? Yes, it may be long and we readers may need to scroll it down. But, at least we do not need to wait (and have our browsers stall) while it is loading. An alternative is to add a button to the web page that automatically opens the article into new tabs on the browser. You have a great topic worth reading and the content is great, but the presentation is terrible.

EGM42
EGM42

Don't forget to turn off "Automatically use suggestions from the spelling checker." There's a reason they don't call it a "spelling fixer." It does a great job of identifying strings that aren't English words, but a lousy job of reading the writer's mind to figure out what word he or she had in mind in the first place. The right word will usually be on the suggestion list, but it often won't be at the top!

Robiisan
Robiisan

Mark, I'm a "wordsmith," too, so I've put a lot of thought into this one. The arrangement I use on the QAT (in Word) is as follows: Save, Save As, Save All | New | Show All, Spell | Open, Open Recent | Close | Envelope & Label Wizard | Undo, Redo | Quick Print, Print PReview The pipe symbol ( | ) represents "separators" - located at the very top of the menus of tools. These are just to visually group some of the commands and to give me a little more slack in pointing - like so I don't close the document I'm in when I wanted to open a recent document or start the envelope wizard. For some of these you have to change the top selection menu to "All Commands" to find. Now, for example, "Save" is a single click instead of "File," then re-aim and click "Save" on the file menu. Many others in this list become one click instead of two, three, or four. That said, the choice of commands should be whatever you (the user) uses most often and don't want to go hunting after through the Ribbon or the File menu. I do something similar with each of the Office programs, arranging them, as much as possible, in the same sequence, so I know easily where they are on the QAT. Hope this also makes your life easier.

Robiisan
Robiisan

Why not add "Show All" to your Quick Access Toolbar and toggle the formatting marks on and off as needed? That way, you could see how it will appear in print and/or check your characters on the page, both, at will.

Marshwiggle
Marshwiggle

Does Ctrl+Shift+8 still toggle formatting marks? I haven't seen any need to upgrade since Office 2K, so I can't test it.