If you spend a fair bit of time hopping into dialog boxes to tweak the appearance of your text or documents, there are some double-click tricks you might find useful. Here’s a sampling of the most common ones. (For a more comprehensive list, see 34 timesaving mouse tricks for Word users.)

  • To open the Page Setup dialog box, double-click on the horizontal ruler (the gray part) or the vertical ruler (any part).
  • To open the Paragraph dialog box, double-click on an indent marker on the horizontal ruler.
  • To open the Tabs dialog box, double-click on the horizontal ruler (the white part). This will also set a tab at the spot where you clicked. If you don’t want to set a new tab, you can click an existing tab marker.
  • To access bullet or number options, double-click on a bullet character or number in a bulleted or numbered list.
  • To open the Table Properties dialog box, double-click the Move Table Column marker (those little dotted squares you see on the horizontal ruler when you’re in a table) or the Table Move Handle (the four-headed arrow that appears at the top-left corner of a table in Print Layout view).
  • To open the Page Setup dialog box with This Section selected in the Apply To drop-down list, double-click a section break mark. “This” refers to the section above the section break mark you clicked on.
  • To open the AutoShape dialog box, double-click on an AutoShape.
  • To open the Format Picture dialog box, double-click on a picture or clip art object.
  • To open the Format Text Box dialog box, double-click on the frame of a text box.