7 hidden Microsoft Word features to make your day easier

Microsoft is the king of productivity. There’s no denying that.

With Excel, OneNote, Word, and other Microsoft tools, you can simplify both your professional and personal life. But many of these tools can seem like a never-ending black hole of features.

How do you figure everything out and how do you discover the features that best fit your daily working habits?

Let’s take a few minutes to discuss 7 hidden Microsoft Word features that are guaranteed to make your day easier.

CLARITY: Add a watermark to your document.

In a few clicks or less, you can add a premade or custom watermark to your Word document.

  1. Tab: Design
  2. Right side of ribbon, next to Page Color
  3. Select: Watermark
    1. Choose a premade watermark: Confidential or Do Not Copy
    2. Create your own watermark: Custom Watermark

Microsoft Word Watermark

EFFICIENCY: Use Quick Parts for repeat text.

If you find yourself typing the same block of content over and over again, create a Quick Parts. Quick Parts can be useful for content like addresses, explanations, or introductions.

  1. Select text
  2. Tab: Insert
  3. Right side of ribbon, to the left of Text Box
  4. Select: Quick Parts
  5. Select: AutoText
  6. Select: Save Selection to AutoText Gallery
  7. Selection of text will be saved to Quick Parts
  8. To insert a Quick Parts:
    1. Quick Parts / AutoText / Select desired Quick Parts
    2. Selected text will be inserted into document

COLLABORATION: Combine and compare documents for review.

When you receive an edited Word document from another person, you can combine and compare the original document with the new document to easily determine which pieces of the document have been edited.

  1. Tab: Review
  2. Select: Compare
  3. Choose: Compare or Combine
    1. Compare: Allows you to compare two documents side-by-side and will call out differences between the two documents (with easy-to-see Revisions column)
      1. Select original document
      2. Select revised document
      3. Select OK
      4. View changes side-by-side, along with Revisions column
    2. Combine: Allows you to combine two documents into one to determine what changes have been made (changes will be displayed in red)
      1. Select original document
      2. Select revised document
      3. Select OK
      4. View changes in one documents

microsoft word combine and compare

ORGANIZATION: Automatically hyphenate words when typing.

If you’re worried about layout, automatically hyphenating words can be useful.

  1. Tab: Layout
  2. Select: Hyphenation
  3. Select: Automatic
    1. Useful for creating documents like monthly newsletters or pamphlets

EFFICIENCY: Highlight a complete sentence with one click.

Stop triple-clicking. Here’s how to highlight the whole sentence with one click.

  1. Hold down the Ctrl button
  2. Click any word in the sentence
    1. This will highlight the entire sentence without needing to triple-click  

VISIBILITY: Split a long document into two for easy viewing.

Sometimes you need to see two different parts of one really long document at the same time. Here’s how you can do that.

  1. Tab: View
  2. Select: Split
  3. Adjust bar to preferred height
  4. Put cursor in top or bottom pane to scroll to the desired section of document

microsoft word split view

ORGANIZATION: Use outline view to organize a document.

Use the Outline View to see “sections” or “parts” of a document. Consider it your table of contents and use it to click from section to section.

  1. Tab: View
  2. Select: Outline
    1. Left side of ribbon, next to Web Layout
  3. Click on a line and drag it to another section to rearrange the content
    1. Example: Move heading one (and everything underneath that heading) to the end of the document
    2. Example: Move one bullet to a different section

There’s a lot more to Microsoft Word than these seven hidden features. Take a look at Lifehacker’s go-to guide for all things Microsoft Word.