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Documents and Disks

Several ways exist to create new documents. Most of the time to create a new document, however, you will select File, New to display the New Document Task Pane window. You then can click Blank Document to create an empty Word document or select from one of the templates Word offers such as several legal, letters, and fax templates. A template is a pre-defined page, sometimes with accompanying artwork, such as a standard letter format or a fax cover sheet that gives your document a pre-defined look.


If you click Templates on Microsoft.com and you have a Web connection, you can select from hundreds of Word templates on Microsoft's Web site. After you select a template, you then just fill in the document's content.

Word hides the Task Pane window after you make a selection from it to give you more editing room. As you work, a different Task Pane might appear to help you with a different feature.

When you are ready to save your document for the first time, select File, Save, and specify a location and filename before clicking Save. After the first time you save a document, you only need to select File, Save (or press Ctrl+S) to update your changes. To save the document using a different name or location, select File, Save As and enter a new name.


Word documents end with the .doc filename extension as in Proposal.doc. Filenames can have spaces in them. You don't have to type the extension when opening or saving documents; All Office products automatically attach the correct extension.

Once on disk, you can load any document into memory to make further changes or to print the document by selecting File, Open (or pressing Ctrl+O) and selecting the file you want to edit.


Remember that you can use Office XP's Speech Recognition to enter commands in Word as you can all Office XP products. In addition, you can dictate text directly into your document instead of using the keyboard. See the previous hour's lesson for details.

Editing Multiple Documents

If you want to work on two documents at the same time, perhaps to cut and paste information from one into the other, use File, Open to open a second (or even a third, fourth, or more) document. Press Ctrl+F6 to switch between the documents. Your Windows taskbar will show a Word icon for each document. You can switch between documents by clicking the appropriate Windows taskbar icon.

With several documents open, the taskbar can get cluttered with Word icons. You can clean up the taskbar by selecting Tools, Options, View and unchecking the Windows in taskbar option. Your Windows taskbar then shows only one Word session even if you edit multiple documents at the same time in that session.


Select Window, Arrange All to show both (or as many as you currently have open) documents on the screen at the same time.


If you're new to Word or to word processing, master editing with a single document before you tackle multiple documents at once.

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