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Welcome to Word 2002

This sample chapter from Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Office XP in 24 Hours introduces you to Microsoft Word 2002.

This hour introduces you to Microsoft Word 2002. You will soon see why Microsoft Word is the most popular word processor on the market. With Word 2002, you can create documents of any kind with amazing ease. Word 2002 helps you painlessly create letters, proposals, Web pages, business plans, résumés, novels, and even graphics-based multicolumn publications, such as fliers and newsletters.

The highlights of this hour include the following:

  • Why Word is considered the most powerful word processor available today

  • How to enter text and navigate through your document

  • How Word's advanced AutoCorrection features help eliminate common editing tasks for you

Beginning Words About Word

Given that Word is probably the most advanced word processor ever written for a microcomputer, you might think that Word's interface is complicated. Although some of Word's more advanced features can seem tricky at first, you'll be using Word's most popular and common features quickly. Microsoft made a huge effort to streamline Word's (and all the Office XP products') interface so that you can get to the most common features without a fuss.

Figure 3.1 shows Word's typical screen during the editing of a document. Your screen might differ slightly depending on the options currently set on your installation.

FIGURE 3.1 Word's opening screen enables you to locate tools easily.


You can rest your mouse pointer over any toolbar button until a ScreenTip displays, identifying the button.

The most important area of Word's screen is the editing area. That's where the document you want to edit appears. If the document does not all fit on one screen, you can use the scrollbar to scroll down the page. Word offers several ways to view your document, but you'll almost always work with the normal view (see Figure 3.1) or print layout view (see Figure 3.2). In the normal view, chosen from the View menu or by clicking the Normal View button in the lower-left part of the screen, more of your document's text fits on the screen than in any other view. In Print Layout view (selected also from the View menu or by clicking the Print Layout button), you gain a better perspective of how your document's text fits onto a printed page, in addition to seeing header and footer text such as page numbers if any appear.

The Task Pane some of your screen's real estate, so you can close the Task Pane by clicking its Close button (the X in the Task Pane's upper-right hand corner). Microsoft added the Task Pane to keep editing tools you might need close by during your editing session. You can always turn the Task Pane back on when you want to utilize it. (Subsequent sections in this and later chapters explore ways to take advantage of the Task Pane.)

The toolbar is actually composed of two separate toolbars next to each other, the Standard toolbar and the Formatting toolbar. Some users prefer these to reside on two separate rows on the screen. You can change to the more common two-row setup by right-clicking the toolbar, selecting Customize, and checking the option marked Show Standard and Formatting toolbars on Two Rows. Figure 3.2 shows how the two-row toolbar separates toolbars into two groups: The top one is the Standard toolbar with typical file and editing commands and the second toolbar is the Formatting toolbar in which common character, paragraph, and document formatting tools await your click.


As with most Office features, several ways exist to perform the same tasks. Use whatever way you prefer. As an example, you can save a mouse click by clicking on either of the two small down arrows (one appears in the middle and one at the right of the single-line toolbar as Figure 3.1 pointed out) and selecting Show Buttons on Two Rows. These arrows are called Toolbar Options arrows. The View, Toolbars, Customize menu option also provides the same option.

Traversing the Word and other Office menus is simple. Either press Alt followed by an underlined menu key or point and click with your mouse to open any of the pull-down menus. Office XP features personalized menus that, over time, change as you use Word and the other Office products. The often-used menu commands appear and those you don't use much or at all do not show up when you first display a menu. If you double-click a menu name, keep a menu open for a few moments, or click the arrow at the bottom of a drop-down menu, all of that menu's options appear.

By keeping the most-used commands on the menu and hiding the others (for a short period), Word keeps your screen clutter down but sometimes makes locating a more obscure menu option harder. You can elect to keep the personalized menus on. You also can turn on all menu options at all times (the option set for this book's figures) by selecting Tools, Customize and checking the option labeled Always Show Full Menus.

FIGURE 3.2 With only minor adjustments, you can change the appearance of your screen to suit your editing preferences.

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Last Update: November 17, 2020