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Lori Kaufman

Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

Word allows you to add custom dictionaries to use when checking spelling. When you run the spell checker or when Word automatically checks spelling as you type, the words in your document are compared to the main dictionary and any custom dictionaries you may have added.

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A new feature was introduced in Word 2013 that allows you to collapse parts of your document and expand them when you want to view that content again. This feature makes it easier to find and view only what you want.

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Headers and footers are useful for adding things such as page numbers, dates, file names, and disclaimers to documents. Word allows you to add headers and footers with built-in, ready-made layouts or add your own custom headers and footers.

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We recently showed you how to set the user information in Word. Word also stores several additional advanced properties related to your documents. Some of these are displayed on the “Info” screen and you can change these properties.

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Have you tried to schedule a meeting with people in another time zone and gotten the time wrong? It would be helpful if you could view both time zones on the calendar in Outlook so you can quickly see the corresponding time when scheduling meetings.

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When you install Word, you are asked to enter your name and initials. This user information is stored in Word and you can automatically insert this information into your documents, such as into the return address of an envelope.

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Outlook allows you to add a second time zone to your calendar, but two time zones, including your local time zone, is all you can view in Outlook. However, there is a way around this limitation.

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Have you opened a document in Word but forgotten where it’s stored? You may need to access other documents in the same location or back up your documents. There are several ways to use Word to find the location of a file.

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Templates in Word are like ready-made documents. They store formatting, styles, and page layout settings, default text, etc., that allow you to quickly create various types of documents. The default template applied to new, blank documents is the Normal template.

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With all the things smartphones and tablets can do nowadays and their larger capacities, we tend to put all kinds of files onto them. Being able to compress files before transferring them on and off your device would make things easier.

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Copying and pasting content in Word documents is a common task. However, you can also copy and paste formatting from one block of text (including images) to another. This can be handy if you want to apply the same formatting to multiple areas in your document.

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Besides the normal content of your documents in Word, there are also characters that don’t normally display on the screen. In addition, Word uses several special characters for its own purposes, such as characters to indicate the end of a line or a paragraph.

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When laying out your document in Word, it’s sometimes helpful to view multiple pages on the screen at one time, especially if you have a large monitor. Seeing multiple pages at a time allows you to get a sense of how your overall layout looks.

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Inserting the date and time that automatically updates into a document can be useful. There are many formats for the date and time from which you can choose on the “Date and Time” dialog box, and you can control which formats for each are available.

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When you launch an Office program, a start screen displays showing available templates and a list of documents recently opened in the left column. This screen can be helpful, but if you find it annoying or distracting, you can easily disable it.

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The Font dialog box in Word is used to format text, such as changing the font or font size or making text bold or italic, and can be accessed in multiple ways. One quick and easy way is using the context menu.

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Word allows you to hide content in your document from viewing or printing. However, if you’re going to distribute the document, any hidden text can easily be displayed and viewed by the people who will have access to your document.

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When you have to send someone a large image file through email, it’s a good idea to resize the image file to make it smaller before sending it. Outlook makes this easy and allows you to resize the image file as it’s sent.

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When you create a document in Word, it contains more than just the content you type into it. Attached to the document is author information based on the user name and initials you entered them when you installed Office.

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There are several reasons for inserting the current date and time into your document. You may want to insert it into a letter or into a header or footer. Whatever the reason, Word makes it easy to insert the date and time into a document.

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There used to be an old typographical convention that it’s proper to use two spaces after a sentence. This came about because monospaced type has a uniform appearance and two spaces between sentences broke up the text and made it easier to read.

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When using the commands on the ribbon in Word, you may have noticed popup boxes that display when you move your mouse over the buttons. These are ScreenTips and can be handy as a reference. However, if they’re distracting to you, they are easily disabled.

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ScreenTips are small popup windows that display when you hover your mouse over a button, or command, on the ribbon. They give a short hint indicating what that button does, and may also contain a shortcut key for that command.

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ScreenTips in Word are small popup windows that display descriptive text about the command or control your mouse is hovering over. You can also create your own ScreenTips for words, phrases, or images in your own documents.

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Word likes to use squiggly underlines to indicate something isn’t right in our documents. The more common ones are red (a potential spelling error) and green (a potential grammar error). However, you may have seen blue squiggly lines throughout your document as well.

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