Microsoft Word Logo Hero

If you use Microsoft Word to create your documents, then you’re likely familiar with the features you use every day. But there are plenty of features that fly under the radar that could be just as useful, if not more.

Here, we’ll look at several Word features you should be using. These tools can save you time, improve the readability of your document, and even enhance your overall Microsoft Word experience.

1. Quick Parts for Inserting Blocks of Text

Using the Quick Parts tool in Word, you can save things like snippets of text, signatures, tables, and more. Then simply reinsert them in a couple of clicks.

RELATED: How to Quickly Insert Blocks of Text in Microsoft Word with AutoText

Select what you’d like to save in your document by dragging your cursor through it. Go to the Insert tab, click the Explore Quick Parts drop-down arrow, and choose “Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery.”

Save a Quick Part in Word

Give your Quick Part a name, add any other details as you wish, and click “OK.”

Quick Part name and details to save

Then to reuse your item, go to the same drop-down box and select it. It’ll then pop right into your document.

Quick Parts available to insert

You can use other features of Quick Parts to save time as well. Take a look at using the AutoText feature or explore adding fields with the Document Properties.

2. Focus for Distraction-Free Writing

If you do a lot of writing in Word, especially for things that need your full attention, you can enjoy distraction-free writing with Focus.

Turn the feature on by selecting “Focus” in the status bar or on the View tab.

Focus on the View tab

You’ll see your document take over your entire screen with no ribbon, status bar, or anything else to get in the way of your concentration.

Focus view in Word

Move your cursor to the top anytime to redisplay these items or to deselect Focus and return to your normal view.

3. Dictation for Speech to Text

You might be in a situation where you’re unable to type your document as you normally would. With the Dictation feature in Microsoft Word, you can speak your words just as you would type them.

RELATED: How to Dictate a Document in Microsoft Word

Go to the Home tab and select “Dictate” in the Voice section of the ribbon.

Dictate on the Home tab

When the dictation toolbar appears, just start speaking. Click the microphone icon to pause and resume.

Dictation toolbar

You can select the gear icon to adjust settings for your spoken language, automatic detection of punctuation, and filtering of sensitive phrases.

Dictation settings

Use the X on the top right of the toolbar to close the Dictation tool when you finish.

4. Microsoft Editor for Document Review

Another terrific feature in Microsoft Office is the Editor. With it, you can check your document for spelling, grammar, punctuation, readability, and more, all in one spot.

Go to the Home tab and select “Editor” in the Editor section of the ribbon.

Editor on the Home tab

When the sidebar opens, you’ll see your score at the top. You can then review necessary Corrections, optional Refinements, and see if similar documents appear on the web.

Editor statistics

Select “Document Stats” in the Insights section to view counts of words and paragraphs, averages of characters per word and words per sentence, and readability scores for grade level and passive sentences.

Editor Readability stats

Use the X on the top right of the Editor sidebar to close the tool when you finish.

5. Clipboard History for Pasting Copied Items

When you’re putting together a document, you might find yourself moving blocks of text around with a cut or copy and paste. On the other hand, you might use those actions to insert portions of text like names, addresses, or instructions over and over. With the Clipboard tool, you can view your history and quickly reuse clipboard items.

RELATED: How to Use Microsoft Office's Built-In Clipboard

The clipboard in Microsoft Word holds up to 24 items at one time. This means that all of those things you cut or copied throughout the day are just a click away.

Go to the Home tab and click the arrow on the bottom right of the Clipboard section of the ribbon.

Arrow to access Clipboard history

The Clipboard history displays in a side panel on the left. From there you can review the items, select one to reuse it, paste them all, or clear the history.

Clipboard history in Word

6. Screenshot Tool for Quick Images

Have you ever needed a screenshot of another application on your desktop or even a portion of a window? Word’s built-in screenshot tool has you covered.

Go to the Insert tab and click the Screenshot drop-down arrow in the Illustrations section of the ribbon. You’ll see any other open windows on your desktop at the top. Simply select one and its image will display right in your Word document.

image on the Insert tab

If you prefer to caption a portion of a window or other application, choose “Screen Clipping” in the drop-down box instead.

When your cursor changes to a crosshair, drag to capture what you need and release.

Screen clipping on Windows

Your clipping will appear in your document immediately.

Screen clipping inserted into Word

If needed, you can edit a screenshot or clipping like any other image in Microsoft Word.

7. Researcher for References and Citations

One more feature in Word that goes a bit unnoticed is the Researcher tool. With it, you can look up most anything on the internet and insert details for it without ever leaving your document.

RELATED: How to Use Researcher in Microsoft Word for Essays and Papers

Go to the References tab and choose “Researcher” in the Research section of the ribbon.

Researcher on the References tab

The Researcher sidebar opens on the right. Enter your search term into the box and press Enter.

Search in Researcher

You’ll then see the results of your search. Select one to read more. You can copy and paste the text you see into your document, then click the plus sign on the top right of the item in the sidebar to add a citation for it.

Researcher search results

Researcher is a handy and helpful tool for essays, papers, and research documents.

These awesome features can help you no matter what type of document, article, or paper you create in Microsoft Word. Will you take advantage of them?

RELATED: 6 Awesome Spotify Features You Should Be Using

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
Read Full Bio »