Learning how to really use the software we’ve already bought is one of the best ways to save money and increase productivity. General Disarray recently posted “Ten things every Microsoft Word user should know.” You’ll find some great times-savers here. In the introduction they write:
Most people use word processors like MS Word like they would use a typewriter — manually making section headers bold and centered, inserting hard breaks between paragraphs, etc. This formatting method is fine for short documents, but for long documents that include multiple sections, figures, tables and other elements that need to be styled consistently throughout the text, it pays to learn Word's advanced features.
I think they are right. Here is their list of the top ten things you should know about Word.
- Header styles and the Table of Contents
- Table styles
- Character styles
- Line and page breaks
- Captions and cross references
- Turn off auto formatting
- Character-based formatting
- Continue previous list
- Keyboard shortcuts
Though I’ve used most of these from time to time, number 9 & 10 have personally saved me the most time. Keyboard shortcuts are one of the simplest and most powerful ways to save time. Every time you take your hands off the keyboard and reach for the mouse you’re wasting time. It’s not that “wasting time” is the greatest evil, but wouldn’t you rather get the work done and do something more fun?