Chapter 1 Introduction to Word Processing


Chapter 1 Introduction to Word Processing.. 1

Word Processing Basics. 1

Terminology.. 2

The word processor screen.. 4

Creating a document.. 6

Saving a file.. 7

Paragraph formatting.. 8

Footnotes. 13

Spell Checker.. 14

Margins. 16

Print Preview... 16

Modifying a document.. 17

Replace.. 18

What’s wrong with this Document.. 19

Summary of Word Processing Basics. 20

Summary of Computer Basics. 21



Word Processing Basics

Basics that apply to all
word processors.

1.   Only hit the Enter Key at the end of the paragraph.

2.   Use the Indent option to start paragraphs and when appropriate.

3.   Use the Spacing option to space your lines and paragraphs.

4.   Use the TAB key Once and set the tab stops.

General Computer Basics

1.     Use a Virus Checking program.

2.     Use the Spell Checker before you print.

3.     Use Print Preview before you print.

4.     Save BEFORE you type anything and often while you are working.

Figure 1

Computers have made typing papers a breeze for those of us who do not know how to type! We can make mistakes left and right and be able to fix them on the computer before we print the paper. We can save a paper as a file on a diskette and keep it for future reference. We can modify papers in a flash and we can even include pictures in our papers.

When using a word processor you should be aware that you can move an entire paragraph or simply one word very easily in your paper. You can also include a new paragraph, a new sentence or just a new word anyplace within your paper. This ability to manipulate your text is the prime advantage and difference between using a word processor and a typewriter. The word processor also allows you to make modifications relatively easily. Especially if you have followed the simple basics as outlined in Figure 1.

The basics of word processing are guidelines to follow to make it easier to change and modify your document. They all relate to something called paragraph formatting features. The four computer Basics are common to all applications not just the word processor.

Most word processors are similar, so I want to introduce you to some of the things in general that can be done using a word processor. What I want to stress is the correct way to use a word processor, which is by following the basics that are listed in Figure 1. Anyone can sit down on a computer and type in a paper, but not everyone knows how to type in the paper correctly. If you ever need to modify the paper in some way it will be easier to do if you have followed the basic guidelines.


Let’s start with a little word processing terminology so that we are all working from the same reference point.

Cursor / Insertion Point - The cursor, or insertion point, is a flashing vertical bar on the screen. This is where your text will appear when you start to type. The mouse pointer will be an I-beam on your document window and can be used to move the insertion point by clicking the left mouse button.

Word-wrap - When using a word processor we want to take advantage of word-wrap. When you reach the end of the line, the computer will automatically go to the next line; this is called word-wrap. If you were trained to use a typewriter, your most common mistake will be hitting the carriage return key at the end of every line. In word processing, we only want to hit the return (enter) key at the end of the paragraph.

Cursor Movement Keys

Arrow keys

  Left arrow - moves cursor one space to the left.

  Ctrl + Left arrow - moves cursor one word to the left.

  Right arrow - moves cursor one space to the right.

  Ctrl + Right arrow - moves cursor one word to the right.

  Up arrow - moves cursor one line up.

  Down arrow - moves cursor one line down.

Other Keys

  Home - Moves the cursor to the beginning of the current line.

  Ctrl + Home - Moves the cursor to the beginning of the document.

  End - Moves the cursor to the end of the current line.

  Ctrl + End - Moves the cursor to the end of the document.

  Page Up - scrolls the screen up one page.

  Ctrl + Page Up - moves the cursor to the top of the screen.

  Page Down - scrolls the screen down one page.

  Ctrl + Page Down - moves the cursor to the bottom of the screen.

Figure 2

Paragraph - A paragraph is defined as going from one enter key stroke to the next time you hit the enter key. So, every time you hit the enter key, you create a new paragraph.

Formatting  - With word processing, you can change the appearance of your text by formatting the text. There are two kinds of formatting features:
1. Features that effect characters or only what is highlighted.
2. Features that effect the entire paragraph.

Highlighted or Selected - Generally speaking, whatever you have highlighted will be affected by the formatting feature that you do, or will be deleted, or will be moved, or will be copied, etc. Highlighted text appears with text in the background color (usually white) and the background color as the text color (usually black). You can highlight text by clicking with the mouse (holding down the left mouse button) and dragging the mouse cursor over the text. Oftentimes when highlighting text in this manner, you may let go of the mouse button too early and miss a letter or two. No problem. Simply hold the shift key down and press the arrow keys to move the highlight in the direction that you want. In fact, you can use any of the cursor movement keys (Figure 2) combined with holding down the shift key to highlight text. Also, if you place the mouse pointer on the extreme left side of the document window you can then click to highlight the entire line.

Toggle - Many features in word processing work as a toggle, which means it is a switch that can be turned on or off. If you decide you do not like the option you simply turn it off. Some of the toggle options include BOLD, Underline, and Italics. These can all be turned on or off. If you have something bold and you do not want it bold, you simply highlight the text and then click the bold switch to turn it off.

Fig3_3Non-Printing Characters Figure 3 - There are several key strokes that you use all the time that do not print. These would include hitting the space bar, tab key, and enter key. All of these characters can be shown on the screen. It is sometimes helpful to see these characters so that you know what is happening in your document. I will talk about the non-printing characters more when I talk about the basics of word processing.

Fig3_4Font Figure 4 - The style of character that your text is in. I am using Arial at the moment. You can have as many fonts in a document as you want. In fact, you can make each letter a different font! One very important point about fonts is that the fonts that are available to you are dependent upon the printer that you have. So if you don’t see any of the fonts that I have here, that simply means your printer does not have those fonts. You can buy fonts for your printer and then you would be able to use them in your documents. You should also know that you can make your computer think it has a laser printer (has a lot of fonts) by just setting the option as if you had that printer. Your computer will not know the difference. You will not be able to print them on your computer but you can save the file on a disk and bring it to a computer that does have that printer. The bottom font is Wingding. In fact if you type a lower case L and change the font to Wingding you will get a bullet l.

Font Size - The size is how big or small your text is. The larger the number selected the larger the size. Some fonts have more sizes available to them. Again size, just like font, is printer dependent. You can also use as many sizes as you feel like in your papers.


The word processor screen

In Figure 5 above you can see what a new word processing file will look like in Microsoft Word. Let me describe the various parts for you. You should begin to recognize some of them. Also, as you practice your word processing, pay attention to how the program works. Most Windows programs work in a similar fashion. For example, opening or saving a file is done in the same way for most applications. You would click on the Save Icon (looks like a floppy diskette that no-one uses anymore :).

officebutton.bmpTitle Bar - This is something that you have seen before. In this case the title bar is showing you the name of the application that you are using (Microsoft Word) and the name of the file (Document1). In this case the name of the file is the default name[1]. You should notice the Minimize - Maximize and Close button on the title bar for the application. The buttons on the menu bar are for the document.

Office Button – The Office Button shown to the left has the options to create a New File, Open an existing file and Save or Save As a file. You choose Save As when you want to specify the drive letter, folder, name and type (as described later on). We will also use Print and Close however the rest of the buttons are up to you to learn about. If you right click any option you will get a pop-up menu that one choice is to add this button to the Quick Access Bar. In Fact you should add your most common buttons to the Quick access bar.

Tabs - The different tabs group like items together, most of the common formatting features are on the Home tab, which also looks more or less the same in all the office applications. Insert Tab allows you to put things into your document (no real need for me to describe them to, just take a look). Page layout is where you would go to change your margins etc. The more you use Office the more you remember where to look for the various options. One of the problems with the tabs is in trying to remember what those cute little buttons stand for. Software companies have helped this problem by supplying mouse tips. When you place the mouse pointer over a button on the toolbar and wait a few seconds, a small description will pop up on the screen.

Status Bar - The status bar gives information about our position within the document. Page 1 is the page we are on, of 1 page total in our file. Along with how many words you have. It’s just handy to be able to ‘see at glance’. To get a groovy description of the status bar simply click the help icon (top right ?) and type in status bar!

Scroll Bar - The scroll bar simply allows you to scroll through the document. If you click the scroll arrow you will move 1 line at a time. If you click in the scroll bar itself you move one screen at a time. The square box indicates your position in the document. If you click above the square box you will move up, if you click below it you will move down. You can also drag the square box to where you think you want to go.

Document Window - This is simply the window that your document will be in.

Insertion Point - The insertion point is the place where once you start typing, the text will begin. The text will be inserted to the left of the insertion point. The insertion point is also known as the cursor.

chapter_figparagrpahParagraph Marker - Our document already has a paragraph even though we have not typed in a single word. The paragraph marker may not be showing on your screen. It is a toggle to display non-printing characters or not to display them. Look for the show/hide button on the toolbar to turn this option on or off[2].

Mouse Pointer / I-Beam - These show the location of your mouse. If you are moving the mouse pointer and you run out of desk space to slide the mouse on, simply pick the mouse up in the air and move it to a place you can reach. The mouse pointer will not move unless the mouse is on the desk. It is helpful to use a mouse pad when using a mouse. A book or some paper makes a quick mouse pad if you do not have one.


Ruler - The ruler is one of the most important things to understand in word processing as it tells you what is happening. To have your ruler display, choose the View Tab, Show hide button and check ruler. Looking at Figure 7, the ruler is telling us that we have 6” inches of working area, no tabs set (only default at every 0.5”), and no left or right indent set.

The zero mark on the ruler is at the left margin. When the layout of the text is wrong the ruler is the first place to look. You may have an incorrect tab setting or indent.

We have just been talking about Microsoft WORD 2007 but looking at most any other word processor screen will be the same.

The big difference between programs tends to be ‘how’ to do things and most of that is really WHERE the option is located. So just because we are learning one specific application package remember that what we learn is applicable to many other software products as well. Have confidence in your own ability and try the different packages. If worst comes to worst, simply close the program (Click on the X)! If things are really bad turn the computer off, but do this as your last alternative. You will not break anything (that can’t be fixed) but turning a computer off when it is still running a package leaves a lot of extra temporary files[3] on the computer that normally get deleted.

Creating a document

Well let’s try to create a simple word processing document. Remember to use word wrap, so just keep typing until you get to the end of the whole paragraph and then hit the enter key to start a new paragraph.

When you set formatting attributes you have two choices: one is to set the attribute and then type in the text, the second is to type the text first and then go back and highlight the text and set the attribute. You can use either method. I use a combination of the two techniques myself.

Start up the word processor that you will be using. Some word processors will automatically start a new document for you and some will not (check the title bar for a default document name). If there is not an empty word processing file on your screen, create a new one (Click on the Office button and choose new).

Saving a file

The first thing I want you to do is to save this blank document! When using computers you should save often; the more you save, the better off you will be. I am guilty myself of typing for an hour and losing all of my information. One thing that can happen is that there may be an error on your disk drive[4]. It is better to find this out before you start typing than after you have been typing for an hour. So, the first time you should save a file is BEFORE you type anything. Another more common problem is that you may turn the computer off by mistake (or the electricity goes off) and then lose all of your information. To save your file, simply click the save icon (either under the Office Button or directly on the Quick start bar). This will give you a dialog box as shown below.

chapter_fig9_word_screen Be sure to pick the correct drive and folder to save in. When giving files a name, pick a name that will best describe the file so that you can find it easily in the future.


In the figure above the file will be saved as Doc1.docx in the folder Robert Erickson’s Documents. To see which drive it will be saved on, you must click the arrow chapter_figdownarrow to see the drop down list box. Technically it still doesn’t show you exactly which drive it is being saved in! In this example I can click on the Hard drive C: go to documents and settings folder, find Robert Erickson, click on my documents which will take me to Robert Erickson’s Documents. The reason I mention this is that some computers are set up to save your files to a network drive. You should look to find out how your computer is set up.

After you pick (or verify) the drive you then choose the correct folder(s) by double clicking the folder (easier to double click the icon of the folder instead of the name).

To change the file name, you simply type in the name desired.

If you need to change the File Type you do so by picking the correct type in the drop down list box.

Once you are all set, go ahead and choose the Save command button. As you type your document, be sure to click the save icon chapter_fig6_icons-save every now and then. So remember that when you save a file you must specify the DRIVE, FOLDER, NAME and the File Type (if needed).

Paragraph formatting

Okay, now that we have given our file a name, let’s start typing it. I want you to type in the following memo just as it appears in Figure 11. I have shown you the non-printing characters so you know when to hit enter. There are 10 paragraphs in this document (remember, every time you hit the enter key you create a new paragraph).


I want you to format the document to look like my sample shown in Figure 12 (This file is done correctly). We will be using the Paragraph Group on the Home Tab.


Start by selecting the first four paragraphs. The easy way to do this is to put the mouse cursor to the left of the first paragraph (on the extreme left of the document), then with a click and drag motion highlight all four.

Currently the first 4 paragraphs are left aligned; meaning the left side is smooth on the left indent. To change this to center aligned, simply click the center align icon. This will center the paragraph between the left and right indents. If you forget which button this is just leave the mouse pointer on top of the button for a couple of seconds and you should see a mouse tip that will tell you.


We also want to change the font for these paragraphs to Arial. Since they are still highlighted we can simply click the drop down list box for the Font (top of the FONT Group: See figure below) to get the list for the different fonts available. Scroll to the top of the list and click on Arial. You should note that whatever is selected is going to be changed. If the size is not 12, simply change the size to 12 by clicking on the size list box and choosing 12. If you do not have Arial, simply choose a font that you do have.


Now I want you to make the first paragraph larger than the rest. So we will need to highlight just the first paragraph. Simply double click[5] to the left of the paragraph; this will highlight the entire paragraph. Now change the Size to 20. I want the rest of the document (from Hillary on) set to a size of 14. Simply click the mouse pointer to the left of the fifth paragraph. This will highlight that one line only. Now to get the rest of the document highlighted we will use the keyboard. Remember that we can highlight by holding the shift key down and using the cursor movement keys. I know that if I choose Ctrl + End it will take me to the end of the document. So I want you to press Shift + Ctrl + End. This will highlight from the cursor’s current position, to the end of the document. Now go ahead and change the size to 14. If the Font is not Times New Roman, change that now as well.

A few more things to do and then you will be done. You will notice that there are no paragraph markers between the paragraphs. This is because I have set my paragraph spacing correctly. You will also notice that there is no tab mark at the beginning of each paragraph. I have used a feature called first line indent. The file in Figure 12 is done correctly following the basics of word processing. We can set the line spacing and the first line indent at the same time. Before we do this let’s make sure we have the correct paragraphs highlighted. Click the mouse just before Dear and highlight to the end of the document.

chapter_fig13Now choose Paragraph on the Paragraph Group of the Home Tab and click on:


This will give you the Paragraph dialog box. Be sure you are looking at the indents and spacing tab as shown. I have set this dialog box to the correct options and this is what I want you to do as well. Set the First Line Indent to 0.5. Looking at the Special list box choose first line (you may just have a first line text box and that is the same thing). You can type in .5 or click the up arrow till 0.5 shows.


Your first line indent is always measured from your left indent. Your left indent is measured from the left margin (the zero mark on the ruler). Your right indent is measured from the right margin. If you were to set your left indent to 0.5” with a first line indent of 0.5”, your first line indent marker would be at the 1” mark as shown in this example.


For spacing I want you to set the Spacing After to 12 pt. 12 points is the standard size for 1 Line. You can set the spacing to whatever number you want as long as it is in the same form of measurement. For example if I wanted 1 and a half line I would type in 18 pt.

Notice that the Alignment is set to the left. We changed the alignment earlier by using the icon. Also notice the little preview section. If you hit the tab key (to move the focus to another option in the dialog box), it will put into effect your last change in the preview section so you can get an idea of how it will look when you choose OK. One last thing before you choose OK and that is the Help icon, choose it now and read all there is to read about the paragraph dialog box (it will explain a lot). When you are done reading Help, click the Help’s Close icon. When you are ready, go ahead and choose the OK command button. Your document is all set and done correctly.

Let’s take a look at Figure 15, which shows the same file, but this time it was done incorrectly. What was done wrong is that the enter key was used to insert the blank lines for paragraph spacing and the tab key was used to start the paragraphs. If we were not looking at the non-printing characters we would not be able to see any difference whatsoever. I admit it would not make much difference in this example because this is a short one to type in. However you might as well learn the correct way now, so that when you type in a longer document you will be able to make multiple spacing and indent changes much more rapidly than if you had not used your word processor correctly.


Okay, my point is a simple one. When we want to make a change (if we have used the word processor correctly) we can make them quickly and easily and our document will look the way we want it to. Suppose I were to say to you that I wanted 1.5 spaces between each paragraph and I did not want the first line indented. If you have used your word processor correctly than all you have to do is:
            1) Highlight the paragraphs.
            2) Choose Format, Paragraph
            3) Set your spacing to 18 pt
            4) Set your Special Indent (First Line) to none.

If you have not used the word processor correctly than you would need to delete all the tabs at the beginning of each paragraph. How would you set the line spacing to 1.5 without formatting the paragraphs, I am not sure[6]. If your document were 20 pages long, this would be a real hassle. However if done correctly, it makes no difference how many pages there are because it requires the same number of steps and the same amount of time.

chapter_fig16Now modify your memo a little by putting your name, lecture, lab and the date at the top in block format. Simply place your insertion point at the beginning of the document. You may find it easier to hit enter and give yourself a blank paragraph. It is okay to hit enter a few times and create blank paragraphs, just remember to delete any extra ones you may have. Move your insertion point before this blank paragraph and start typing. If you find you are typing in the center of the page choose the left aligned button to bring the text over to the left margin. For the date I want you to insert a date field. The date field will always print the current date. For example: if you print this document on May 1, 2525, then that will be the date that prints. On the other hand if you print this document on May 31, 2525 that would be the date that would print. To insert the date field, all you need to do is choose Insert tab, look for the Quick Parts in the Text Group, and choose Field. It is easiest to click on Categories and then choose dates. Now just pick the format that you want for the date and choose ok. Your document will look like this when you are done:

TO:      Professor's name

FROM:           Your name

LECTURE:    Your Lecture

LAB:   Your lab

DATE:            May 15, 2525

chapter_fig17In Figure 16 we can see the top half looks correct, however it is done incorrectly. You do not want to hit the tab twice in a row in order to line up your information. The bottom half of the diagram is done correctly as far as how it was typed in by hitting the tab key only once. We would now need to highlight the 5 paragraphs and set a tab stop to 1 inch.  Notice in Figure 17 I have highlighted portions of all the paragraphs. This is ok since tabs are a paragraph formatting feature you only need to have a part of the paragraph highlighted since the formatting will affect the whole paragraph.

To set the tab stop all you need to do is to click the mouse just below the number 1 on the ruler (be sure to highlight the 5 paragraphs first). This will put in a left aligned tab at one inch and align your text like shown in Figure 17. If you need to move the tab simply click and drag it to the desired location. If you want to delete the tab stop simply drag the tab above the ruler.

Now would be a good time to save your document again!

TO:                 Professors name

FROM:           Your name

LECTURE:    Your Lecture

LAB:               Your lab

DATE:            May 15, 2525

Figure 18

Let’s make the TO paragraph bold. This is easy to do, as all you have to do is highlight the TO paragraph and click on the chapter_iconBold bold button on the Font Group under the Home Tab. Again, what you have highlighted will be changed. Let’s practice this a little more by making the FROM paragraph bold as well. You can format your text as many ways as you like, so for practice let’s underline only your name. Simply highlight your name and click the chapter_iconUnderline underline button on the toolbar. Try something on your own. Make your lecture section and lab section Italics. It should look like the sample (Figure 18) when you are done.


chapter_fig19_footnotesLooking back at the memo I realize that Hillary may not know where our headquarters are located. Our headquarters are actually located in Kansas, Vermont though our mailing address is Manchester, Vermont. We will be sending her an information packet that gives complete directions to our lodge, so I really do not want to give the directions in the memo. What I want to do is to use a footnote so that I can explain that directions will be forthcoming.

IconFootnote.bmpInserting footnotes into a document is very easy. You simply place the cursor where you want to mark the footnote, choose the References Tab, and look for Insert Footnote. This will put the footnote mark where your cursor is and jump you to the bottom of the page so you can type in your footnote. If you want to get more options, simply click the chapter_iconMoreinfo icon to get the footnote dialog box as shown in Figure 19. You have your choice of a footnote which shows up at the bottom of the page that the mark is on, or endnotes ( chapter_iconEndNote icon) which show up at the end of the document. We are going to use footnotes and Autonumber for this class. As always, to learn more about the various footnote options simply choose Help.

The computer handles the numbering for the footnote marks both in the document text and the footnote window. If you have two footnotes on a page and add a third one in the middle, it will be numbered in order as two. The same is true if you delete[7] a footnote, then the existing footnotes would automatically be renumbered.

In the footnote paragraph you can do any formatting feature that you normally would do. You can change the font and size. You can bold, underline, or italicize text. You can set tabs, indents, and spacing. Basically you can do most anything, just try it. If the computer will not let you do something then I guess you can’t, at least try it first. Who knows, maybe someday you will be able to!

The style of footnote that I like to use is the MLA - Modern Language Association Guidelines ( for footnotes. The footnote should be a different font and a smaller size than your main document. You should use a first line indent of 0.5” for each separate footnote. Other than that, there really is nothing to it.

Spell Checker

Unless you are a perfect typist and never make any mistakes, chances are that you have made a spelling or typo mistake. I have a tendency to make a million of them when I type! Luckily, word processors come with a spell checking feature that works great. If you made a mistake while typing you may have noticed that the incorrect word was underlined with a red squiggly line. If not type a word incorrectly now to see it. This shows you that a word is spelled incorrectly or is unrecognizable by the computer. You may notice a green squiggly line, which indicates that you have a grammar error. You can continue typing and then check your spelling and grammar at the end or you can fix the words as you go.

It is a good idea to save your document before you run the spell checker[8]. The spell checker is a neat feature as it will check every word in your document and compare it to the internal dictionary to see if it matches any words. So that means the spell checker will look “I” up in the dictionary to be sure you spelled it right! I do not think I would have the patience to literally look every word up in the dictionary. The spell checker will also find repeated words, for example if you type type a word twice, the spell checker will ask if you want to delete one. Also if you type "i" the spell checker will ask you if you want to capitalize it. However the spell checker will not check your grammar so you may spell ‘two’ when you meant to spell ‘to’ and the spell checker will not say anything. The grammar checker will put a green squiggly line under the words.

IconSpellCheck.bmpYou can look on the status bar for the spell check symbol to see if you need to run the spell checker. The blue check chapter_iconSpell means it is okay, however the red check  chapter_iconSpellB means you have misspelled word(s). To run the Spelling and Grammar checker choose Review tab and click on the Spelling and Grammar icon.

chapter_fig20SpellWhen the spell checker finds a word that it cannot match, it will give you a dialog box with several options for you to choose (most spell checkers work pretty much the same). In Figure 20 you can see that patience is misspelled. You will be shown how you spelled the word with a list of possible correct spellings. You can Ignore the spelling if the word is spelled correctly as, some words will not be in the dictionary. For example, your last name is spelled correctly but will not be found in the dictionary. If you have used your last name throughout the document you may want to Ignore All, which means the spell checker will not stop at that word again. If you see the correct spelling in the list simply click on the correct spelling and choose Change. This will change the spelling in your document. If you are a consistent bad speller like myself you may want to choose Change All so that the spell checker will just automatically change the word throughout the rest of the document. If you are using your own computer you may want to Add a correctly spelled word such as your last name to the dictionary. You simply double check to be sure it is spelled correctly and choose the add button to add the word to your CUSTOM.DIC. If you accidentally added a misspelled word you can open the file called CUSTOM.DIC[9] and fix the spelling. After you have finished, be sure to save your file again so you do not lose your corrections.

A couple of notes about the spell checker. When you click on the spell check button, the computer will begin to check the spelling from the cursor and go down to the end of your document. After the spell checker finishes with the main document it will then check your footnotes. If you have started the spell checker someplace in the middle, when the spell checker reaches the end of your document, it will ask if you want to check the rest of the document. If you want to just check a word or paragraph simply highlight what you want to be checked and then run the spell checker (remember what is highlighted will be affected).


The margin default is finally set to the standard 1”! However if you need to change your margins it is not hard. Choose the Page Layout tab and click on any of the standard settings. If you choose Page Setup chapter_iconMoreinfo to get the dialog box that looks like Figure 21. Be sure that the Apply To: list box has Whole Document in it. If it only applies to the selected text you will wind up putting in section breaks (Chapter 3).

Print Preview

Now that we have finished our document, proofread it on the computer, checked the spelling and saved it again we are ready to see what it looks like printed. Word processors come with an option called Print Preview that will show you what your document will look like on a piece of paper. Choose the Print icon on the Office Button, and then choose the preview icon.  This will show you (more or less) how your document will look on a piece of paper. You most likely will not be able to read the document but you can see the layout. Actually if you move your mouse cursor over the paper it will turn into a magnifying glass. When you click the left mouse button it will Zoom In and enlarge that section so you can read it. Print preview helps you to see the format of your document on paper. It is faster to look at your document in print preview than it is to print the document, look at the printout, make any necessary changes and then reprint the document. It also saves paper!

Some things to look for in print preview are blank pages (we do not want to waste paper). To check for blank pages simply press the page down button until the computer ‘beeps’. This means there are no more pages. If there are blank pages, you need to go back to the document and fix whatever is wrong. Most likely there are several paragraph marks at the end of your document that should be deleted (remember to look for the end of document marker). If on the other hand everything looks fine simply choose the print button on the tool bar. I never use the print button on the standard toolbar as I can easily use the print button found in print preview. You should always check print preview before you print to spot any possible errors.

If you notice that you have only one or two lines showing up on the second page you may as well change your margins or line spacing to get the information to print on one page. Try changing your margins to 0.8” (top, bottom, left and right). This will be close to 1” and is worth the sacrifice from the standard to get your document on one page. You could also change your paragraph spacing to 8 pt instead of 12 pt. The point is that you can do this easily as long as you have used your word processor correctly. The actual numbers that you use, i.e. 8 pt vs. 12 pt, 1” vs. 0.8” are not that important in life. Experiment and use what works the best. However for this class be sure to follow the directions as given.

Modifying a document

No matter how hard you try invariably you will find that sometimes you want to change something after you print your document. The nice thing about using a word processor is that you can easily go back and revise your document and print it again! If you need to add a paragraph simply place the cursor where you want the information to go and just begin typing[10].  If you decide you do not like a sentence simply delete it. You can also move paragraphs by simply highlighting them and then clicking on the cut_iconsCut icon. This will take the highlighted section out of the document and store it in the computer's memory. Now place your cursor where you want the information to go and choose the IconPaste.bmp Paste icon (both are on the Home tab). This will take the information you just cut and place it back into your document where you have specified by the cursor location.

I hope that you have noticed a pattern about all the dialog boxes we have seen. Every dialog box has a help command button. If you are not sure of what you are doing simply click the help button and read the information available to you. If you are not sure what to look for use the help feature like a book and search for the key word. If you have the time you may just want to go through the On-line tutorial available with the program itself.

The other points that are important are following the basics of word processing and saving your documents often! I have tried to demonstrate the reason behind the basics but if you do not understand please ask me to explain again until you do.


Replace is a handy feature found in both the word processor and spreadsheet. What it does, is search for a word or series of characters that you specify and replaces those with whatever you want. The Find feature works the same way, only it does not replace anything, it just finds it. The search will start from where the cursor is and goes to the end of the document (unless you have a highlighted section in which case it would only look in what you have highlighted). So choose the Home tab, Editing Group and then Replace to get the dialog box shown in Figure 22. Let’s talk about the dialog box for a minute. I have filled in the Find What with ‘Bob’ and Replace With: ‘Robert’ so I can change every ‘Bob’ to ‘Robert’. I have a couple options that I can change. The Search specifies how to search, Down means from the cursor to the end of the document. The Match Case check box specifies that I have to find ‘Bob’ and not ‘bob’. Find Whole Words Only means that what you are trying to find must have a space before and after it. In other words Bobbie would not be replaced with Robert.


The command buttons are also important in what they do. Find Next will simply look for the occurrence of the word in the Find What text box. The computer will simply stop when it finds the word. You can at that point click on Replace to actually change the word.

Replace will simply find the next word and automatically replace it without asking. You can choose Replace again to move on to the next word.

Replace All will find all the words and replace every single one without asking.

A strong suggestion is to save your document BEFORE you do a replace just in case the results are not what you expected. For example, if you replace the word US with United States without checking any of the options, the word ‘just’ will become jUnited Statest! You need to match case and whole word only.

I do not want to get into ‘Use Wildcards’ or ‘Sounds like’, so I will leave that up to you to read about in help if you would like. The added feature you have in the word processor (not in the spreadsheet) is the ability to format your Replaced word in any way you like. You can change not only Font characteristics but also Paragraph characteristics (A very powerful feature, check it out). For a simple replace there is no difference in the word processor or spreadsheet so use them wisely and to your advantage. Just be sure to save your file first! Remember you can usually Undo your replace if you do it right away.

What’s wrong with this Document


Looking at the document in Figure 23, you should see several things that are incorrect. The first thing I see is that the enter key was used to put in a space between paragraphs. You should use the Space Before/After option (home tab) found in the spacing icon icon_spacing. The next thing that I notice is the Main paragraph was started using the tab key. You should use First Line Indent option (home tab, Paragraph dialog box or ruler). The last thing that I see is all that junk near the end of the document? That is all extra and should be deleted. That extra junk can cause a blank page to print out with nothing on it (they are all non-printing characters but that only means they do not show on the page). If this were your document, you would lose points for all of these mistakes. These are the things that I will be checking when I grade your work.


Notice how the first paragraph goes over too far to the left in Figure 24? This is caused by the fact that you have a negative left indent. When you look at the ruler the white area is your working area. The light blue area on the ruler is the margin area on your paper. You should not have text in the margin area. To fix this problem, simply choose the home tab and click on the Paragraph bar (to get the paragraph dialog box) and set the left indent to 0” (you could also just move the indent on your ruler). You probably did not mean to do this but it happens a lot when you use your mouse to set your first line indent. It is pretty easy to fix.

Summary of Word Processing Basics

1.  Only hit the enter key at the end of the paragraph. You do this in order to utilize the word wrap feature. If you hit enter at the end of every line and then change your margins, your paper will not adjust to the new margins the way that you would like.

2.  Use the indent option to start paragraphs and when appropriate. This is so that you can change the indents for your document easily. Suppose you hit the tab key to start your paragraphs and later you are asked to have no indentation. You would need to delete all the tab marks, whereas if you used the indent feature you could simply highlight the document and remove the indents in a few easy steps.

3.  Use the spacing option to space your lines and paragraphs. This is related to using the indent option, since when you need to change the spacing it can be done easily provided you have used the spacing option. If you chose to use the enter key for your spacing you would need to go back and adjust the spacing with each enter key individually, which could be a lengthy process.

4.  Use the TAB key once and set the tab stops. This enables you to be able to align your text up so that it is even. If you have to change the alignment it can be accomplished easily. If you used the space bar to align your text it most likely will not be aligned when you print.

Summary of Computer Basics

1.    Use a Virus Checking program. Today viruses are prevalent so be sure to have a CURRENT virus checking program installed on your computer.

2.    Use the spell checker before you print. This just makes sense! Why print only to find simple spelling errors. That is just a waste of paper and time.

3.    Use print preview before you print. This also makes sense so that you can see the layout of your document before you print it. You may find your document has 2 pages. If so, you can change your margins and have your document fit all on one page.

4.    Save BEFORE you type anything. Hey it’s your work why risk losing it!

[1]  A default name is one that the computer picks for you. They are not very descriptive and in the case of WORD they are simply document followed by a number. In a spreadsheet the default name might be something like Book1. When using computers you will encounter defaults all the time. A default is simply the pre-programmed or pre-existing value. These values can almost always be changed.

[2]  Look under the View Tab, Show/Hide

[3]  Windows products normally create temporary files someplace on the hard drive. They normally get deleted but occasionally they do not. If you think you have a problem simply use the windows explorer to search for all the files with a ~$ as the first part of the file name. Then you can delete them. If a program is still using the temporary file it will not let you delete it.

[4]  If there is an error you may lose your information. If you have an error, let someone know about it!

[5] A single click will work in this example since there is only one line but to highlight a multiple line paragraph you need to double click.

[6]  Okay I do know how you could do it, but I don’t want to tell you because it would be incorrect and not the best way to do it.

[7]  To delete a footnote you simply highlight the footnote mark in the text and press the delete key.

[8]  Whenever you do anything like spell check or print, it is a good idea to save your document first, then in the case of spell checking save it again when you are done.

[9]  My CUSTOM.DIC is kept in C:\Documents and Settings\Robert Erickson\Application Data\Microsoft\UProof directory. You can use the file manager to search for the file if it is not there. Be sure to save the file as Text Only (it will automatically be this way so be sure not to change it).

[10]  If you notice that the text is disappearing you are in over-type mode and need to get back into insert mode. Press the insert key and check your status bar.