Five quick-and-simple Microsoft Word timesavers

Convert lists into outlines, save multiple open documents at once, reorder paragraphs, paste formatting, and return the cursor to where you left it when reopening a document.

You can use Microsoft Word for years and still find new ways to get more work done in less time. Here are a handful of fast-and-easy productivity boosters.

Create outlines out of lists
Word 2007 adds a handy outline list to the standard bullet and numbered lists available on Word 2003's Formatting toolbar (the Paragraphs section under the Home tab of Word 2007's ribbon). You can create an outline from an existing list in either version by placing the cursor in the line you want to indent (or outdent, as the case may be) and clicking the Increase Indent or Decrease Indent buttons just to the right.

Add a Save All option to Word 2007
Whenever I have Word open for more than a few minutes, the chances are good that I've got more than one file active. When quitting time rolls around, Word 2003 lets me save them all simultaneously by pressing the Shift key as I open the File menu, which converts the Save command into Save All.

To add this function to Word 2007, click the Office button, choose Word Options in the bottom-right corner, click Customize in the left pane, select Commands Not in the Ribbon under "Choose commands from," and make sure "Show Quick Access Toolbar below the Ribbon" is checked. Now scroll to and select Save All in the list of commands on the left side of the main window, and click Add and OK. The Save All icon will appear on the aforementioned toolbar.

Microsoft Word 2007's Quick Access Toolbar
Add a Save All icon to Microsoft Word 2007's Quick Access Toolbar. Microsoft

Shift your paragraphs around
It's not unusual to need to rearrange the paragraphs in your document. Rather than the trial-and-error cut-and-paste method, you can move an entire paragraph up or down by pressing and holding the Shift and Alt keys and then the up or down arrows.

Apply formatting via keyboard shortcuts
I thought I knew all there is to know about pasting, but then I found out that you can copy and paste only the formatting of a selection, not the selection itself. To do so, select those items with formatting you want to copy, press Ctrl-Shift-C, choose the items you want to apply the formatting to, and press Ctrl-Shift-V.

Start where you left off
When you reopen a document in Word, the cursor appears at the very beginning. To jump to the place where the cursor was when you closed the file, just press Shift-F5.

About the author

    Dennis O'Reilly began writing about workplace technology as an editor for Ziff-Davis' Computer Select, back when CDs were new-fangled, and IBM's PC XT was wowing the crowds at Comdex. He spent more than seven years running PC World's award-winning Here's How section, beginning in 2000. O'Reilly has written about everything from web search to PC security to Microsoft Excel customizations. Along with designing, building, and managing several different web sites, Dennis created the Travel Reference Library, a database of travel guidebook reviews that was converted to the web in 1996 and operated through 2000.

     

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