Microsoft Word has long been a versatile solution for office efficiency, but many users don’t utilize its full potential. The more you learn about the application’s features, the better you can leverage Word for productivity.

5 Word Productivity Tips for Employees

There are numerous ways to make more of this valuable program.

1. Write faster by using speech-to-text.

Find Word’s dictation tool in the ribbon menu — the bar of options at the top — and use your built-in microphone to transform your voice into content. A 2016 Stanford University study found that speech-to-text is about three times faster than average typing speed, producing significant time savings.

2. Use shortcuts.

Faithful shortcuts like Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V to copy and paste are indispensable, but they aren’t the only ones out there. Navigate, type, change, and rearrange faster using these tips:

  • Move chunks of text: Highlight the text you want to move, press F2, put your cursor where you want it to go, and hit enter.
  • Find your previous place: Hold down the shift key and press F5 to revisit your cursor placement history in a flash.
  • Embed special characters as you go: Take note of the Unicode of a frequently used character, type it in, then follow it with Alt+X to change it instantly.
  • Toggle sentence cases: Select the text you want to change and hit Shift+F3 to alternate between cases.
  • Remove whole words in one click: Place your cursor at the end of the term to delete and hold down Ctrl before hitting the backspace.

3. Eliminate distractions.

Improve your concentration using Ctrl+F1 to collapse the ribbon menu into a minimized view. Pressing the same buttons again will pop it back up. If you prefer a full blank screen, use the “focus” icon on the window’s bottom right-hand side. Hit Escape to return to the default view.

4. Use built-in research tools.

Word simplifies research during writing with its search, dictionary, and synonyms functions. To define a word, highlight it, right-click, and hit search in the pop-up menu. For research, select a topic or phrase and follow the same sequence. Need more word variety? Highlight the word to replace, right-click, and choose “synonyms.”

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5. Add screenshots as you work

Embedding relevant screenshots was once a time-consuming process of toggling between applications and tabs. Word’s built-in screenshot feature solves that. Visit the insert menu and click on “screenshot” to choose from open windows without leaving the program.

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