CPS100 • Introduction to Computers

Lakeland College • Japan Campus

MS Word Options

If you would like to change the way MS Word acts, or adjust many of its special features, you can change the Options. You can find these by clicking on the File Tab and then clicking on the Word Options button:

A dialog box will open, with a category pane on the left side. By navigating the categories on the left, and opening more dialog boxes within each category, you can change more than a hundred different options in MS Word.

On this page, we will review the most often-used options.



Near the bottom of the "General" options, you'll find an area where you can "personalize" MS Word:

"Personalizing" means that you add your name to it. Every document you make with your copy of MS Word will carry this name with it.



Next come some options which affect how MS Word shows you things.

Under "Always Show These Formatting Marks," you can opt to have MS Word show any one or all of the usually invisible items listed. Remember the "¶" button on the Home toolbar? This is similar, except here you can choose which items become visible, one by one.

Under "Printing" options, you can choose to print background colors (usually not printed), or you can have MS Word update fields before printing. This is mostly good only for updating a "Time" field (showing hours, minutes, and seconds).



The next category is Proofing options:

MS Word automatically corrects many of your mistakes. The best place for checking this is under AutoCorrect Options. Click the button to get a dialog box:

In the dialog box above, many errors are corrected. MS Word will automatically capitalize the first words of your sentences, as well as other capitalization errors. But the Replace Text as you Type feature is perhaps the most useful. In this list, there are hundreds of words that are commonly mistypes; when you type them, MS Word will correct them for you. Try typing: "teh anual balence adn comany desicions" in MS Word. It should automatically change to "The annual balance and company decisions."

Even more useful, you can add your own AutoCorrect phrases. You can use this as a shortcut. For example, you can have AutoCorrect Replace the text string "icc" with "Introduction to Computers," and from that time forward, typing "icc" will be changed to "Introduction to Computers." This is very useful if you want to write long words frequently, or if you have trouble spelling certain words.

AutoCorrect will also create other corrections:

One of the most commonly seen is the "Internet and network paths with hyperlinks." Have you ever typed a web page address or email address in MS Word, and then it turns blue and underlined? That's because this option is turned on. If you don't want it (styles like MLA say you should not use it), then turn it off.

I myself also dislike the Automatic Bulleted and Numbered Lists, so I turn those off as well. Similarly, the "Set left- and first-indent with tabs and backspace" annoys me, so off that goes as well. Use your own preferences.

MS Word also has Custom Dictionaries.

In addition to a normal dictionary, you can add special words. For example, if your name is always underlined in red as if it were misspelled, you can "Add" or "Learn" the word, and it will be in your Custom Dictionary, and will not appear as misspelled again.

In the dialog box shown above, you can add or delete words in the Custom Dictionary (click on "Edit Word List").

If you study a special subject, like Chemistry or Medicine, which has a special vocabulary which always appears misspelled in MS Word, you can download or buy special dictionaries which contain words specific to those subjects, so they do not appear misspelled by accident.



You can also change how MS Word saves documents:

You can change the format MS Word 2007 uses to save documents normally; if you need to use MS Word 2000 or 2003 often, you can change the default format to match those versions of MS Word.

You can also set AutoRecover to automatically save your MS Word file every x minutes, so if your computer crashes, you can still have a recent version, and not lose hours of typing. But be careful!! This feature does not always work. Hopefully, you can usually recover your files after a crash, but don't depend on it!

Still, it is wise to set "AutoRecover" to save your file as often as you wish. Just in case.



You also have the option of adding language settings to MS Word:

In the above example, I added Japanese editing. This gave my English-language version of MS Word some Japanese-language options, which were visible in various Ribbon tabs:



The Advanced category has a large number of options. A few of them:

  • Typing replaces selected text: when you select any text and then type even one character, the selected text disappears, and is replaced by the new text. On by default.
  • When selecting, select entire word: this will keep you from selecting just part of a word, and will select entire words instead.
  • Allow text to be dragged and dropped: when you select text, and then hover the cursor over the selection, you will see a white arrow. This means that if you drag and drop the selected text, you can move it easily from one place to another.
  • Use the Insert key to control overtype mode: KEEP THIS TUNED OFF! If it is turned on, then any time you hit the "INS" key, which is right next to the "Backspace" key, you will be switched to "Overtype" mode. In "Overtype" mode, if you try to edit previously typed text, any new typing will replace the old typing. It is very annoying.
  • Enable Click and Type: with this feature, you can double-click on any blank part of the page, and then begin typing at that spot.

Use Smart Cut and Paste is a good feature. It will automatically make sure that spaces are correctly kept when you copy and paste words. (In other words, there will be no situations where two spaces or no spaces exist.)

VERY IMPORTANT!! Here, you can set the rulers to show inches, centimeters, or any other common unit of measurement.

Note the option for showing measurements in width of pixels—this option is only visible in Asian-language versions (or with Asian languages added in the Options), and will replace "inches" or "centimeters" in certain dialog boxes!

You can also turn the rulers on and off, if you wish.

Print pages in reverse order is very useful if your printer is printing backwards. For example, if you print five pages, and when finished, page 5 is at the top and page 1 is on the bottom, then you can choose this option to correct the problem.

Scale content for A4 or 8.5 x 11" paper sizes will help you when moving between America and Japan.

Word Options allows you to Customize the Ribbon.

Word Options allows you to add new commands to the Quick Access Toolbar.

There used to be a Resources option which allowed you to get extra information or options concerning the MS Office software in general. This has now been moved outside the Options, and is in the "File" tab under "Help":

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