MS-Word / General Formatting

Automatic Save with AutoRecover

Word's AutoRecover feature will save your butt someday. What AutoSave does is to periodically save your document, even when you neglect to. That way, in the event of a computer crash, Word recovers your document from a safety copy that it has secretly made for you.

Ensure that AutoSave is activated: From the Office Button menu, choose Word Options. In the Word Options dialog box, choose Save on the left. On the right side of the window, ensure that there is a check mark by the item Save AutoRecover Information Every 10 Minutes. Click OK to close the window.

Most of the time, you never notice AutoRecover. But when there's a computer crash and you restart Word, you see a Document Recovery task pane displayed that lists any files you did not save before the crash. To recover a document, point the mouse at the document name. Use the menu button that's displayed to open and recover the document.

  • If the power is unstable at your home or office, enter 4, 3, 2, or even 1 minute as the AutoRecover backup interval.
  • The best way to avoid accidentally losing your stuff is to save now and save often!

Build Your Own Fractions

Word's AutoCorrect feature can build common fractions for you. Actually, it does not really build them as much as it pulls them from a set of existing fraction "characters." There are only a few of those fraction characters. When you need your own, specific fraction, such as 3/64, you can create it this way:

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+= (the equal sign).
    This is the keyboard shortcut for the superscript command.
  2. Type the numerator - the top part of the fraction.
    For example, type 3 for 3/64.
  3. Press Ctrl+Shift+= again to turn off superscripting and then type the slash.
  4. Press Ctrl+= to turn on subscripting.
  5. Type the denominator - the bottom part of the fraction.
  6. Press Ctrl+= to turn off subscripting.

There is your fraction.

Electronic Bookmarks

Word allows you to stick electronic bookmarks into your document. They not only help you set your place in a document, but they also can be used to flag specific tidbits of text for other commands, such as Go To, or the Browse buttons. Bookmarks can prove quite handy - better than trying to use the Find command to locate stuff in your text.
To set a bookmark in your document, observe these steps:

  1. Put the insertion pointer where you want to place the bookmark and then click the Insert tab.
  2. Click the Bookmark button in the Links group.
    The Bookmark dialog box opens, listing any current bookmarks but also allowing you to create a new bookmark.
  3. Type a name for the bookmark.
    The name reminds you of where you are in your document, but it cannot contain spaces. (Use underlines rather than spaces.)
  4. Press Enter or click the Add button.
    You don't see anything on the screen, but the bookmark is there, invisibly lurking in your text.

Bookmarks mean nothing unless there is a way to find them. That is where the Go To command comes in handy:

To jump to a bookmark anywhere in a document, press the F5 key. It summons the Go To tab in the Find and Replace dialog box. Choose Bookmark from the Go To What list, and then select a bookmark name from the drop-down list on the right side of the dialog box. Click the Go To button to visit that bookmark's location. (Close the Find and Replace dialog box when you are done with it.)

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In this tutorial:

  1. Word Tricks
  2. Sort Your Text
  3. Automatic Save with AutoRecover
  4. The Drop Cap