Most of us will use the basic functionality of the Microsoft Office Suite, rarely straying from the path to explore what else it can do. This is quite understandable, we don’t know what we don’t know, and we think we have all we need. However, each of the programs within the Suite is full of clever functions that can make your work more efficient, effective and professional.

Microtrading helps clients to unlock the potential of their IT infrastructure. To that end, we want to show you just how productive ‘productivity software’ can be. Here are some useful tips on the functionality of Microsoft Word you may have never known about.

PDF files can be converted to editable Word documents

You can convert PDF files into an editable word document simply by opening them in Word. This even works with a physical document you’ve scanned into the computer and created a PDF from.

If you need to extract information from a flattened PDF or want to avoid typing up a printed document, here’s the solution:

  • Open Word
  • Click the ‘File’ tab
  • Click ‘Open’
  • Select the PDF from its saved location
  • Click ‘Yes’ on the warning message

The PDF will then be converted into a Word document and you are free to edit as you please. It is, however, worth noting that if the PDF contains a lot of images, it may not convert completely cleanly and some re-organising may need to be done.

Spike could change the way you edit

The process of copying, cutting and pasting over and over can be quite taxing on certain tasks but Microsoft Word has a nifty solution.

Spike is an alternative to ‘traditional’ cutting and pasting and can be very helpful when editing or summarising a document. Spike allows you to cut multiple different words, phrases and sentences from a document and then paste them all together.

To gather information into the Spike in Word, select the text and/or images you want to add and press ‘Ctrl + F3’.

This cuts the information from your document and places it into the Spike. You can continue to cut parts of your document and Word will continue to add the cut text to the Spike. If you do not want to cut, then just ensure you click Undo ‘CTRL+Z’ after cutting to put the text back. The text will remain on the Spike.

Once you are ready to paste all of the text together, press CTRL+SHIFT+F3. There are many applications for this function, be it creating a starting point for an ‘Executive Summary’ or cutting down a documents length, but we’re sure once you’ve got the hang of it you’ll find your own uses.

Word can Autosave every minute

You’ve had a burst of inspiration over the past few minutes and drafted a considerable amount of text that you’re really happy with. Then something happens, the document closes or the computer crashes, and those prized words are lost.

Word is capable of Autosaving every minute, so the most you could typically lose is a minute’s worth of work.

To make this adjustment, click the ‘File’ tab then select ‘Options’. When the ‘Word Options’ window opens, select the ‘Save’ tab and you’ll find the “Save AutoRecover information…” line. The editable field will usually say ‘10’ minutes, you can then adjust this to ‘1’ and now Word is Autosaving your work every minute.

The one drawback with this change is you could see a slowing of your computer, if this happens then you can incrementally increase that AutoRecover interval to 2 minutes, ‘3 minutes’, until you find the best increment for you.

There’s plenty more where that came from

Microsoft Word contains many other tricks up its sleeve that may be of great use to you, we just wanted to highlight a few that might help you today. If you’re curious as to what else any aspect of your IT infrastructure could be doing for you, get in touch.

If you are looking for IT support in Birmingham or for further advice and guidance contact Microtrading IT support on 0121 784 0077 or click here to see how we can help.