Microsoft Word is one of the most popular programs in the Office Suite, used by businesses, students and individuals all over the world.

While the basic functionalities of Word are widely known, here are a few of the lesser known built-in functions which can make your life easier and boost productivity:

Create a table of contents

One of the most important reasons for using headings and subheadings correctly is to create an auto-generated table of contents.

By using the below heading formats in your document, Word will automatically detect these headings, sort them by level and then create your table of contents.

In order to do so, simply go to references > table of contents > and select your desired format

Your table of contents will then appear at the top  of your document.

One of the best features of the built-in table of contents is that you can update your table at any time. Whether you’ve added a new paragraph or deleted a section of your document, you will be able to update your Table of Contents with a few mouse clicks.

To update your Table of Contents, simply click on the red explanation mark, and select either ‘update page numbers only’ or ‘update entire table’.

Save Time with Keyboard Shortcuts

This wouldn’t be a time-saving article without a list of handy shortcuts.  Chances are you’re familiar with a few of these, but if you aren’t they’re definitely worth remembering:

  • Ctrl+z = undo
  • Ctrl+y = redo
  • Ctrl+F = find
  • Ctrl+c = copy
  • Ctrl+v = paste
  • Ctrl+W = closes the active window

Microsoft has over 100 keyboard shortcuts for Word, to view the full list click here

Use Portrait and Landscape in the Same Document

Using portrait and landscape in the same document can be extremely useful- especially if you have large graphs and tables in your document.

To make some pages portrait or landscape, highlight the paragraphs or pages you would like to change and go to Page Layout > Page Setup > Click Margins and select Custom Margins.

On the margins tab, click on either portrait or landscape, scroll down to ‘Apply to:’ and click on selected text.

Compare documents side by side with the legal blackline option

Comparing two documents can be a time consuming task if done so manually. Fortunately, Word has a feature which enables you to compare two documents at once, where a document comparison will be displayed in a third doc.

In order to use this feature, simply open the documents that you want to compare, open the review tab > Compare group > Compare

Under original document, browse for the document that you want to use as the original document. Under revised document, browse for the document you would like to compare it to.

Click on  More >>, and then select the settings for what you want to compare in the documents. Under Show changes, choose whether you want to show character or word level changes.

Finally, click ok

Create a template

If you often create a certain type of document such as a monthly report, sales forecast or presentations with your company’s logo and details, why not create a template instead of recreating the file from scratch each time.

Start with a document you downloaded or a new template you customised and click file > save as.

Save to your desired destination, edit your file name and scroll down to save as word template

If your document contains macros, click Word Macro-Enabled Template.

Click on save

Using existing templates

Microsoft Word comes with a range of online templates which you can download and customise as your own. Simply search for your desired template or browse from the hundreds available.

To do so, click on new, and type your keywords into the search bar.

Click on create, and there you will be able to download and customise the template

Hayden McMaster