Word Processors (MS - Word 2013) - Computer Studies Form 2 Notes

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Definition of a Word Processor

What is a Word Processor?

  • A word processor is an application software that enables a person to create, save, edit, format and print text documents. Word processing is the act of using a word processor.

Examples of word processors

  • Examples of word processors include, Microsoft Word, Corel WordPerfect, WordStar, Lotus WordPro and many others.

Purpose of Word Processing.

- A Word processor is a tool that can be used to prepare & produce documents. It can be used in:

  1. Writing Letters (i.e., Business & general mail).
  2. Writing Memos.
  3. Writing Books.
  4. Writing Articles, Research letters such as Reports/thesis and Term papers.
  5. Writing Essays and Projects.
  6. Writing Curriculum vitae and Resumes.
  7. Writing weekly Newsletters on sports, entertainment, etc.
  8. Writing Lease agreements and other legal documents

A word processor has a number of advantages over the type writer that include:

  1. A document can be stored in the computer for future reference in computer files that do not occupy physical space like the one on paper. This creates a paperless document-processing environment.
  2. Typing using a word processor is easier and more efficient because some actions are automated. For example, word-wrap feature automatically takes the cursor to the beginning of the next line once you reach the end of the current. Another automatic features common in most word processors is automatic insertion of a new page after reaching the end of the current page.
  3. Most word processors have special editing tools such as spelling and grammar checkers and thesaurus that help the user to easily Correct grammar and spelling mistakes. A thesaurus helps to find a word or phrase with similar meanings.
  4. With insert and type over modes available in most word processors, one can easily insert or replace a word or a phrase without affecting the structure and neatness of the document.
  5. Word processors have superior document formatting features. Formatting refers to the art of making the document more attractive and appealing to the eye. Such features include, underlining, boldfacing, italicization, applying different colors etc.
  6. While a typewriter may require that we retype the entire document when we want many copies, with a word processor, printing lets you produce as many copies per session as needed.
  7. Using the cut, copy and paste commands, you can incorporate other text without having to retype it.

Basic Word Processing Features and Concepts

  1. They allow the user to create a file, save it and open it again and again for reuse, editing or formatting.
  2. They have almost similar document windows with the following Features:
    1. Most are designed to look like a piece of paper with a few
    2. Most of the screen is blank before typing of text.
    3. There is a cursor, which blinks at the position where you can Begin entering text.
    4. There is a status bar or line that provides the user with current status information such as saving operation, the name of the file in use, the current page, the current imaginary horizontal-line and column cursor position.
    5. Word wrap: The feature that automatically moves a word or cursor to the beginning of the next line if it does not fit at the end of the current line.
    6. Scrolling: This is the vertical movement of text document on the screen. We can scroll through a text document using the up or do n arrow keys, page up and page down keys and also using, a mouse in windows based word processors.
    7. Help: Sometimes we get lost, confused or need more information on how to use an application. Help contains instruction, tips, pointers, explanations and guidance. You can get help by either pressing F1 on the keyboard or clicking Help from the menu.
    8. Editing Modes: Word processors have two editing modes, insert and type over mode. In insert mode, every character typed between words, lines or characters is placed at the cursor position. This pushes all the text in front of the cursor away without deleting it.
      - However in type over mode every character typed deletes what was there before and replaces it with new text at the cursor position.
  3. Nearly all word processors have a spelling checker, thesaurus (Dictionary of synonyms) and grammar checker.
  4. They provide for the use of headers and footers, indexing, footnotes and references, typefaces (fonts) and character set.
  5. Most word processors have ability to create and import tables, text and graphics from other programs.
    - Mostly, word processors are used for writing letters, reports, projects, books, essays, memos curriculum vitae etc.

Factors to consider when choosing a word processor The choice of a word processor depend on:

  1. The type of operating system. For example, most microcomputers are currently running on Windows based operating system such as Microsoft Windows. This means that you should consider acquiring a graphical user interface based Word Processor,
  2. Its user-friendliness, i.e. ease of use.
  3.  Its formatting and editing features. They should be good and varied.

Using a Word Processing Package - Microsoft Word.

  • Microsoft Word is one of the components of Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office is integrated software with a number of interrelated programs. The programs include Microsoft Word, a spreadsheet called Microsoft Excel, and a database management system called Microsoft Access, communication software called Microsoft Outlook, and a presentation package called Microsoft PowerPoint among others.
  • Although there are several versions of Microsoft Word, the most common are Word 97, Word 2000, Word XP and Word 2003, Word 2007, Word 2010, Word 2013, Word 2016, Word 2019. These versions of Microsoft Word are found in Microsoft Office 97, 2000, XP and 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 suites respectively.

Starting Microsoft Word

  • There are a number of ways you can start Microsoft Word. However the Simplest is by using programs start menu.

    Starting Microsoft Word from the start menu
    1. Click the start button.
    2. Click All Programs option from the menu.
    3. Search for Microsoft Office from the sub menu and click it.
    4. Search for Microsoft Word 2013 from the submenu and click it.
    5. This will launch Microsoft Word 2013 application
  • A Microsoft Word icon may also be available on your desktop for quick access. Double click on the icon to start the application

Microsoft Word Screen Layout

  • When you open Word 2013 for the first time, the Word Start Screen will appear. From here, you'll be able to create a new document, choose a template, or access your recently edited documents.
    ms word template
  • From the Word Start Screen, locate and select Blank document to access the Word interface. Your screen looks similar to the one shown below
    word blank document
  • With Windows multitasking capability, you can have more than one document window at the same time sharing one application window. However, each document window will have its own title bar but both will share other facilities like the menu bar of the application window.
  • However only one document window will be visible on the desktop at a time while others remains minimized or covered. This window is referred to as the active document window. To switch between document windows, click their buttons on the taskbar.

Parts of A Window

The File tab replaces the Office button from Word 2007. You can click it to check Backstage view, which is the place to come when you need to open or save files, create new documents, print a document, and do other file-related operations.

Title bar

  • A title bar is mostly a blue strip at the top of the window that displays the title of the currently running application or task. However it is possible to change the color of the title bar using the display properties.
  • The title bar also enables the user to move the window around the desktop. This is possible by pointing to it then dragging using the mouse.
  • On the right of the title bar are three tiny buttons called minimize, restore/maximize and the close buttons.
  • The minimize button reduces a window to become a button on the taskbar. The restore/maximize button stretches the window to cover the entire desktop or restore it to its original size respectively.
  • The close button is used to close and exit a window.
  • At the left hand side of the title bar is a quick access toolbar which provides you with access to commands you frequntly use. By default Save, Undo, and Redo appear on the quick access toolbar. You can use Save to save your file, Undo to rollback an action you have taken, and Redo to reapply an action you have rolled back.

Quick Access Toolbar

  • This you will find just above the File tab and its purpose is to provide a convenient resting place for the Word most frequently used commands. You can customize this toolbar based on your comfort



  • Ribbon contains commands organized in three components:
    • Tabs: They appear across the top of the Ribbon and contain groups of related commands. Home, Insert, Page Layout are example of ribbon tabs.
    • Groups: They organize related commands; each group name appears below the group on the Ribbon. For example group of commands related to fonts or or group of commands related to alignment etc.
    • Commands: Commands appear within each group as mentioned above


  • The Home tab gives you access to some of the most commonly used commands for working with Word 2013, including copying and pasting, formattingaligning paragraphs, and choosing document styles. The Home tab is selected by default whenever you open Word
    home tab
  • The Insert tab allows you to insert pictures, charts, tables, shapes, cover pages, and more to your document, which can help you communicate information visually and add style to your document
    insert tab
  • The Design tab gives you access to a variety of design tools, including document formatting, effects, and page borders, which can give your document a polished look
    design tab
  • The Page Layout tab allows you to change the print formatting of your document, including margin width, page orientation, page breaks, and more. These commands will be especially helpful when preparing to print a document
    page layout tab
  • The References tab allows you add annotations to your document, such as footnotes and citations. From here, you can also add a table of contentscaptions, and a bibliography. These commands are especially helpful when composing academic papers
    references tab
  • You can use the Mail Merge feature in the Mailings tab to quickly compose letters, address envelopes, and create labels. This is especially useful when you need to send a letter to many different recipients
    mailings tab
  • You can use the Review tab to access Word's powerful editing features, including adding comments and tracking changes. These features make it easy to share and collaborate on documents.
    review tab
  • The View tab allows you to switch between different views for your document and split the screen to view two parts of your document at once. These commands will also be helpful when preparing to print a document.
    view tab
  • Contextual tabs will appear on the Ribbon when working with certain items, such as tables and pictures. These tabs contain special command groups that can help you format these items as needed
    contextual tab
  • Certain programs, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, may install additional tabs to the Ribbon. These tabs are called Add-ins


  • The Help Icon can be used to get word related help anytime you like. This provides nice tutorial on various subjects related to word

Zoom Control:

  • Zoom control lets you zoom in for a closer look at your text. The zoom control consists of a slider that you can slide left or right to zoom in or out, . and + buttons you can click to increase or decrease the zoom factor.

View Buttons

  • The group of buttons located to the left of the Zoom control, near the bottom of the screen, lets you switch among Word's various document views.
    • Print Layout view: This displays pages exactly as they will appear when printed.
    • Web Layout view: This shows how a document appears when viewed by a Web browser, such as Internet Explorer.
    • Read Mode view: to hide the writing tools and menus and to leave more room for the pages themselves. Read Mode automatically fits the page layout to your device, using columns and larger font sizes, both of which you can adjust.


  • Word has two rulers - a horizontal ruler and a vertical ruler. The horizontal ruler appears just beneath the Ribbon and is used to set margins and tab stops. The vertical ruler appears on the left edge of the Word window and is used to gauge the vertical position of elements on the page.
  • If the ruler is not visible on the screen, then display it using the following procedure.
    1. Click the View menu option.
    2. On the drop down menu that appears, click Ruler. A check mark or tick will appear next to it showing that the ruler is displayed on the screen.

Work area/Document Area

  • This is the working area where you can enter text or graphical objects. All windows based application programs provide the user with a unique working area suited to that particular application. The flashing vertical bar is called the insertion point and it represents the location where text will appear when you type.

explore word window

Status bar

  • This is an interactive strip at the bottom of the screen that acts as a communication link between the user and the program. It displays interactive activities like saving, opening, background printing, cursor position etc.

Scroll bars/button and scroll arrows

  • Scroll bars or buttons are horizontal and vertical bars on the borders of a window that the user drags to scroll upward, downwards, to the right or left of a document. Scroll arrows are arrows at the end of the scroll bars that the user clicks instead of dragging the scroll button. Using scroll bars or arrows is equivalent to using the arrow keys on the keyboard

Dialog Box Launcher:

  • This appears as very small arrow in the lower-right corner of many groups on the Ribbon. Clicking this button opens a dialog box or task pane that provides more options about the group

Backstage View

  • The Backstage view has been introduced in Word 2013 and acts as the central place for managing your documents. The backstage view helps in creating new documents, saving and opening documents, printing and sharing documents, and so on.
  • Getting to the Backstage View is easy: Just click the File tab, located in the upper-left corner of the Word Ribbon.
  • It is simple to exit from Backstage View. Either click on back arrow on the top leftor press Esc button on the keyboard to go back in word working mode

Running the Program

Creating a document

  • A new, blank document always opens when you start Microsoft Word. You will see a blinking vertical bar called an insertion pointer. You can move your insertion pointer by using the arrow keys or the mouse.
  • In case you are in Microsoft Word and you want to create another new document, you should proceed as follows:
    1. Click the File tab, and select the New Option
      new document
    2. When you select New option from the first column, it will display a list of templates in second column. Just click on Blank document, which is very first option in the template list. Now you should have your blank document as shown below ready to start typing your text.
      document area

Saving a new document

  1. Click the File tab and select Save or Save As option. The difference between Save and Save As is that although both give the save as dialog box when saving for the first time, Save allows the user to save document without the opportunity to change the file name or the location. The figure below shows a Save As dialog box.
  2. In the file name box, type a unique name for the document
  3. Select a the location or drive you want to save in, by clicking the down arrow on the right of save in list box,
  4. To save the file in a different format or type such as PDF, Word 97-2003 document etc., click the down arrow on the right of Save as type list box and choose a file type.
  5. Click the save button. The file will automatically be saved as a Microsoft Word document.

save as dialog box

Saving New Changes:

  • There may be a situation when you open an existing document and edit it partially or completely, or even you would like to save the changes in between editing of the document. If you want to save this document with the same name then you can use either of the following simple options:
    • Just press Ctrl + S keys to save the changes.
    • Optionally you can click on the floppy icon available at the top left corner and just above the File tab. This option will also save the changes.
    • You can also use third method to save the changes, which is Save option available just above the Save As option as shown in the above screen capture.
  • If your document is new and it was never saved so far, then with either of the three options, word would display you a dialogue box to let you select a folder, and enter document name as explained in case of saving new document

Opening an existing document

  • There may be a situation when you open an existing document and edit it partially or completely. If you want to open an existing document then follw the following simple options:
    1. Click the File tab and select Open option. Alternatively press Ctrl + O key combination on the keyboard.

      opening document
    2. The Open dialog box shown appears.
      open folders
    3. Select a drive or folder where the file is saved.
    4. In the file name box, type or select the name of the document you want to open.
    5. Click the open button

- To open a document created in another program, click the file format you want in the files of type box, and then double click the document name in the folder list. You can also use wildcards in the file name box for example, type *. Document to find Microsoft Word files.

Protecting a document with a password

  • A password is a combination of characters that prevents other users from opening and changing a document without permission. If a document is protected by a password, only the person who knows the password can open the document or edit it.

To save a document with a password

  1. Create or open the document you want to protect
  2. Click the file tab and choose Save As.
  3. Click the down arrow on the Tools button in the save as dialog box
  4. Click General options.
  5. Type in a password in the password to open. This prompts the user to enter password when opening a document.
  6. Type in a password in the password to modify. This prevents the user from making changes to a document unless the user enters the correct password.
  7. Finally click OK.

Closing a document

  • Closing a document means unloading the current active document from memory so that the user can create or open another without necessarily exiting from Word.

To close a document:

  1. Click the File tab and select Close option
  2. This will close the document and if you had other documents open, Word displays the last document you used

NB: You can close a document by pressing Alt + F4 keys or by clicking the close button on the top right of the title bar. If you have not saved the open document, Microsoft Word prompts you to save the document first.

Editing a Document

  • Editing refers to making necessary changes to an existing document. Apart from manual editing using delete, insert and overtype/overwrite commands, Microsoft Word provides the user with inbuilt tools such as the spelling and grammar checker, thesaurus, undo and re-do, find and replace etc.

Block Operations

Selecting (highlighting) a block of text

  • The purpose of selecting text is to enable the user perform a number of editing or formatting operations on the selected block of text. Microsoft Word presents the user with a number of ways for selecting a block of text. You can either select a block of text using the mouse or keyboard.

Selecting with a mouse

  1. To select a word, place the insertion pointer on the word then, double Click it.
  2. To select a sentence, positions the mouse pointer at the left margin until it changes to a right arrow, and then click once.
  3. To select a paragraph, place the pointer at the beginning or end of the paragraph. Notice that the pointer changes to I-beam. Now drag the I-beam over the text to be selected and release the mouse button at the end of the text you wish to work on.

Selecting with the keyboard

  1. To select one word, move the insertion pointer to the beginning or End of the word then press Shift+Ctrl+Right or left arrow.
  2. To select one line, press Shift+Up or Shift+Down arrow key. Alternatively, move the insertion point to the end or beginning of The line then press Shift+Home or end keys respectively.
  3. To select an entire page; press Shift+Page Down or Shift+Page Up.
  4. To select the entire document, press Ctrl+A or place the cursor at the beginning of the document then press Shift+Ctrl+End.

Deleting text

  1. To delete a character or a word from the right to the left, place the insertion pointer on the right of the word then press the backspace key.
  2. To delete a character to the right of the cursor position, place the Insertion pointer on the left of the word then press the Delete key.

To delete a block of text

  1. Highlight the text to be deleted.
  2.  Press the Delete key.

Restoring deleted text

  • To restore text that has just been deleted in the current word processing session: click the Undo buttonon the quick access toolbar or press CTRL + Y on the keyboard

Copying and moving text and objects

  • Copying means creating a duplicate of text or an object while moving means changing the position of text or an object in a document. In Microsoft Word, you can copy or move a block of text.
  • To use copy and paste or cut and paste operations, word makes use of a temporary memory which is called clipboard. When you copy or cut a text then temporarily it stayed in clipboard. When you copy or cut a text then temporarily it stayed in clipboard and in second step you can paste this content at desired location.

To copy a block of text:

  1. Highlight the text,
  2. At second step, you have various options available to copy the selected text in clipboard. Just use any one of them which you like most:
    • Using Mouse Right Click: If right click on the selected text, it will display copy option, just click this option to copy the selected content in clipboard.
    • Using Ribbon Copy Button: After selecting a text, you can use copy button available at the ribbon to copy the selected content in clipboard.
    • Using Ctrl + C Keys: After selecting a text, just press Ctrl + C keys to copy the selected content in clipboard
      copying text
  3. Finally click at the place where you want to copy selected text and use either of these two simple options:
    • Using Ribbon Paste Button: Just click paste button available at the ribbon to paste the copied content at the desired location.
    • Using Ctrl + V Keys: This is simplest way of pasting the content. Just press Ctrl + V keys to paste the content at the new location

To move text and objects

  1. Highlight the text,
  2. At second step, you have various options available to cut the selected text and put it in clipboard. Just use any one of them which you like most:
    • Using Mouse Right Click: If right click on the selected text, it will display cut option, just click this option to cut the selected content and keep it in clipboard.
    • Using Ribbon Cut Button: After selecting a text, you can use cut button available at the ribbon to cut the selected content and keep it in clipboard.
    • Using Ctrl + X Keys: After selecting a text, just press Ctrl + x keys to cut the selected content and keep it in clipboard
  3. Finally click at the place where you want to move the selected text and use either of these two simple options:
    • Using Ribbon Paste Button: Just click paste button available at the ribbon to paste the content at the new location.
    • Using Ctrl + V Keys: This is simplest way of pasting the content. Just press Ctrl + v keys to paste the content at the new location.

Typing modes

  • There are two typing modes in a word processor that assist the user in typing or editing text documents. These are:
    1. Insert mode.
    2. Overtype/typeover mode.

Insert mode

  • This is the default mode in most word processors. In this case when text is inserted between words or characters it pushes the existing text away without replacing it.

Typeover mode.

  • In this case, when text is typed between existing words or characters, the new text automatically replaces the existing text by deleting it. To switch between typeover and insert mode, simply press the insert key on the keyboard or double click the OVR label on the status bar.

Find and Replace

  • When you need to search for a word or phrase in a large document, use the Find command. In case you wish to replace a word or phrase, use the Replace option.


  1. Click the Find option in the Editing group on the Home tab or press Ctrl + F to launch the Navigation pane shown in step 2
  2. Enter a word which you want to search in the search box, as soon as you finish typing, Word searches for the text you entered and displays the results in the navigation pane and highlight the word in the document as well as follows:
    navigation pane
  3. You can click clear button (X) to clear the search and results and perform another search.
  4. Finally if you are done with searching operation, you can click close button (X) to close the Navigation Pane.

NB: You can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+F to find.

Some search options: 

- You can specify search options by clicking the option button to display them. They include:

  1. Match case: This identifies only text that matches in case with that in the find what box e.g. it will not find the word DEEN if you typed deen and selected the match case option.
  2. Whole Word: Searches for a word or phrase that is whole. If it is part of another word it will not be found, e.g. the word ever will not be found in words like however, whenever etc. during the search.
  3. Use wildcards: Wildcards are special symbols such as * and ? That are used to represent a set of words with certain characters in common e.g. names like Jeff, Joe, Jane can be represented using a wildcard as J* which means all names starting with J.
  4. Like: Searches for words, which are similar in pronunciation e.g., fare and fair.

Replace command

  • Click the Replace option in the Editing group on the Home tab or press Ctrl + H to launch the Find and Replace dialog box shown in step 2 appears
  • Type a word which you want to search and a word which would like to replace with in the Find and Replace dialog box as follows:
    replace command
  • Click Replace button available on Find and Replace dialog box and you will see first occurrence of the searched word would be replaced with the replace with word. Clicking again on Replace button would replace next occurrence of the searched word. If you will click Replace All button then it would replace all the found words in one go. You can also use Find Next button just to search the next occurence and later you can use Replace button to replace the found word.
  • You can use More >> button available on the dialog box to use more options and to make your search more specific like case sensitive search or searching for whole word only etc.
  • Finally if you are done with finding and replacing operation, you can click Close (X) or Cancel button of the dialog box to close the box.


  • Proofreading refers to checking whether the document has typographical or grammar errors. Microsoft Word has tools for proofreading e.g. spelling and grammar checker, Thesaurus, Autocomplete and Autocorrect.

Spelling and grammar checker

  • The spelling and grammar checker is an inbuilt tool that helps the user to correct spelling errors and incorrect grammar structures. However, the checker can only recognise errors of those words whose correct spelling is in its dictionaries. A correctly spelt word used wrongly cannot be detected hence the document should be proofread just before and after printing.
  • Word is intelligent enough to identify misspelled or misused, as well as grammar errors and underlines them as follows.
    • A red underline beneath spelling errors.
    • A green underline beneath grammar errors.
    • A blue line under correctly spelled but misused words.
  • To check the accuracy of spelling and grammar:
    1. Click the Review tab and then click Spelling & Grammar button
    2. A Spelling and Grammar dialog box will appear and will display wrong spellings or grammar and correct suggestions as shown below:
      spelling checker
    3. Either choose one of the following buttons:
      1. Change to correct only the highlighted incorrect word.
      2. Change all to correct all the occurrences of the misspelled word.
      3. Ignore to retain the highlighted and continue. For example, although a word like jembe may not be in the custom dictionary, in the Kenyan context, the word is acceptable therefore if highlighted, click Ignore.
      4. Ignore all to retain all the occurrences of the same word or phrase in the document from another language e.g. a Kiswahili
      5. Click Add to add the word into the custom dictionary. In case you want to undo the changes made, click on the Undo button at the lower bottom of the spelling and grammar dialog box.
  • NB: You can close the spelling and grammar dialog box even if the process is not complete by choosing Close.
  • If you will click a right mouse button over a misspelled word then it would show you correct suggestions and above mentioned options to fix the spelling or grammar mistake

Using the thesaurus

  • This is an editing tool that helps the user find words or phrases with similar meaning (synonyms) or opposite meaning (antonyms) to the one selected.

To use the Thesaurus:

  1. Select a word or a phrase.
  2. Click the Review tab and then click Thesaurus
  3.  Word displays words with similar or opposite meanings.
  4. On the drop down arrow against each word, click insert to replace the selected word with the new word.

NB: You can also find the synonyms and antonyms by right clicking on the selected word and choosing synonyms on the menu that appears.


  • The auto complete feature displays a complete word when the user types the first few characters of the word.
  • This enables the user to type faster by simply accepting the suggested word if indeed he/she intend to type it.
  • To accept the suggestion, simply press the Enter key, and continue typing other word or phrases. 
  • The figure shows an auto text that automatically completes Thursday text entries


  • The auto correct feature automatically detects wrongly spelled or capitalised words and replaces them with the correct word. However, the settings of auto correct are user defined e.g. if a person keeps on typing the word certain as certain, set the auto correct feature to replace the later with the former.

To turn auto correct on/off

  1. Click the File tab in the top left.
  2. Click Options on the left.
  3. In the new window that opens, click Proofing, on the left.
  4. Click AutoCorrect Options, near the top of the right panel of that window. A new window will open.
  5. To turn on the spelling checker corrections, select the Replace text as you type check box, and then select the Automatically use suggestions from the spelling checker check box.
  6. To turn off the spelling checker corrections, click Automatically use suggestions from the spelling checker check Box at the bottom of the dialog box
  7. Click OK to close the dialog box.

Undo and redo

  • Undo: It reverses the last command that was issued in Order to revert back to the previous state. To undo, click the undo button on the quick access toolbar or use CTRL+Z shortcut on the keyoard.
  • Redo:  It does the last undone action. To redo, click the redo button on the quick access toolbar or use CTRL + Y shortcut on the keyboard.

Formatting a Document

  • Formatting refers to applying various styles or features to enhance the document's appearance. You can format text, a paragraph or a page.

Text Formatting

  • Text formatting refers to features such as changing fonts (type, style and size of characters), changing text color, underlining, bolding Italicising etc. You can use either the formatting tools bar or the Format menu to underline, bold, etc.

To format existing text using the format menu

  1. Highlight the text to be formatted
  2. Right click on the highlighted text and choose font. A dialog box with all Text formatting features is displayed
  3. To change font type and size, where necessary scroll down the Font list box then click the font required, for example Verdana font style would appears as Verdana. To increase the font size, where necessary, scroll down the Size list box and select the required size e.g. 12 points (pt). A point is 1/72 of an inch in height. 72 points i.e. 72/72 is equivalent to 1 inch For example "Verdana" is in Times New Roman 16 points and "Verdana" is in Verdana 16 points.
  4. Bolding text: Bolding makes the selected text appear darker than the rest of the text. To bold text:
    1. Activate the font dialog box.
    2. From the font dialog box, select Bold.
  5. Underline text: Underlining refers to placing a line at the base or bottom of a word or a phrase. To underline:
    1. Activate the font dialog box.
    2. Click the down arrow at the right of Underline style and select. The underline style required e.g. single, double, dashed etc.
  6. Italicising text: To italicise is to make the text slant forward.
    1. To italicise activate the font dialog box.
    2. Click Italic.
  7. Changing the font color: In most cases, the font default color is black. However you can change the font color for example to red, green, blue etc. To change the font color,
    1. Activate the font dialog box
    2. Click the down arrow at the right of font color list box and select the color of your choice.

Using formatting toolbar

  • The formatting toolbar lets the user easily format text by clicking the required format button. To format some text, highlight it first then click the home tab. Select a command on the toolbar.
  • For example to bold text, highlight it then click then bolding command (B) on the formatting toolbar.

formatting toolbar

Paragraph Formatting

Text alignment

  • Text alignment refers to how text is lined up on the page relative to the left, right or center of the page. There are four ways in which text can be aligned namely left aligned, centered, right aligned and justified.

aligning text

Left alignment

  • Lines of text are lined up evenly along the left margin but unevenly at The right margin.
  • This is the default alignment.

To align left,

  1. Highlight your text.
  2. Simply click the left alignment button. Alternatively click format, Paragraph. And select left from the alignment list box as shown in Figure 1.20.
  3. Click OK. To apply the choice.

Right alignment

  • This is opposite of left alignment. Lines of text are lined up evenly along the right margin but unevenly at the left margin.

To align right,

  1. Highlight your text
  2. Simply click the right alignment button. Alternatively click Format, Paragraph. select Right from alignment list box, then click OK..

Center alignment

  • The lines of text are centered unevenly between the left and right margins.

To center text,

  1. Highlight your text,
  2. Simply click the Center, button. Alternatively click format, paragraph, select centered from alignment list box, then click OK.


  • Lines of text are arranged evenly along the left and right margin.

To justify text,

  1. Highlight your text
  2.  Simply click the Justify alignment button. Alternatively click Format, paragraph, select Justify from Alignment list box, then click OK.

Change case

  • When typing a text, there are a number of cases the user may intend to apply in order to create contrast within the text. These are:
    1. Sentence case: All the first characters in a sentence are in uppercase (Capitalised).
    2. Lowercase: All characters appear in lowercase.
    3. Uppercase: All characters appear in uppercase.
    4. Title case: All the first characters of each word in a sentence appear in uppercase.
    5. Toggle case: It changes upper cases to lowercases and vice versa.

change case

To change case in an existing text;

  1. Highlight the text.
  2. Click the Change Case button
  3. From drop down list, select the case type to be applied.
  4. Click OK.

Drop caps

  • There are times when you wish to attract the reader's attention by making the first character in a sentence large, taking more space in the next line. Such kind of a character is said to be "dropped". an example is shown in the snip below

dropped example

To apply drop cap;

  1. Highlight the first character in the sentence
  2. From the Insert Tab, click Drop Cap. A drop down menu appears. Select Drop cap options to open the drop cap dialog box
  3. Select font in case you wish to apply a certain font to the drop capped
  4. Specify the number of lines to drop.
  5. Click OK

drop cap dialog
Drop cap dialog box

Indenting paragraphs

  • Indentation refers to moving the text away from the margin. You can indent the first sentence in a paragraph (first line), the whole paragraph (full indent) or the rest of the text except the first line (hanging indentations).

First line indent

  1. Select the paragraph to be indented
  2. Click the Paragraph Dialog Box Launcher available on Home tab. Paragraph properties dialog box appears
  3. Click the down arrow in the list box under Special and select First Line.
  4. Specify by how far the paragraph is to be indented from the margin In the by text box
  5. Click OK to apply the indent and close the dialog box. The paragraph will be indented

NB: You can also indent the first line by positioning the cursor at the beginning of the paragraph then press the Tab key.

Hanging Indent

  1. Select the paragraph to be indented
  2. Click the Paragraph Dialog Box Launcher available on Home tab. Paragraph properties dialog box appears
  3. Click the down arrow in the list box under Special and select Hanging.
  4. Specify by how far the paragraph is to be indented from the margin In the by text box
  5. Click OK to apply the indent and close the dialog box. The paragraph will be indented

Full indent

  1. Select the paragraph to be indented or position the cursor anywhere in the paragraph
  2. From the home tab, click the Increase or Decrease indent Button or simply press CTRL+M to increase indent and CTRL+SHIFT+M to decrease indent.

Setting tabs

  • Tabs are used to indent the first line of a paragraph or create columnar data. By default the tab stop is set at 0.5 of an inch.

To change the default setting:

  1. Click the Paragraph Dialog Box Launcher available on Home tab. Paragraph properties dialog box appears
  2. On the paragraph dialog box click Tabs
  3. Enter a new value for tab stop in the Tab stop Position box.
  4. Choose the type of tab either left, center or right.
  5. If need be specify the Tab leader option
  6. Click the Set button then OK.

Setting tabs using the ruler

  • The easiest way to set tabs is by using the ruler. On the left corner of the horizontal ruler is a tab alignment button that lets the user select the type of tab. The figure below illustrates the tab alignment button while table 1.1 gives an explanation of each alignment button.
    tab button

To set the tab using the ruler;

  1. Click on the tab button to choose the required tab type. Notice that the tab type keeps on changing as you click the tab button.
  2. Set the tab stop by clicking where you want it to be on the ruler.
  3. Drag the tab stop
Button Name Purpose
left tab Left tab Text is left aligned
 centre tab Center tab Text is centered
bar tab Bar tab Inserts a vertical line at
Tab stop and align text to
The right of the line
 decimal tab Decimal tab  Text is aligned at decimal
 right tab Right tab Text is right aligned

Table 1.1 Examples of tabs

Line and character spacing

  • Line spacing refers to the vertical distance between lines of text. The default line spacing is single spacing. This type of spacing accommodates the characters in a text leaving a small extra space between lines. Character spacing on the other hand refers to the space between the characters in the text.

To change line spacing:

  1. Highlight the text,
  2. Click the Paragraph Dialog Box Launcher available on Home tab. Paragraph properties dialog box appears
  3. Click the down arrow from the Line Spacing list box and select the Type of spacing required e.g. double, 1.5, at least etc.
  4. Click OK to effect the changes.

To change character spacing:

  1. Highlight the text
  2. Click the Font Dialog Box Launcher available on Home tab. Font properties dialog box appears
  3. Click the Advanced button
  4. Under character spacing, adjust the spacing as required
  5. Click OK.

Bullets and numbering

  • Bullets and numbers are used to mark steps in a procedure or items in a list.

To apply bullets and numbers in a list:

  1. Select the list.
  2. Click the Bullet Button triangle to display a list of bullets you want to assign to the list. You can select any of the bullet style available by simply clicking over it.
  3. If you are willing to create a list with numbers then click the Numbering Button triangle instead of bullet button to display a list of numbers you want to assign to the list. You can select any of the numbering style available by simply clicking over it.

To create numbered list as you type.

  1. Type 1, fullstop (.) and then either press the SPACEBAR or press TAB key, and then type the rest of what you want in the first item of the numbered list.
  2. When you are done with typing, press Enter to add the item in the list automatically and go to add next item in the list.
  3. Repeat Step 2 for each list item.

To create bulleted list as you type.

  1. Type *, and then either press the SPACEBAR or press TAB key, and then type the rest of what you want in the first item of the bulleted list. 
  2. When you are done with typing, press Enter to add the item in the list automatically and go to add next item in the list.
  3. Repeat Step 2 for each list item

Section breaks

  • A break is used to identify where a section, a column or a page ends and the beginning of next. This allows the user to apply more than one paragraph or page format in the same document especially when it comes to page layout, size, different margins etc.

To insert a section break

  1. Position the text cursor in the document where the break is to be inserted.
  2.  Click the breaks button from the page Layout Tab.
  3. From the Drop down list, select the type of section break to insert e.g. page break.

Formatting Pages

Inserting page breaks

  • A page break identifies the end of one page and the beginning of the next. 
  • Word automatically inserts a new page after the current one is full. However, there may be a need to start a new page even if the current one is not full.

To insert page breaks

  1. Position the pointer where the break is to be inserted.
  2. From the Insert Tab, click on the page break button.


  1.  Click the breaks button from the page Layout Tab.
  2. From the Drop down list, select page break.


Creating columns

To, create columns on existing text:

  1. Highlight the text
  2. From Page Layout Tab, click Columns.
  3. From the drop down list, select the number of columns.
  4. If you need more than three columns, select more columns which will launch the Column dialog box. You can then type the number of columns you need in the Number of columns text box
  5. In the Width and spacing boxes, specify the column widths and space between columns
  6. Click OK

Page setup

  • Page setup options let the user specify the size of the margins, paper size, paper source and layout.

Setting margins

  • Margins are blank spaces around the edges of the page. Only text and objects inside the margins are printable.

To set up margins:

  1. From Page Layout Tab, click Margins Button.
  2. From the drop down list, select the margins you want.
  3. You can customize your margin by selecting the custom margin option which will launch the page setup dialog box
  4. Enter the values for the left, right, top and bottom margins in the respective boxes.
  5. Click OK.

Setting the paper size

  • By default, the paper size may be either Letter or A4. An A4 paper has dimensions 210 mm x 297 mm

To specify a different paper size

  1. From Page Layout Tab, click the Size Button.
  2. From the drop down list, select the paper size you want.
  3. You can customize your paper size by selecting the more paper sizes option which will launch the page setup dialog box
  4. Enter the dimensions in the height and width boxes.
  5. Click OK.

Specifying page orientation

  • The term page orientation refers to the positioning of the page in relation to the text.
  • The two available orientations are:
    • Portrait: text and graphics are printed with the longest side vertically upright. For example, on an A4 piece of paper, the 210 mm edges are at the bottom and top.
    • Landscape: With landscape, text and graphical objects are placed with the longest side of the page placed horizontally and the lines of text printed parallel. For example, to create a timetable on an A4 page, the 297 mm side should be horizontal.

To select the orientation:

  1. From Page Layout Tab, click the Orientation Button.
  2. From the drop down list, select the orientation you want.

Page layout

  • This option lets the user specify how text will be placed on the page from the margins. By default, text starts from the top margin.

To change the layout

  1. From the Page Layout tab choose Page setup dialog box launcher. The page setup dialog box Appears.
  2. Click on the Layout tab.
  3. From the Vertical alignment tab, select the alignment required then click OK.

Inserting headers and footers

  • Headers, footers and page numbers make it easy to locate information. Headers are few words placed at the top of every page while footers appear at the bottom.

To insert headers and footers:

  1. From the Insert Tab, click on the Header or Footer button
  2. From the drop down list, select the type of header you wish to insert.
  3. The contextual tab appears for you to customise your header or footer
  4. Edit the header to your preference and click close header and footer from the contextual tab

Inserting page numbers

- To give your document page numbers

  1. From the Insert menu, click Page number button.
  2. From the drop down list select the position you wish to insert the page numbers
  3. You can also choose the format page numbers option to change the number format, i.e. 1,2,3,..., A,B, C etc. or select the page number to start from from using the start at box

Creating and Editing Tables

Creating Tables

  • A table is a feature in Microsoft Word made up of rows and columns that is used to organise and enhance display of information.

Creating a new table

  • You can create a table either by using the Insert Table command from tables menu, or by using Draw Table tool that resembles a pencil to create more complex tables.

To create a table using the insert table command;

  1. From the Insert Tab, click on the Table button. 
  2.  From the drop down list, select the insert Table option
  3.  In the Insert table dialog box displayed, specify the number of rows and columns.
  4. Click OK. The table will be displayed on the screen and you can start entering data in it.

NB: You can insert a table by clicking the table button on the insert tab, then drag to select the number of rows and columns.

To create a table using the drawing tool:

  1. From the Insert Tab, Click on the tables button, then click the Draw table button from the drop down list. The mouse pointer changes to a pencil symbol
  2. Drag the pointer to draw the outline of the table
  3. Fill in the table with rows and columns by dragging the pointer as you would draw using an ordinary pencil.

Formatting and Editing a Table

Inserting rows and columns

- To insert a row:

  1. Click a row where you want to add an additional row and then click Layout tab
  2. Now use Row & Column group of buttons to add any row below or above to the selected row. If you click Insert Below button, it will add a row just below the selected row
  3. If you click Insert Above button, it will add a row just above the selected row.


  1. Place the cursor where you want to insert a row
  2. Right click, point Insert then click Row above or Row below.

- To insert a column:

  1. Click a column where you want to add an additional column and then click Layout tab
  2. Now use Row & Column group of buttons to add any column left or right to the selected column. If you click Insert Left button, it will add a column just left to the selected column.
  3. If you click Insert Right button, it will add a column just right to the selected column.


  1. Place the cursor where you want to insert a column
  2. Right click, point Insert then click Column to left then Column to the Right.

Adjusting the column width:

  1. Position the mouse pointer on the row or column boundary until the mouse pointer changes to an arrowed cross.
  2. Drag the boundary to the required size.

Deleting rows, column or cells

  1. Select the rows, columns or cells to be deleted.
  2. Click Layout tab
  3. Under the Delete Button, select either delete, cells, columns or rowsto delete the selected cell, column or row respectively

Merging cells in a table

- This refers to combining more than one cell in a table.

To merge cells:

  1. Select cells to be merged
  2. Right click and then click Merge cells.

Splitting cells in a table

- This refers to subdividing a cell or cells into more cells.

To split cells:

  1. Select cells to be split
  2. Right click then click Split cells. A dialog box appears that lets you specify the number of rows and columns that the selected cells will be split.

Formatting table borders and shading

  • Word provides the user with automatic formatting feature that lets you choose border styles and shading.

To format a table:

  1. Select the table. To select a table, click over the table anywhere which will make Cross Icon visible at the top-left corner of the table. Just click this cross icon to select the table.
  2. From Layout Tab, click Properties Button.
  3.  From the dialog box that appears select borders and shading
  4. Select your preffered borders and shading
  5. Click Ok to apply the effects.


  1. Select the table. 
  2. From Design Tab, click either borders or shading button
  3. Select your preferred borders or shading from the respective drop down lists.

Table Conversions

  • With convert feature in Microsoft Word, you can convert a table to lines of text and vice versa.

To convert a table to text

  1. Select the entire table or row and columns you want to convert to text.
  2. From contextual Layout tab, click on the Convert to text button. A dialog box is displayed that requires you to specify how the text will be separated after conversion
  3. In the separate text with box enter or select the character to be used as a separator.
  4. Click ok

To convert text to table:

  1. Select the text that you want to convert to a table.
  2. From the insert menu, click on the table button.
  3. From the drop down list select Convert text to table. A dialog box is displayed that requires you to specify the number of rows and of columns
  4. From Separate text at, specify whether the table will be defined by paragraphs, commas, Tabs or other characters.
  5. Click OK.

Performing arithmetic calculations in a table

  • It is possible to perform mathematical calculations such as sum, product and count, if a table has numerical figures.

To perform calculations:

  1. Click the cell in which you want the result to be placed.
  2. From the Contextual layout tab, click Formula. A formula dialog box is displayed. 
  3. If Ms-Word proposes a formula that you do not want to use, delete it from the Formula box, making sure that you don’t delete the equal sign
  4. In the Paste function box, click a function. A Function is a mathematical formula that accomplishes calculations in a table. E.g., to add numbers, click SUM
  5. To refer to the contents of a cell in the formula, type the cell references in the parentheses. Use a Comma to separate references to individual cells, or a Colon to separate the first & the last cells in a selected range.
    • To add the numbers in cells A1, A3 & C2, type: =SUM(a1, a3,c2)
    • To find the average of values in cells A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 & C2, type: =Average(a1:c2)
  6. In the Number format box, enter a format for the numbers, e.g., to display the numbers as a decimal percentage, click 0.00%.
  7. Click the OK button..


  • In Microsoft Word you can sort a list of text, numbers and dates in ascending or descending order.

To sort a list or table:

  1. Highlight the text list or table you want to sort.
  2. From the Contextual Layout Tab, click Sort.
  3. Select the type of data to be used when sorting i.e. Text, Number or Date.
  4. Click either Ascending or decending
  5. Click OK.

Mail Merge Document

  • Mail merge is the process of generating personalised letters or documents by combining a main document, e.g. a letter, with an existing data source such as the address book.
  • Therefore in mail merge, the three files created are:
    1. The primary file (main document)
    2. The secondary file (Data source)
    3. Merged file

To Create the Main Document,

  1. Open an existing Word document, or create a new one.
  2. From the Mailings tab, click the Start Mail Merge command and select Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard from the drop-down menu.
    The Mail Merge pane appears and will guide you through the six main steps to complete a merge. The following example demonstrates how to create a form letter and merge the letter with a recipient list.
    1. Choose the type of document you want to create. In our example, we'll select Letters. Then click Next: Starting document to move to Step 2
    2. Select Use the current document, then click Next: Select recipients to move to Step 3.
    3. Now you'll need an address list so Word can automatically place each address into the document. The list can be in an existing file, such as an Excel workbook, or you can type a new address list from within the Mail Merge Wizard.
      - From the Mail Merge task pane, select Use an existing list, then click Browse... to select the file.
      - Locate your file and click Open.
      - If the address list is in an Excel workbook, select the worksheet that contains the list and click OK.
      - In the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, you can check or uncheck each box to control which recipients are included in the merge. By default, all recipients should be selected. When you're done, click OK.
      - From the Mail Merge task pane, click Next: Write your letter to move to Step 4. If you don't have an existing address list, you can click the Type a new list button and click Create. You can then type your address list.
    4. Now you're ready to write your letter. When it's printed, each copy of the letter will basically be the same; only the recipient data (such as the name and address) will be different. You'll need to add placeholders for the recipient data so Mail Merge knows exactly where to add the data. To insert recipient data
      - Place the insertion point in the document where you want the information to appear.
      - Choose one of the four placeholder options: Address block, Greeting line, Electronic postage, or More items.
      - Depending on your selection, a dialog box may appear with various options. Select the desired options and click OK.
      - A placeholder will appear in your document (for example, «AddressBlock»).
      - Repeat these steps each time you need to enter information from your data record. In our example, we'll add a Greeting line.
      - When you're done, click Next: Preview your letters to move to Step 5.
      NB: For some letters, you'll only need to add an Address block and Greeting line. Sometimes, however, you may want to place recipient data within the body of the letter to personalize it even further
    5. Preview the letters to make sure the information from the recipient list appears correctly in the letter. You can use the left and right scroll arrows to view each document.
      - Click Next: Complete the merge to move to Step 6.
    6. - Click Print... to print the letters
      - A dialog box will appear. Click All, then click OK.
      - The Print dialog box will appear. Adjust the print settings if needed, then click OK. The letters will be printed.

Inserting Graphics

Working with Graphics

  • The term graphics refers to non-text images generated by a compute! This includes photographs, drawings and graphs. Graphics present information in a form that is easy to understand.
  • You can insert a graphical object from Microsoft Clip Gallery, a scanner or by using drawing tools available in Microsoft Word.

Inserting an image from a scanner

  • The computer must be connected to a scanner to complete this procedure. A scanner is a data capture device that transforms a hand copy or real graphical object into digital form.

To scan an object:

  1. Position the insertion pointer where you want your picture to appear,
  2. From the insert tab, point to Picture and then click from scanner or Camera.
  3. To scan, follow the instructions that come with your scanner.
  4. When the image appears on the screen you can edit and format it as required the same way you would with a clipart.

Inserting a picture from another file

  1. Position the insertion pointer where you want your picture placed,
  2. From the insert tab, point to Picture, then click "From file
  3. Locate the file that contain the image you want to insert eg from your floppy disk, from a compact disk etc.
  4. Select the object you want to insert
  5. Then click the Insert button.
  6. When the image appears on the screen you can edit and format it as required the same way you would with a clipart.

Editing and Formatting Pictures

To format or edit a picture:

  • Microsoft Word provides the user with a picture editing toolbar that lets you adjust the brightness, contrast, change it to black and white or grayscale and crop the image.
  • Cropping refers to hiding the unwanted details so that they do not come out when printing.
  • To display the picture toolbar, click on View menu, point to toolbars then select Picture.
  • The picture toolbar has buttons that enable a person to format a picture to format a picture, click it to select it then use the commands on the picture toolbar.

Drawing an object using MS Word drawing tools

  • Microsoft Word provides the user with basic drawing tools such as polygons, lines, a circle, stars and banners, call outs and many others. If the drawings toolbar is not displayed, click on View menu, toolbars then click on Drawing. The toolbar will be displayed which a button has labeled Auto shapes, an arrow, a line, square and a circle

To draw a line, a circle an arrow or a rectangle:

  1. Click on the appropriate shape button. The pointer changes to a plus sign.
  2. Place the pointer where you want to draw that shape and drag to the required size.

To draw an object using the Auto shapes:

  1. Click the Auto shapes button. A menu is displayed showing categories of shapes you can choose from
  2. Point to the category required then select the type of object you wish to draw
  3. Place the pointer where you want to draw that shape and drag to the required size.

Editing and formatting a drawn object

  • You can resize, move, fill color and change the drawing outline.

To resize or move a drawing.

  1. Click anywhere inside it. The place holders appear.
  2. To move it, hold down the mouse button and drag.
  3. To resize it, place the pointer at one of the place holders and drag.

To fill the object with color and fill effects:

  1. Click the object. The place holders appear.
  2. Click the down arrow of fill color button, the one that looks like a bucket pouring ink.
  3. Select the color you want applied. To fill the drawing with texture, gradient or pattern, click the Effects button. From the resulting dialog box, select the appropriate fill effect.

Printing a Document

Printing in Microsoft Word

  • Because the main purpose of any word processor is to prepare documents for printing, this cannot be accomplished without a printer. The choice of a printer depends on the quality of hardcopy desired. Before you print, it is very important that you preview you document to confirm that no details are outside the printable area and that the document layout is okay.

To print:

  1. Click the File tab and then Print option which will display a preview of the document in the right column. You can scroll up or scroll down your document to walk through the document using given Scrollbar. Middle column gives various options to be set before your send your document to the printer.
  2. You can set various other printing options available. Select from among the following options, depending on your preferences
  3. Once you are done with your setting, click on Print button which will send your document to the printer for final printing.
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