Power User Preview

The goals in Word are that when you begin a new document, as much of your work as possible should already be completed, and the work that remains should be as automated as possible. These goals are achieved by creating customized templates for each type of document or project you create. So you might have a memo template, a report template and a letterhead template, but you should also have a template for the specific types of memos, letters and reports you create, so that each type of document is as complete as possible from the moment you begin your document.

Templates are the foundation for working productively in Word, as they act as both a blueprint for a new document and as a workspace in which to create the document.

It is helpful to have a "big picture" of what it looks like to work as a Word "power user."

  • Start a new document using the File → New command, rather than the default New document button. The New Document task pane appears. Select a template on which the new document will be based. You can select recently used templates in the New Document task pane, or click the On my computer link. Choose a template in the Templates dialog box and click OK.
  • The template is copied as a basis for the new document. The template thus provides the initial layout and text for the new document. Any text that is part of the template, and therefore becomes part of the new document, is called "boilerplate" text.
  • Additional content is entered into the document using AutoText. AutoText provides the opportunity for you to type a short abbreviation or phrase and expand it into a larger chunk of content. AutoText is stored in templates as well.
  • Formatting is made easy through the use of styles. A style is a collection of formats that can be applied as a unit and updated easily.
  • Text is aligned using tables.
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