10 Easy Tips: Improve Microsoft Word 2010 Documents

Students in the Globe University-La Crosse computer literacy classes are quickly becoming skilled in creating well-formatted, eye-appealing, and professional Microsoft Word 2010 documents. Medical assistant program students Erin and Audrey, along with Keisha-Lynn, business administration degree student, provide their 10 easy tips to improve Word 2010 documents:

Microsoft Word 2010 tips

Globe University-La Crosse students share 10 easy tips to improve Microsoft Word 2010 documents.

1. Make Images Eye-Appealing with Text Wrapping:

Don’t just drop images into a Word document and expect them to look presentable. Use the wrap text function to format the image and better incorporate it into the document. Try a few different options until you find one that best fits your document. When you have an image highlighted, make sure you’re in the “Format” tab. Then select the “Wrap Text” button. Test out a few options and select the best for your document. And most importantly, make sure you have well-written content to wrap around the image.

2. Modify Margins and Reduce Document Length:

Sometimes you end up with too much or too little space on your document. You can adjust that by changing the margin size. Simply click on the “Page Layout” tab and click the “Margins” button.  Select the Narrow” option or use the “Custom Margins” function to widen your page margins and allow more text on your page. This will fit your text on fewer pages by reducing the margins on your document. Note: You can also increase or reduce the amount of space used on a page by changing the font, but you always want to make sure your copy is legible and not too crowded. When in doubt, edit your copy to add or reduce words. Microsoft Word offers additional tips and tricks for copy fitting.

3. Save Time with Templates: Add a template to change the design of your document. Find templates by clicking the “File” menu, select  “New,” and from there select the template appropriate for your document. You can also use the search Office.com search bar for specific document types.

4. Brighten Up Your Document with Color Styles and Enhanced Text: To modify the color style of your document, first highlight the areas you would like changed.  Then, while on the “Home” tab, click the “Change Styles” button to choose a set of colors to apply to the document to capture your reader’s attention with different colors. You can also dress up your text using the “enhanced text” feature. Just highlight the text you want to enhance. Go to the “home” tab on the top of the page and then in the “font” group on the left, click on what looks like a blue and white block letter A. That’s the Text Effects and Typography button. You will find a dropdown list of effect options. You can hover over any of them to get a preview. You will also find options for outlines, shadows, reflections and glow effects. This feature is especially effective for making headlines and titles stand out.

You can also dress up your text using the “enhanced text” feature. Just highlight the text you want to enhance. Go to the “home” tab on the top of the page and then in the “font” group on the left, click on what looks like a blue and white block letter A. That’s the Text Effects and Typography button. You will find a dropdown list of effect options. You can hover over any of them to get a preview. You will also find options for outlines, shadows, reflections and glow effects. This feature is especially effective for making headlines and titles stand out.

5.  Creating Tables in Your Document:  Organize data and information for your readers with a table. Start by clicking on the “Insert” tab. Select the “Table” button underneath the insert tab.  You can then choose the dimensions of the table you would like to add.  It will then automatically be inserted into your document and ready for your data.

6.  Add Professionalism with a Cover Page:  Microsoft Word has pre-built cover pages that allow you to choose the style that best fits your document.  To insert a cover page, click on the “Insert” tab and then “Cover Pages.”  In this area you will find the pre-built cover pages that you can edit.  A cover page will make your document look more professional and organized.

7.  Organize Documents with Page Numbers: Page numbers allow readers, and you, to track your pages if you are creating a lengthy document.  To insert page numbers, you must first click on the “Insert” tab, then select the “Page Number” button. From there you can chose where on the pages you’d like to insert the numbers. You can also format the numbers. Microsoft Word 2010 has customized styles of page numbers giving you the option to choose the best style for your document.

8.  Use Clip Art to Bring Life to Your Document: Clip art is a fun way to bring character to your document while illustrating your document’s content.  To insert clip art, select the “Insert” tab.  Click on the “Clip Art” button and from there Microsoft Word has a search option and a gallery of pictures for your document.  The clip art option through Microsoft Word is great because it gives you a variety of picture options to add some life to your document.

There is also a number of ways you can enhance and edit photos to create visually compelling documents in Word 2010.

9. Start Things with a Header: Headers let your reader know what to expect.First, click on the “Insert” tab and then select the “Header” button and choose a design from the gallery. After selecting the desired header and adding it into your document, you can then edit it and customize it with your own information.

10. Organize with a Bulleted List: Bullets organize lists and are easy to read. To insert a bullet for a bulleted list, make sure you’re in the “Home” tab and click the bullet button (the button with 3 dots beside 3 lines). To change the style of your bullets, click on the arrow to the right of the bullet button to choose a different style. You can also select “Define New Bullet…” to align the bulleted list and customize your bullets with a different character or image.

For more helpful tips on using Microsoft Word 2010 check out these video demonstrations from Microsoft Office. And be sure to read our post on Technology You Should Master Before Starting College.