Word has at all times been the workhorse app of the Microsoft Office suite. Nearly everybody who makes use of Office finally ends up utilizing Word in some unspecified time in the future, whether or not it’s for writing memos, typing up agendas, creating studies, crafting enterprise correspondence or any of a thousand different makes use of.Microsoft sells Office underneath two fashions: Individuals and companies pays for the software program license up entrance and personal it endlessly (what the corporate calls the “perpetual” model of the suite), or they will buy a Microsoft 365 or Office 365 subscription, which suggests they’ve entry to the software program for under so long as they maintain paying the subscription charge.When you buy a perpetual model of the suite — say, Office 2019 or Office 2021 — its functions won’t ever get new options, whereas apps within the “365” subscriptions are frequently up to date with new options. For extra particulars, see our comparability of the 2 Office fashions.This cheat sheet will get you in control on the options which were launched in Microsoft 365’s Word for Windows desktop consumer since 2015. We’ll periodically replace this story as new options roll out. (If you’re utilizing the perpetual-license Word 2016 or 2019, see our separate Word 2016 and 2019 cheat sheet. We’ll be updating that story for Word 2021 quickly, however within the meantime, take a look at “What’s new in Office 2021?”)Use the RibbonThe Ribbon interface is alive and properly within the present model of Word. Since it has been included in Office functions since Office 2007, you’re in all probability acquainted with the way it works, however in case you want a refresher, see our Word 2010 cheat sheet.In September 2018, Microsoft overhauled the way in which the Ribbon seems to be, and the corporate has continued to tinker with the design since then. It’s now flatter-looking, cleaner, and fewer cluttered, and it has high-contrast colours, which makes the icons and textual content on the Ribbon simpler to see. Some time after Microsoft launched Windows 11, the corporate once more gave the Ribbon (and Office general) a slight facelift, so it extra intently aligns with that new model of Windows. But it nonetheless works in the identical approach, and also you’ll discover a lot of the instructions in the identical places as in earlier variations. IDG
Through the years, Word’s Ribbon has gotten a wide range of beauty modifications, however it nonetheless works largely the way in which it at all times has. (Click picture to enlarge it.)
The new look seems in each Windows 10 and Windows 11, however relying in your set up, it might or might not present up by default. You can verify by clicking the icon of a megaphone close to the highest proper of the display screen above the Ribbon. In the Coming Soon display screen that seems, take a look at the “Try the new experience” slider. If it’s “On,” it probably means you’re utilizing the brand new interface. If it’s “Off” and also you’d like to show it on, transfer the slider to “On” and restart Word. That ought to activate the brand new look. However, in my assessments, altering forwards and backwards was typically flaky, particularly on PCs working Windows 11. To discover out which instructions stay on which tabs on the Ribbon, obtain our Word for Microsoft 365 Ribbon fast reference. Also word that you need to use the search field above the Ribbon to search out instructions. Just as in earlier variations of Word, to make the instructions beneath the tabs on the Ribbon go away, press Ctrl-F1. (Note that the Ribbon tabs — File, Home, Insert, and so forth — keep seen.) To make the instructions seem once more, press Ctrl-F1. You may also make the instructions on the Ribbon go away by clicking the identify of the tab you’re at present on. To make the instructions reappear, click on any tab.You’ve bought different choices for displaying the Ribbon as properly. To get to them, first make sure that the instructions beneath the tabs are displayed on the Ribbon. Then click on the Ribbon show choices icon (a down arrow) on the far proper of the pane that shows the instructions. A drop-down menu seems with these three choices within the Show Ribbon part:
Full-screen mode: This hides your entire Ribbon, each the tabs and instructions beneath them. You could make the Ribbon and tabs seem by clicking on the high of Word. That solely makes them seem quickly, to be able to select a characteristic or possibility from the Ribbon. Once you begin typing within the doc, the Ribbon and tabs disappear. To make them seen even while you’re typing, click on on the high of Word to show the Ribbon and tabs, click on the Ribbon show choices icon, and select one of many following two choices.
Show tabs solely: This exhibits the tabs however hides the instructions beneath them. To show the instructions beneath the tabs once they’re hidden, click on any tab, click on the Ribbon show choices icon, and select Always present Ribbon.
Always present Ribbon: Selecting this exhibits each the tabs and the instructions.
A fourth possibility that seems while you click on the Ribbon show choices icon is Show Quick Access toolbar. This shows the Quick Access Toolbar, which may give you quick entry to a wide range of Word options, like New, Save, Print, Draw Table, and plenty of others. When you allow the toolbar, it begins off empty. To populate it, click on a small down arrow that seems on the proper of the toolbar and select which options to placed on it.To customise the title bar above the Ribbon, choose File > Options > General. In the “Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office” part, click on the down arrow subsequent to Office Theme and choose Dark Gray, Black, or White from the drop-down menu. To make the title bar blue once more, select the Colorful possibility from the drop-down record. Just above the Office Theme menu is an Office Background drop-down menu — right here you possibly can select to show a sample akin to a circuit board within the title bar. There’s a helpful characteristic in what Microsoft calls the backstage space that seems while you click on File on the Ribbon: If you click on Open, Save a Copy, or Save As from the menu on the left, you possibly can see the cloud-based companies you have related to your Office account, akin to ShareLevel and OneDrive. Each location now shows its related e-mail tackle beneath it. This is sort of useful in case you use a cloud service with multiple account, akin to in case you have one OneDrive account for private use and one other one for enterprise. You’ll be capable of see at a look which is which. IDG
Select Add a Place on the left so as to add a brand new cloud storage service for Word. (Click picture to enlarge it.)
Possibly within the works: A simplified RibbonMicrosoft has been working for a while a simplified model of the Ribbon for all Office functions. Like the prevailing Ribbon, it would have tabs throughout the highest, and every tab can have instructions on it. But it’s extra streamlined and makes use of much less area than the prevailing Ribbon.For now, Outlook for Windows is the one Microsoft 365 desktop app that makes use of the simplified Ribbon. However, you will get a preview of what it would appear to be in Word by going to the web model of Word. Click the Ribbon Layout icon (a down arrow) on the far proper of the Ribbon and select Simplified Ribbon to make use of it. To revert to the bigger, older model of the Ribbon, as an alternative choose Classic Ribbon. Microsoft has made the simplified Ribbon the default within the on-line model of Word, so you might not have to do something to show it. IDG
A cleaner, less complicated Ribbon shall be out there in Word in some unspecified time in the future, however if you wish to strive it now, head to the web model of Word, pictured right here. (Click picture to enlarge it.)
In the simplified Ribbon, all of the instructions are nonetheless there for every tab, however solely essentially the most generally used are seen. Click the three-dot icon on the far proper finish of the Ribbon to indicate the remainder of the instructions in a drop-down menu. In the Outlook desktop consumer, you possibly can toggle between the streamlined and conventional Ribbon by clicking a small down arrow icon on the proper fringe of the Ribbon. We assume it will work the identical approach in Word, however at this level we have now no particulars. We’ll replace this part when the simplified Ribbon rolls out to Word for Windows. It could also be a while earlier than that occurs, although, as a result of the simplified model has been within the works for years and nonetheless hasn’t made an look within the desktop app.Collaborate in actual timeThe largest characteristic that’s been launched in Word for Microsoft 365 subscribers since 2015 is real-time collaboration. It lets individuals work on paperwork collectively from wherever on this planet with an web connection, a characteristic that Google Docs has lengthy had. Microsoft calls this “co-authoring.”There are solely three necessities for collaboration in Word for Microsoft 365: You should be logged into your Microsoft or Office 365 account; the doc should be saved in OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or ShareLevel Online; and AutoSave should be turned on.To share a doc so you possibly can collaborate on it with others: first open it, then click on the Share button within the upper-right a part of the display screen. If you haven’t but saved your file in OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or ShareLevel Online, you’ll be prompted to take action.Clicking the Share button pops up the “Send link” window. Here you possibly can ship an e-mail with a hyperlink the place others can entry the doc. IDG
Sharing a doc by way of the “Send link” pane. (Click picture to enlarge it.)
First, determine whether or not anybody with a hyperlink can edit the doc, or solely these whose e-mail addresses you enter. If you see the textual content “Anyone with the link can edit” close to the highest of the pane, you possibly can change that by clicking it, then selecting Specific individuals on the display screen that seems. Similarly, if “Specific people” seems above the e-mail addresses, you possibly can change that by clicking it, then selecting Anyone with the hyperlink can edit from the display screen that seems. IDG
You can fine-tune entry and enhancing permissions to your doc right here. (Click picture to enlarge it.)
On this second display screen you can even uncheck the Allow enhancing field to set the doc to read-only for everyone. You may also set an expiration date after which individuals gained’t be capable of entry the file. And you possibly can set a password in order that solely individuals who have the password can entry it. (If you utilize a enterprise, enterprise, or training version of Office, you will have barely completely different sharing permissions and choices arrange by your IT division, akin to an possibility to permit anybody inside your group to edit the doc.)Back in the principle “Send link” window, enter the recipients’ e-mail addresses (as you kind, Word will recommend individuals out of your tackle e-book whom you possibly can choose), optionally kind in a message, and click on Send. An e-mail is distributed to all of the recipients with a hyperlink they will click on to open the doc.(If you’d reasonably ship recipients a replica of the file as a Word doc or PDF reasonably than a hyperlink, and thus not enable real-time collaboration, click on Send a replica on the backside of the “Send link” display screen.)There’s one other option to share a file saved in a private OneDrive for collaboration: At the underside of the “Send link” window, pane, click on Copy hyperlink. When you do this, you possibly can copy the hyperlink and ship it to somebody your self by way of e-mail. Note that you’ve got the identical choices for permitting enhancing, not permitting enhancing, and so forth as you do in case you have Word ship the hyperlink immediately for you. Just click on Anyone with the hyperlink can edit or Specific individuals beneath Copy hyperlink, and comply with the directions above.To start collaborating: When your recipients obtain the e-mail from you, they click on a button or hyperlink to open the doc, which opens in Word Online in an online browser reasonably than within the Word desktop consumer. They can both edit or learn it in Word Online, relying on the permissions you granted, or click on Open in Desktop App and use it from the Word desktop consumer.The net model isn’t as absolutely featured because the consumer model — for example, there aren’t as many formatting choices and you may’t insert shapes, take screenshots, use mail merge, or use a number of different options. But for fundamental enhancing, it really works advantageous.When any collaborators open the doc, you’ll see a coloured cursor bar for every individual that signifies their presence within the doc. Each particular person will get their very own distinctive colour. Hover your cursor over anyone else’s cursor bar to see their identify. Once they start enhancing, you possibly can see what every collaborator does as they do it, together with deleting, enhancing, and including textual content. They see what you do as properly. IDG
You can see different collaborators’ edits in actual time, with a distinct coloured cursor for every collaborator. (Click picture to enlarge it.)
Collaboration consists of the flexibility to make feedback at particular locations in a doc with out really altering the doc’s contents. To do it, place your cursor within the doc the place you need the remark to look (or choose a phrase or phrase), click on the Comments button within the higher proper of the display screen and choose New Comment. A brand new remark field seems in the proper margin; kind in your remark there.If you need to draw a colleague’s consideration to a remark, @ point out them within the remark — kind @ and the primary few letters of the particular person’s identify, then select their identify from the record that seems. They’ll obtain an e-mail notification with a hyperlink to the remark within the doc.Everyone collaborating can see all feedback in the proper margin. To reply to a remark, hover over it, click on the Reply button, and sort your response. There’s additionally a Resolve button that grays out the remark. IDG
To reply to a remark, hover over it, click on the Reply button, and sort your reply. (Click picture to enlarge it.)
Be conscious that how properly real-time collaboration works relies on the energy of your web connection. On gradual or flaky connections, you gained’t instantly see edits that different individuals make they usually gained’t see yours instantly — there shall be a lag. So it’s at all times finest, when attainable, to have the strongest connection attainable when collaborating.At any time, you possibly can see who has entry to the file by clicking the Share button. In the “Send link” display screen that opens, click on the three-dot icon within the higher proper and choose Manage entry to see a listing of people that can entry the file. Here you possibly can change edit/view permissions, revoke somebody’s entry, or take away the sharing hyperlink altogether.Search to get duties performed quicklyA very helpful addition to Word 2016 was referred to as Tell Me — principally, an enhanced search characteristic for locating instructions in Word. Now renamed merely Search, it’s extraordinarily useful while you need to do a activity that you simply haven’t performed earlier than or have forgotten the way to do.To use it, click on within the Search field — it’s above the Ribbon within the blue title space. (Keyboard followers can as an alternative press Alt-Q to go to the Search field.) Type in a activity, and also you’ll get a listing of attainable matches. Click the duty you need to get directions on the way to do it.For instance, I typed tackle an envelope and selected the Envelope outcome, and the display screen you utilize for addressing envelopes appeared. When I typed within the extra basic question write an essay, it popped up a hyperlink to Word’s Researcher characteristic that allows you to do analysis from inside Word, add sources from the analysis you discover, after which cite the sources within the doc. (More on Researcher in a second.) If you kind in a question and hover your mouse over a outcome as an alternative of clicking it, you’ll see a display screen describing what you are able to do in case you click on the outcomes. IDG
The Search field provides recommendation on addressing an envelope (or every other activity). (Click picture to enlarge it.)
It’s a giant time-saver, since you don’t must hunt by means of the Ribbon to search out the command you need. And it remembers the options you’ve beforehand chosen within the field, so while you click on in it, you first see a listing of earlier duties you’ve looked for. That approach, duties that you simply continuously carry out are at all times inside simple attain.Search is gaining extra capabilities, too. Some customers of enterprise and training editions of Microsoft 365 are actually ready to make use of the Search field to search out individuals of their group, ShareLevel sources, and different customized outcomes from inside Word.