What Are the Benefits of Using Microsoft Word?
By Filonia LeChat
Whether you choose to use Microsoft Word because it came with your Office Suite, the decision was made for you by your school or employer, or you prefer the program for its familiarity of tabs and buttons, there’s more to the program than just processing words. Although Word appears to be a simple replica of a white paper page on a screen, you’ll find that using the software offers multiple benefits to tap – and type – into.
Instantly Jump In
One of the biggest ways to get bogged down in a Word document is the process of setting it up. Brochures, for example, require specific margin and page fold delineation to prevent your text and pictures from running into places where they shouldn’t. A benefit of Microsoft Word is the templates that come installed with the software. Locate them by clicking the “File” tab, selecting “New” and using any of the categories such as newsletters, labels and business cards, as your jumping off point. This gets the heavy lifting out of the way and lets you completely customize any template to your particular needs. You can concentrate on performing functions such as subbing out images and reformatting text.
You may have second thoughts about pouring your time, effort and brain power into a document that your recipient wouldn’t be able to open. When you use Microsoft Word, you get the benefit of being able to assume your recipient has the software. As the predominant word processing software component of the Microsoft Office Suite, it’s a good guess that if you compile a document in Word and send it, your recipient will be able to read it. Word even lets you work with people who have older versions of the software, by offering the option to save documents as earlier extensions (such as .doc instead of .docx for a Word 2003 versus Word 2007 and Word 2010 document, for example).
At Your Fingertips
Microsoft Word may be a single software program, but it puts multiple resources directly at your fingertips. Click the “Review” tab and you’ll find buttons for a thesaurus, research services and search functionality, spelling and grammar check, language assistance and translation. Word may be off sometimes in its use of these tools, for instance alerting you that your capitalization of a proper noun such as a business name should be lowercase, but it works in a fast pinch and can serve as an additional check before you release your documents.
All in One
The blank page that appears when you open Microsoft Word may not make you think of an artist’s canvas, but one benefit of using Word is that it can become an all-in-one software program. With the tools available on Word’s “Insert” tab, you can stay within Word but perform tasks such as drawing with the Scribble tool, making organizational charts with the SmartArt tool, designing picture-heavy documents with clip art and inserting tables, spreadsheets, text boxes, charts and hyperlinks.
Fionia LeChat is a technical writer whose major skill sets include the MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), Photoshop, Paint, desktop publishing, design and graphics. LeChat has a Master of Science in technical writing, a Master of Arts in public relations and communications and a Bachelor of Arts in writing/English.