Word Processing Skills Checklist

by Neal Litherland

While word processing programs are applications that most students are familiar with (for term papers and homework assignments) they are more complicated than many people understand. As such, there are a variety of skills that a person will need to have for even basic word processing.


Typing skill (called data entry in some places) is the basic skill for word processing. You type in text and it shows up on the screen. However, you also need to know how to alter that text. This includes text formating (bold, italics and underline, etc.), changing the font style, deleting text and copying and pasting text from one part of a text document to another. Once you know how to input and alter text in a word document you've managed to master the basics of any word processing program. There are more parts to the program than manipulating text.

Page Format

Once you've figured out how to write on your blank page, you should learn how to alter that page when that becomes necessary. Page formatting includes changing your page margins and the way the text is displayed on the page (such as twin columns rather than as a single page of information). You should also learn to set your indentation (or your tab) to a certain place on the ruler along the top of your word processing program. Left indents, right indents and others are all a part of page formatting.

Tool Bars

The highest form of word processing skill is being able to navigate the various toolbars that are part of the word processing program. These include the Tools menu (which has spell check, word count and other functions) as well as the various options for saving your document. Once you've learned how to use all of the tools that a word processing program offers (even if you have no practical use for those tools most of the time) you will have mastered your word processing program.

About the Author

Neal Litherland is an author, blogger and occasional ghostwriter. His experience includes comics, role playing games and a variety of other projects as well. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Indiana University, and resides in Northwest Indiana.

Photo Credits

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