Most Wanted Tips: Microsoft Word

Microsoft has simplified a lot with Word 2010. But especially in the detail area it often gets confusing. Table of contents, serial letter, hyphenation, watermark, line spacing: Here you will find quick solutions to common questions.

Insert table of contents

Microsoft Word 2010 includes an easy-to-use tool that allows you to create a table of contents almost automatically. The prerequisite for this is that you have formatted the headings within your document as such. The best way to identify headings is to use the format templates integrated in Word. To do this, click on your heading and then on “Heading 1” in the style sheet overview.

Subheadings are marked with the style template “Heading 2”. By right-clicking on the style sheet in the overview, you can change it in, for example to adjust font size and color. This change then automatically affects all headings in your document.

Under the “References” tab you will find the “Table of contents” button on the far left. Select a formatting for the table of contents and confirm it. A table of contents with all headings will now appear at the desired position within the document. If you change one of the headings in the text body, this is taken over in the table of contents. To do this, right-click on the table of contents.

This is now highlighted in gray. The grey colour means that it is a field which is calculated by the program. Select “Update fields”. In the selection that now appears, select “Update entire directory”. In this way you ensure that all changes are accepted.

Create form letter

Microsoft Word 2010 helps you to provide a letter with different addresses and introductory greetings. You can access the corresponding button via the “Items” tab. Click on “Start mail merge” at the top left, then on the “Mail merge assistant” in the drop-down menu. This will take you step by step to the mail merge using the navigation at the bottom right of the screen: First you define the document that you want to send in series. If, for example, you have selected the document “Letter”, you can decide: If you want to use the currently open document, a sample template from Word or an already created letter as the start document.

Then select the recipients. Here you have the option of selecting an existing list. Or you can import contacts from your Outlook account. You can also create a new list in Word. The technology portal “CHIP online” advises you to plan exactly in advance which data combinations are most useful for your serial letters. Therefore, take enough time to structure your recipient list.

Now you have selected the most important components of your serial letter. These must now be merged. In the last step, you define the variable fields of the letter, such as address block and greeting line. These are defined in the right menu window. In the next step you will see a preview with the adjusted fields. Finally, the letters can be printed. The form letter is ready.

Control hyphenation

In the Word default setting, hyphenation is disabled. To enable it, select the Page Layout tab. In the “Page Setup” area you will find the “Hyphenation” button. In the drop-down menu you can switch on hyphenation by clicking on “Automatic”.

For detailed settings select “Hyphenation options”. In this menu you set in which areas Word separates individual terms into syllables. Here you can increase the hyphenation zone to one centimeter. This separator describes the distance between the end of the last word in a line and the right margin. The value for successive hyphens should not be greater than three to avoid hyphenation at the end of each line. It is also possible to control hyphenation manually. This is recommended only for short texts due to the high amount of work involved and the susceptibility to errors.

If you do not want hyphenation for individual paragraphs, proceed as follows: Right-click on the relevant paragraph to select the context command “Paragraph”. Click the “Line and page break” tab here. Under “Formatting exceptions” set a check mark for “No hyphenation”.

Set watermark

Word 2010 provides helpful presets for watermarks. In the “Page layout” tab you will find the corresponding “Watermark” button in the “Page background” area. A mouse click opens a menu that suggests various watermarks. You can insert prefabricated watermarks such as “Haste”, “SFWM” (short for “As early as possible”), “Do not copy” or “Draft” directly into your document.

In the “User-defined watermarks” menu you also have the option of creating your own watermarks. It is also possible to insert images as watermarks.

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