The first thing to start when you have a research paper, resume, or other important document to write is likely Microsoft Word. There are a lot of great things you can do with it, but there are also some secrets in Word that might surprise you.
Here are six things you didn't know you could do in Microsoft Word. We'll cover all of the basics, including voice dictation, cropping images, and more.
With voice dictation, you can use Word's Word-to-Text feature to pronounce your words instead of typing them on the keyboard. This is great if you're feeling lazy, and it can even save you time.
According to Microsoft, the function works on MacOS and Windows 10 as well as iOS and Android – as long as you have a subscription to Microsoft 365. It won't work if you have the version of Word included in Office versions like Office 2019, according to Microsoft.
We'll be focusing on Windows 10 here, but full instructions for other platforms can be found on Microsoft's website. Just open a new document, go to the Home tab and search for “Dictate”. From there, hit the Dictate button and wait for the button to turn on and start listening to you.
Start speaking to see how the text appears on the screen, then add your punctuation by saying it out loud (e.g., period or comma). You can fix your mistakes by saying things like "Undo" or "Erase" or "Last Erase" XX words "or" Erase that. "Formatting commands like" Bold "," Italic "," Underline "also work.
Translate your documents
Have you just received a document in another language? Perhaps from a colleague or a friend somewhere else in the world? You may need to visit Google Translate and copy and paste your entire document to get it into English. But that is not necessary! The word has your back.
In Word for Microsoft 365 (we're again talking about the subscription-based version of Office that Word includes), Word automatically offers to translate your document for you. You can also translate phrases into other languages. Just make sure you are connected to the internet and that Office connections are enabled to use the feature.
To translate an entire document, all you have to do is click the Review tab. From there, Word will offer to translate the document and you can accept it. If that doesn't work, you can click the Review tab, then click Translate. A newer, machine-translated copy of the document will then be made for you.
You can also translate individual text into other languages by highlighting the text and then going to Review> Language> Translate. According to Microsoft, the translation of individual texts may work in Office 2019.
Transcribe your interviews in Word Online
If you've subscribed to Microsoft 365 to access Word and the other Office apps, there's a bonus feature for you. When you open Word on the web, you can turn your recorded interviews into actual words on the screen without having to do all of the typing yourself.
Just open a new blank document online then click the Home tab followed by Dictate. You should then see the Transcribe button. Click the Upload Audio button and upload your interview or audio file. You can also start recording. Word then does magic in the background and outputs a full transcript in the sidebar. You can click on the transcript to edit it or copy it to your main document.
Continue the wizard in Word
If you are looking for a job, Microsoft Word can help. While most jobs prefer a resume based on a template, you can use Word as inspiration for entering resumes and then tweak your resume to stand out from the crowd. This function is known as the Resume Assistant.
You can start the Resume Assistant by clicking the Review tab and then selecting Resume Assistant. The entire experience is powered by LinkedIn. Select the Get Started button and follow the instructions in the sidebar to complete your resume. It's that easy! You'll see examples of different types of jobs and other fields that might be similar to your own.
Use stock images and crop and edit photos
Are you looking for additional images for your document in Word? Don't go to google! Word can get and process photos from the web.
You can insert photos into Word directly from the web. Just click the Insert tab and then choose Pictures. From there, select Stock Images. You can then search for a specific photo to use in your document. Use the tab above to filter different types, stickers, images, and more.
Once you've pasted a picture in Word, you can change the picture right away. Just click on it and go to the Picture Format tab. There are tabs for corrections, color, cropping, adding alt text, and much more. The sky is the limit!
Use quick parts
Our last trick on the list is a Word feature known as a Quick Part. This feature allows you to insert some standard text elements into your document without having to type things in manually. Examples of quick parts are your name, a summary, a company address, and much more. You can see the full list by clicking the Insert tab and then selecting Quick Parts.