Using F8 for Word Highlighting

In Word (all versions), the  F8 is one handy little key:

  • pressed twice, it selects the word around (or touching) the cursor
  • pressed three times it selects the whole sentence the cursor is sitting in
  • pressed four times it selects the whole paragraph the cursor is sitting in
  • pressed five times, it selects the whole document.
  • Select odd amounts: position the cursor where you wish to begin, press F8 and then use the cursors to extend the selection.
  • To escape from selecting selecting mode, press the Esc key.

The Highlighter Tool in Word

The highlighter tool in Microsoft Word works as a Stabilo Boss highlighter might work on paper…it highlights stuff.


You activate it by clicking the tool and then dragging over areas you wish to highlight in a document.

If you don’t want to remove it but have occasion to hide the highlight (for example when printing the document),  here is how to do it:

  1. To either view or hide the highlighting we need to go to the Options dialog box  by clicking Office Button inV2007 or the  File tab, Options for V2010.
  2. Select the Display category.
  3. Uncheck the “Show highlighter marks” choice (and if it was off this would turn it on).
  4. This one option controls both the screen and printing simultaneously so don’t worry about which one is affected by your choice… the answer is both.
  5. Click OK. The highlighting is hidden but still exists.  You repeat the steps to view it again.



Merging Excel Data with Word

Barb recently came across the problem with a user who wanted to merge an Excel file with a Word document in order to do a mail merge. The problem they found was that if you merge direct from Excel, date and currency formatting that you have applied in Excel is completely ignored by Word, e.g.

  • If you have formatted your date to show as 3 Oct 2011 in Excel, Word converts it show as 10/3/11.
  • If you have formatted currency to show as $3.50, Word converts is to show as 3.5

The only way to keep your formatting is to copy the data into a Word document and when pasted your date and currency formatting is retained but as they notes are quite comprehensive, we offer them here as a pdf download: Merging Excel with Word.

File Pathname in Word Header or Footer

Sometimes you want to see the full path (i.e. drive, folder, etc, where a document is located), on each page of a document. This was a little hidden away, as I discovered when I wanted it to set it up:

  1. Position yourself in the relevant header or footer (Insert tab, click Header or Footer).
  2. Click the Design tab.
  3.  Click Quick Parts, and then click Field.
  4. In the Field names list, select FileName.
  5. In the dialog box that opens, click on the Add path to filename check box over on the right. Choose OK when finished.
  6. Leave the header.

Skip Spellcheck in Word

I’ve  just been over on the Tech Republic website, where I read about  this completely convoluted way of omitting text from spellcheck for selected parts of the document  (for anyone that is interested in mucking around changing attributes of styles, here is the link so you can torture yourself over at TechRepublic).

I would just do it this way for Word 2007 &  2010

  1. Select the text
  2. Click the Review tab
  3. Click the Set Languages button over on the left of the ribbon.
  4. In the dialogue box that opens, check  the box for ‘Do not check spelling or grammar’, and then click OK.

That’s  it – now when you run a spellcheck, this area is omitted (a good idea when using technical terms or jargon that spellcheck will not automatically recognise).

Drop Cap in Microsoft Word 2007 or 2010

  1. First you’ll need to place your cursor in the paragraph that is to have the Drop Cap.
  2. Click the Insert tab of the Ribbon.
  3. Here you need to locate the Drop Cap button. Click it to choose a quick Drop Cap style.
  4. Choose Dropped to put  the letter in the paragraph as I did in the example above, or have Word place it in the left margin.
  5. Choosing one of these two preset options will create the Drop Cap with the default setting and the same font as the rest of the paragraph.

If you’d like to change the font for the Drop Cap, or adjust how far it sits from the text, you’ll want to choose Drop Cap Options from the bottom of the list.

When the dialog box opens, you’ll find that it’s small, simple and self-explanatory.

At the top you can change the type of Drop Cap to use.

In the bottom section you’ll find settings for the font and Below that, you can decide how many lines it should sit next to. The more lines – the deeper and bigger the Drop Cap will be.

The last option is the distance the character should be placed from the rest of the text. It is set to zero by default  but if that feels too cramped  set it just a bit bigger, say  0.1 – not a huge change but enough that it mght be more legible.  You will need to play with this one to decide what setting you prefer.

Editing in Print Preview: MS Word 2007

As a default you can only view a document in Print Preview mode, however with one small adjustment you can easily edit a document whilst in Print Preview by doing the following:

  1. Go into Print Preview (Windows button, Print, Print Preview), otherwise click the Print preview button if you have installed it on your Quick Access toolbar.
  2. Click the check box next to the Magnifer button.
  3. The I beam now becomes visible, the same as you would see in Normal view.

4.         Edit away.
5.         Toggle between editing and viewing by clicking the Magnifier check box.

Barb, Tech Republic and Watermarks

Barbara Stapleton who works with me contributes to the Tech Republic’s IT forums on a regular basis (as stapleb).  Her advice on adding watermarks to Word documents was added to the list of their recent post, 10 Office Tips I learned in 2010.

Read the Tip here. Congrats Barb!


Outline Level Numbering in Word Tables

This question came up as a result of an Advanced Word class that Barb recently gave. As it isn’t something we usually cover, Barb wrote up some ‘how to’ notes on this.  Outline level number is having numbering that goes:

1.  level one.
     1.1.  level two.
      1.1.1 level three;
…………………………….type of thing.

  These notes take you through using multiple level numbering, but within a table. Automatic numbering in Word tables