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.

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!


Tabs in Word Tables

word logo This often stumps people: you’ve created a table in MS Word and you want to use tabs within table cells – but there’s a problem – each time you press the Tab key you jump to the next cell – even after setting tab stops in the cell.

How do you get around this? I mean  what’s the use of tab stops if you can’t get to them?  The secret is the Ctrl key. 

To get to a tab stop within a cell, use Ctrl + Tab. That does the trick!