Liquid paper?….Is that something magician’s use? (Or how Word has really changed things!)


When Word was just a dream…..

When I was at school I learned to type……..on a typewriter. And I’m not of pensionable, or even middle, age (well I don’t like to think so, as long as you call middle age 45+)!

typewriterTypewriter’s were the instruments we used when we wanted to make our documents look more professional. When we made a mistake we used liquid paper to hide the mistake, then had to let it dry, and then had to try really really hard to line the paper up so that the retyped letter or word was in the proper place. Frequently it wasn’t!!

When the letters began to fade we had to change the ribbon. And had to try and not get too much ink on our hands. Nowadays, the only place you will probably see a typewriter is in a museum.

And then came something which revolutionised the world – computers!! Word processing packages enabled us to type our words without any of the mess of typewriters. Does anyone remember WordPerfect?

And then (drum roll please) came Microsoft Word, and life just got a whole lot easier.

My first successful mail merge – the excitement was palpable as I pressed the merge button. And when it worked – well I could have just kissed the computer. Obviously I didn’t but I was delighted that it had actually worked, and had saved me hours printing labels and inserting individual addresses.

documentsWord used to be for typing documents, making them look official and to save time handwriting everything. If you needed something really professional then it needed to go to a proper publishing house. In a previous job on a magazine I had to drive half way across London with a disk to deliver to the publishers so they could use a professional package to make the magazine look like a magazine and not just writing on a page. These days that just sounds bizarre and a complete waste of time!

Now, well it’s probably easier to say what Word can’t do, which basically is a very very short list. Anything you want Word to do, it probably can, and then some.

From formatting in every way imaginable, to picture manipulation, to inserting videos etc, Word has got it all pretty much covered. It is very far removed from just typing words onto a page.

The only problem now is actually keeping up with what it can do. We are all often too busy to learn new ways to do things, and often get stuck in a rut and do things the way we always have. Did you know any of these shortcuts for example (and before you’re wondering if I did, then I have to say with red cheeks, that I didn’t!)

  1. How many times a day do you type the date? If you do it even once, that’s one time too many. Next time, just hit Alt-Shift-D to add the date automatically
  2. If you really want to make a point and make text stand out then Cntrl-Shift-D will double underline your chosen text
  3. If you insert text into a document and it’s in a different font then highlight the text, press Control-space and this will change it into the same font as the rest of the document
  4. We’ve all had that sinking feeling when we close a file and realise that we haven’t saved it – to recover an unsaved document go to File –Info –Manage Versions, then click on the little dropdown and select Recover Unsaved Documents and then choose the document you want – and make sure to save it this time!

We’ve also got lots more useful and time saving tips in our Quick Reference Guide to Word 

Just by writing this Blog I’ve learnt quite a few things about Word – by investing the time and money in one day of training on Word, well, just imagine what you may learn – the results really will shout for themselves.

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Penny Rawlins, Bute Blogger and Busy Mum

DL: 0203 1787270  Email: