Microsoft Word has long been the go-to app in the Microsoft Office suite. Whether you’re writing memos, creating reports, or typing up agendas, Word is the workhorse that gets the job done. With different options for purchasing the software, it’s important to understand how to navigate and utilize its features effectively.
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The Perpetual Version vs. Office 365
Microsoft offers two models for purchasing Office: the perpetual version and the Office 365 subscription. With the perpetual version, such as Office 2016 or Office 2019, you own the software license outright and won’t receive new features. On the other hand, Office 365 provides access to the latest features as long as you maintain your subscription.
Exploring Word 2016, Word 2019, and Office 365
This cheat sheet focuses on the features introduced in Word 2016 and Word 2019, the perpetual-license versions included in Office 2016 and Office 2019. However, Office 365 offers even more features. If you have an Office 365 subscription, be sure to check out our separate Word for Office 365 cheat sheet for a comprehensive overview.
Utilizing the Ribbon
The Ribbon interface remains largely unchanged in Word 2016 and Word 2019 compared to earlier versions. If you’re already familiar with the Ribbon, which was introduced in Office 2007, you’ll find it easy to navigate. However, if you need a refresher, take a look at our Word 2010 cheat sheet.
While the Ribbon in Word 2016 and 2019 has a cleaner and less cluttered appearance, it still functions similarly to previous versions. You’ll find most commands in familiar locations, although there are some minor changes, like the Page Layout tab now being called Layout. To quickly find the commands you need, download our Word 2016 and 2019 Ribbon quick reference.
Customizing the Ribbon
To optimize your workspace, you have various options for displaying the Ribbon. By clicking the Ribbon display options icon in the top right corner of the screen, you can choose to auto-hide the Ribbon, show only the tabs, or display both tabs and commands. Simply select the option that suits your preference.
Customizing Word to fit your style is easy. If you find the blue title bar overwhelming, you can switch it to white, gray, or even black in Word 2019. Navigate to File > Options > General and select your preferred Office Theme from the drop-down menu. You can also choose from different Office Background patterns to display in the title bar.
Exploring the Backstage Area
The backstage area, accessible by clicking File on the Ribbon, provides various options for managing your documents. In Word 2016 and 2019, clicking Open or Save As reveals your connected cloud-based services, such as SharePoint and OneDrive. This feature is particularly useful if you use multiple accounts for different purposes, as it allows you to easily differentiate between them.
Collaborating in Real-Time
One of the major features introduced in Word 2016 is live collaboration. This functionality enables users to collaborate on documents from anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection. To collaborate, simply open the document and click the Share icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. Ensure that your file is saved in OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint Online.
While Office 365 subscribers and users of Word 2019 or Word Online can see changes made by collaborators in real-time, Word 2016 users need to save their documents periodically to view and share changes. However, despite this slight delay, Word 2016 still allows multiple people to work on the same document simultaneously.
To initiate collaboration, enter the email addresses of your collaborators in the Share pane and choose their editing privileges. You can also add a message if needed. After clicking Share, your recipients will receive an email with a “View in OneDrive” button to access the document.
Collaboration is also possible with personal OneDrive accounts. By clicking “Get a sharing link” at the bottom of the Share pane, you can create links that grant editing or viewing access to your file. Simply copy the link and share it via email.
Embracing Tell Me for Task Assistance
In addition to live collaboration, Word 2016 offers several other new features, including the helpful Tell Me tool. Located next to the Ribbon tab labels, Tell Me serves as a search box for tasks and instructions. Simply type in what you want to do, and Word provides a list of possible matches. Click on a task to get step-by-step instructions.
Tell Me is a time-saving feature that eliminates the need to search through the Ribbon for specific commands. It even remembers your previous searches, offering quick access to frequently performed tasks.
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Now that you’re equipped with these Word tips and tricks, you can maximize your productivity and make the most out of this powerful application. Happy writing!