Word 2016 – Tips and Tricks

A few tricks on how to better perform with Office Word 2016.

Use Ribbon

  • Auto-hide Ribbon: This hides the entire Ribbon, both the tabs and commands underneath them. To show the Ribbon again, click at the top of Word.
  • Show Tabs: This shows the tabs but hides the commands underneath them. It’s the same as pressing Ctrl-F1. To display the commands underneath the tabs when they’re hidden, press Ctrl-F1, click a tab, or click the Ribbon display icon and select “Show Tabs and Commands.”
  • Show Tabs and Commands: Selecting this shows both the tabs and commands.

Collaborate in real time

  • If your document is stored in your personal OneDrive: After you’ve saved the document to OneDrive and clicked the Share button, the Share pane will open on the right-hand side of the screen — this is command central for collaboration. At the top of the pane, type in the email addresses of the people with whom you want to collaborate on the document, separated by commas. As you type, Word looks through your address book and displays the matches it finds; click the person you want to invite. If you’re on a corporate network, you can click the address book on the right to search through your corporate email address book. If a person isn’t in your address book — just type in their complete email address.
  • If your document is stored in SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business: Clicking the Share button pops up a Send Link window. Here you can send an email with a link where others can access the document.
  • To begin collaborating: Whether the email recipients get is associated with a personal or business OneDrive account, they click a button or link to open the document, which opens in Word Online in a web browser rather than in the Word desktop client. In order to collaborate, they’ll need to click the Edit Document button at the top of the screen. From the drop-down list, they can then choose to open the file either in the client version of Word, or in the free web version. The web version isn’t as fully featured as the client version — for instance, there aren’t as many formatting options and you can’t insert shapes, take screenshots, use mail merge, or use several other features. But for basic editing, it works fine.

Tackle tasks with Tell Me

For example, I typed “address an envelope” and chose the “Envelope” result, and the screen you use for addressing envelopes appeared. When I typed in the more general query “write an essay,” it popped up a link to Word’s Researcher feature that lets you do research from right within Word, add sources from the research you find, and then cite the sources in the document properly. If you type in a query and hover your mouse over a result instead of clicking it, you’ll see a screen describing what you can do if you click the results.

Use Smart Lookup for quick online research

Several new features help you do research or fact-checking when working on a document. The more useful for most people is Smart Lookup. Right-click a word, or highlight a group of words and right-click them, and from the menu that appears select Smart Lookup. Word then uses Microsoft’s Bing search engine to do a search on the word or phrase and displays the results in the Smart Lookup pane that appears on the right side of the screen. Microsoft says that Smart Lookup uses the context around the words, not only the words themselves, to give you more relevant results.

Use Researcher for in-depth research

Academics, students and those wanting to do in-depth research will welcome the new Researcher tool. Unlike Smart Lookup, Researcher doesn’t feed you information straight from the web via Bing. Instead, Researcher taps into reference materials and sources it considers trustworthy, compiled by a service called Microsoft Academic Search, so you’re getting a search that should be more reliable and in-depth than Smart Lookup. It also includes results from Wikipedia and Bing that it considers trustworthy.

Add new types of charts

With Word 2016 (as well as Excel 2016 and PowerPoint 2016), you get six new types of charts you can add to documents: Treemap, Sunburst, Waterfall, Histogram, Pareto, and Box & Whisker. Each provides a unique way to display data visually. See our Excel 2016 cheat sheet for details about the new chart types, including what each one looks like and what type of data it’s best suited for.

Handy keyboard shortcuts

Using keyboard shortcuts is one of the best ways to accomplish tasks quickly in Word 2016. You can even use them to navigate the Ribbon. For instance, Alt-H takes you to the Home tab, and Alt-G takes you to the Design tab. (For help finding specific commands on the Ribbon, see our Word 2016 Ribbon quick reference.)

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