Questions and Answers for Microsoft Word

1. How can I take an existing paragraph of text and put it in a text box in Microsoft Word 2007?  I'd rather not have to cut and paste it if I can help it.

Well, you certainly can do it with cut and paste.  Or you can just select the text you want to put into the box, then go to the Insert tab on the Ribbon and click "Text Box".  Click the "Draw Text Box" button at the bottom -- don't try to insert one of the styled text boxes in the gallery; it will replace your text instead of inserting it -- and voila, your text is in the box.

2. I don't want a header on page 1 so that I can print on our firm letterhead.  But I do want a header on all the subsequent pages.  I'm using Microsoft Word 2007, any ideas?

Sure, though it's not very obvious in Word 2007.  Go to the Page Layout tab of the ribbon and on the bottom right corner of the Page Layout chunk you'll see a little button that looks like an odd little box.  If you click it the Page Setup dialog box will open.  Click on the Layout tab and check the "Different first page" box.  Then just don't put anything in the first page header.

3. My Normal.DOT file has become [Corrupted/Infected by a Virus/overwritten by my 12-year old child] what should I do?

Just delete or rename it.  Next time you start Word it will create a new one for you.

Yes, this is also true for the normal.dotm file in Word 2007 or Word 2010

4. Can I customize the Ribbon?  For instance move commands from one tab to another? 

 That depends, if you're comfortable doing XML development you can do some customization to the ribbon.  But in the classic sense, no, part of the point of the Ribbon is to standardize the interface to make support and training easier.  There is only a little bit of customization that can be done, and none to the standard tabs.  You can add/remove commands from the QAT (Quick Access Toolbar) if you like.

Word 2010 improves this somewhat.

5.  What happend to AutoText from Word 2003?

It's been replaced by "Building Blocks" in Word 2007.  You can use it in much the same way, though it does require one extra step.  With Word 2003 as you typed AutoText would suggest your AutoText entry.  With Word 2007 you either need to pick it from the Building Blocks Gallery (Insert | Quick Parts...) or type the name of your Building Block and press F3.

There are some advantages to the Building Blocks - you're not limited to just text.  This is handy if you want to create a complex signature block, complete with scanned image of your signature, to automatically insert.  Or a logo.

6. Caution: With Word 2007 SP2 I want to replace two blank paragraphs with just one. So I did a Find/Replace for "^P^P" and had it replace with just "^P" and after I did that a bunch of my graphics were gone!

Yes, that's a reported issue with Service Pack 2 of Office 2007.  If you replace two paragraphs with one, or two spaces with one, and it turns out there was a graphic or image between two blank paragraphs or two spaces then that graphic or image may be removed as well.  I expect a fix for the problem will be forthcoming.

7. Suddenly I have a bunch of symbols (and more?) in my document.  How do I get rid of those?

You've turned on "Show Paragraph Marks" - easy to do.  Also easy to turn back off via either of these methods:

* Click the button on the toolbar/ribbon.

* Press CTRL+SHIFT+8

8. My Right-Click stopped working!

Try starting Word in safe mode (Hold down CTRL while clicking the icon) and see if the problem persists.  If it doesn't (and I'm betting it won't) then the problem is likely an add-in you have installed.  The Babylon add-ins have been known to cause this behavior with Word 2010.  Go to File | Options | Trust Center | Add-ins and disable or remove the offending add-in.

9. I'm using Word 2010 Starter and I can't figure out how to generate a Table of Contents?!

And you won't either...Word 2010 Starter isn't really Word. It's what we used to call "Works" a very limited version of Word that doesn't include a lot of features. One of the features it doesn't Table of Contents. It also doesn't include:

  • Footnotes or endnotes
  • Index
  • Bookmarks
  • Table of Authorities
  • Quick Parts
  • Comments
  • The ability to edit the QAT
  • Track Changes...

For more on what Word Starter deosn't include see this article: Word features that are not fully supported in Word Starter