Monday, June 16, 2014

Customizing Word 2013 with Time-Saving Tweaks Part 2

Customizing Word to meet your specific needs and uses can increase efficiency and usability.  Customization also reduces the frustration caused by performing repeated tasks when they could be automated instead.  In Part 1 of Customizing Word 2013 with Time-Saving Tweaks the following topics were covered:  
  • Mini formatting toolbar
  • Live preview
  • Start screen
  • Auto recovery file settings
  • Keeping auto save file versions
In this post, some of the most important settings from the Advanced tab of the Options menu are covered.  To access the Options Menu, open Word, click File, and select Options.

Advanced Tab
  • Insert / paste picture formatting
  • Each time you insert or paste a picture into a document the picture assumes certain formatting features.  This formatting defines whether or not the picture is behind text or if the text moves around the picture.  Each document can require different formatting for pictures, however, there is usually one formatting type used more often than the others.  When this is the case, setting the formatting type most commonly used as the default formatting for all inserted pictures helps save time.  Selecting a formatting type may also prevent issues that disturb the surrounding text and document styling when pictures are inserted.


    To turn this feature on, in Options, select the Advanced tab, under the Cut, copy, and paste section, click on the drop down menu next to "Insert / paste pictures as".  The formatting options available are:  In line with text, square, tight, behind text, in front of text, top and bottom, and through.  Select the desired formatting option for each inserted picture.


  • Show background color and images
  • Some times when documents have background colors or images, the background can be distracting from the actual content in the document.  Rather than trying to undo whatever background settings have been set, it may make more sense to keep them from displaying instead.  Turning off the background color or images from displaying keeps the background settings from displaying without actually changing the settings.  This feature can easily be turned back on to display the background features as needed without needing to know what the settings were.


    To turn the background feature off, in Options, select the Advanced tab, under the Show document content section, uncheck the box next to "Show background color and images in Print Layout".  NOTE:  As stated in the name of the setting, this will only affect the look of your document in the Print Layout View.  To change the view of a document, click on the View tab and select the layout in the left corner of the ribbon menu.

  • Show recent documents
  • The documents you often open and work with are usually listed in the recent documents section.  Accessing documents in the recent documents list saves time because you do not have to navigate to the location of each document.  When you open Word, if you have the Start screen turned on, recently opened documents are listed on the left with templates on the right.  Once inside of Word, if you click on File, then Open, recent documents are listed on the right.  Documents listed in the recent documents list can be easily accessed by clicking the name of the document.  The more documents you access and create, the longer this list needs to be to prove effective.


    To change the number of recent documents shown in the list, in Options, select the Advanced tab, under the Display section, click on the drop down box next to "Show this number of recent documents".  Select the desired number of recent documents to display.

  • Quickly access recent documents
  • The most recently opened documents can be shown on the File menu directly for even quicker access to the recent documents list.  This setting is helpful when you have Word open, want quick access to a few commonly opened documents, or access multiple documents at a time.  A great feature of this setting is that it allows you to set a different number of documents to display in this recent documents list than the ones listed in the regular recent documents list.


    To turn this feature on, in Options, select the Advanced tab, under the Display section, check the box next to "Quickly access this number of recent documents".  Change the number to represent the number of recent documents to list for quick access.


  • Show Vertical Ruler
  • The purpose of the vertical ruler is to help keep track of where you currently are on a page without changing the zoom level to be able to view the entire page on your screen.  When the zoom is set higher than 100%, it can often be hard to read the document as easily.  This is especially true when working on a device with a smaller screen size.  While turning on the Horizontal, and more commonly used, ruler is easily accomplished, the vertical ruler is turned on in the Options menu.


    To turn on the vertical ruler, in Options, select the Advanced tab, and under the Display section, check the box next to "Show vertical ruler in Print Layout view".


The tools listed above are all part of the Advanced tab under Options in Word.  These are some of the more helpful settings you can change in the Advanced tab but there are many other settings as well.  The third and final post on this topic will include adding items to the quick access toolbar, modifying style type defaults, and customizing the ribbon menu bar.

Please check back later this week for Part 3!

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