Three Neat MS Word Tricks

I had the regrettable experience of designing a brochure in MS Word last weekend. I know, there are a million reasons why that's a terrible idea. However, it turned out all right and inspired this post. Here are three neat things that Word can do:

Turn Word into a janky design program by turning on gridlines, which you can do in the Align subsection of the Page Layout menu. (You can also do this in the "View" menu.) Then adjust the gridlines to suit your needs by choosing Grid Settings.

In my case, I wanted a tri-fold brochure, so I divided the width of the brochure by three to determine the size of my horizontal gridlines. I also used Word's columns feature to align the text within the page. I was able to use the gridlines to see exactly where the brochure would fold so I could ensure my graphics and text were aligned accordingly.

These next two are not directly related to making Word better at design, but they are pretty awesome.

Total Editing Time
On the Info section of the File menu, there is some neat stuff that is often overlooked, including a counter for total time spent editing the document. Full confession: I had never noticed it myself until a few days ago.  I am making a big effort to improve my time estimation, and understanding how much time I am devoting to specific projects is the first step.  (Side note: I also use Toggl to track time for important projects.)

Open File Location
This is my favorite, and it also resides in the Info section of the File menu.  Click the "Open File Location" link to open the folder your file is saved in.  I use this to quickly access related documents or drag my current file into my email client to be mailed. This is a small time-saver that I use frequently.

I hope some of these tricks help make your Word experience better.  If there are any favorite Word tricks you use, please share them in the comments.  And if you enjoy tech tips like this, please subscribe to Fundraising Nerd's monthly e-newsletter.

Amanda JarmanComment