Using Microsoft Word 2007
A User's Guide

Allen Bramhall

Microsoft Word 2007 represents a major update from Word 2003. Much is familiar from earlier versions but the program’s interface is now more visual. The new organization of the interface makes finding the commands that you need easier.

The most conspicuous change resides in what Microsoft calls the Ribbon. The Ribbon is the strip of tabs at the top of the page that provides a logical and visible sorting of commands. Microsoft incorporates the Ribbon into most of the programs in Microsoft Office 2007, thereby creating consistency amongst Office products.

The Ribbon is the best starting place for learning to use Word 2007.

The Ribbon

The Ribbon is the tabbed band of options at the top of the page. The Ribbon contains eight tabs. Each tab contains several boxes that gather commands into logical groupings. The Home tab presents the most commonly used commands. On the Home tab, the groupings are:

Above the tabs and to the left are six basic command icons that always remain visible.

Word Help lets you search topics as well as browse them. Word Help answers specific questions as well as presents general articles on working with Word. Some of this material is online so you will need an internet connection to access it.

Beginning a Document

Word starts with a blank document. You can begin creating your document immediately. To begin a new blank document:

  1. Click Start.
  2. From the dropdown menu, click New.
  3. Click Blank Document.

Word offers many templates. Templates are pre-formatted documents like letters, calendars, and resumes, into which you can type your own information. Click on one to download.

Opening a Document

To open any document on your computer or on any external drive connected to your computer:

  1. Click Start.
  2. From the dropdown menu, click Open. This opens a search box in the last folder that you opened. Word’s default is Documents or My Documents but you can search anywhere on your computer, or on exterior drives. Search the directory using the Explorer Bar at the top of the search box, or select one of the folders in the favorite links list.
  3. Note: To facilitate your search, click one of the buttons in the search box to sort files in the folder. For instance, if you know the name of the file that you want, click Name. This will alphabetize the file list. You can also sort by date, file size, or by a tag that you created.

  4. Click the file that you want. It will open and you can begin working on it.
  5. Note: Word lists recently opened documents. Click the Start Button then click any listed document to open.

Saving a Document

The next two items on the start menu are for saving your document. Save saves your document in whatever way you have already selected. If your document has not already been saved, Save will open the Save As dialogue box. This lets you determine where to save the document, and in what format. The Save As procedure follows.

  1. Click Start.
  2. From the dropdown menu, click Save As. This opens a dialogue box listing formats to which you can save your document.
  3. Click a format (more on formats follows).
  4. Choose or confirm which folder to save the document to in the explorer bar.
  5. Supply a file name for your document.
  6. Click Save to save the file, or click Cancel if you change your mind.

Compatibility needs consideration. Word 2007 can save to many formats, including Microsoft’s new proprietary format docx. This new format allows the greatest use of Word 2007’s features but it is not compatible with earlier versions of Word. Word 2007 can write to and save documents in earlier Word formats, but previous versions of the program cannot read docx. Remember this when sending files to others. Saving in Plain Text or Rich Text Format will produce documents that anyone can open, but those bare bones formats lack much formatting ability.

Word 2007 saves to numerous other formats, including many older Word versions, Word templates, web page, xml, and more.

Note:Save often so that you do not lose your work. You can also use the keyboard shortcut ctrl-s: hold down the control key and the ‘s’ key at the same time.

Note: Word also has an Auto Recover feature, which you can set to save at files whatever interval you choose. AutoRecover saves a copy of your document, in case of a program or system crash. The next time you open Word, Word will give you the option to save any document that was open during the incident.

  1. Click Start.
  2. From the dropdown menu, click Word Options.
  3. Click Save. Make sure that Save AutoRecover information is selected.
  4. Click the up or down arrow to set the interval between AutoRecover saves.
  5. Click OK.

Formatting a Document

Most formatting for your document can be done from the options on the Home tab of the Ribbon. These options control how your document looks.


Microsoft Word offers many fonts to add distinction and emphasis to your document.

Select a Font Face or Attribute.

Two ways exist for making format selections:

  1. Click the appropriate format button then enter text. Click the button again to turn off the formatting.
  2. Select the text that you want to format then click the appropriate format button. Everything within your selection will conform to your format choice.

Selecting a Font

Word provides a lengthy list of fonts to choose from.
  1. Click the arrow in the font list to reveal the drop down menu.
  2. Select a font face from the illustrated list of fonts.
  3. Click the font size arrow to open the drop down menu.
  4. Select a size from the drop down menu. You can also click Grow Font (the Large A and Shrink Font (the small a to increase or decrease font size, respectively. Font size will increase or decrease incrementally with each click. Alternatively, enter a font size directly into the box.
  5. To clear formatting, click Clear Formatting (the AA) icon.

Changing Font Attributes

You can change the look of fonts in several ways:

Additional Font Attributes

In addition to the options already described, the Font dialogue box lets you do many other things to the fonts. Select the attributes that you want to use, then click OK:

Character Spacing

Click the Character Spacing tab of the Font dialogue box for character spacing options.


Paragraph gives you aligment options and ways to format your document for emphasis and clarity. Starting at the upper left, your options are as follows:


Styles organizes your document into outline format with incremental heading styles, as well as supplying other consistently rendered style attributes. Styles ensures a consistent look for your document by managing fonts at every level.

To use Styles, click on a Style button and the paragraph or selected text changes to that style. Normal is the basic text style of a document. Heading 1 is analogous to the highest level in an outline, Heading 2 is one step down, and so on.

Styles allows you to develop your document with a logical and consistent structure.

To modify Styles:

  1. Right click a style button. This displays a selection box.
  2. Click Modify to display the Modify Styles dialogue box.
  3. Select the attributes that you want for the style.
  4. Click OK.

Not only can you control the formatting of each style, you can determine what style must follow each style. For instance, by default, Normal follows Heading 1, but you could set Heading 2 or a style of your own creation to follow directly after Heading 1.

To see how a style will look in your document, hover the pointer over that style. The section of text where the insertion point is located will change to that style.


Editing supplies helpful tools for searching and changing your document. Find and Replace open different tabs of the same dialogue box, Find and Replace. The three tabs of Find and Replace are:

Printing a Document

Word can print to printer or to file, produce pdfs, print entire documents, or print only portions of them. You can print quickly using default settings, or set your own.


Print lets you set how you would like to print your document, preview your document’s print job, or print your document with existing parameters.

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Print. This opens the print option dialogue box.
  3. Select your printer from the drop down menu. Word maintains Adobe PDF as a default. This output is appropriate if you want to create a PDF. If not, you must select a printer.
  4. Select page range: all, current page, or a selection of pages.
  5. Select or confirm number of copies to be printed.
  6. Click OK.

Quick Print

Quick Print prints using already determined settings. If you know that your settings are appropriate for the document that you want to print, this is your best option.

  1. Click Start.
  2. From the dropdown menu, click Print.
  3. Click Quick Print. No dialogue box will open. Your document will print directly.

Print Preview

Print Preview lets you give a thorough last inspection of your document before printing. Zoom in for a closer look, adjust margins, select print options, change page orientation, and more.

Click Start then click Print Preview to begin. Your document is shown in full page view. The Ribbon offers you four tab options.


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