Business Writing

Talk, tips, and best picks for writers on the job.

Syntax Training | Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

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March 12, 2010

Comments

Karla

But if everyone at work knew how to do these things, I might be out of a job!

Eve

You are so right, Lynn! And you didn't mention how one's lack of knowledge about the software's features can slow OTHERS down as well. For example, I work in a law firm where we share and edit common documents often. When one person doesn't know how to automatically number lines and I receive that document, I end up wasting time re-formatting that person's error.

Thanks for the great post!

Elaya Kumar S

You are on the dot. I agree with you that lack of knowledge about all the features of the word hampers the pace of writing.

Thanks for the insight.

Jeff

Also, learn keyboard shortcuts. Knowing tricks like Shift+ to select text or Ctrl + F3 to switch case saves time versus using the mouse. In Word 2003, search Help for Keyboard Shortcuts for a complete list.

Marcia Yudkin

Sounds like a workshop or a product to me, Lynn!

Some of these things are actually a bit more complicated than it might seem. For example, I recently read a document that contained several nonsense words that were created by doing a global "replace" command and not checking each replacement.

Jennifer

I'm always amazed by the amount of people who don't know what they don't know and the amount of extra time they cost themselves by what they don't know (because it takes them longer to do their work). I agree with Eve. As a communications specialist, I work with a lot of drafts written/created by other people. I often say that it is easier for me to start something from scratch than to fix what others have created. These same concepts apply to PowerPoint.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Thanks, everyone, for your comments.

Eve, special thanks for noting (and Jennifer, thanks for elaborating on) how weak Word skills slow down others too. I hope your comments serve as an impetus for training in Microsoft Office.

Jeff, I am glad you mentioned keyboard shortcuts and how to access them.

Marcia, you certainly are right about global replace. I typically go through the document and okay each replacement. It eliminates crazy capitalization and other problems.

I wonder whether other things slow down writing although they have nothing to do with writing skills. Slow typing, of course--anything else?

Lynn

Lisa

Thanks for another great post, Lynn. Can you direct us to more free or low-cost resources to help employees learn these Microsoft Word tips and tricks?

Val S.

One thing I find that slows down writing is when Word does TOO MUCH for me. I find it a lot easier to get what I want if I turn off most of the automatic formatting. However, I then set my own formatting; for instance, I have to type several acronyms (like my company's name), so I put those into Auto-Correct to always change to uppercase.

To Lisa, I have learned so many tips and shortcuts from other employees. Maybe you could get your colleagues to share their tips.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Good point, Val. I turn off some formatting and automatic corrections too.

I have written here about clients who did not know how to make Word stop changing HSA, which they intended, to HAS. They told me that my advice on the topic was worth the price of the seminar!

Lynn

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Lisa. Read Jeff's and Val's comments above.

Lynn

dean graziosi

I must say that you have given nice information about Microsoft Word..I completely agree with you that sometimes people don't know better use of Microsoft Word.Even I came to know some new things from your points for writing in Microsoft Word.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Dean. I am glad you learned something by stopping by.

Lynn

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