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Grad. Studies Home

Some Common Microsoft Word 2003 Commands and Menu Functions


Open the TOOLS menu and click on “Autocorrect” to have computer correct common typos like typing the because you have accidentally transposed the h and e in the.

Each category you select will be automatically corrected as you type.  If you don’t want a particular category to be corrected automatically, click on the box to de-select it.


To move text from one place to another without retyping, use the “Cut” and “Paste” commands in the EDIT menu.  You can cut and paste, or copy and paste, text from one application to another (such as cutting from Word and pasting into WebCT discussions) as well.

  1. Select the text that you want to move by clicking at the beginning, keeping the mouse button down, and dragging the mouse to the end of the selection before releasing the button.

  2. Then, click on the picture of the scissors at the top of the screen on the tool bar --OR--Open the EDIT menu and click “Cut.”  The highlighted text will disappear.  Don’t panic—the computer is holding it in its memory (the clipboard) until you tell it where to put it or until you replace it there by cutting some other text.

  3. Move your cursor (with the mouse or arrow keys) to where you want the text to be moved and click to position the cursor at that place.

  4. Click on the picture of the clipboard on the toolbar --OR-- Open the EDIT menu and click on “Paste.”  The text that you cut out should now be pasted in the new location.  And remember, you can always use the EDIT>undo command if something didn't work correctly.

    NOTE:  The “Copy” command works like “Cut,” except that it leaves the text in its original spot while adding a copy in the new location.  Use Copy if you’re not sure whether you want to move the text or not; you can try it in a couple places and see where it works best.


For form documents that you send out frequently, open the INSERT menu, select “Date and time,” choose the format you want, and then select “Update automatically” and click OK.  Every time you open this file in the future, the date will automatically change to the correct one.

  1. Open the EDIT menu and click on “Find.” 

  2. Type in the word or punctuation mark or symbol that you want to find.

  3. Click “Find next” and the cursor will move to the first place that text has been used.  You can then direct the computer to find the next version or to make a change in the text, or click “exit” to get out of the Find command.

    A shortcut to this command is holding down the Ctrl key and typing F.
  1. Open the HELP menu and click on “Contents and Index” and then “Find.” 

  2. Type in the command you need help with. 

  3. When the term appears in the dialogue box below, click on the correct one and then on “display.”  A box will open up with the explanation for that term.


    Click on the picture of the Question mark at the right of the toolbar, and type a question for the office assistant (that annoying little paperclip person).
  1. Open the INSERT menu and click on Choose Page Number. 

  2. In the dialog box, choose the position of the number (top or bottom of page) and the alignment of the number (left, right or center). 

  3. If you want to change the style of number, click on Format and choose the style you want. 

  4. For more options, you can also number pages using the VIEW menu.

    1. Click on VIEW >Header & Footer.
    2. The Header/Footer dialogue box opens. The "switch between header and footer" icon there allows you decide whether to number pages at the top or bottom. Other options available are "insert auto text" which provides "page X of Y" and other such wording, along with date, time, etc. You can also type your own wording, such as a Running Head. REMEMBER: Never type the actual number for the page; always use the "insert page number" option.

      NOTE:  You will not see the page number when working in Normal view.  To see that it is there, open the VIEW menu and click on Page Layout. Once the page number is showing, you can double click on it to edit it


Open the FILE menu and click on “Page setup.”  This will allow you to change margins, paper size (letter or legal) and page orientation (vertical  = portrait, horizontal =landscape.)


Open the EDIT menu and click on “Replace.” This works like “Find” but gives you the chance to replace one word or symbol with another.  If you want to replace all occurrences of the word,  instead of just one at a time, click on “Replace all.” 

A shortcut to this command is holding down Ctrl and typing H.

  1. Save” (in the FILE menu) will automatically replace an old version of a document with the new version on screen.  Use this command ONLY when you want to save changes as you type, after you have saved a document the first time, with the appropriate name and location.  It’s always a good idea to save your text frequently as you go, in case of a power failure or computer problem.

  2. “Save as” (in the FILE menu) gives you the chance to change the document’s name or save it in a different place (your removable drive, for instance, instead of in "my documents") or as a different type of file (WordPerfect instead of Word, for instance.)  You will also use the “Save as” command the first time you save any document, or if you want to keep the old version and this new version also by saving the new version with a different name.
  1. To spellcheck a complete document after you have typed it, open the TOOLS menu and click on “Spelling and grammar.”    The word processing program will then move through the document, highlighting any word that doesn't match a word in its dictionary. 

  2. You will have the option of ignoring it (if it’s correct as is), ignoring all (if it appears a number of times in the text and you don’t want the spell check to stop at each one), adding the word to the dictionary (if it’s a word you use frequently, like your name or name of agency, that you don’t want to show up every time as a possible misspelling), or changing it by clicking on one of the suggested corrections or by typing in the correct spelling yourself.

  3. To correct your spelling as you type the document, rather than waiting till the end, open the TOOLS menu, click on “Spelling and grammar”, then “Options.”

  4. Click on “Check spelling as you type” if you want Word to put a red line under possibly misspelled words as you go, rather than waiting till the end.  Some like this feature, others find it annoying and distracting while they’re trying to figure out what to say.   (Right clicking on a word underlined in red will open up a box with suggestions for corrections.)

  5. “Check grammar as you type” works the same way as “Check spelling as you type,” putting a green line under possible grammar errors as type.  (Note:  I don’t recommend using this feature, as it is more distracting than useful and more often incorrect than correct.)