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MS Word for Writers

Word-processing Mastery for Those Who Most Appreciate the Power of Words

MS Word for Writers

Word-processing Mastery for Those Who Most Appreciate the Power of Words
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This course is designed for all my author friends, both old and new, so you can bend the word-processor to YOUR needs for a change... and ultimately get back to the creative process of writing.
While this course is filmed in the newest version of MS Word, almost all of the tools demonstrated have been available in every version of the program since 2003. If you see a particularly awesome skill, but can't find the button or menu item to access it in your version, a quick internet search for "NAME THE SKILL in MS Word 20##" and chances are great that someone else has put up a YouTube video of exactly how to do it.
There's nothing worse than writing the BEST SCENE EVER, and then discovering you can't remember where you saved it on your computer. Okay, maybe accidentally deleting that scene would be worse, but after this lesson, you won't do that either!
Not your grandma's typewriter! Microsoft Word has several differences from how folks learned to type before the mid-1980s. Even if you already understand word wrap and using just 1 space between sentences, you might enjoy learning how to zoom in on the text (rather than changing the font size) every time you've misplaced your reading glasses. And the undo button? I can't imagine my life without it! Does anyone know how we could create an "UNDO" button for REAL LIFE??
Fonts - the style of the text Font size /increase font size (works even in sections that have multiple sizes of print!) Bold, italics, underline Strike-through Sub-script and super-script Text effects and typography - did you know about using "Ligatures" to connect letters in fancy fonts?? Text highlighter Text color Changing case (lowercase, UPPERCASE, Capitalize Each Word) Small caps and MORE!
Alignment - left, center, right, and fully justified Line and paragraph spacing * first-line indent * line spacing * adding extra space between paragraphs for non-fiction * changing the Default settings for ALL YOUR FUTURE DOCUMENTS! Shading and borders Bulleted and numbered lists Increasing indent A-to-Z alphabetical sorting of lists Show/hide tool - so you can finally figure out what's going on when MS Word isn't doing what you expect!
Page dimensions - because books aren't usually printed on 8.5" x 11" paper! Margins - including how to format so your text doesn't get lost in the spine of the book. Columns - when you need 'em, you need 'em. Page Breaks vs. Section Breaks (but more detailed in Lesson 12!) Adding line numbers (hello, poetry!)
Move text throughout your document. Paste clips you made earlier -- even before your most recent cut/copy! Use format painter to save hours when applying similar font characteristics throughout your document.
You may not ever get back the weekend you lost binge-watching TV, but this one tool will save you mega hours from deleting extra line-breaks between paragraphs, removing unnecessary tabs, or replacing two spaces between sentences with just one. Never mind how awesome it is to quickly correct your most commonly misspelled words, or to change character names throughout your document - just be wary of replacing short words that may appear as part of a longer word... (like my friend who changed her character Joy's name to Samantha, and then throughout the manuscript, folks were enSamantha-ing their cocktails!)
Size matters! Two quick and easy ways to locate your current word count (and section totals), along with word count tips for writing in various genres.
Time to stop spending extra moolah for Grammarly... it's already built into your MS Word proofing options! What? Not using ANY pre-editing hacks? Then it's time to learn how you can quickly do more than just proofreading!
Tired of pressing the Enter key a thousand times to make your chapter start on a new page? (And never mind what happens when you add/delete text from earlier chapters!) Now you'll be able to add page breaks with ease, and even better, you'll learn when to use simple Page Breaks vs. the more useful Section Break - Next Page breaks.
Stumped by trying to create a header with running page count throughout your manuscript? No problem! Boggled by not knowing how to use lowercase Roman numerals on your Preface pages? No problem! Can't figure out how to turn off a header on the opening page of each new chapter? No problem! What to make for dinner tonight? PROBLEM! Better call an expert!
No more excuses for staring at your screen trying to figure out a better word for "walked" - just right-click and have "ambled," "limped," or "careened" at your fingertips. Or use this feature to translate words, sentences, or entire documents into a myriad of other languages.
You will NEVER need this knowledge. Until you do. And then you REALLY need it, and you need it NOW!
Quickly add letters with accent markings, foreign currency symbols, Greek and Cyrillic characters, mathematical operators and more (including the hyphen, en-dash, and em-dash). Add images to your document -- complete with frames or shadow/glow/reflection effects -- and train the text to automatically re-flow around them! Help your readers quickly locate source information by adding hyperlinks to your text -- so they can click right through (and you won't need to struggle with how to properly cite them on your blog!) Or maybe you're an emoji-addict and can't imagine writing a blog without smiley faces... no problem, just use the new "Insert Icons" feature.
Man vs. Artificial Intelligence The new "Dictate" feature is FREE and surprisingly accurate. Watch a quick, live test in this session, then download and try it out for yourself. The other recent addition of "Read Aloud" might be a game-changer for your revision process... just click play and MS Word turns your text into an audiobook so (after you've stared at the computer screen for 6 months) you can finally HEAR your words in a fresh new way.
If you take away only ONE new skill from this course, make this one yours. Quickly and easily label new chapters and sub-heads, then format their font and size and characteristics (and drop-down height and line-spacing, and a bazillion other things) in just ONE place... but have it applied THROUGHOUT YOUR BOOK! Oh, and did I mention you can do this for your main body text as well? No more click-and-drag to highlight whole chapters every time you decide to try a new font. (You can thank me later!)
As if the simplicity of the Styles settings above wasn't enough to evoke praise, here you'll learn how to move between chapters with a single click (bye bye, endless scrolling)... AND if you need to re-order chapters, just drag-and-drop them on the Navigation Panel to test it out without suffering through headache inducing cut-and-paste sessions.
The Sprint phone tech never once asked, "Are you able to discern that of which I am presently speaking?" Turn on this little hidden gem in the Proofing Options, and let the Flesch Kincaid Readability and Ease scores help you understand whether your audience has a clue what you're writing about. "Can you hear me now?"
More love for the Styles settings... Once you've enabled your chapter headings and sub-heads, just pop to the beginning of your document and add a full Table of Contents with one click -- with auto-formatted page numbers... or even hyperlinks if you're creating an eBook!
No more cursing and ranting when it's time to add a footnote or endnote, because you don't know how to get the text to flow around at the bottom of the page. Just click the "Insert Footnote" button and MS Word will automatically number and format your notes (and update those numbers automatically if you later add more notes!). Change your mind about whether you need footnotes or endnotes? That's no problem, either. Easily convert ALL your notes with just one more click.
Citations and bibliographies were the bane of our existence in the old days. I remember stacks of index cards alongside my dog-eared Chicago Style Manual (later abandoned for Kate Turabian, soon to be followed by MLA)... and still, I struggled with where to put the punctuation. Now... just fill in an intuitive form, and click a button. MS Word will automatically format your citation or bibliographic entry to the whims of your industry's favorite style manual. Even better? Just one more click will convert it between style manuals if you need to submit to another publisher with different preferences.
Like window dressing for your book, just seeing these drop-caps applied to the opening line of your chapters will motivate you to want to share it with your fans!
I used to quake in my leather boots when an author wanted to add an Index to their book. Now, MS Word's indexing makes it easy to mark entries, add the index itself, and even update the page numbers if revisions are needed.
Believe it or not, MS Word recognizes 18 unique English dialects... and even more foreign languages... so why shouldn't your spell-check?
The days of the red pen are long gone, but my first-time author friends who receive their first edit back in Track Changes often wish they could teleport back to high school days. However, once you really get the hang of MS Word's most powerful editing tool, you'll never want to go back. Easily accept and reject suggested changes, scroll through (and resolve or delete) editing comments, or integrate suggestions from multiple beta-readers, all without shuffling hundreds of loose sheets of paper, or losing your mind. Ready for your close up, my dear author friend? It's time to make every word choice in your manuscript sparkle!
Finished writing your book? Congratulations! Now it's time to find an audience. This lesson contains simple, easy-to-follow instructions to format your finished manuscript for agent or editor submission. Do remember to check the current year's "Writer's Market" guide in case your agent or editor has specific requests, but this will get you 95% of the way there!
There are entire (pricey!) video courses out there devoted to this topic, but I wanted to help you tie together all the great new tools you've been learning -- so you can now publish your novel and finally start building your tribe of raving fans. Feel free to pause the video at each step while you implement the formatting, then come back for more. If you're building an indie-author career, this one set of skills will save you $150-1000 PER BOOK.
Congratulations on reaching for new ways to bring more joy to your writing process. I am so excited to have you in this creative world! Feel free to let me know (in the Q section here, or by the email address in the lesson) what you're writing next... and of course, when your book launches! PS. A comprehensive list of MS Word keyboard shortcuts (courtesy of MS Word themselves) can be downloaded from the Resources section of this lesson.
A downloadable list of all the awesome shortcuts to save you time while typing your masterpiece!

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Demi Stevens

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