A Microsoft Word Tutorial*

by Helen H. Schmidt, Iowa State University

Directions: Print out this tutorial or your teacher will give you a copy. You will also need your own diskette. Turn on your computer (if it isn't already on).

Start the Program

1. Using the mouse, put the arrow pointer on the Apple icon at the top left of your screen. Press the mouse button and hold it down. This will pull down the Apple menu. Continue to hold the mouse button down.

 

2. Move the pointer down to Applications to highlight it, and then over to the right-hand menu to Microsoft Word and highlight it. Release the button.

 

3. The main screen for Word appears. At the top of the screen are the names of the Menus for Word, including the Apple menu. Below the menus are the Toolbar Buttons. We will discuss them later. Below that is the Title Bar, now showing "document 1" because you haven't named this document yet. Below the Title Bar is the Text Window, where you will write.

 

 

4. In the upper left-hand corner of the text window you see the Insert Pointer blinking. Beside it you may see a paragraph symbol. You will also see another vertical bar that looks like the letter I. That's the Mouse Pointer.

 

 

Enter Text

1. Type the sample paragraph below. Read and follow the directions as you type it on the computer. Don't worry about mistakes. I want you to make mistakes so I can show you how to correct them.

 
This paragraph will show you a few things about Word. For example, you don't have to press RETURN at the end of each line; Word starts new lines automatically. You press RETURN only when you want to start a new paragraph. Notice that you "push" the Insert Pointer and the paragraph symbol along as you type. To end this paragraph, press RETURN when you finish typing this sentence.
Now type this short line.

 

Delete/Insert Letters

1. Your Insert Pointer is now blinking after the period at the end of the short line. Use the left arrow key or the right arrow key (to the right of the spacebar) to move the Pointer back until it's on the right side of the "s" of "this."

2. Press the Delete key (upper right corner of the keyboard) to remove the "s," and press it again to remove the "i." Now type "e," and you have changed "this" to "the."

3. Move the Mouse Pointer anywhere else in your text (using the mouse) and click. See? That also moves the Insert Pointer. (Notice that the Mouse Pointer changes from an I to an arrow when you move it off the text window.)

4. Now use the mouse and the four arrow keys to delete errors and type in the corrections just as you did with "this" and "the."

5. If you have omitted a letter somewhere, just put the Insert Pointer where the letter should be, click once, and type the letter. Example: "pr ss" becomes "press."

 

Save As

1. Put the mouse pointer on the word File at the top of the screen. Instead of just clicking the mouse button, press it down and hold it. The File menu will appear.

2. Still holding the button down, move the mouse downward (toward you) until you have highlighted the menu selection Save As. Then release the mouse button.

3. A Dialog Box like the one below will appear. Study its parts carefully before going on to the next step.

4. The Dialog Box above says that you're using Macintosh HD the Hard Drive, and you've opened the Desktop on your computer. Here is one way to save what you have written (your files):

You will always save your files on the Desktop. To do so, click on the Desktop button. Click the Open button. Then type a name for your document in the Save Current Document As box. Click on the Save button to save your new file.

When you're working on a long document, it's a good idea to Save every twenty minutes or so. This will make sure that all your changes are saved in the same place that you specified when you used the Save As choice.

 

5. After you have completed your document and saved it on the desktop, you can send it as an attachment to yourself on e-mail.

 

Select a Word or a Group of Words to Delete, Replace, or Change

This time, instead of deleting a single letter and then inserting a new one, you'll Delete or Replace a string of letters, a whole word, or a group of words at once. First, select the words you want to change.

1. Use the mouse and click to move the Insert Pointer to the beginning or the end of "Word" in the first line of your sample document.

2. Hold down the mouse button and drag the mouse left or right to highlight the word "Word." (If you drag too far, highlighting the spaces around the word, just drag in the opposite direction to unselect before you release the mouse button.)

3. Don't delete "word." Instead, just type "this program" and you'll see that the new words automatically replace the old.

You could do many things after selecting this word, but what if you change your mind?

No problem. Just click again or press an arrow key to unselect the word.

You started a new paragraph just before typing the last line of the sample document, but it doesn't look like a new paragraph because it's not indented. You'll use the toolbar to move that line around, but first you must select the whole line.

1. Move the Mouse Pointer to the left edge of the screen, past the left margin of your document. You'll see that it becomes an arrow pointing upward and to the right. (If you move it too far, it points upward to the left.)

2. Position the arrow to the left of the last line "Now type this short line," and click to select the whole line. This highlights the whole line. Now you can make some changes to it.

 

Use the Toolbar

1. The toolbar is the line of boxes and symbols that appear across the top of the computer screen. You may recognize the picture of a file folder, scissors, a paint brush, and so forth. If the toolbar does not appear at the top of the screen, pull down the View menu and select Toolbars. In the Toolbars dialog box, click standard and then OK

2. In number 2 above, you highlighted the line "Now type this short line."

3. Center the highlighted line in your sample document by clicking on the Center Justify box as shown below.

That's how to center the title of a story, essay, or report.

4. Left Justify the line again by clicking on the Left-Justify box once more and then unselect the line by clicking again.

5. Now highlight the word "Word" in line 3 of the sample document. Move the mouse pointer up to the I in the toolbar and click it. This changes the type to italics. Now click B and U. You see that the type becomes boldfaced and underlined. Practice changing other words in the document.

 

Add a Title

1. Place the mouse pointer at the beginning of your sample document and click once. You have positioned the Insert Pointer at the beginning of the document.

2. Now press RETURN. This pushes the document down one line and gives you space to write your title.

3. Put the mouse pointer up one line and click once.

4. Type "Sample Document."

5. Move the mouse pointer to the beginning of your title and click once. Then, hold down the mouse button to highlight the title.

5. Center the highlighted title in your sample document by clicking on the Center Justify box in the toolbar.

 

Indent Every Paragraph with the Tab key

1. We use the tab key at the top left side of the computer keyboard to indent paragraphs and to make simple tables. Normally, you push the tab key once before you begin to type each paragraph.

2. If the ruler does not appear at the top of your document, pull down the View menu and select Ruler. The ruler shows you how wide the page is and where the margins are.

2. Tabs are already set at every half-inch on the ruler scale.

3. Place the Insert pointer at the beginning of the first line of your document and press the tab key. You have indented your first paragraph.

4. Place the Insert pointer at the beginning of the short line and press the tab key. You have indented your second paragraph.

 

Change the Size of the Type

To change the font size of all of your sample document

1. Pull down the Edit menu and choose Select All. All of your document will be highlighted.

2. Pull down the font size arrow on the tool bar and highlight the font size you want. The usual size is 12.

3. Your typing will change size. If you don't like it, you can choose another size immediately. Then click the mouse button so that the highlighting disappears. This is important so that you don't make other changes by mistake.

To change the size of the type of only one or two words,

1. Use the mouse to highlight those words by dragging the pointer across the words.

2. Pull down the size arrow on the tool bar and highlight the size you want. The usual size is 12.

3. Your typing will change size. Then, click the mouse button so that the highlighting disappears. Save to keep what you have chosen.

 

Change the Font Style

1. Pull down the Edit menu and choose Select All. All of your document will be highlighted, or you can highlight only a word or two by highlighting them with the mouse pointer.

2. Pull down the font arrow on the tool bar and choose a different font. If you don't like it, you can change immediately to another font. Keep changing until you find one you like.

3. Remember to click the mouse button so that the highlighting disappears. Then Save to keep what you have chosen.

 

Cut and Paste to Move Sentences and Paragraphs Around

When you rewrite your papers, it is not necessary to retype everything when you want to move sentences and paragraphs around. Here is how to move one line or a whole paragraph.

1. Move the Mouse Pointer to the left edge of the screen, past the left margin of your document. You'll see that it becomes an arrow pointing upward and to the right. (If you move it too far, it points upward to the left.)

2. Position the arrow to the left of the last line of your sample document, and click to select the whole line. This highlights the whole line.

3. Pull down the Edit menu and choose Cut. This removes the line from the document temporarily.

4. Move the Mouse Pointer to the beginning of your sample document and click once. The Insert Pointer is now at the beginning of your sample document.

5. Pull down the Edit menu again with the mouse pointer and select Paste. The line you cut will appear at the beginning of your sample document. Don't forget to save your changes.

 

Change the Space between the Lines

When you write papers, your teachers will probably ask you to double-space them. Here is how to change the spacing between the lines.

1. Highlight all of the sample document. Hold down the mouse button and drag the mouse from the top of the sample document to the bottom.

2. Pull down the Format menu at the top of the screen.

3. Choose Paragraph.

4. When the screen changes, find Line Spacing. Put the mouse pointer on the down arrow and hold the mouse button down. Choose Double .

5. Click OK.

6. Save your changes.

 

Save the File Once More before You Print

1. You should always make sure you have saved your work on your desktop!

2. Pull down the File menu and select Save As the last time you save. Click the Desktop button and the file will be saved with the name you specified when you used the Save As procedure first. This is important because if you make a mistake and save on the harddrive of a computer in a public computer lab, you will lose your document the next time someone restarts the computer.

 

Print Your Work

Pull down the File menu and select Print. The screen will change to a dialog box that shows how many copies you will print. It says 1 now. Click the Print button and your printer will print your document.

 

Quit Microsoft Word

Close your document by clicking in the small box in the upper left hand corner of your document. (If you forget to save your file before quitting, Word will remind you to do so.)

Pull down the File menu and select Quit. You'll return to the Desktop.

Open an Existing File

When you start again another day, first find a copy of the document you sent to yourself on e-mail and put it on the desktop. Open Microsoft Word and then open the document.

Conclusion

You have just finished a very basic tutorial in usingMicrosoft Word. There are many other things you can do with this amazing program. The Question Mark icon at the extreme top right of your screen is the Help menu. When you have a question about the icons on the screen, pull down the Help menu and choose Show Balloons, and when you have a question about how to do something with Microsoft Word, choose Microsoft Word Help.



*This tutorial is based on a 1988 tutorial by Robert Boston, Department of English, Iowa State University.


Helen H. Schmidt
Instructor, Intensive English and Orientation Program
Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, U.S.A.
Email:hschmidt@iastate.edu

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Last update: January 1999