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Monday, September 25, 2000
Learning Computers

Software that types and designs Web pages

MICROSOFT Word (MS Word) is one of the major components of Microsoft Office. As the name suggests, this programme is related to word processing and has wide usage and application. The versatility of this programme is such that anything related to writing that comes to mind, can be done using this software. Thus, in order to understand this programme, it has been divided into two parts.

1)Main features

2)Uses and applications

Main features: The most important feature of the Microsoft Word is its user- friendly interface, which makes it possible, even for an absolute beginner to easily understand it. The programme basically comprises of nine major functions, which are present on the menu bar and includes File, Edit, View, Insert, Format, Tools, Table, Windows and Help. Each and every menu has further sub (sub) menus, which are linked to the main sub-menus. Thus the sub-menus of File menu (open, close, save, save as, print) are all related to the main menu, i.e. File. Similarly, the sub-menus of Edit, including undo typing, redo typing, cut, copy, paste, are also linked with editing the document. Basically, all functions are well defined in the form of main menus.


Moreover, it also has compatibility with a host of file types like .txt, .rtf, document templates, uni-coded text files, personal address book, outlook address book, HTML, Lotus 123, Word perfect and Excel worksheet, besides the default .doc documents. This makes it versatile

It is worth mentioning here that besides being a good word processor, it is also a good HTML editor, thereby adding a lot of value to the Web pages. In fact, the MS Word has good resources on the Web pages in its document template.

Templates are a rich assortment of MS documents, which can be accessed while opening a new file. Templates are not just limited to the Web pages or the default blank page, which is opened automatically on opening the MS Word but also has an extensive database of letters, fax, mailing labels, envelope printing, memos, resume, Web pages, agenda, award, brochure, calendar, invoice, reports, and newsletters.

It also has a good spelling & grammar checker, which helps in correcting normal typing mistakes, both while typing as well after it. While typing, a typographical error gets highlighted by a red underline, a warning for a spelling mistake. Similarly, a green line drawn just before the current word or sentence shows a grammatical mistake has been committed. Word also has a thesaurus, which is a boon for the users.

At times, in order to present work in an impressive way, a summary of the whole text is required. Using the MS Word, this task can be done easily as the AutoSummarize feature present on the Tools menu does this task elegantly. There are other important features on the Tools menu like auto correct and word count, which are useful in day-to-day working.

For example, writing in limits is a difficult task. Normally, people tend to write in excess. In order to keep a check on the word limit, the "word count" tool comes handy, as it tells exactly how many words have been punched in so far. Similarly, the "auto correct" function corrects most common mistakes automatically without prompting you to look at them.

For example, the most common mistake while typing is to mistype "the" as "teh". Since, it is predefined in the auto correct function, thus whenever you mistype "the" as "teh", it gets corrected. The best part is that it can be customised. One can define own mistakes and suggest a solution.

Another great feature of MS Word is its use in publishing. Word is not just all about creating office documents only, but can be used effectively in publishing as well as tables can be drawn and columns can be created in a document.

Pictures and objects can also be added in documents to make it more lively and meaningful. The tables in the documents can be inserted from Table menu whereas the objects and pictures can be inserted from the Insert menu present on the menu bar.

Similarly columns can be added from the Format menu. Moreover, in order to highlight contents, one can also add boxes in a document, which can be coloured and may contain, text, graphics or picture. The list is endless.

Uses and applications: Like the features, the uses and applications of Microsoft Word are also numerous and endless. It can prove to be useful for professional purposes, offices, homes, personal use and general documentation and communication. MS Word in fact, has come above the category of the word processor, owing to its features.

One of the major uses is in general documentation. In case of offices and also individuals, the regular documentation is a big task. Though the documentation can be done in any word processor, but the use of Macros, in Microsoft Word can make a difference! Macros are the programmes, which can automate the regular task.

Thus, if a daily report is to be created using some pre-defined data, then there is no need to slog on it as a macro can be created to do the task. In fact any task, which is repetitive in nature and uses pre-defined variables, can be done easily by using Macros.

Another use of MS Word can be found in communication. This is one of the major areas, where the Word users find a lot of convenience. Using Word, whatever is done in a document can be directly sent through e-mail or fax. However, for sending through e-mail, Microsoft (MS) exchange should be installed on the system. As this software uses MS exchange and the personal address book, thus without logging on to the Microsoft exchange, this service cannot be used.

Similarly, for sending fax, one needs to install Windows-based Fax software. For sending fax from a document window, open File menu and click on send to in the drop down sub menu. Choose Fax recipient option, which will open the Fax wizard on the computer screen. By simply following the instructions, one can easily send fax from the document window, using fax modem.

Further, if the mode of communication is conventional i.e. through a normal post, then also the MS Word can prove to be useful. One can print envelopes and labels directly using the address book, and get saved from botheration of re-typing.

For using this feature, it is necessary that one must have installed and a running MS exchange on the system. Moreover, one can also draft letters in a pre-defined format with contemporary looks to add professional touch in communication.

The Word also finds its utility in the Web designing as its word processing capabilities add a lot of value to its HTML editor function.

MS Word has compatibility, with other components of MS Office, so whatever is done is transferred to other important components of MS Office. For example, one can create presentations using MS Power Point and by using the text from MS Word.

As another use of the software, one can insert any compatible file in the document, by using the Insert feature. However, the insert feature is more relevant for inserting graphics, clip arts and pictures to document. These features are otherwise available in publishing software only.

The Word also finds its major use in documentation including making of reports, thesis, presentations, newsletters and brochures. This program does not limit adding value to documents; however, it allows using imagination and creativity to add as much value one wants. Moreover, its feature on insertion of chart makes it indispensable for persons who wish to create reports or presentations.

— by Vipul Verma

In the next issue of Log in… Tribune, we will take up Microsoft Excel.

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