Kroll Design
Needham, Massachusetts


Word Tutorials

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AUTOFORMAT HORIZONTAL RULES (Word for Mac 2011): How can you have Word automatically create a horizontal rule by typing a series of equal signs, dashes or underscores followed by hitting the Return key?


  • Click the checkbox "Automatically correct spelling and formatting as you type
  • Click the "AutoFormat as You Type" button/tab
  • Click the "Borders" checkbox
  • Click the "OK" button:
AUTOFORMAT HORIZONTAL RULE WON'T DELETE (Word for Mac 2011): Word won't delete horizontal rules when one clicks the delete key.

To work around this limitation, click to position the cursor directly over the ruler, then do the following:

Format...Borders and Shading:
Borders. None. OK.

BACKGROUND (Word for Mac 2011): Word defaults to a white background. What if I want another color, if only so that it's easier on the eyes (not to mention less boring) while I type away?
Format...Borders and Shading...Shading will give the background of paragraphs a background color, but the margins are still white. To change the background color of the whole page, click the 'Layout' tab, then click on 'Color' in the 'Page Background' section:

BORDERS (Word for Mac 2011): What to do if the borders of a table aren't displaying properly in Print Layout:
exit print layout (View...Web Layout) then go back into print layout (View...Print Layout)

DROPDOWN LIST (Word for Mac 2011): How to create a dropdown list:
  • Word...Preferences...Personal Settings...Ribbon: make sure "Developer" checkbox is checked
  • Click where you want the dropdown list to go
  • Click the Developer tab, then click Combo Box. This should place a box in your form where you want it.
  • Double click inside the combo box to open the Drop-Down Form Field Options Box
  • Type the first item in the Drop-down item box then click the Add button
  • Repeat this step until the "Items in drop-down list" box has all the desired items, then when done, click OK.
  • Select Tools...Protect Document...Forms...OK to make the dropdown list work correctly.

FOOTER (Word 2003): How to create a footer like this at the bottom of a document:
  • View...Header and Footer, then click in the footer box
  • Table...Insert...Table...Number of Columns:2, Number of Rows:1
  • type "Acme Widgets, Inc." in left cell
  • type "Company Policies" in right cell and click the Align Right button
  • Table...Table Properties...Table...Options...Default cell margins:0
  • highlight both cells, then Table...Table Properties...Cell...Vertical Alignment...Bottom
  • Table...Table Properties...Row...Specify Height. Increase row height to create some breathing room at the top of the cells
  • Format...Borders and Spacing...Setting:Custom...unclick buttons for everything except the top border...Apply to Table

GRAYED OUT DOCUMENT: If you click on Window in the menu, it shows what Word docs (if any) that you currently have open. In the example below, why is the document grayed out such that you can't click on it?

It's probably a Mac thing, not a Word thing: See if there's an icon in your Mac's "Dock" for the open document. If so, clicking on it should display the window in Word.

HORIZONTAL RULES: How do you change the color of horizontal lines in a Microsoft Word doc?
The horizontal line is called a "border". Click on one of the lines, and see if Table...Table Properties is grayed out. If it's not grayed out, it means that the border is a table border. If it's a table, click Table...Table Properties...Borders and Shading. If it's not a table, click Format...Borders and Shading. You'll then see the following window:

Simply changing the color may not be enough. I found that after changing the color, you have to deselect borders currently highlighted, THEN RESELECT the borders you want.


The following little icon insists on appearing:

How do I hide it?

Here's how:

Tools...AutoCorrect...AutoCorrect...uncheck "Show AutoCorrect smart button"...OK

Piece of cake! Intuitively obvious! ANY dummy could have figured THAT out! Sure....


I got rid of this smart button as described, but then, to my delight, ANOTHER stupid smart button appeared. To get rid of THIS one, I had to go into Word...Preferences...Edit, then uncheck the "Show Paste Options buttons" box:

LINKS IN WORD DOC -- HOW TO EXPORT CLEAN HTML? (Word for Mac 2011): What's the best way to convert a Word doc with 1,000 links to web pages into CLEAN html, consisting of ONLY the "a href" tags with NO ugly formatting that Word has a nasty habit of including when I try saving the Word doc as a web page?

SNAPPING UNWANTED (Word for Mac 2011): If a picture is being a real pain and constantly jumping and snapping when you move it around, instead of smoothly moving to EXACTLY where you want it placed, what to do?
Right click on picture, and select Format Picture...Layout, "In Front of Text".
View...Publishing Layout behaves best for fine tuning the position of pictures.

SPELLCHECK KEEPS IGNORING TYPOS: I spellchecked a document using Tools...Spellcheck. I had my reasons to click "Ignore" for certain words that were spelled wrong, but upon doing another spell check an hour later, I now want these words to be flagged again, and to no longer be ignored. How do I tell Word to flag these misspelled words, and to stop ignoring the fact that they are misspelled?
Preferences...Spelling and Grammar, click the "Recheck Document" button:

TABLE OF CONTENTS (Word for Mac 2011): how can one create a table of contents, with dotted lines connecting the left justified chapter names and right justified page numbers?

From the menu, choose Format...Tabs, then insert a tab as show below. When you then type a chapter name, hit the tab key, then type a page number, you'll get a desired line in your table of contents.

TEXT BOX HAS GOOFY CURSOR: If you're sent a Word doc, and when you open it you get a 4-way arrow cursor as shown below, and instead of the normal cursor associated with being able to edit text, what should you do?
Either click around inside the box until the text box deselects and you get the expected cursor allowing you to edit text, or, right click on the selected text box and choose "Edit Text" from the menu:
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Last modified: 10/3/2012 7:30 PM