We live in a world of checklists and checkboxes, so it stands to reason you might sometimes want to include checkboxes in documents you create.
There are two different kinds of checkboxes you can create in Microsoft Word: decorative ones for printed documents (that can be checked off in real life with a pen or pencil), and functional checkboxes that users can check with a mouse click if they’re viewing the document on a computer.
How to insert a checkbox in Word for printed documents
1. Position the cursor where you want to place the checkbox in your Word document.
2. In the ribbon at the top of the screen, make sure you’re on the “Home” tab and then click the down-arrow beside the Bullets button.
3. In the drop-down menu, click “Define New Bullet.”
4. Click “Symbol.”
5. In the Symbol dialog box, find a symbol that looks like a checkbox. There are a number of options to choose from, but here’s a good choice: In the “Font” drop-down, choose “Wingdings 2” and then in the “Character code” field, enter “163.” If you like this option, click “OK.”
6. Click “OK” again to close the other open window.
7. The checkbox will now be added to your document.
To add more checkboxes, just use the Bullet button and it’ll be inserted automatically (to get your usual bullet back, click the down-arrow next to the Bullet button and choose the symbol you prefer). In the future, you can choose either the usual bullet or the checkbox from the menu without needing to select it from the “Define New Bullet” dialog box.
How to insert a checkbox in Word for electronic documents
If you want a “clickable” checkbox in electronic documents, you’ll need to enable the Developer ribbon in Options. You’ll only need to do that once, and then you can add a functional checkbox anytime you need it.
1. In the ribbon at the top of Word, click the “File” tab and then click “Options.”
2. In the Word “Options” dialog box, click “Customize Ribbon” in the navigation pane on the left.
3. In the “Customize the Ribbon” section on the right, choose “Main Tabs” from the drop-down menu and then click the checkbox for “Developer” in the list.
4. Click “OK” to close Word Options.
5. In the ribbon, click the new “Developer” tab.
6. In the “Controls” section, click the checkbox icon. You should see it appear in the document. It’s clickable – you can make it appear checked or unchecked by clicking.
In Microsoft Word, you can insert section breaks to divide your document into sections and apply formatting to specific blocks of text. For example, you can have a section with different margin sizes, sections with different headers and footers, and more. Section breaks differ from page breaks, which move the content after a page break to the beginning of the next page.
Below, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for how to remove a section break in Word on Windows and Mac Office programs. When you delete a section break, the text before and after the break combines into one section, which takes on the formatting of the latter section.
Here’s how to remove section breaks from your Word document.
Track Changes is a feature built into Microsoft Word that keeps track of all the edits made to your document and lets you make comments. When Track Changes is turned on, the edit you make are highlighted, appearing in different colors or styles to separate them from the original text.
This is particularly useful for documents with multiple authors or editors, who can review and approve (or reject) each other’s changes.
How to turn on Track Changes in Microsoft Word
To turn Track Changes on, click on the “Review” tab, then click on the icon above “Track Changes.” To turn Track Changes off, just click this icon again. You can also toggle Track Changes on and off by clicking on the “Track Changes” menu arrow and then clicking “Track Changes” in the list.
When Track Changes is on, you can leave changes in the document simply by typing or editing as you would normally. The changes will be formatted differently than the rest of the document, and will contain a mark in the margin to indicate that a change has been made.
For example, if you delete a paragraph with Track Changes on, the paragraph you deleted will remain visible, but will appear in red font with strike-throughs so you don’t confuse it with the remaining text.
How to make and remove Track Changes comments
To make comments in the document without adding to the text, use your mouse to highlight the text you want to comment on, and then click “New Comment” in the “Review” tab. A bubble will appear in the margin of the document, containing your name and a color assigned to you. Once the comment bubble appears, type your comment.
To reply to a comment, just click “Reply” on the comment you want to respond to, and type your response. You can click anywhere outside of the comment bubble when you’re finished.
There are two ways to remove a comment. Click on the comment you want to remove. If you want to keep the comment in the document for the time being, but want to indicate that it’s already been addressed, click “Resolve” in the comment bubble. The comment will still be visible in the document’s margin, but will now appear grayed out, distinguishing it from other comments.
If you want to remove a comment completely, leaving no trace of it in the document, click on the comment and then click the icon above “Delete” in the “Review” tab. It’s located right next to the “New Comment” icon.
How to accept or reject changes
After changes have been made to your document, you can either accept or reject the changes. To do this, right-click on the part of the document that’s been changed. In the menu that appears, click on “Accept” if you want to keep the change, or “Reject” if you want to reject it.
The appearance of the section may change depending on your choice, but it will be consistent with the rest of the document once you’re finished working and turn Track Changes off.
How to hide all the changes and comments
You can control which changes and comments you see by adjusting the markup options.
In the “Review” tab, next to “Track Changes,” there’s a drop-down menu with four options that show different levels of changes made to the document.
“All Markup” will show all changes and comments that have been made since Track Changes was turned on.
“Simple Markup” will show a simplified version of changes and commentary, represented by notes in the document’s margins rather than visible formatting.
“No Markup” will hide all change markings and comments but retain the changes.
“Original” will show the document as it originally appeared before Track Changes was turned on.
You can also customize the types of changes you see by clicking on “Show Markup.” This will open a menu with checkmarks next to the various options. If an option is checked, it’ll be included in the markup. To check or uncheck an option, simply click on it.
This allows you to customize which changes are visible to you, including specific users’ comments and the visual appearance of the comment bubbles (or “balloons,” as they’re called in the list).
How to use the reviewing pane
If you want to review all the changes made to the document in sequence, you can do so using the Reviewing Pane. Next to the Track Changes button, click “Reviewing Pane.” If you want the pane to appear on the side of your screen, click on the “Vertical” option; if you prefer it at the bottom of your screen, click on the “Horizontal” option.
Whichever your preference, the Reviewing Pane will appear, containing all changes and comments made on the document. The total number of changes will also appear at the top of the Reviewing Pane. To close the Reviewing Pane, just click “Reviewing Pane” again.
Whether you’ve been asked to double space a Word document or prefer to read double space documents, this formatting can be applied to an entire Word document or selected sections with just a few clicks.
Double spacing increases the amount of space between lines of text and can be helpful to a teacher or editor in marking the document or adding comments. Double spacing a Word document will differ depending on which version of Word you have.
Here are the steps for newer versions of Word and for Office 2007-2010.
Microsoft has offered a full-featured calendar as a part of its Microsoft 365 suite of productivity apps for decades. But rather than being a stand-alone program like other apps, Office’s calendar is so well integrated with the Outlook email app that they are literally the same program; the only way to see your digital calendar is via Outlook.
There are a lot of lesser-known features hidden in the app, and unless you’re already an Outlook power user, you’ll find that there are a lot of ways to get more out of your Outlook Calendar.
How to get an Outlook Calendar with or without Microsoft 365
Microsoft’s digital calendar is only available as a part of Outlook. You can get Outlook three ways: with a Microsoft 365 subscription on desktop, for free on the web, or as a mobile app for iPhone and Android.
The most full-featured version of the calendar is on the desktop with a Microsoft 365 subscription, such as Microsoft 365 Family ($100 per year) or Microsoft 365 Personal ($70 per year). In addition to giving you access to the full suite of Office apps, these subscriptions also include OneDrive storage.
Without a subscription, you can still access the Outlook Calendar on the web or via the mobile app, though with fewer features and capabilities.
Outlook Calendar tips and tricks
There are countless ways to personalize your Outlook Calendar to get the most out of the program. Here are some of the most useful tips and tricks.
No matter what your content, you can make a more compelling presentation when you’ve toned some common presentation skills and also mastered some of PowerPoint’s lesser-known features.
How to make a better PowerPoint presentation
Here are nine ways to get more out of PowerPoint and create a killer presentation.
Start your presentation instantly
Few things look as unprofessional as fumbling around trying to start your presentation in the PowerPoint app. But you can skip all that by setting your presentation to start instantly.
1. When your PowerPoint deck is complete, click “File” and “Save As.”
2. In the Save As dialog box, change the “Save as” type to “PowerPoint Show” and store it somewhere easy to find, like your desktop.
3. When you’re ready to start the presentation, double-click this icon, and the deck will launch instantly in presentation mode, without needing to open the PowerPoint application.
Create an animated chart
You can format any kind of chart so each segment animates individually. This can help you call attention to specific parts of the chart as you discuss it. Add a chart in the usual way, then:
1. Click the “Animations” tab in the ribbon and then click “Animation Pane.”
2. In the ribbon, click “Add Animation.”
3. Choose the kind of animation you want to apply to the chart.
4. Right-click the effect in the Animation Pane and then, in the menu, choose “Effect Options.”
5. In the Properties box, choose the “Chart Animation” tab and then change “Group chart” to “By Category” and click “OK.”
Align your graphics
PowerPoint lets you add objects – shapes, lines, arrows, text boxes, and other elements – to the screen, but getting them aligned can be tricky. You might appreciate knowing you can perfectly align any elements on the screen with just a couple of clicks.
1. Press and hold the Shift key.
2. While continuing to hold Shift, click each item on the screen that you want to align. If you click an element by accident, click it again to de-select it. Release the Shift key when they’re all selected.
3. Click the “Home” tab in the ribbon.
4. In the ribbon, click “Arrange” and then, in the “Position Objects” section, choose an alignment to arrange or distribute the objects neatly on the screen.
Embed your fonts for portability
If you’re using special fonts in your presentation and you try to open the deck on a computer that doesn’t have those fonts installed, PowerPoint will substitute a local font, sometimes with disastrous results. You can avoid that problem by embedding the font in the deck, making the presentation fully portable (and possible for other people to share and edit the deck as well).
1. Click the “File” tab in the ribbon and then choose “Options.”
2. In the PowerPoint Options dialog box, choose “Save” in the navigation pane on the left.
3. In the section called “Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation,” click “Embed fonts in the file” and then select “Embed all characters.”
Blank the screen to keep all eyes on you
It seems inevitable: For whatever reason, you find yourself needing to discuss a topic that’s not directly related to the slide on the screen. That’s when the deck can become a distraction, with your audience’s eyes focused on a pie chart when you’re answering an unrelated question. PowerPoint has an easy solution: Press the B key to blank the screen – it’ll turn black until you press B again or move to the next slide. If you prefer, press W to turn the screen white.
Easily jump between sections of your deck
Not every presentation is linear, and you might prefer to jump back and forth from sections of your deck to a common “table of contents,” so you can tackle the presentation in any order. This can be handy, for example, if you’re using a deck for training or education. PowerPoint’s Zoom feature is ideal for this.
1. Create a presentation and be sure to organize it into sections, ideally with title slides dividing each part of the deck.
2. Click the “Insert” tab in the ribbon.
3. Click “Zoom” and then click “Summary Zoom.”
4. In the “Insert Summary Zoom” window, select the title slide or start of each section and then click “Insert.”
PowerPoint will add a summary page to your deck. Now you can start your presentation here and click a section to go there. When that section is complete, PowerPoint will return you to the summary page.
Preserve the presentation as a PDF
If you want to share your presentation with your audience, a PDF file is an easy way to preserve the formatting, make it easily printable, and prevent anyone from modifying your content. Just click the “File” tab in the ribbon, choose “Save As,” and then select “PDF” as the “Save as” type. You can now share this PDF file quickly and easily.
Zoom in for a closer look
During a presentation, you might realize that the audience can’t clearly see a detail you want to focus on. That’s ok – PowerPoint lets you zoom in with a couple clicks.
First, make sure your presentation is set to Slide Show view. To zoom in, click on the magnifying glass in the lower-left corner of the presenter view. You’ll see a zoom box appear – position it where you want to zoom, and click. Now the presentation will be zoomed in on the part of the screen you want to focus on. You can even click and drag to move around the screen while zoomed in.
When you’re done and want to zoom back out, either press the Escape key or the magnifying glass icon again.
Add a musical soundtrack
You can easily add a musical score that plays in the background across all your slides. This is especially handy for “kiosk” presentations that run autonomously.
1. Go to the slide where you want the music to begin and then click the “Insert” tab in the ribbon.
2. Click “Audio” and then click “Audio on my PC…”
3. Choose the track you want to play.
4. In the ribbon, click “Play in Background.”
Now, when you reach this slide, the music will start to play automatically and it will continue playing across slides until the track is over, then loop and play again.
You’ve likely heard of Microsoft Office, which consists of workplace applications, including the widely used Microsoft Word program.
What you may not realize is that Word and other Office programs – Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote – are also a part of Microsoft 365.
Making a one-time purchase of Microsoft Office is still an option to anyone who wants access to the suite of programs. However, you might want to opt for Microsoft 365 instead, which is structured as a paid monthly subscription plan and features myriad perks not included with Office, including cloud-based productivity tools and artificial intelligence capabilities.
Here’s a little bit more about Microsoft 365, how it differs from its predecessor, and how you can sign up.
What to know about Microsoft 365
Some of Microsoft’s subscription-based services were formerly known as Office 365.
In April 2020, Microsoft rebranded all of those services to Microsoft 365 to help differentiate its subscription service from the traditional Office-branded Microsoft program packages.
Microsoft 365 offers special additions to its classic Office apps as well as access to more programs, like OneDrive. Even a basic Microsoft 365 personal plan gives you access to premium versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, which Office doesn’t offer.
You also get access to advanced tools and features like Microsoft Editor to help edit your writing; the financial planning tool, Microsoft Money in Excel; and OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage that allows for ease of collaboration in real time.
There’s also a slew of other smart perks in Microsoft 365: You can get focused help on your resume with Word’s Resume Assistant, or help with your next presentation with the PowerPoint Presenter Coach.
Again, these are benefits you won’t see with a basic Office purchase, and you can get them all with a Microsoft 365 plan for home, which has two tiers.
As the 365 plans move up in tiers, there are added security and business tools available. For instance, appointment manager Microsoft Bookings is available in the Standard and Premium versions of Microsoft 365, but not the Basic, and only the Premium tier of Microsoft 365 Business grants you access to mobile-device manager Intune and Azure Information Protection.
If you’ve ever wanted to express an idea visually rather than with words, you can do so in Microsoft Word with the “Draw” feature.
Word lets you create your own custom drawings using the mouse or touch tools. Or, if you’re not the best artist, you can insert pre-set shapes and illustrations that can be customized to your liking. Here’s how to do both in Word.
How to draw on Microsoft Word using touch tools or the mouse
The steps for creating a custom drawing in Word are different depending on what kind of device and what version of Word you have.
If you have a Windows computer with Microsoft 365 or Office 2019:
1. Open an existing document or create a blank document in Word.
2. The “Draw” tab may be already available on your ribbon if you have a touch-enabled device. If “Draw” is not an available tab on your ribbon, you’ll need to add it. To do so, click “File” at the top of your screen, then “Options,” and select “Customize Ribbon.” In the Customize screen, click on “Draw” to add it to the ribbon.
How to draw on Microsoft Word 5, Click on “Draw” under the customize the ribbon Main Tabs menu.
3. Once “Draw” is in the ribbon, click on it.
4. Click on whichever drawing tool you want to use. To change the size or color of the drawing tool, click on it again and select from the dropdown list of options.
5. Use your mouse or trackpad to begin drawing.
How to draw on Microsoft Word 6, Select whichever tool you want to draw freely on your Word document.
If you have a Windows computer with Office 2016 or Office 2013:
1. Open an existing document or create a blank document in Word.
2. In the Word ribbon, click the “Review” tab and choose “Start Inking.”
3. Under “Ink Tools,” select “Pens” and then choose “Pen” again.
4. Choose the ink color and pen thickness you want and begin drawing.
If you have a Mac computer with Microsoft 365 or Office 2019:
Unlike Windows computers, the Draw feature is only available on Macs if you have either Microsoft 365 or Office 2019.
1. Open an existing document or create a blank document in Word.
2. Click the “Draw” tab on the ribbon at the top of Word.
3. You’ll see a list of pens to choose from. Once you’ve clicked on one, click on it again to change the ink color or pen thickness.
4. You can also select “Draw with Trackpad” to use your finger to draw on your trackpad, instead of dragging your cursor to draw.
How to draw on Microsoft Word using default tools
1. Open an existing document or create a blank document in Word.
2. Click on the “Insert” tab, then select “Shapes.”
3. You’ll be shown a long list of shapes you can add to your document. You can pick one of the pre-defined shapes, but if you want to draw, click on the icon that looks like a scribble under the “Lines” header. It’ll be the last option.
4. Once you’ve selected the “Scribble” icon, your cursor will turn into a crosshair. Click and drag your mouse to draw with it, and release the mouse when you’re done. Your drawing will be turned into an image, and you can move or resize it like any other image.
5. Once you’ve added the shape, you can refine it using the tools at the top of the screen. You can adjust the color in “Shape Fill,” adjust the outline of it in “Shape Outline,” or add “Shape Effects” like shadows to the shape.