Text Effects In Word

Text Effects in Word 2016 add flair to your text by applying visual embellishments such as shadows, glows and reflections. The control you have over Word’s Text Effects is vast. You have the choice of applying ready made text effects, or you can change the following attributes individually:

  • outline
  • shadow
  • reflection
  • glow

To apply a ready made Text Effect, first select the text in your document, click on the Text Effects command in the Font group (on the Home tab), and select one from the gallery.

Text Effects Gallery

There is a Live Preview available, so you can hover over a Text Effect to see how it will look if you apply the effect.

There is nothing stopping you applying a ready made Text Effect and then tweaking an individual element manually using the options shown above.

For example, the Text Effect in the gallery above in the bottom left looks excellent, so let’s apply that:

Applying Text Effects

However, it could do with a reflection. To add a reflection, click on Text Effects > Reflection, and select the reflection you want. Again, you can hover over an image in the gallery to see its Live Preview before clicking on it to apply it.

Add A Reflection Text Effect

If you want to have more control over the reflection’s attributes, click on Reflection Options, at the bottom. When you do, the Format Text Effects panel opens up on the right of the workspace with the Reflection Options open.

Format Text Effects

Here, you can select from a preset, or fine tune the following individually:

  • transparency – type in a specific number, or drag the slider to alter how transparent the reflection is.
  • size – controls how much of the original text is reflected. 100% will make a reflection of the whole of your text, whereas small values will reflect only the part of the text nearest the “floor”.
  • blur – if you want a crisp, clear reflection, set this to 0. If you want the reflection to look a little hazy, increase the blur.
  • distance – alters how far away from the bottom of your text the reflection is positioned. You will usually want only a small gap between the text and its reflection.

Any changes you make in the Format Text Effects window are applied instantly.

Format Painter Keyboard Shortcut

The Format Painter in Word 2016 copies the formatting from some source text and applies it to some target text. If you have lovingly crafted the font family, size, weighting, bolding etc. on a particular piece of text, and you then find that you need to apply the same formatting to another piece of text, you don’t have to manually apply it one item at a time. You can copy all the formatting and paste it in one go to your target text.

Most people use the Format Painter command in the ribbon (on the Home tab):

Format Painter Command

To use this command, select the text that has the formatting you want to spread around, click the Format Painter command, and then select the target text to which the formatting must be applied. When you release the mouse button (assuming you used a mouse to select the text), the desired formatting is magically applied.

Your text selection can comprise a single word (or even letter), a collection of words, a paragraph, or… anything, really. Just select the text and the formatting is applied.

Keyboard Shortcut For Format Painter

To get the maximum speed out of your Word 2016 workflow, you need to keep your hands over your keyboard at all times (because that’s where your hands are when you type the content) and use as many keyboard shortcuts as possible. The keyboard shortcut for Format Painter actually consists of two shortcuts: one to copy the formatting and a further one to paste it.

  1. Copy formatting – Ctrl+Shift+C
  2. Paste formatting – Ctrl+Shift+V

Do those shortcuts look familiar? They should do; ctrl+c is the shortcut for copying and ctrl+v is the shortcut for pasting.

The Importance Of Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are the key to working faster with Microsoft Word. Usually, the most time spent composing a document is spent with your hands over the keyboard, when you are typing in the content. Whenever you use the mouse to perform some other action, you have to locate the mouse, move your dominant hand to where it is, move it a little to locate the cursor on the screen, move the cursor to the menu > command, etc. etc…. You can see that mouse actions are an interruption to the fluidity of your workflow.

If only you could just keep your hands where they are – above the keyboard – and just continue to press down on the keys to execute all the commands. Well you can – with keyboard shortcuts.

The main problem that most people face is one of remembering what the shortcuts are. The only way to master them is to make yourself use them. Force yourself to accomplish every task via keyboard shortcuts, even if it means referring to documentation every time. It will be worth it.

Microsoft Word Online

Now you can access Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint for free online. Doing so means that your documents, spreadsheets and presentations are all stored in the cloud. If you go to http://office.live.com you can sign in and get started.


Office Online Sign In
Office Online Sign In

I’ll warn you now; navigating Microsoft’s website is not easy, and we found it a PITA to get to the page that allowed us to use Word Online! At the time of writing, this page gave us access to the Office programs listed above – online.

Free Office Online Apps
Free Office Online Apps

If you click on the Word icon, the Word app opens and the interface looks so much like Word on your desktop pc, you may be forgiven for forgetting that you’re actually using a web browser.

On initial entry to the Word app, you will see the familiar recent documents list running down the left hand side of the screen, while there is a gallery of templates to select from that occupies most of the screen real estate in the centre. Selecting a template will create a new Word document based on that template.

Here is the initial screen when opening the Word app:

Opening Word Online
Opening Word Online

And here is the initial screen when opening the desktop version of Word:

Opening Desktop Word
Opening Desktop Word

As you can see, they are both very similar.

The recent documents list in the Word app only displays Word documents that you have saved to the cloud; and when we say cloud here, we mean Microsoft OneDrive. If you haven’t saved your document to OneDrive, it won’t be displayed here.

Let’s keep things simple and click on New blank document, to create a new blank Word document. When your blank document opens, you’ll notice the same ribbon displayed at the top that you see in the desktop version of Word, albeit a little sparser.

Word Online Ribbon
Word Online Ribbon

The ribbon in Word online offers a selection of commands that you can use to manipulate your document. For example, you can change font settings like size, font name and colur (and many more properties).

When you want to save your document, click on File > Save As > Save, and you will be prompted to name the document.  Name the document and click Save.

Saving A Document In Word Online
Saving A Document In Word Online

That document will be saved to OneDrive and will now appear in your recent documents list when you next open Word Online.

There are some quirks when you open and save a Word online document, so be sure to get the low down on those tasks.

Word 2016 Updates

Microsoft are updating all the programs in Office 2016 constantly, behind the scenes. The updates consist of bug fixes, security enhancements and also new features. Often, you will be working in Word and you will notice that something is different. There will be some new feature available, or the way you perform a particular task may have changed. These differences may be due to the constant updates that Microsoft push to your installation of Word.

You can update Word 2016 within the program itself, or you can let Windows update it automatically.

Install Updates In Word 2016

To install updates manually in Word 2016, click the File tab > Account > Update Options. Refer to the numbers in the following screenshot:

Office Updates


  1. Click on Update Now to check for and install now any new updates to Word.
  2. Click on Disable Updates to prevent Word 2016 from installing updates automatically. This is useful if you have configured Windows to automatically install Office 2016 updates to all of its programs. Often, organisations will have a policy that strictly controls the updates that are installed. If you are a home user, you will probably want to have Word install updates automatically, though.
  3. As you can see from our Word installation, updates are automatically downloaded and installed.

Set The Default Font In Word 2016

By default, when you create a new blank document, the text you start typing will be a Normal style using a font of Calibri with a size of 11. This is a commendable choice, but it might not be right for you.

You can change that default. Start typing some text and then select it. Change its styling to be the way you want it. For example, you could change the font size, the font family and even the colour. Select it again and then right click on it and select Font.

Select Font

When the Font window opens, click on Set As Default.

Set Font As Default

A reasonable question to answer is whether you want the new default font to apply only to the current document, or all documents based on the Normal.dotm template (to all intents and purposes all documents). You can answer that question in the next window that appears:

This Document Only

Make your choice and click OK. The chances are, you will want this new default font to apply to all documents, to save you having to change it every time.

What you have done here is change a style. In this case it was the Normal style. Similarly, you can change the styling for other styles as well (headings, subtitles, etc.) and make the same choice regarding application to only the current document or all new documents.

Word 2016 Footnote Tutorial

In Microsoft Word, you can use footnotes and endnotes in your document to explain, comment on, or provide references to something you’ve mentioned in the document. There is a difference between a footnote and an endnote: footnotes usually appear at the bottom of the page whereas endnotes appear at the end of the document or section.

How To Add A Footnote

  1. Place the cursor where you want the footnote to appear in the document.
  2. Click References > Insert Footnote (in the Footnotes group)Insert Footnote
  3. The empty footnote will be inserted at the bottom of the page. Simply start typing to add your text to the footnote.
    Footnote In Word 2016
  4. When you have finished typing the footnote, click anywhere else in the document.
  5. Notice how the footnote above is labelled with a “1”. There is a matching “1” in the document text, where you placed the cursor when you clicked Insert Footnote.Matching Number
  6. Each time you add a new footnote, the number gets incremented, so the reader will always be able to match up the right footnote to the right piece of text.
  7. To return to the referenced text, double click on the number in the footnote.

How To Add An Endnote

  1. Place the cursor where you want the endnote to appear in the document.
  2. Click References > Insert Endnote (again in the Footnotes group)Insert Endnote
  3. The empty endnote will be inserted at the bottom of your text. Simply start typing to add your text to the endnote.
    Endnote In Word 2016
  4. You will find that as you add more text to the document, the endnote moves further down, so that it always appears at the end of the document.
  5. As with footnotes, a reference marker is inserted within the document that matches a corresponding marker in the endnote.

Show And Navigate Through Your Footnotes

You can quickly see the footnotes associated with a particular reference by placing the cursor immediately before its reference marker, and then by clicking Show Notes (in the Footnotes group). When you do so you will be taken to the footnote.

To jump to the next footnote, simply click Next Footnote, in the Footnotes group. Keep clicking it to jump to the next, and then the next.

Ruler On Word 2016

The ruler in Word 2016 displays horizontally across the top of your workspace, and can be used to align text, graphics, tables, and other elements in your document.

Word 2016 Ruler
Click to enlarge

To display the ruler if you can’t already see it, go to the View tab and make sure that Ruler is checked (in the Show group).

Show Ruler In Word 2016

Similarly, you can hide the ruler in order to make more room for your document by unchecking the checkbox.

Even if you have Ruler checked, you will not see it in Read Mode, or Outline View. However, it will be displayed in all the other views.

Ruler Unit Of Measure

But what is the ruler’s unit of measure, I hear you ask? Is it centimetres or is it inches? To find out, and also to change the ruler’s UOM, click File > Options > Advanced, and scroll to the Display settings. The Show measurements in units of selector displays the units currently being used by the ruler (and everywhere else in the document).

Show Measurements In Units Of
Click to enlarge

You can change the UOM to any one of:

  • inches
  • centimetres
  • millimetres
  • points
  • picas

Make your selection and then click OK.

Recover Lost Changes To A Word Document

You know the story. You are editing a Microsoft Word document, and have made a raft of changes. Another task demands your attention and you need to close Word to attend to it. You close Word, but in your haste you find that you have accidentally skipped through the “Save your changes” dialog and have closed Word without saving the document!

Of course, Microsoft Word documents can be lost in other situations. For example, the document can be lost if an error occurs that forces Word to exit unexpectedly, or if you experience a power cut while you are editing.

Unfortunately, there is not one solution to your problem, and you may need to try different things to retrieve your changes. We will assume that the document exists on your computer, i.e. you have saved it at some point.

Restart Word to look for the recovered document

  1. End all Word related processes.
  2. Restart Word and then see if the missing file is displayed in the Document Recovery task pane. By default, Word searches for AutoRecover files each time it starts.
  3. Double click the AutoRecover files one by one. If you find your lost Word file, save it immediately.

Search for AutoRecover files

If the above method does not locate your unsaved changes, you will have to manually search for AutoRecover files (.asd files).

  1. Click File > Open > Recent
  2. Scroll to the end of all recent documents, and then click Recover Unsaved Documents.
  3. If you see the Word document that you are looking for, double click it to open it.
  4. Save it immediately.

Search for .asd files

AutoRecover files have the .asd extension, and if you get to this point with no joy, you will have to search manually for .asd files. You are going to have to search your whole drive for any .asd files.

  1. Open Windows Explorer by pressing the Windows logo key+E
  2. In the Search This PC box, type .asd and then press Enter.
  3. Scroll through the files to see the one that you are looking for.
  4. Double click it to open it and save it immediately. When the Save As window opens, the original name of the document should default in, so find the location on your hard drive you want to save it, and click Save. Choose to Replace existing file, if prompted.

Search for Word backup files

  1. Click File > Open > Browse
  2. Find the folder in which you last saved the missing file.
  3. In the Files types list (currently set to All Word documents), select All Files. The backup file will usually have the name “Backup of” followed by the name of the missing file.
  4. Click the backup file, and then click Open.
  5. Save it immediately.


Word 2016 Compatibility Mode

Sometimes when you open a document in Microsoft Word 2016, you will see the text [Compatibility Mode] in the title. As you may be aware each new version of Word introduces new features that were not supported by previous versions. This means that a document that was created by Word 2003, for example, will not have been created using the new features specific to Word 2016. When you open this document in Word 2016, [Compatibility Mode] is displayed in the title to let you know this.

You can easily convert the document to the Word 2016 and enable all Word 2016 features by clicking File > Info > Convert. When you do so, you will see the following informational message:

Your Document Will Be Upgraded

This is nothing to worry about, and you can click OK to continue with the conversion. In essence, the act of conversion will make the new Word features available, but may also cause some minor layout changes in the document. Converting the document also reduces its size.

Note that converting the document may change its file extension. If you convert a .doc document, it will become a .docx document. While you remain in the document, though, its title will still display the .doc extension – until you save the document.