How to Make Word Processing More Efficient

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Word processing programs have made the act of creating and formatting documents a breeze, compared to the typewriters of yesteryear. Even so, you may find yourself wishing there were ways to make creating those documents even easier. As with any process, a little work on the outset will make things run more smoothly down the road. Using a few simple tricks to make your workflow go more quickly will help you to work faster and more efficiently.

Things You'll Need

  • Word processing program (Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, etc.)

Instructions

  • Choose a word processing program that matches your style. There are a number of word processing programs currently on the market, but choosing the one that best fits you may take a bit of trial and error. Take advantage of program trials, or test free, open-source programs like OpenOffice.

  • Learn how to touch type. Learning how to type without watching your fingers peck the keys will substantially cut down the time needed to create a document. Use one of the many free online typing courses, or buy software that will teach you how to type.

  • Plan your document before you begin typing. Visualize what's going on the page before you dive in. Consider structure, font and margins, so you won't have to worry about these things later.

  • Learn keyboard shortcuts. Shortcuts, such as ctrl+c for copying and ctrl+v for pasting, will keep you from having to navigate to toolbar menus in order to complete menial tasks.

  • Create templates for documents you need repeatedly. Open a new document and create a basic template by inserting your headings, paragraphs, margins and font selections. Save the document as a template, and open this template whenever you wish to create a similar document.

  • Refrain from editing as you work on your initial draft. Finish your first draft and save any editing for later. Editing as you create the document will cause you to second-guess your work as you create, which takes up much more time than if you edit later. You won't have to worry about any mistakes in your initial draft, as they will still be there when you edit you first draft later.

Tips & Warnings

  • Close other programs while you work on your document. Any games, email windows or other programs will keep you distracted, causing you to take longer to finish creating your document.

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