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Introduction

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This index page last revised: 03 Oct 2017 14:18:57 -0500 .

 

The Home Tab in Word 2007 - Word 2016

This page is about the Home tab and its controls. I attempt to distinguish those controls that apply a formatting to text and those which change text (and the hybrid which is highlighting). This page is just started.

The Home Tab - the basic workspace in a document:

Purpose

The Home Tab is about the basics of how text looks when it is printed or displayed online. It gives access to both direct and Style-based formatting. Because of the importance of Styles to using Word effectively, it devotes a great deal of space to Styles.

I suspect that many Word users seldom stray from the Home Tab. They are missing many opportunities to make Word work for them, but that is not the topic of this page. On this page I intend to examine the control groups on the Home Tab and what each of the controls does. This leads into the Font and Paragraph dialogs and the Clipboard functions of Word.

The Home Tab has its controls arranged in five groups from left to right:

Clipboard -- Font -- Paragraph -- Styles -- Editing

Group names are at the bottom of the Ribbon and groups are separated by a thin line. Most but not all groups have a dialog launcher button in the bottom right corner of the group. The Home Tab shown above is a screenshot from Word 2010. The Home tab has varied slightly through Word versions. These variations are shown at the end of this page.

I do not pretend to know what every control does, especially the ones on the dialog boxes. I will tell you what I know. If I am speculating or guessing, I will try to make that clear. As I learn more, this page will be changed. This is a "work in progress."

The Clipboard Group

The clipboard group is on the far left of the Home Tab. It is often used in conjunction with the Editing group, which is on the far right of that tab.

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Paste (with options) Ctrl+V: I have been told that when Microsoft studied Word users, they discovered that the most used Command was "Paste"
so when they redesigned the user interface, they decided to give this command prominence as the first button people would see.
(The keyboard shortcut in most Windows programs including all versions of Word is Ctrl+V.)
The Paste button is actually a drop-down menu of paste choices which is similar to the paste options you see after you paste
if you use the the Ctrl+V shortcut.

Button Drop-Down - Ctrl Key Result   

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The first choice (brush) is to keep source formatting.

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The arrow button is to merge formatting and the A is to paste the content into the destination document's formatting.

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Paste Special... brings up a dialog box that I do not pretend to understand.

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Set Default Paste... let's you decide what happens when you simply press Ctrl+V to paste.
It gives far more nuanced control through the Advanced Word Options.

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The Cut Button is the mouse equivalent of Ctrl+X.

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It deletes content from the current location and puts it in the Clipboard.

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Another way of looking at this is that it is the beginning of moving text (or graphics) from one part of a document to another
(or to a different document or even program).

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The second step - the new location placement is done with the Paste command or button.
 

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The Copy Button also puts selected text or graphics into the Clipboard. It remains where it is, though.
The keyboard equivalent for this is Ctrl+C.
 

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The Format Painter (Brush) (Ctrl+Shift+C to copy formatting, Ctrl+Shift+V to paste formatting)

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I strongly urge people to use Styles rather than the Format Painter. In the long run it will make your life much simpler.

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Double-clicking on it allows you to paste to different areas using the mouse brush pointer.
 

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These all work with the Office Clipboard as well as the System Clipboard. You can see what is in the Office Clipboard by clicking
on the dialog launcher in the bottom right corner of the Clipboard group.

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This launches the Office Clipboard Task Pane which shows items recently added to the Office Clipboard with the latest at the top.

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The Office Clipboard can hold 24 items.

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If you Copy or Cut from any program while an Office program is open, the content is added to the Office Clipboard as well as to the System Clipboard.

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When you paste content, it will be from the System Clipboard (which holds one item).

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To use the Office Clipboard, you need to display the Office Clipboard Task Pane.

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That pane is anchored to the left side of the Word window by default but can be made to float and can be resized when floating.

The top of the Office Clipboard Task Pane will tell you the number of items in the clipboard out of the possible 24. If, with the
Clipboard Task Pane showing, you click on one of the items, it will be pasted into your document at the current insertion point
even if it was not the last item placed in the clipboard.

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Note that if you Copy or Cut material more than once, it will occupy multiple postitions in the Office Clipboard.

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Office does not keep track of whether the item is already in the Office Clipboard.

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The Clipboard is available in all MS Office programs.

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It is cleared if you close all Office programs or if you use the Clear option.

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If you use the Clear option, you will also clear the System Clipboard.

Note, the (Windows) System Clipboard holds the last item cut or copied. It only holds one item.

The Font Group

The font group has to do with how characters look. It is distinguished from the paragraph group where the formatting handles
the entire paragraph. I am going to divide these controls into three parts:

  1. Controls that give you direct formatting or erase that formatting,

  2. A Control that changes the Case of text but is not formatting, and

  3. Controls that change how the text looks but are not considered formatting.

Let's look at the last two types, first, because there are only two of them.

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Change Case: - Note that Small Caps is not one of the options.

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Highlighting: - Highlighting is not considered formatting in Word
Highlighting cannot be part of a Style definition (unlike shading) and is not reversed by the Clear Formatting button.

Next is the Oops button: Clear Formatting, which will strip the effects of the other buttons in the font group from selected text.

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Clear Formatting
This says it clears all formatting. This is not accurate. It clears all direct formatting, the same as using Ctrl+Spacebar.
Direct formatting is that not applied using a paragraph style. That is, it returns text to the formatting of the paragraph style.

The Clear Formatting button will clear any of the formatting applied by the remaining buttons in the Font Group as well as any character style formatting.

The following are all considered Direct Formatting by Word and can be cleared by the Clear Formatting button (or by Ctrl+Spacebar).

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Font Dropdown and Font Size Dropdown

These have been a part of Word since at least Word 97. You can click on them to give a list to select from or you can type in them.
In the size window you can type a size that is not on the dropdown list. In the Font window you can start typing the name
of a font and it will fill in the first font name that fits as you type.
 

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Increase Font Size - Grow Font

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Decrease Font Size - Shrink Font

These two buttons will increase/decrease the size of selected text. The increments are according to the font sizes shown in the
dropdown for fonts except that for smaller sizes it will go in increments of one that can be lower than any shown. The minimum is 1.
 

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Bold (Ctrl+B)

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Italic (Ctrl+I)

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These two buttons apply Bold or Italic formatting to text. When the insertion point is inside text that has been
formatted as bold or Italic, these buttons will be shaded.

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Bold and Italic are toggle formatting. I.e., if you apply bold to text that is already bold, it is turned off.

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Both can be applied to the same text, so that you can have text formatted Bold and Italic.

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I tend to use the Strong and Emphasis character styles instead of the direct formatting in case of a theme change.
There is no built-in style for that. Applying the style is not a toggle.
 

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Underline (with options) (Ctrl+U)

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Clicking on the Underline button will underscore your text. Clicking the little triangle on the right will give you options for
the type of underline you want. Once you select an option, that option is active during your Word session (including in
different documents). The Underline Color brings up a palette. More Underlines... brings up the Font dialog box which has
access to even more underline types.

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You can only apply one type of underlining to a character. This is character formatting so you could apply different types to
different characters in the same word.

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If text is already underlined and you click on the Underline button, the underlining will be removed.
 

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Strikethrough

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The Strikethrough button gives you a single line through selected text. A double line is possible through the
Font Formatting dialog box (below).

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If this button is clicked on text that already has double-line strikethrough, it changes it to single-line.

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If it is clicked on text that already has single-line strikethrough, that is removed.

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The Strikethrough button will be shaded if selected text has a single underline applied.
 

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Subscript

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Superscript

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These decrease the font size proportionally and lower or raise the baseline.

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These buttons are toggles and will be shaded when text is selected to which they apply.
 

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Text Effects

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Text Effects lets you apply WordArt type appearance to text in the body of your document. Unlike WordArt, Text Effects can be
applied using Styles.

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The Text Effects button is available beginning with Word 2010. The screenshot above is from Word 2013; the last three choices
in the menu are not available in Word 2010.

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This works as a gallery, changing the appearance of text as you mouse-over a type.

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Also, as you mouse-over, if you pause, you will see background information on the effect.

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The Text Effects button only works as a drop-down. Unlike the Underline, Highlighting, and Color buttons which also allow choices,
it will not apply an effect upon being clicked. You need to pick something.

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Text Effects work best on larger-size text. On body-size text they will make the text unreadable.

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For access to all of the options, you need to use the Dialog Launcher.

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I do not pretend to understand all of the choices in this. Here is an Office-Watch page on them.
 

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Font Color

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If you simply click on the font color button, it will give you the color shown. That color will be the last one applied to text in your Word session.

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If you click on the drop-down, it gives you selections and menu choices.

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I try to use Theme colors when they work. That is because if a theme is changed, the color is more likely to fit in.

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More Colors gives you access to the full palette

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Gradient allows setting multiple colors fading - this is much more effective with larger text.
 

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Font Dialog Launcher (Ctrl+D)

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As with many of the Groups on the Ribbon, the Font Group has a dialog launcher button in the bottom right corner.

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An alternative for reaching this dialog box is the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+D.

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This opens a dialog box that gives control over multiple options and gives more options than do the buttons on the Ribbon.

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Two not available on the Ribbon buttons are Double strikethrough, and SMALL CAPS. In addition, the Underline style gives
access to many different kinds of underscores.

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The Preview box at the bottom previews what you are setting.

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Under that are buttons that let you set these settings as the default for new documents (based on this template),
for text effects, and OK/Cancel.

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Even more options are available on the Advanced tab of the font dialog box:

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These have to do with character rather than line spacing.

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Exploration of these options is beyond the scope of this page.

 

 

The Paragraph Group

Bullets and Numbering is the top-right section of the paragraph group.

For simple documents that will not need much editing, these will work fine.

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Bullets

The first button is for bullets. Clicking on the bullet button will give you a bullet, the type of bullet will be the last type used by you. Following paragraphs will have the same bullet type. When you press the Enter key to create a new paragraph in an empty line, Word will discontinue use of bullets. When you click on the button, Word changes the indents to add a "hanging indent" that indents both the bullet and the associated text.

Clicking on the down-pointing triangle will give you choices.

You can also choose to define your own bullet icon.

For documents that are going to be heavily edited or with multiple kinds of bullets, I recommend use of bullets linked to Styles. See How to control bullets in Ribbon Versions of Word by Shauna Kelly.

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List Numbering

The second bullet is for simple numbered lists. Clicking on the button will give you a single-level numbered list of the type last used. Shown below is such a number inserted with the ruler showing.

Included with the numbering is a first-line indent and a hanging indent. Your numbered list will be set in from the margin and following lines in the paragraph will be set in more.

As with bullets, you can apply this to existing paragraphs.

As with bullets, the down-facing triangle will give you more choices.

The screenshot above shows the gallery of choices. As with the bullets gallery, the list number gallery lets you preview your choice for selected text. In this show, the current choice is with the full stop following the number; the previewed choice is with a right parenthesis. As with bullets, you can define a new format. In addition, you can reset or restart your numbering.

Again, with simple documents that will not be edited much, this button works fine. For anything more complex, you will want to go to Numbering linked to Styles. See How to create numbered headings or outline numbering in Ribbon Versions of Word by Shauna Kelly. This method gives much finer control and is much less prone to development of "spaghetti numbering."

 

The Styles Group

The Styles Group in Word 2007-2010 is shown above. The Styles Group for 2013 and later no longer has the Change Styles dropdown.
That has been moved to the design tab in those versions.

The Editing Group

The Editing Group actually appears on the far right end of the Home Tab.

The Editing Group has three choices, two of which are drop-down.

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Find
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Find (Ctrl+F) opens the navigation pane with the insertion point in a search box

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Advanced Find (Ctrl+H, Alt+D) opens the Find dialog box (See Replace below)

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Go To... (Ctrl+G) opens a dialog that lets you go to a point in your document
 

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Replace (Ctrl+H) opens the Replace dialog box shown below.
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Actually, it opens a smaller dialog box with everything above "Search Options" on it. In the smaller version the
button on the left reads "More >>" instead of "<< Less."

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Note the Find and Go To tabs at the top. These are the dialog boxes for the Advanced Find and Go To commands.

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The Replace dialog can be used instead of the Advanced Find box if you want, just ignore the Replace and Replace All buttons.

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Under both the Find what and Replace with boxes are areas for format. These are controlled by the Format and
No Formatting buttons when the cursor is in the box for the text.

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There are multiple web pages devoted to this dialog box. Here is a place to start: MVP General Word Help Page

 

Variations on the Home Tab

This page has been exploring the controls in Word 2010 and 2013. The Home tab has remained mostly the same in all versions of Word. Here are some screenshots.

Word 2007

-Word 2007 - wider

-Word 2007 - narrower

The three tabs above are all screenshots of the ribbon on the same computer. Word repackages the ribbon tabs to fit the available space. Here, I've simply decreased the size of the screenshots of the wider versions.

In the wider version, it gives more space to the Styles Gallery. In the narrower version some buttons shrink or lose captions. The combination of screen size and resolution determines what you will see,  so your ribbons may not look exactly like any of the ones shown here. Another example showing different screen layouts is in the Word 2010 version of the Drawing Tools contextual tab below. Your ribbon may or may not have a Developer Tab, that is up to you.

The Word 2007 and 2010 tabs shown are from a laptop running Windows Vista. The Word 2013 tabs are from a desktop tower running Windows 7 on a larger screen.

Word 2010

Word 2010 - Narrower

(Note the collapse of the QuickStyles Gallery and Editing Group. The Quick Styles gallery is now available through the dialog launcher button next to the word "Styles.". Other groups are compressed. This is less than half as wide as the one  immediately above it.)

Word 2013

Word 2016/365

 

 

 

 

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