Tag Archives: Microsoft Word

Instructions How to Format in Microsoft Word – 3

Show the Backward P (Paragraph Mark)

When working in Word, it is useful to see the paragraph marks at the end of each paragraph, such as when you press Enter on the keyboard. This is also useful when selecting paragraphs. Here is a screenshot of this paragraph selected without the mark:


To always show the backwards P, go to Tools > Options > View Tab and select Paragraph Marks in the Formatting Marks section.

Alternatively, you can press the backwards P icon if in your toolbar, but that will also show tabs and spaces, making your document appear rather confusing.

If you copy the formatting of a paragraph, selecting also the P mark will copy the formatting of the paragraph, while selecting without the P mark will copy the formatting of the text only. It works similarly if copying the text itself, if you do not want to apply the paragraph’s format when pasting into a new location. Or you can just use your created ctrl+alt+v shortcut to Paste Special a selected paragraph, even if the P mark is also selected, and simply choose Unformatted Text from the resulting window (example here:)


This will paste your selected text into the new area where you place your cursor, but mimic the formatting of the area you are pasting into and not the paragraph formatting you are pasting from. A trick you will very frequently use in translation.

Viewing a Document

When working in a document, from the menu, choose View > Normal View (or ctrl+Page Down according to my suggested, created shortcut key), and then use your created shortcut key ctrl+alt+w (my choice) to adjust the text to Page Width. This will make the text as large and easily readable as possible.
ms-word-formatting-instructions-translation-jobs-work_image014Alternatively, with the mouse (slower), press the zoom icon on your toolbar and select Page Width (screenshot left)

and the Normal View icon on the bottom left (the Print/Page Layout icon is two to the right of it):


Sometimes you may want to jump to Page Layout view (my suggest shortcut key ctrl+Page Down) to see how the text sits relatively to the margins of the page. But it is certainly more pleasant to see the text as large as possible while translating.

Once you have completed your translation and performed some elementary formatting on its text, you can view the file in Page Layout view for final formatting. Either access VIEW > PAGE LAYOUT VIEW or press the small Page Layout view icon at the bottom left hand corner of the screen. Once in Page Layout view, you can see the page in Page Width view by pressing icon “11” or Whole Page view by pressing icon “12” (picture of toolbar icons). These views are useful for final formatting of your document.

In Page Layout view, you can view the vertical ruler bar and also manually change the page margins by positioning the mouse cursor over either end of one of the ruler bars until it turns into special arrows, dragging it elsewhere afterwards. Page margins can also be set by accessing FILE > PAGE SETUP.

Two Panes

Sometimes you might want to divide the view of a document into two panes, so that you can see two parts of a document at the same time (for example, when you are copy/pasting from one section to another, or need to refer to a particular section when translating in another). To do this (works in Excel and most programs), you will notice a small horizontal line above the right scroll bar.

ms-word-formatting-instructions-translation-jobs-work_image018Simply hold your mouse over top of this horizontal line until the mouse arrow turns into something else (should be a horizontal line with two arrows, one pointing up, the other down). Once the arrow changes, press down with your left mouse button and keep holding while you drag your mouse downwards, as such creating a new pane for your file. You can resize the pane in a similar manner any time. You can remove the ruler (ctrl+alt+r custom shortcut key) from either pane to increase the text area. If you plan to frequently jump from pane to pane, you can even create a shortcut key for this through the usual Tools > Customize > Keyboard > select “Window and Help” in the left window, and “OtherPane” in the right window. I like to use CTRL F1 as a shortcut key for this, since I use ALT F1 to jump between files.

Next – Selecting Text

Instructions How to Format in Microsoft Word – 2

Customize your Toolbar 

When you have a file open (press CTRL N to open a new file), you can access VIEW > TOOLBARS to choose which toolbars you want shown. You can also customize or create your own toolbars. To customize a visible toolbar, access TOOLS > CUSTOMIZE > TOOLBARS and then proceed to drag off any icons you do not want shown in your toolbar, dragging any icons you do want into your chosen toolbar from the Customize window. If you are not sure what a certain icon does, you can click on it in the Customize window and read the description below. When this Customize window is open, you can also move the various icons within the toolbar, separating some from others in the process.

Below is shown the toolbars we have customized for ourselves with an explanation of each icon.


1 creates a new file [ctrl+n]
2 opens an existing file [ctrl+o]
3 makes the selection or following text subscript
4 makes the selection or following text superscript
5 inserts a table (very useful)
6 “undos” chosen steps [ctrl+z]
7 “redoes” chosen “undoed” steps [ctrl+y]
8 starts bullets (pressing again stops them)
9 shows or hides the ruler bar(s)
10 shows text in Normal, 100% view
11 shows text in page width view (Normal or Page Layout view)
12 shows whole page in Page Layout view
13 shows document in whatever view you are using without any of the toolbars etc.
14 show hidden markers (good if you want to see where you pressed Enter or Tab)
15 used for zooming in or out
16 shows the border toolbar (good for when working with tables, but can also be used in the actual text part of the document)
17 shows the graphics toolbar
18 these six add or remove rows, columns or cells from a table
19 show or hide the structure of an unbordered table
20 show the active style
21 shows or is used to change the active font [ctrl+shift+p]
22 shows or is used to change the font size [ctrl+shift+p]
23 make or not make bold [ctrl+b]
24 make or not make italisized [ctrl+i]
25 make or not make underlined [ctrl+u]
26 left justification [ctrl+l]
27 center justification [ctrl+e]
28 right justification [ctrl+r]
29 left and right justification
30 ask for help on
31 the Ruler Bar (explained below)

But since I made the above picture, I have simplified this further into the following three toolbars:


Since I work on a laptop, which has a smaller screen, I put my most important icons in a single toolbar (the top left). You can create your own toolbar by going to Tools > Customize > Toolbar tab, press the New button/icon, or simply choose an existing toolbar and drag in the icons you want and out the ones you do not need (ones for which there is a shortcut key).

On the top right is the Revisions toolbar, which automatically pops up when you are in Revisions mode. I dragged the important icons out from there into my main toolbar and kept the “Final Showing Markup” icon in place, as it did not let me drag it out. Make sure that your main toolbar is short enough to allow room for the Revisions toolbar.

So, when working with two windows on your screen (such as a PDF file of the source text on the top half of the monitor and the Word file you are translating in on the bottom half), due to limited space, remove the ruler if you don’t need it and use only one strip for the toolbar, as in this screenshot:


Notice how I buried the bottom scroll bar in Word out of view to maximize the visual area for text.

Without the ability to squeeze your two windows efficiently onto a single screen, either you need to plug in a larger screen, use two screens at once for different purposes (Display icon in the Control Panel), or print out your source file.

Next – Show the Backward P (Paragraph Mark); Viewing a Document

Instructions How to Format in Microsoft Word

(Click here to view this 8 page series as a simplified SlideShare presentation.)

Microsoft Word is very prevalent in the translation industry. It works closely with translation memory tools like Trados and is used by many customers of translation agencies, so it is important to know all that it can accomplish and how to work with it quickly.

Not only is it important to know how to use this software quickly and efficiently, but how to properly format the content so that it accurately reflects the source documents you are translating from.

We are paid by the word, after all (so time is money), and presentation is important and a reflection of your professionalism.

The below was written for Word 2003 or earlier, because I don’t like the set up of later versions, but the same menu items should remain (although structured differently), while the shortcut keys largely remain the same.

Customize Your Shortcut Keys

ms-word-formatting-instructions-translation-jobs-work_image001First to set up your toolbar and shortcuts. If you click on any of the file menus, the dropdown list will show you a list of commands with the shortcut key on the right, such as Edit > Paste would be ctrl+v in the example picture below. Many are set by default, although you can override them.

To create your own shortcut keys, on the menu bar, go to Tools > Customize and click on the Keyboard button.


The Categories box on the top left of the Customize Keyboard window will reflect the menu bar, while the Command box to the right of it will show the available commands for each menu item. Or you can select All Commands in the Category box to view all of them/more.

Once you find the command you want to create a shortcut key for, click with your mouse inside the Press New Shortcut Key box, press the combination of keyboard keys you want to use (such as ctrl+o for Open File), and then press the Assign button. It should appear in the Current Keys box to the left. In this manner you can override existing and already assigned shortcut keys, or create new ones.

Here is a list of what I consider the most important shortcut keys and the ones I chose to use (my own custom shortcuts marked in orange, the unmarked ones should be default and already exist).

Create new file – ctrl+n
Open existing file – ctrl+o
Save file – ctrl+s
Close file – ctrl+w
Make selected text bold or start new text bold – ctrl+b
Same but italic – ctrl+i
Same but underlined – ctrl+u
Align text left – ctrl+l
Align text centre – ctrl+e
Align text right – ctrl+r
Copy text/picture/anything – ctrl+c
Paste – ctrl+v
Copy formatting of selected text – ctrl+shift+c
Paste formatting of copied formatting – ctrl+shift+v
Paste special (I usually choose Unformatted Text from the resulting selection box, so that whatever text I am pasting is automatically the same as the format of the text I am pasting into) – ctrl+alt+v
Return formatting of selected paragraph to default (must include the backwards P) – ctrl+shift+n
Return formatting of selected text to default – ctrl+space bar
Change case of selected text (keep pressing to toggle between the three options – all caps, no caps, or one first letter capitalised of each word) – Shift+F3
Search for text – ctrl+f
Search and replace text – ctrl+h
Undo last action (in case you make a mistake – you can go back many steps) – ctrl+z
Redo last action (basically move back forward if you went back too far) – ctrl+y
Select entire table – ctrl+alt+t
Delete row of table – alt+r
Show or hide ruler – ctrl+alt+r
View document in Page Width – ctrl+alt+w
Index text to the right (according to the tab marks) – ctrl+m
Push indent back to the left – ctrl+shift+m
Push hanging indent to the right – ctrl+t
Push hanging indent back to the left – ctrl+shift+t
Select all text in document – ctrl+a
Supercript text (such as for footnotes) – ctrl+2
Subscript text – ctrl+1
View document statistics (for quick word counts etc) – alt+s
Page break (don’t press Enter until you start a new page because, not only is it not professional, but your customer can be using a different printer or paper size, in which case everything will change) – ctrl+Enter
Line break (remains within the same paragraph or bullet etc., indents with a hanging indent) – shift+Enter
Normal view – ctrl+page up
Page Layout view – ctrl+page down
Jump to other panectrl+F1

The rest of the more common commands I do not use so frequently, so I put them in the toolbars instead, explained as follows.

Next page – Customize your Toolbar

(Click here to view this 8 page series as a simplified SlideShare presentation.)

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