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Instructions How to Format in Microsoft Word – 8

Translating over a formatted Word document

Sometimes you are provided a Word file to translate, or a PDF file which you can OCR< to convert to Word, already formatted. This can save you a lot of formatting work, but there are still a few tricks to know how to make this work faster.

Make sure you have a copy of the source document in case you need to refer back to it.

The easiest method is to place the cursor at the beginning of the paragraph or line you want to translate, press ENTER (or SHIFT+ENTER might work better), then press the left arrow button on the keyboard to bring the cursor up to the blank line, and translate. This should maintain the same formatting as the paragraph you are translating while keeping the source text in easy view. Once you have finished translating the line or paragraph, delete the corresponding source text.

If you make a mistake somewhere along the way, do not forget about the handy CTRL SHIFT C to copy formatting from the same location in the source document (CTRL SHIFT V to paste the formatting – keep an eye out whether or not the backwards P is selected for either process).

If the document comes with an automated Table of Contents (Insert > Reference > Index and Tables – it should turn grey when clicked into), once you are done with your translation, simply update it by clicking into it and pressing F9 (or you may have to select all of it first). Keep in mind that it updates according to the Heading 1, 2 and 3 etc. styles and on what page they are located in the document, so make sure to translate these carefully and not accidentally change them to another style.

Inserting a Graphic

Sometimes you might want to insert a graphic. For example, a customer sends you a source document in .pdf format (Adobe Acrobat Reader or Nitro Reader) in which there are some fancy graphs or pictures you want to include in your translated Word document. The easiest way to do this is to take a screen shot of the graphic by pressing the PrtSc (Print Screen) button on your keyboard (usually found at the top somewhere above F10). This copies what you see on your monitor to the Clipboard. You can zoom in or out in your PDF file so that your graphic fills up your screen nicely.
Once you have copied a picture of the graphic to the clipboard, you want to crop it. My favourite for this is IrfanView, with instructions here. To copy the clipboard into the program, have it open and simply press Paste (CTRL V). Select the section you want to crop with your mouse and then press CTRL Y. Now copy your cropped selection (CTRL C). This you can paste directly into Word.
But you may want to paste this into a Text Box, so that you can position the graphic anywhere on the page in your Word file. To insert a Text Box, show the Drawing Toolbar (icon 17 on the custom toolbar), and then click on the TextBox icon  (hold your mouse still over the icons to show an explanation of each). When you press the TextBox icon, the mouse will turn to a +. Use it to draw yourself a box (you can resize that later). Click INTO that box to move your cursor into it, and then paste into that your cropped graphic. You can resize your graphic, position it anywhere within your file, add or remove the visible textbox border, change the background colour (or remove the background fill), move it to the background or foreground over top or under other TextBoxes, and do all sorts of neat things (right click with your mouse onto the TextBox’s border to access the formatting menus).
You can also create other TextBoxes for actual text. For example, you can create a new TextBox, give it a white fill background, write in it some text, and position that over top of the original text in your graphic, as such positioning your translation of the text in the graphics overtop of the text. This way you can deliver the translation to your customer so that it looks very visual and professional. You will certainly impress them this way, and once you learn this technique, you will find it goes rather quickly.

Auto Text

Something which can be extremely useful for translating is Auto Text. For example, you might have some long name that takes time to type, especially if in the source language requiring a keyboard switch.
To create an autotext, simply select the text that you want to create a shortcut/abbreviation for, press alt+F3 and type your abbreviation in the resulting window. After that, whenever you type your abbreviation followed by pressing F3 (make sure your abbreviation is not followed by a character but rather by a space, for example), your abbreviation will be replaced by the long string of text. This can be entire pages, tables and so on.

If your selection does not include the backwards P, it is possible that the inserted autotext will match the formatting of the surrounding text, but this is not always the case. In which case you often need to ctrl+shift+c copy formatting of a word in the surrounding text and then ctrl+shift+v paste that formatting into the autotext you just inserted.

Back to Translation Tips

Instructions How to Format in Microsoft Word – 7


Tables are very useful and often used in many documents, and can be a good tool for formatting text (especially if you make the borders invisible – Table > Table properties), as setting the same formatting using Tabs can be more time consuming.

To insert a table, press icon “5” on the custom toolbar or access TABLE > INSERT TABLE. You can specify the number of rows or columns you want in your table, or press TAB while in the bottom right cell to automatically create a new row. You can move between cells in a table by pressing TAB or SHIFT TAB. To place an actual tab within a table cell, you must use CTRL TAB. When in a cell, you can see a miniature ruler bar for that cell with which you can format a paragraph within a table cell in the same manner as any other paragraph.

You can change the dimension of a table or its cells by dragging its column boundaries (when holding the mouse cursor above these column boundaries, you will see how the mouse cursor changes to special arrows – after which you can drag the boundaries). If you want to drag the height of cells, you must do so by positioning the mouse cursor over the represented boundaries in the vertical ruler bar in Page Layout view, wait until you see the special arrows and then begin dragging. You can also drag boundaries for only certain cells by first selecting those cells (they should appear black) before dragging the boundaries.

Once you have formatted the dimensions of a table, you can also give the table visible borders or shading, accomplished by accessing FORMAT > BORDERS AND SHADING, or by accessing the Borders and Shading toolbar by pressing icon “16” on the custom toolbar. Remember that such border and shading instructions will only affect those cells which you have selected.

Convert Text to Table

Sometimes you may want to convert some text to a table. For example, columns of names and numbers that you started to create using Tab, but later decided that it would look nicer in an actual table.

Select the text that you want to convert and then choose Text > Convert to Table. The following window will appear.

ms-word-formatting-instructions-translation-jobs-work_image024bThe Number of Columns will adjust according to what you chose for Separate Text At. In our example, Tabs would be the logical selection. But wait! Perhaps you pressed Tab several times when creating your columns. In this case each Tab would be converted into a table cell separator, meaning that you only want ONE tab between the names and numbers. In which case, before converting the text to a table, while it is selected, search and replace (ctrl+h) double tabs with single tabs. In the search and replace window:


press the More icon to expand this window, and then the Special icon at the bottom. That pops up the list shown above. Between the Format and the Special icons, the search and replace window can serve as a powerful tool, so keep this in mind!

The code for tab is ^t (^p is for paragraph mark/backwards P), so search ^t^t and replace it with ^t, like so:


Press the Replace All icon (or alt+a, as you see the A is underlined in that icon – alt+f will press the Find Next icon, alt+g will go to the Go To tab etc – these underlined characters work the same throughout all windows, when used with the ALT key). A window will popup asking if you want to search and replace the same throughout the rest of the document, which is not selected. Press No, or Escape on the keyboard. By pressing alt+a and escape in rapid succession, you can quickly reduce all strings of tabs to single tabs only. Then you are ready to convert your text to a table with the right number of columns.

Alternatively, in the Separate Text At section of your convert text to table window, you can select Other and type in a special character of your choice, manually typing in that character between the words where you want to put the column separators between the cells.

Note that the paragraph mark/backwards P will always start a new row in the table.

You can also select a table and Convert Table to Text in backwards fashion.

Next – Translating over a formatted Word document; Inserting a Graphic; Autotext

Instructions How to Format in Microsoft Word – 6

Paragraph Formatting

Once you have set a format for a particular paragraph, you can give it a style name by dragging over the existing style name (in the style box icon “20” as shown in the customized toolbar) and then typing over it with a name you choose. Accessing any of the shown style names while you have the cursor in any paragraph or while any number of paragraphs are selected will change the format of that or those paragraphs to the format of the style you choose.
Or from the menu access Format > Styles and Formatting.

If you do not want to create a style but rather only copy the formatting of a particular selected paragraph (include the backwards P at the end of the paragraph in your selection – without the backward P selected you will only copy the formatting of the text, not the paragraph), you can press CTRL SHIFT C to copy the format and then paste the copied format by pressing CTRL SHIFT V to apply to a subsequent paragraph where you reposition the cursor (or subsequent selected paragraphs – again, whether or not the backward P is selected can make a difference).

Note that CTRL C copies something while CTRL SHIFT C copies the formatting of that something (CTRL X simultaneously erases while copying it – hence moving it). CTRL V pastes that something to where you subsequently place the cursor, while CTRL SHIFT V pastes the formatting.

And note that whether you ctrl+c copy something or ctrl+shift+c copy the formatting of something to the clipboard, either will remain there until the next time you either copy or copy formatting (they are separate). So you can keep pressing ctrl+v or ctrl+shift+v many times without having to recopy each time.

And don’t forget the useful CTRL ALT V (custom set), which pops up the Paste Special window. For example, you want to copy some text and paste it into a new section which has different formatting (such as a larger, different font, with a hanging indent). One option is to paste in the copied text using the standard ctrl+v shortcut, then ctrl+shift+c copy the formatting of an adjacent paragraph, select the pasted text, then ctrl+shift+v to paste the formatting. Or you could simply put the cursor at the end of the paragraph you want your text to follow, press Enter to start a new paragraph (it retains the formatting of the previous paragraph), and ctrl+alt+v paste special, selecting Unformatted Text from the popout window.

And don’t forget that ctrl+shift+n will return a paragraph’s formatting to the default (Normal).
You can change the Normal (or any other) style in a document, or set it globally for all future files you ctrl+n create by opening the Normal.dot template and make changes there (such as the margins of the page, Times Roman font size 14 for easy reading).

Next – Tables

Instructions How to Format in Microsoft Word – 5

The Ruler Bar

Now that you have prepared your toolbar(s), you can start working in your document. The ruler is an effective way to perform special formatting in a paragraph.


You can create tabs by single left mouse clicking into the ruler bar. If you click on icon 1, it will change the alignment of how text lines up under subsequent tab stops that you single click into the ruler bar. To remove a tabstop, click on it and drag it off the ruler bar. Or drag it to the left or right to change its position.

Alternatively, you can double click into the ruler bar and it will open up the below window (this is after I had already custom created two tab stops for the paragraph I was in).

ms-word-formatting-instructions-translation-jobs-work_image020To modify each stop, you need to select it first in the top left box, as I have done for the second and last tab stop above (12.06 cm). Click into the box where is shown 12.06 cm and you can manually change the number to something else (such as 13.06 cm).

The Alignment section dictates how the text will align around the tab stop, while the Leader section adds dots or dashes etc. before the text, starting from the previous tab stop. Such as:


In this example I set the first tabstop to right alignment with preceding dashes, while the second tabstop is center-aligned with a preceding underline.

  • Jump to the next tab stop within a paragraph by pressing TAB.
  • Point “2” in the picture at the top of this section indicates where a paragraph will start (indent).
  • Point “3” indicates where the paragraph will continue (indented) once it comes to the end of the line (the default shortcut shift+Enter line break will jump to next line but indented as the hanging indent).
  • Point “4” drags points “1” and “2” simultaneously.
  • Point “5” indicates where the paragraph will end before automatically dropping down to the next line (to where point “2” was set for example).
  • Point “6” is a tab stop (left aligned in this case – the standard default).

You can also move points “1”, “2” or both using short-cut keys, such as CTRL T to move point “2” to the right, CTRL SHIFT T to move point “2” to the left, CTRL M to move both points “1” and “2” to the right and CTRL SHIFT M to move both of these points to the left. In fact, the SHIFT key works as a minus in this and other ways throughout Windows. If you have tab stops set on your ruler, using these short-cut keys will jump points “1” and/or “2” to the next or previous tab stop <make embedded video to show this>. If there are no tab stops, these points will jump at a distance as determined in the default tab stop distance (set by accessing FORMAT > TABS or double clicking into the ruler bar).

Next – Paragraph Formatting

Instructions How to Format in Microsoft Word – 4

Selecting Text

This may seem straightforward, but there are important shortcuts here too, which can save you tons of time of the long run. Every shortcut helps in doing your job faster. The faster you can work, the more money you can earn.

Selecting with the Mouse

  • double click with your mouse on a word and it will select the word.
  • triple click and you select the entire paragraph.
  • move your mouse to the left side of the screen and it turns into an arrow near the edge. Click at that point and it will select the entire line to the right of it. Hold it while dragging it up or down will select other lines as well.
  • hold your mouse just above the top of a column of a table and it will turn into a downward pointing, black arrow. Click and you will select the entire column.
  • move the mouse to the far left of a row of a table and it will turn into the standard white arrow. This will select the entire row.
  • move the mouse near the left side of a table cell until it turns into a dark arrow pointing up right and you select just that cell.
  • or if selecting a larger amount of text, a useful trick is to place the cursor at the starting point, scroll up or down to somewhere else in the document, hold the Shift key and then click somewhere else. That will select the text between the start and end points.
  • or a real fancy trick, which I stumbled on accidentally, hold the Alt key and select a square area with your mouse. This will create a box selection, which can be useful to precisely isolate what exactly you want to select (ie- to make bold certain text or format certain text within a hanging indent paragraph).

Once any text is selected, click into the selected area, do not let go and move your mouse to somewhere else, to move that selection. You will notice a semi-visible cursor as you are moving about.

But sometimes it is faster using your keyboard. After all, as you translate, your fingers are already in place on the keyboard, and moving one of your hands away from it to grab the mouse can lose precious time. Here are some principles how you can navigate the cursor using the keyboard only, or select text with the keyboard only.

Selecting with the Keyboard

  • ctrl+right arrow – moves the cursor to the beginning of the next word
  • ctrl+left arrow – moves the cursor to the beginning of the previous word, or the existing word if the cursor is not already at the beginning
  • ctrl+down arrow – moves the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph
  • crtrl+up arrow – moves the cursor to the beginning of the existing or previous paragraph
  • ctrl+home – moves the cursor to the beginning of the document
  • ctrl+end – moves the cursor to the end of the document

Now if you include the Shift key in any of the above, you will select that portion of text from the start until the end.

For example, place your cursor in the middle of a word, then hold ctrl+shift while pressing left arrow three time. The resulting selected text will be from the middle of the starting word until the beginning of the second word before it. Practice these principles for a while and you will see that it can be quite useful when proofreading/editing a document, when you need to move around (ctrl+x) words or phrases within a paragraph. Reaching over for your mouse takes significantly longer, and all this adds up over the long term.

Logically, pressing shift+up arrow will select lines as the cursor moves upwards, or ctrl+shift+up/down arrow will select paragraphs at a time, while shift+page up/down will select pages at a time. Keep pressing down onto the ctrl or shift keys and move your cursor around with the up/down/right/left arrow key to adjust your selection as you wish.

For example, you are provided (or you OCR a PDF file<) with a Word file which is already formatted, so you only have to type over the source text with your translation. You are about half way through, and you are curious how much text you have left to translate. Press ctrl+shift+End and it will select the rest of the document. Press ctrl+c to copy your selected text. Press ctrl+n to create a new, blank document. Press ctrl+v to paste the selected text into the new document. Press alt+s (custom shortcut key) to view the document statistics (press ctrl+tab to move to the tabs to the right or ctrl+shift+tab to move to the left – as with all such windows). This will give you a word count of what you have left to translate. Or Home instead of End to calculate what you have translated so far. ctrl+w or ctrl+F4 will close your new document, taking you back to your translation file. Then press the left arrow key to return the cursor to the beginning of your selected text (the right arrow will always place the cursor at the end of a selection).

Once you get used to this, if you are proofreading, for example, you will find that this approach can be much faster. Time is money!

Next – The Ruler Bar

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