Microsoft Word is a worldwide popular word-processing tool. It’s used across industries for communications and professional document creation. If you’ve always wanted to learn Microsoft Word but can’t figure out how to get started, this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn more about the various ways to learn Microsoft Word, free resources to take advantage of, and the types of careers that commonly use Microsoft Word.
Microsoft Word is a powerful word-processing software that offers tons of flexibility when it comes to creating professional reports, letters, contracts, and other documents. Its features are more robust than other word processors, allowing it to become an industry standard used by companies and entrepreneurs worldwide. These advanced features include mail marges, spellchecker, text formatting, tables, and page layout, among many others. Microsoft Word can also produce documents in various file types, making it compatible with many other programs. Its popularity means it’s also compatible with nearly any computer.
Since its release in 1983, Microsoft Word has continued to evolve to the needs of its users. Modern integrations have allowed the use of Microsoft Word over mobile, the web, and the Cloud for collaborative document creation. Cloud-based sharing and permissions make it easy for colleagues to collaborate and maintain security. Though Microsoft Word has faced many competitors over the decades, it continues to stand the test of time.
Read more about what Microsoft Word is and why you should learn it.
Microsoft Word is primarily used as a word-processing program for creating professional-looking documents and reports. Authors use it to write novels, job seekers create resumes, and students write essays. In the workplace, Microsoft Word is used to create a host of documents, including letterheads, reports, templates, training manuals, calendars, invoices, and promotional materials, among others. Businesses also use the mail merge feature that outputs created documents to a mailing list or newsletter.
But Microsoft Word is more than a typing software. The program includes interactive elements such as fillable forms, checkboxes, and dropdown menus. It can easily convert documents into fillable PDFs or vice versa. Plain text documents are made more visually appealing with images, animations, or WordArt. Tables are also easily converted into visual graphs and charts. Microsoft Word can even transcribe audio files, transcribe live speech into text, and translate documents.
A particularly valuable feature of Microsoft Word is its collaboration tools for group projects. Professionals can easily share documents with others to work on. Changes such as comments and edits are tracked so the original owner of the document can decide what suggestions to make official. A history of changes to a document is also saved and can be reverted to at any time. Microsoft Word is a powerful tool for any business’ communications needs, whether internally or with customers or clients.
Microsoft Word is used across industries in any profession that requires communication. Office workers such as Administrative Assistants, Bookkeepers, Data Entry Clerks, and Account Coordinators use Microsoft Word on a daily basis to create documents and other communications. Microsoft Word is also commonly used in professions that require a lot of writing, such as Copy Editor, Technical Writer, Grant Writer, Journalist, and Marketer. There are many more! Indeed currently lists nearly 200,000 professional positions that require Microsoft Word as a skill. There are even more positions where competence in Microsoft Word isn’t required but is still expected. This is a result of how popular the program has become.
Microsoft Office products are the most widely used business productivity software worldwide, and things are not expected to change in the future. Learning Microsoft Word and other Microsoft Programs is essential for your resume and future job prospects across industries.
There are many benefits to learning Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word provides grammar and spell-check tools that allow job seekers and established professionals to write professionally and more efficiently. Easy-to-read charts and graphs are also simple to build, enabling the creation of professional reports and documentation.
Job seekers especially can benefit from Microsoft Word, through which they can create professional-looking resumes. As an industry standard, many office workers are expected to know how to use the program to create documents or, at the very least, for spell check. Several communication-heavy professions, such as Lawyer, Administrator, and Copywriter, require Microsoft Word as a skill. Writing and editing teams in any business will also likely use Word for collaboration. Thus, Microsoft Word is essential for any job seeker or professional whose position requires communication skills.
Read more about why you should learn Microsoft Word.
There are a number of ways to learn Microsoft Word. Your first option includes live classes, which can be in-person or live online. Live classes offer engagement with an instructor that will answer a student’s questions in real-time. However, in-person class options are often limited to locations nearest a student. Live online courses can be taken from anywhere with an internet connection and do their best to replicate the feel of in-person classrooms. They also don’t feature a commute, which can be time-consuming and costly.
Another option includes on-demand, asynchronous, or self-paced learning. This type of learning is best for students who prefer to learn at their own pace or have work or family obligations that prevent them from attending regularly scheduled classes. Students have more freedom to learn as they wish, but they lack an instructor or guidance, and self-motivation is required to progress through the material.
Finally, students can choose to learn through free options such as seminars, online tutorials, guides, blog posts, or videos. These options are great for individuals wanting to learn the basics of Microsoft Word. However, like other learning options, they don’t feature a proper instructor and will likely not be enough for someone wanting to learn Microsoft Word to advance their career. Free tutorials can also be outdated.
Read the full guide on how to learn Microsoft Word.
If you aren’t ready to dive into a full Microsoft Word course, you can look for an online introduction to Microsoft Word through Youtube, Coursera, or Udemy. In these free courses, you can learn a variety of basic skills, including Microsoft Word fundamentals and how to create simple documents such as fliers, brochures, and resumes. Some courses even teach advanced and expert Microsoft Word tips and tricks.
However, many of these courses teach older versions of the Microsoft Word software. While most of Microsoft Word’s features are consistent through subsequent iterations, newer versions of the program may possess previously unseen features or place features in different locations. It can also be impossible to verify if the information taught in these courses is quality or correct. While these free online classes can be valuable and cost-effective for pure beginners, they aren’t ideal for professionals looking to learn comprehensive Microsoft Word skills to advance their careers.
Read about more free Microsoft Word videos and online tutorials.
Microsoft Word is not difficult for most people to learn, though it requires basic computer comprehension and typing skills. Once you start learning Microsoft Word, the use of the program is mostly intuitive. However, advanced features and shortcuts are usually hidden in menus and require training or the use of tutorials to learn.
There are a number of free online resources to get started with Microsoft Word, including introductory courses and tutorials. Thus, beginners wishing to learn the program can do so with minimal cost. However, free resources are often outdated and don’t feature expert techniques. Those wishing to become an expert in the program to advance their career will likely require professional training. Professional courses in Microsoft Word generally cost around $200-$300 and feature multiple levels, such as beginner, advanced, and expert. Due to the ease of learning Microsoft Word, these courses usually last only a day or two.
Read about how difficult it is to learn Microsoft Word.
Google Docs is Word’s primary competitor. Google Docs is web-based, so there’s no installation required, and it’s even easier for teams to collaborate. Its autosave feature also ensures documents are never lost (Microsoft Word has this feature, but it has to be manually activated). You can access files anywhere from any device so long as you have an internet connection. Converting Google Docs documents to web pages is easier than with Microsoft Word. Google Docs is also completely free compared to Microsoft Word’s $80 price tag.
However, Google Docs doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Microsoft Word. While virtually any document can be created in Microsoft Word, including visual effects and animations, Google Docs is suited to more simple designs. Some users also find Microsoft Word more intuitive to work with than Google Docs, and Google Drive has storage limits. While Google Docs is perfectly serviceable to the average individual’s needs, professionals who wish to make complex documents or work offline would be better serviced by Microsoft Word.
Apple Pages is Microsoft Word’s main competitor if you own a Mac. The biggest advantage of Apple Pages is that it comes free with Mac computers. Some users find its interface more intuitive than Microsoft Word and enjoy its autosave feature. Apple Pages also has more options than Word when it comes to manipulating images within documents.
Like Google Docs, Apple Pages can handle the average individual’s word processing and document creation needs. However, Microsoft Word’s advantage over all its competitors remains its powerful features. Apple Pages can be difficult to share documents in a team setting where not everyone may be using a Mac computer, and teams may experience conversion errors between document files. However, some professionals who prefer to use more visual elements in their documents prefer working with Apple Pages.
In conclusion, Microsoft Word is the more powerful document creator, Google Docs is ideal for team sharing and availability, and Apple Pages may be the better choice for Mac users who do not work within teams or across different operating systems.
The best way to learn Microsoft Word will differ depending on the individual and what they want to use the program for. Beginners to Microsoft Word may be seeking an overview of the program’s features and not want to spend money on professional instruction. In this case, free classes or online tutorials may be ideal. However, with free tutorials, students will often learn independently without a professional instructor to offer assistance. Free materials may also be outdated.
Individuals wanting to master the features of Microsoft Word to advance their career would benefit most from a Microsoft Word bootcamp that features comprehensive learning with professional instruction. These courses deep dive into the program and teach little-known expert techniques and tips. An instructor can only provide learning assistance but mentorship and guidance in the job hunt.
In-person and live online courses are available for learning Microsoft Word. Keep in mind that in-person classes are limited to an individual’s immediate area and may not offer the desired specifications. While online classes may not be everyone’s cup of tea, live online classes do their best to replicate the level of engagement found in in-person classrooms. They feature live instructors that react to their students’ needs in real-time. Students can interact virtually with their peers.
Deciding on the best way to learn Microsoft Word depends on an individual’s goals for learning the program: whether they want to learn a new skill or advance a career, their budget, and their preference for professional guidance or in-person interactivity.
In today’s busy world, live online learning can be a fast, engaging, and comprehensive alternative to in-person classes. Noble Desktop offers live online classes in Microsoft Word that are hands-on and open to beginners. Classes are small, taught by expert instructors, and include free retake options.
Microsoft Word Level I is a one-day course that teaches all the Microsoft Word essentials. You’ll learn how to avoid common page formatting errors and prepare and send mass emails, letters, and labels with one click. You’ll also learn all the necessary shortcuts to shave hours off your time. Students who want to increase their Microsoft Word skills can attend the Microsoft Word Level II course.
Microsoft Word Level II is an advanced class that teaches next-level Microsoft Word skills. You’ll learn how to use automation to speed up your workflow, create custom document templates, use advanced formatting techniques, and build long documents. This is the ideal course for individuals wanting to become Microsoft Word experts.
Noble Desktop also provides additional Microsoft Office classes, including Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook.