Word Processing Basics for Beginners

Word Processing Basic

Defining Word Processing

A word processor is an electronic device or a computer application software that performs word processing.
It is a type of software that displays characters based on a user’s input on an external or internal keyboard. Simply put, a word processor is an application that enables you to type, edit and print documents.
The documents include letters, memos, curriculum vitae, and so on. The software allows the user to edit, modify, and format documents based on display preferences. By this we mean that you can customize the text in your document to look the way you want it. This is done by formatting the size, color and other features in your document.
The most common word processors are Microsoft Word and WordPerfect. Word processing was one of the earliest applications for the personal computer in office productivity.
Modern word processors provide users with a graphical user interface (GUI). GUIs allow users some form of what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) editing.

Uses of Word Processor

  1. Word processors are used in creating letters, letterheads, memos and reference documents in business.
  2. Word Processing software can be used to type, Save, Format, Preview & Print text.
  3. It can also be used to create and edit pictures, images, symbols, and
  4. One can use word processors to search and replace words; cut/copy and paste words.
  5. It can be used to perform the following: Spelling and grammar check, Thesaurus (Dictionary), Mail Merging and create tables.

Examples of Word Processors

The following are some examples of word processing software:
  1. Word Pad,
  2. Microsoft Word,
  3. Microsoft Works,
  4. WordPerfect,
  5. AppleWorks,
  6. OpenOffice Writer
Task one Identify at least two most popularly used word processing software in your environment. If they are not on the above list, add them. Use the comment section to respond to this task.  

Starting Microsoft Word and Creating Documents

Loading and Exiting Microsoft Word

To load Microsoft Word, do the following:
  1. In Win XP, Click Start >>> All Programs >>> Microsoft Office >>> Microsoft Word.
  1. In Win Vista and 7, Click Start >>> Type ‘word’ in the Search box >>> select Microsoft Word from the list.
  1. In Win 8, 8.1 & 10, press the WINDOWS LOGO button on the keyboard
    1. From the tiled menu, select Word 2013 as shown below.
In general, whichever windows you are working with, you can load Microsoft Word by doing the following:
  1. Press the key combination WINDOWS LOGO + R to display the Run dialog box shown below.
  1. Type ‘Winword’ in the box and press Enter or click OK.
MS Word opens.

Printing and Exiting MS Word

Create a Document in Microsoft Word

To create a file, load Microsoft Word application, type text such as letter, memo, or anything you want to do. (See uses of a word processor)

Save a File in Microsoft Word

In an already opened Microsoft Word application, do the following:
  1. Click File and select Save As, from the menu list, the Save As dialog box will appear as shown below.
  1. Type the name of the file in the File Name box and click the save button. The file will be saved in My documents by default.

Open/ retrieve a saved file

To retrieve a saved file from any application, do the following:
  1. Open the folder where you saved the file (e.g. my documents): To open my documents folder; double-click my documents icon on the desktop OR right-click Documents icon on the desktop and select Open from the list.
  2. Locate the name of the file you want to open or retrieve in the folder (files are arranged in alphabetical order).
  3. Double-click the ‘file’s name’ icon in the folder OR right-click the ‘file’s name’ icon and choose Open from the list. The application opens with contents of the file.
  4. If you want to retrieve the file for safe keeping in another location, then you can save the file again by selecting a different location from the Save in the drop-down list in the Save As dialog box.

Exiting Microsoft word

To close an already opened Microsoft Word do the following:
  1. Press the key combinations CTRL + F4 to close an open word document without exiting word.
  2. Press the key combinations ALT + F4 to exit Word application.
  3. Click the [X] icon in the top right corner of the open Word application as shown below.

Printing in MS Word

To print your document is very simple.Before you print, you must have a printer connected to your computer system.If you do not have a printer, you can print to Pdf or XPS files, then copy the file to a system that has a printer.To print do the following:
  1. Select File >> Print. The print and print preview window will show
The left pane of the window shows the print options while the right pane shows your printable document.In the left pane, check the print options. For example:
  1. Choose a printer from the Printer drop-down arrow. You can choose pdf or XPS document writer here.
  2. If you want to print all the pages, select “Print All Pages”. If you want to print the current page only, select “Print Current Page”, under
  3. When you are set to print, click the Print

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