Getting Started with Microsoft Word

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How to Open Microsoft Word

If you're not sure how to open up Microsoft Word, then do the following.

For Windows 8 users, swipe to the right on your Start screen and you should see an icon for Word, as in the following image (Windows 10 users can just type Microsoft Word into the Cortana search box):

If you have Word 2013 or 2016, you'll see a screen like the one in the link below:

Microsoft Word 2013 Screen ( 19K )

Most of the time, you'll want to click on Blank Document. Click on that now and you'll see Word open. It will then look like the screen in the image below (Word 2010 will be be very similar to this one, as well);

Microsoft Word 2013 - Opening Screen ( 15K )

For all others, click your left mouse button once on the Start button in the bottom left of your screen. If you have Windows Vista or Windows 7, the round Start button will look like this:

The round Start button in Vista and Windows 7

If you have Windows XP the start button looks like this:

Windows XP Start button

On the Start menu that appears, click your left mouse button on the All Programs item. On the All programs menu, look for Microsoft Office. If you have Office 2007 to Office 2016, you'll see something like this:

Office 2007 Start menu

If you have an earlier version of Microsoft Word, you'll see something like this:

Office menu for older versions

If you don't see Word 2007, Word 2010, Word 2013 or 2016, then you have an earlier version of the software. In which case, your course is here: Word 2000 to 2003

If you have Word 2007, you should see a screen something like this one:

Microsoft Word 2007 Screen - Study this image - ( 60K )

In Word 2010 to 2016, you won't see the round Office button in the top left. Instead, you'll have an extra item in the top left - the File tab.

The main area, all that white space, is the page you type on, just like a piece of paper. The area above the white space is called the Ribbon. The Ribbon contains all the toolbars (known as Tabs) that you can use to brighten up the plain white text on your page. The Tabs are called: Home, Insert, Page Layout, References, Mailings, Review and View. (Word 2010 to Word 2016 will also have a File tab, which will be the first item.)

Click each of these in turn to see what items are on each tab. When you have finished exploring, click back on the Home tab. The Home tab contains the items you'll use the most, like font formatting, alignment, cut, copy and paste.

In the next lesson, you'll discover how to find your way around Microsoft Word.