Windows from the Keyboard Tips, Microsoft Word – Creating Repetitive Documents, October 28, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

Microsoft Word – Tips for Creating Repetitive Documents

Those of us who use Word at work, school, or for volunteer activities, often find the need to create a new document that is similar to an existing document. For example, for the GTT Edmonton Chapter I produce a monthly meeting agenda in Word. Each month’s agenda is like the previous month in layout, formatting, headings, fonts, contact info etc. so it is usually easier to modify the previous month’s agenda than start with a blank document. This ensures a consistent look to the document which is more professional than producing inconsistent looking documents. Here’s the basic steps I follow to produce my agenda document. These steps should work for most of your repetitive documents as well.

  • Find the previous document with Windows File Explorer.
  • Don’t open the previous document. Just Press Control+C to copy it to the clipboard.
  • Then immediately press Control+V. This will paste a second copy of the document into the same folder. Windows will name the copied document with the same filename plus “copy” at the end.
  • Press F2 on this copied document and retype the name of your new document and then press Enter. Now you have a new document with your new filename, and you can proceed to edit it.
  • Press Enter to open the new document in Word.
  • Press Control+H to replace all words in the document’s old contents that need to be changed for the new document. For example, in the case of my agenda document, I might want to replace all occurrences of January with February.
  • Now position the cursor at the start of any text that is not needed in the new document and navigate to the end of that unneeded text. This highlights or selects the text. Press Delete key to delete that highlighted text.
  • Type new text that you need for the new document.
  • For new sections or sub sections don’t forget to make level 1 or level 2 headings . Place the cursor at the beginning of the heading and press Alt+Control+1 for a level 1 heading or Alt+Control+2 for a level 2 heading. This shortcut only works for level 1, 2, or 3 headings.
  • If your new section needs specific formatting, such as headings, bullets or fonts, that are in an existing section, then you can copy the formatting. Place your cursor somewhere within the old section. Now press Control+Shift+C which copies the text formatting (not the text) to the clipboard. Then highlight (select) the new section you just typed and press Control+Shift+V to apply the formatting to that section.
  • Press F7 to spell check your new document contents.
  • When finished editing just press Control+S to save the document.

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.