Jacob J. Walker's Blog

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Top 5 Microsoft Word Skills to Learn, to Rise from an Amateur to a Professional

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This week I’m posting a series of blog articles that discuss what it takes to not just be an amateur user of Microsoft Word, but to move towards becoming a professional.  I do not mean to be disparaging to amateurs, as the term comes from the French “lover of”.  But, there is a difference between someone who uses technology for personal use, and someone who needs to use technology to produce something in a business context.

Professionals need to be efficient in their use of technology, to have a product that not only looks good, but also is maintainable, and can be changed easily, and that the production has the least amount of rework.  Professionals also need their product to be able to be used in different contexts, such as not only being printed, but potentially viewed on the Internet, or professionally published.

There are a ton of great free learning materials about Microsoft Word, from online courses such as those on GCF Learn Free, Saylor, and EdX; to videos like the YouTube videos from The Teacher and Word training videos directly from Microsoft; to other blogs such as the Microsoft 365 Blog; to textbooks such as the Microsoft Office Word textbook from bookboon.com, about how to do specific skills in Microsoft Word.

But, these materials rarely look at Word through the lens of which skills are important for which types of tasks, and how they can help a professional Word user.  Most of that is discovered by professionals over time, but even many professionals may not understand the pros and cons of using one technique over another.  That is why I’m writing this series of blog articles.  To help amateurs become more professional in their use of Microsoft Word, and to give existing professionals more understanding about the tools at their disposal, and which one is most appropriate to use for which type of job.

As I noted, there are lots of good learning materials available to learn how to do these skills. So I’m not going to write another set of tutorials about how to do the techniques that I’m discussing, but instead, I will help curate some of the learning materials I have found, and link to tutorials for the specific skills.

So tomorrow, I am going to start with the skill I always ask someone about first, to quickly determine whether they are an amateur Word user, or closer to a professional: Show/Hide.

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Written by Jacob Walker

December 2nd, 2018 at 8:21 pm

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