A word processor is a computer application used for the composition, editing, formatting and printing of any printable material.
Word processors are applications that enable text to be imputed and manipulated prior to printing. They allow the easy working of the printed word and the inclusion of photos and graphics. They also allow the following functions:
- Formatting – size, fonts, colour and highlighting – can personalize a document or allow a ‘House style’
- Spelling and grammar checks – this can automatically correct any mistakes or makes suggestions
- Page numbering – will number all pages and automatically change the numbering if additional pages are inserted or removed
- Indexing – allows an index to be created which is useful for academic work
- Headers and footers – useful for multi page documents if you want something to appear on every page
- Search and replace – enables you to search for a particular word and replace it with another i.e to change a name
- Footnotes and referencing – inserts the footnotes which are automatically renumbered as new ones are inserted
- Collaborative editing and comments – allows a number of people to suggest editing or make comments on a document
- Merging of letters with addresses – enables personalised letters to be sent by extracting information of the recipient from a data base
- Data presentation in tables – enables tables to be inserted for the display of data
- Word count – enables the number of words or characters to be counted
- Thesaurus function – enables alternative words to be suggested
- Enables shapes and images to be inserted and manipulated
Word 2007 also enables a number of additional functions such as the translation into a foreign language or the insertion of mathematical formulae.
Templates can be set up to be used for different types of documents to allow data to be inserted.
Word processing has a number of advantages:
- They can create professional looking documents simply and quickly
- Allows documents to be saved, retrieved and reused
- Editing allows changes to be made quickly and economically
So let’s start getting to know Word.
You will need access to a computer that has word installed on it, most computers at colleges or universities will have this, though check with your tutor. If you have a computer at home you will need to ensure that you have word installed on this, although many computers come with Microsoft Works pre-installed and the word processor in that is very similar to Word.
To open word or works left click on the start button at the bottom left hand side of your screen then select the appropriate programme. This will open the programme and a new blank document. You can have a look round the screen at the icons that have appeared and try to become familiar with the screen layout. You should then visit the Microsoft website and work your way through the tutorial.
Once you have completed the tutorial you should attempt the Assessment task below.