Introduction to Microsoft Word

Microsoft Office Suite

Microsoft Word is a word processing application that is part of the Microsoft Office Suite. Microsoft Office Suite is a set of powerful applications that are designed to provide a rich set of tools for almost every conceivable business task for a small (and large) business or organization. Microsoft Office Suite has been designed so that the interface across all the applications is consistent. Obviously, this helps users to move from application to application to carry out their various business tasks. The primary applications that are included in Microsoft Office include the following:

  • Microsoft Word—A word processing application to create and edit letters, articles, newsletters, flyers, and any other text-based document.

  • Microsoft Excel—A spreadsheet application used primarily to record and manipulate numbers with calculations, functions, links, and other operations.

  • Microsoft PowerPoint—A presentation application to create and present slide shows with text, graphics, and videos.

  • Microsoft OneNote—A note taking applications to record notes, screen captures, documents and images.

In addition, Microsoft has three more applications that are included in an extended version of Microsoft Office. These additional applications are

  • Microsoft Outlook—An email client application that handles multiple email accounts. It also includes a powerful address book.

  • Microsoft Access—A database management system application. Access is a powerful tool to build and use a database system.

  • Microsoft Publisher—A desktop publishing application which provides more advanced publishing tools than those included in Word.

Finally there are two more applications that are not usually considered part of the Office Suite, but which also use that same layout and ribbon that are used in the Office Suite. These two applications are

  • Microsoft Visio—A graphical and drawing tool that is used for graphical design of software, databases, office layouts, flowcharts, engineering diagrams, and so forth.

  • Microsoft Project—A project scheduling and control application that tracks tasks, critical paths, resources, and completion times.

Microsoft has moved to a consistent layout and ribbon menu on all of these applications. Therefore, as you learn the capabilities and shortcuts to use the ribbon in Word, you will automatically learn many of the menu items available in these other applications.

Acquiring Microsoft Word

There are three ways to obtain Microsoft Word and/or Microsoft Office. The first option, which is popular with students, is simply to purchase a license, then download and install Word on your local desktop or laptop computer. This option is often chosen by students because Microsoft gives a substantial educational discount.

The second option, which Microsoft introduced with the 2013 version of Microsoft Office, is to sign up for an annual subscription (Office 365). There is an annual fee, but you have the option to install Word on several computers, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices. Many schools offer Microsoft Office 365 for free to students. Check with your instuctor about accessing Office 365 through your school.

The third option is an online version of Word. The online version of Word is free, but it is accessed through your browser. You will need to have a Microsoft account (or a school account) to use the online version. If you are using Windows 8 or later, you already have a Microsoft account. Click here to log in to Word Online.

Introduction to Word Processing with Word

Microsoft Word is a word processing application that runs on a personal desktop, laptop, or mobile computing device. Because word processing tasks are so pervasive in our lives today, you have probably already been using Word. In these lessons, you will learn not only the basic features of Word but also more advanced features that will enhance your skills in creating and writing documents, reports, articles, newsletters, flyers, and letters. In addition, you will learn many of the shortcuts and features that will also enhance your productivity as you use Word.

In the next several lessons we will discuss how to use Word to create documents for a small company. As part of the lessons and accompanying assignments, we will create documents that might be used by a real company. A word processor can create letters, memos, reports, and even email messages. Creating large, detailed documents can be very time-consuming, but a word processor can made the task of editing, correcting, and reorganizing text easy and efficient.

Introduction to QuickStove

To illustrate the features of Microsoft Word, we will use a small company, QuickStove, LLC, located in Orem, Utah. QuickStove sells emergency preparedness and backpacking equipment. QuickStove conducts most of its sales online through two websites: and QuickStove contracts with a local steel fabricator to produce its central products: the Folding Firebox and the Cube Stove.

As with every small company, employees have numerous uses for Microsoft Word. In these lessons you will learn how to write simple documents, create flyers, create and send out promotional letters, and create fancy reports. Figure 1.1 illustrates the Quickstove logo. In this first lesson we will create a promotional flyer for QuickStove’s Cube Bundle.

Figure 1.1: QuickStove, LLC

In the following lessons, we will discuss how to create and use the most common features of Word. Keep in mind that in a real business situation, you may not frequently need to use some of the features that are taught in these lessons, but knowing they exist can speed up the creation of a document when you do need them.

In this lesson, we will create a simple flyer for QuickStove. In the second lesson, we will discuss creating and mailing a professional business letter. In the last lesson, you will create a business report that utilizes some of the advanced features of Word. Each lesson contains readings and videos that present the various topics covered in the book. Practice Problems and Test Your Skills assessments will give you hands-on experience working in Word.