Typing vs. Keyboarding

Do you remember when we used to take a TYPING class? It wasn't THAT long ago! I had a college TYPING class in 1981. Today, instead of a TYPING class, we take KEYBOARDING. The main difference between TYPING and KEYBOARDING (or WORD PROCESSING) is that in keyboarding we do not press the ENTER key at the end of a line. Let's start by taking a look at some important terms.

Insertion Point

Insertion Point: (also called a cursor) The blinking vertical bar that indicates where the next character you type will appear. Note that when the mouse pointer (normally the shape of an arrow) is over a text area, the mouse pointer changes to an I-beam. The I-beam is different than the insertion point!

In Word, the mouse pointer appears as an I-beam when it is over a text area. The I-beam is not the insertion point! In the past, you have probably been editing a long document and had the insertion point at the top of your document. As you proofed your document, you scrolled up and down, and eventually got to a point in your document where you wanted to type a correction, then, without thinking, you just started typing. What happened? The document instantly jumped to the point in your document where the insertion point was located - up at the top of your document, not where you were. The letters you typed appeared at the top of your document, at the insertion point. You had an I-beam down where you were reading, and wanted to make a correction. This is a common mistake. We've all made that mistake. Just remember that you have to click your mouse while your mouse is in the shape of an I-beam in order to move the insertion point to that location.

Word Wrap

Word Wrap: Word wrap is the automatic movement of the cursor and word to the next line when the word would otherwise not fit on the line. A soft return is entered when WORD WRAP occurs.

Hard Return: When the user presses the enter key. Word inserts a paragraph mark . The paragraph mark is a nonprinting character that indicates where the enter key was pressed. We can click the Show/Hide button in the PARAGRAPH group on the HOME tab to turn the display of this non-printing character on or off. Sometimes you want the paragraph mark visible so you can know where you have pressed the ENTER key and inserted a hard return.

Keep in mind that hard returns will not move if your document changes. If you change the margins or font size, your text will automatically wrap to the new margins, EXCEPT WHERE YOU HAVE ENTERED A HARD RETURN! This is the main reason to NOT press the ENTER key when you get to the end of a line. You may have copied and pasted information from a Web page into a Word document and found lots of lines that only had a few words on it, then it jumped to the next line. This is because the hard return on the Website was pasted into your Word document. Next time, click PASTE SPECIAL, then choose UNFORMATTED text.

Soft Return: Computer inserted return when word wrap occurs. 

When do we use a hard return (press ENTER key)?

  1. end short lines
  2. insert blank lines
  3. end a paragraph

Word File Extension

Since Word 2007, Word documents use the extension .docx. Earlier versions of Word use the .doc extension. Often the file extension is hidden from our view, but it is still there.

F1 Help Key

F1 is the help key in all Windows software. Therefore, if you ever have a question, just tap the F1 key to get help on anything. Context sensitive help is help based on the context of what you currently doing. For example, if I wanted extra help on SAVING files, I would click on FILE tab, then click SAVE AS command, then tap the F1 key for context sensitive help on saving files.

Microsoft Word Training Courses

Click Word Training Courses to see a list of training videos provided by Microsoft.