Customize The Work Environment in Microsoft Word 2007

Posted by: Minal Agarwal , on 5/31/2007, in Category Word 2007
Views: 106088
Abstract: Abstract In this article you will learn how to modify your work environment. Like what happens when you select text, copy and paste text. We will start with some of the common options and then eventually move to the advanced options.

You would always like your Word to work according to your needs, in other words; customized to your requirements. This may include certain common features to be turned on or off according to the requirement. So to be able to edit you work environment you need to learn about the Word Options.  



Click on the ‘Office button’ and then select the Word Options. In the left pane you can see different categories and the default selection is Popular options and the right pane expands the options available in each category for instance the popular options.  


MS Word 2007 Popular Word Options

Popular Options

These options are displayed in two categories:

1.    Top options for working with Word

Show Mini Toolbar on selection: checked on by default. This option displays the mini toolbar when any text is selected. To make it visible hover your mouse over the text.  The mini toolbar provides quick access to the formatting tools.

Enable Live Preview: shows the preview of how a feature affects the document as you hover over different choices. For example, when you want to change font for particular text, you select the text and then hover over the various fonts available in the toolbar, you get a live preview in the document of what it would look like if you select it. This doesn’t change it permanently just temporarily so that you can get a feel of it and you can click it if you like. It is a very useful feature and is turned on by default. The only reason you might want to turn it off if you are running on a low memory and you notice that the program is running slow, you can free some memory by turning off the live preview.  

Show Developer tab in the Ribbon: the developers who use XML features in Word may like to turn on this feature. It will show authoring tools, macros, templates as well as some XML related features.

Always use ClearType:  turns on ClearType to make the text easier to read.

Open email attachments in Full Screen Reading view: opens the documents launched from email attachments in the Full Screen Reading view or layout. Color Scheme for email attachments is Blue (by default) and Feature descriptions will be shown in ScreenTips.

You can turn off this feature if you would like to open the documents in Print Layout instead.

Color Scheme: select an option from the list to change the color scheme of the programs.

ScreenTip style: lets you choose a style from the list to control the display of the names of buttons and additional information. ‘Show feature descriptions in ScreenTips’ displays names and helpful information, ‘Don't show feature descriptions in ScreenTips’ displays button names only and ‘Don't show ScreenTips’ displays neither.

2.    Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office

This section is very useful if you want to share documents and track changes. When you share your documents within a team, you would like to know who made what changes to the documents with the help of their user name and initials. You can enter your User name and Initials so that if you make any changes to the document this information shows up. For more details visit article Track and Review Changes

Language Settings will open the Microsoft Office Language Settings 2007 dialog box, where you can set the default language for your office documents.

Advanced Options

MS Word 2007 Advanced Word Options

1.    Editing Options:

Typing replaces selected text which means if you select some text and start typing, this deletes the selected text gets deleted and is replaced by the newly typed one.

When selecting, automatically select entire word will select the entire word when you try to click and drag a part of the word you may notice that sometimes whole word gets selected even if you want to select only a few characters.

Allow text to be dragged and dropped which means you can highlight text click on it again and drag to another location and drop it there. This is a handy feature.

Use CTRL + Click to follow hyperlink makes it convenient to edit the text of hyperlinks. You must press CTRL as you click the link to follow the link.

Automatically create drawing canvas when inserting AutoShapes places a drawing canvas around the drawing objects facilitating you to organize drawing objects and pictures to move them as a single entity.

Use smart paragraph selection to select the paragraph mark when you select a whole paragraph.

Use smart cursoring to specify that the cursor moves as you scroll up or down. 

Use the Insert key to control overtype mode lets you use the Insert key to turn overtype mode on and off. ‘Use overtype mode’ lets you replace existing text as you type. You can turn this option on and off by pressing the Insert key once the Use the Insert key to control overtype mode is selected. Prompt to update style lets you to be prompted when you directly modify text to which a style is applied and then you reapply the style to the modified text. Use Normal style for bulleted or numbered lists to base list styles on the Normal paragraph. Keep track of formatting to keep track of your formatting as you type. ‘Mark formatting inconsistenciesto mark formatting with a wavy blue underline. Enable click and type enables you to insert text, tables, images and such other items when you double click in a blank area. It also applies the alignment to position the item. ‘Default paragraph style’ lets you select the style that is applied to text when you use click and type.

2.    Cut, copy and paste Options

Pasting within the same document - Keep Source Formatting, Pasting between documents - Keep Source Formatting. This option decides the default behavior of the text that is being copied within the same document or from one document to another. The default setting is Keep Source Formatting: that retains the formatting or character styles of text copied or cut from the source, when pasted into the destination document. You can change the values to Match Destination Formatting or Keep Text Only

Match Destination formatting: would format the copied text and adapt to the destination document. In other words, it discards the formatting and character styles applied to the text in the source document and takes on the format of the paragraph where it is pasted. 

Keep Text Only: discards all formatting and non text elements, such as pictures or tables. The text takes on the style characteristics of the paragraph where it is pasted and takes on any formatting of text that immediately precedes the cursor when the text is pasted. Graphical elements are discarded, and tables are converted to a series of paragraphs. 

Pasting between documents when style definitions conflict : This option displays the default behavior when you paste content that was copied from another document in Word, and the style that is assigned to the copied text is defined differently in the document where the text is being pasted. In addition to the above settings, you have one more setting; Use Destination Styles, the default setting. This option retains the style name that is associated with the copied text, but it uses the style definition of the document where the text is being pasted. For example, you copy Heading 2 from a document where Heading 2 is defined as Verdana underline; 20pt to the document where Heading 2 is defined as Calibri bold; 16pt. when you use this option the pasted text adopts Heading 2 as Calibri bold, and 16 pt. 

Pasting from other programs:  This option decides the default behavior when you paste content that was copied from another program. The values can be set either to Keep Source Formatting which is default, Match Destination formatting or Keep Text Only. 

Insert/paste pictures as: This option displays how Word inserts pictures relative to the text in your document. You can insert images inline with text, allow images to move with text, or you can wrap text around, in front of, or behind an image. You can select any of the following: 

a.     In line with text - This option inserts the graphic in a paragraph as if it were text. The graphic moves as you add or delete text. You can drag the graphic to reposition it the same way that you drag text. 

b.     Square -This option wraps the text around all sides of a square around the graphic. The graphic does not move as you add or delete text, but you can drag the graphic to reposition it. 

c.     Tight - This option wraps the text around the graphic in an irregular shape around the actual image. The graphic does not move as you add or delete text, but you can drag the graphic to reposition it. 

d.     Behind text - This option inserts the graphic so that the graphic floats on its own layer behind the text. There is no border around the graphic. The graphic does not move as you add or delete text, but you can drag the graphic to reposition it. 

e.     In front of text - This option inserts the graphic so that the graphic floats on its own layer in front of the text. There is no border around the graphic. The graphic does not move as you add or delete text, but you can drag the graphic to reposition it. 

f.      Through - This option wraps the text around the graphic, including filling the space created by a concave shape, such as a crescent moon. The graphic does not move as you add or delete text, but you can drag the graphic to reposition it. 

g.     Top and bottom - This option prevents text from wrapping on the sides of the graphic. The graphic does not move as you add or delete text, but you can drag the graphic to reposition it. 

Apart from how you can insert the picture in the text, you have some options like:                       

Keep bullets and numbers while pasting text with Keep Text Only option - This option converts the bullets and numberings into text symbols. Use the Insert key for paste – This option lets you use the Insert key to paste the contents of clipboard. Show Paste option buttons – you can select this option to display the Paste options button when you paste the content. Use smart cut and paste – This option automatically adjusts formatting as you paste text. You can check any of these options according to your need. For example if you copy a paragraph and paste it in the middle of another document, then this feature will insert appropriate number of blank lines before and after the paragraph so that it matches the destination much nicer. 

3.    Show document content 

The options in this section allow you to decide how the content in your document should be displayed. 

Show background colors and images in Print Layout view – displays background colors and images. Show text wrapped within the document window – wraps text to the document window. Show picture placeholders to display an empty box in place of the picture if the picture which saves time taken to load the picture so that the process of scrolling through the document is faster. Show drawings and text boxes on screen – displays objects that are created using the Word drawing tools in Print Layout and Web Layout view. Show text animation – displays text animations on your screen. Use this option to view animations in documents created in previous versions of Word as Word 2007 doesn’t include the feature of creating animated text. Show bookmarks – displays bookmarks on the screen, bookmarked item appears in [] and bookmarked location appears as I-beam. But these won’t appear in printed documents. Show smart tags – displays the smart tag with purple dotted line. Show text boundaries – displays dotted lines around text margins, columns and paragraphs. Show crop marks displays the corners of the margins. Show field codes instead of their values – displays field codes instead of results. For example, you may see Date (“MMMM, dd, YY”) instead of January 28, 07. Field shading – This option displays whether and when fields are shaded. In the list, select Always or When Selected to shade your fields. Use draft font in Draft and Outline views – you can use this option to increase the speed of display on computers with limited resources. When you check this option you can select the Name (font type) and Size of the font. Font Substitution – Clicking on this button opens the Font Substitution dialog box. Use this option to find out whether the active document uses any fonts that are not available on your computer. If the document uses fonts that are not available on your computer, then you can use the dialog box to specify a substitute font. 

4.    Display 

This section allows you to set the various display options.

Show this number of Recent Documents – Enter the number of document between 1 and 50, to display in the Recent Documents list. Show measurements in units of – Inches, Centimeters, Millimeters, Points and Picas for the horizontal ruler and other measurements you type in dialog boxes. Style area pane width in Draft and Outline views – Type a positive number in the box to open the style area that displays the names of the styles applied to the text. Show pixels for HTML features – Select this option to use pixels as the default unit of measurement in dialog boxes that are related to HTML features. Show all windows in the Taskbar – Select this option to display an icon on the Windows taskbar for each open window in a Microsoft Office program. Show shortcut keys in ScreenTips – Select this option to display shortcut keys in ScreenTips. Show horizontal scroll bar – Select this option to display the horizontal scrollbar at the bottom of the document window. Show vertical scroll bar – Select this option to display the vertical scroll bar at the side of the document window. Show vertical ruler in Print Layout view – Select this option to display the vertical ruler at the side of the document window. Optimize character positioning for layout rather than readability – Select this option to display character positioning exactly as it will appear when the document is printed. 

5.    Print 

Use draft quality – to print the document with minimal formatting, this may speed the printing process. Print in background – to print documents in the background, which allows you to continue to work while you print. Print pages in reverse order - to print pages in reverse order. Print XML tags – to print the XML tags for the XML elements applied to an XML document. Print field codes instead of their values – to print field codes instead of field results. Print on front of the sheet for duplex printing – to print the front of each sheet when printing on a printer that does not have duplex capability. Pages will print in reverse order so that when you flip the stack to print on the back, the pages will print in the correct order. Print on back of the sheet for duplex printing – this will print on the back of each sheet in ascending order to correspond to a stack of pages that were printed on the front in the reverse order. Scale content for A4 or 8.5 x 11" paper sizes – to automatically adjust documents that are designed for ‘8.5-by-11-inch paper’ to fit ‘A4 paper’ and to adjust documents that are designed for A4 paper to fit ‘8.5-by-11-inch paper’. This option takes effect only if the ‘A4 or 8.5-by-11-inch paper’ in the printer does not match the paper size set on the Page Layout tab on the ribbon. This option will affect only the printout and not the formatting. Default tray – This option displays the printer tray that is used by default. 

6.    When printing this document 

When printing this document – Select the document you want these print settings applied to, from the list. By default the document listed is the current document; you can choose ‘All New Documents’ to apply the settings to all new documents you create. Print PostScript over text – Select this option to print PostScript code when a document contains PRINT fields. Print only the data from a form – Select this option to print the data that is entered into an online form without printing the form. 

7.    Save 

Prompt before saving Normal template – Select this option to display a message that asks if you want to save any changes that were made to the default template, when you close Word. Since changes to the default template will affect all the new documents that you create, you may want to be alerted when the template has changed. Always create backup copy – Select this option to create a backup copy of a document each time you save the document. Each backup copy replaces the earlier backup copy. Word 2007 adds the expression ‘Backup of’ to the file name and applies the file extension ‘.wbk’ to all backup copies. The backup copies are saved in the same folder as your original document. Copy remotely stored files onto your computer, and update the remote file when saving - Select this option to temporarily store a local copy of a file that you store on a network or removable drive. When you save the local copy, Word saves your changes to the original copy. If the original file is not available, Word prompts you to save the file in another location to avoid data loss. Allow background saves –Select this option to save your document while you work. 

8.    Preserve fidelity when sharing this document 

Preserve fidelity when sharing this document – Select the document you want these settings applied to, from the list. By default the document listed is the current document; you can choose ‘All New Documents’ to apply the settings to all new documents you create. Save smart tags as XML properties in Web pages – Select this option to save all the smart tags in a document as XML within a HTML file. Save form data as delimited text file – this option lets you to save the data that is entered into an online form as a single, tab-delimited text file in plain text format. You can then import the contents of that file into a database. Embed linguistic data  this option saves linguistic data, such as speech and handwritten text. Embed smart tags – this option saves smart tags as part of your document. 

9.    General 

Provide feedback with sound – this option can add sounds to certain actions or events in Word and other programs in Microsoft Office 2007. Provide feedback with animation – this option animates the movement of cursor as well as provides animated cursors for actions like saving, formatting, printing, and so on; in Word and other Microsoft Office programs. Confirm file format conversion on open – with this option you can choose the file converter that Word uses to open files that were created in another program. Update automatic links at open – allows to automatically update any content linked to other files that were created in any another program. Allow opening a document in Draft view – lets you open a document in Draft view. Allow background open of Web pages – lets you open Web page documents in the background while you work. Enable background repagination – this option allows to repaginate documents automatically as you work. Show add-in user interface errors – allows displaying error messages from programs that customize the user interface. Mailing address – You can type the address that you want Word to use as the default return address for envelopes and letters. File Locations – Click on this button to see the default storage location for documents, templates, and other items that you create in Word. The File Locations dialog box is opened, click the item you want to change, and then click ‘Modify’ to set a new default location. Web Options – Click this button to open the Web Options dialog box and set options for using Word to create Web pages. Service Options – Click this button to open the Service Options dialog box and use it to set options for shared workspaces. 

10. Compatibility options for 

Compatibility options for – Select the document you want these settings applied to, from the list. By default the document listed is the current document; you can choose ‘All New Documents’ to apply the settings to all new documents you create. Lay out this document as if created in – Select the word-processing program that you expect to be used for opening the document. The settings in the list of Layout options change according to the word-processing program that you select. Layout options – Lists options for laying out the document. Expand the option and select the check boxes for the options you want. 



With this article you must have gained enough knowledge of how to customize your work environment to make it suitable to your working requirements. Earlier you may be asking questions to yourself like ‘Why do I have to change this setting again and again? Why does this feature keep coming up when I don’t want it to?’ So now you know where to go and what to change to avoid such situations.











This article has been editorially reviewed by Suprotim Agarwal.

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Minal Agarwal, Expression Web MVP, MCDST, works as a freelance web designer (SaffronStroke) working on Expression Web, Photoshop and other Graphical tools. As a hobby, she also runs a famous Food site called Follow her on twitter @ saffronstroke

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