Four Microsoft Office Settings to Tweak

By Deborah Savadra

Part of making Microsoft Office work better for you involves tweaking key settings. Trouble is, finding which settings can make life a little easier is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Here are four you should consider checking.

1. Pimp out your Status Bar. A lot of Microsoft Office users don’t realize how much information can be gleaned from the Status Bar at the bottom of the screen. As installed, however, it doesn’t really tell you all that much. Changing that is really easy. Just right-click on the gray bar at the bottom of any Microsoft Office application to pop up a contextual menu, then click on the various options you’d like to see. For instance, in Microsoft Word, choosing Track Changes not only allows you to see whether that feature is enabled, but also allows you one click access to turn it on or off.  That’s just one example of information your Status Bar can provide you, information that often can help in troubleshooting formatting or other issues.

2. Fix your text justification in Microsoft Word. As happy a Microsoft Word user as I am, I admit to one thing: WordPerfect really does do full justification better. Apparently, Microsoft agrees. It included an option to allow Microsoft Word users to pick the WordPerfect way of doing full justification. To turn that on, go to the File tab (or click on the Office button if you’re in version 2007), then click on Options. In the Advanced section, scroll all the way down until you see Layout Options. Expand Layout Options by clicking the arrow to its left, then scroll down until you see the checkbox next to “Do full justification the way WordPerfect 6.x for Windows does.” Check that box. To make this a one-time setting for all new documents, check the drop-down just above Layout Options that says “Compatibility options for,” and make sure the choice “All New Documents” is selected. Click OK to exit.

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