Hidden Tools in Microsoft Word That Will Take Your Writing to the Next Level

Today I am going to share my favourite hidden gems that come with your Microsoft word processor, as well as a bonus trick to keep you in the writing mood!

As someone who gets quite easily sidetracked, I’ve found these hidden features extremely helpful when it comes to reducing the number of distractions interrupting my writing routine.

It’s so easy to look something up and end up spending hours on social media instead of getting your words in for the day. The following are just a few of the countless tools that help me, and I hope they will help you as well!

1. Focus mode

Focus mode blocks out anything but the page you’re working on, which is great if you tend to fiddle with settings a lot. I have become so dependent on this Microsoft 365 feature, it’s actually a bit silly. I cannot focus without it. You can find it under View>Focus, and it looks like this:

Screenshot 2019-05-05 at 18.10.03

The great thing about it is that you can change the background to fit your style, but I just stuck with the default settings.

2. Read Aloud feature

This feature is particularly useful when it comes to editing your text. By hearing it being read back to you, you will be able to spot tenses changing, missing plurals or grammar errors. It also helps you identify if your piece has the right flow to it or if a sentence is particularly difficult to read. You can find this tool under View>Learning Tools>Read Aloud.

Screenshot 2019-05-05 at 18.14.53

3. Synonyms feature

I find it very disrupting when I am in the flow of writing and I can’t think of the right word to describe what I want to say next. But rather than clicking out of my focus mode bubble, I use Microsoft’s embedded Dictionary tools to find what I’m looking for. A simple click will show me a list of synonyms to replace the ‘not quite right’ word. To get to this simply select the word>right-click>Synonyms.


4. BONUS TIP – Listen to music without being interrupted

If you want to listen to music on YouTube while you write, particularly to the same song over and over (I know I do), but you don’t want to keep hitting replay: right-click on the video>loopIt’s amazing how few people know about this easy trick.

Screenshot 2019-05-05 at 18.27.44

What are your favourite tricks to help you stay focused? Please share them in the comments and if you enjoyed this post, let me know by liking and sharing it.

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