6 Microsoft Word Tricks You May Not Know for Executives

With Microsoft Word, you can perform a wide variety of functions within your organisation. From writing memos to editing documents, you can accomplish many of the tasks necessary to keep your company running smoothly. Whilst much of the program’s functionality can be accessed from the Home tab, some powerful features of the app are not so easily found. This blog provides details on 6 of these functions that can be used to good effect in your day-to-day usage of the software.

The Clipboard Panel

You can use the clipboard panel to retain a number of elements on your clipboard simultaneously. Clicking the miniature pop-up icon in the Clipboard section on the Home tab will open it. As many as 24 recent cut and copy actions are kept available; any of them can be clicked on and pasted into an insertion point. You can control when the Clipboard shows up via the Options dropdown at the bottom.

Add a chart to an existing document

Pulling data piece by piece into a chart can be highly time consuming. To provide access to charts from Excel, Word has a feature that allows you to insert an Excel chart into a document you are working on in Word. Whilst in Word, simply select Insert—Chart which will open a miniaturized Excel view where you can edit or import the relevant data for the chart. The Chart Tools tabs located at the top of the Word window provides you with complete control of the design characteristics of the chart, meaning that you don’t have to launch Excel manually to make changes to the appearance or format of the chart.


Many business executives find themselves using similar or identical passages frequently in their correspondence. If you are writing letters or other documents with standard elements or verbiage, for instance an address or disclaimer text, the AutoText feature in Word can be useful. First, select a passage of text and then choose Insert—Quick Parts—AutoText—Save Selection To AutoText Gallery. At this point you are able to reinsert the selected text into any document by choosing it from the Insert—Quick Parts—AutoText menu. Quick Parts can also be used for items such as company address, company name, and email address.

Scan Documents prior to publication with Document Inspector

Word’s many collaborative and documentary features can at times cause problems when a document is published, especially if hidden information is embedded in the document’s metadata or is able to be recovered via the Track Changes function. Such issues can potentially reveal private company information to an audience for which it is not intended. To avoid this, you can go to the Info section found under the File tab. There you can access a selection of options located below the “Prepare for sharing” dropdown menu that allow you to check to see if any hidden information is contained in a document before publishing or sharing it.

Digital signatures and Watermarks

Word allows you to add a digital signature or watermark to a document to either verify that it is the authentic original or to indicate what type of document it is. To use a personal encryption key to sign a document, select Protect Document in the File tab and then select “Add a digital signature”. This will prompt you to save the document prior to adding your signature. If the document is altered, this signature will be made invalid, so its presence can be used as a guarantee of document authenticity. To easily identify what phase or state a document is in, usage of a watermark can be handy. In the Page Layout tab, go to the Watermark dropdown menu and choose what type of larger grey watermark you will add. Choices include “DRAFT,”, “CONFIDENTIAL”, “URGENT” or “Select Custom Watermark”, which allows you to choose your own text or to use an image.

Combine and Compare

Sometimes it can be beneficial to be able to compare two documents side by side. Word provides the functionality to do this. Go to Review—Compare to perform this task. You can also set this up yourself by going to View—View Side by Side which automatically positions the documents you select next to each other using identical zoom factors. This allows you to easily compare them. You can click the Synchronous Scrolling button so that the two documents will scroll up and down in unison when the cursor is moved or the scroll bar is dragged.


Microsoft Word offers a convenient and powerful way to write, edit, and share documents. Going beyond the program’s basic functionality allows you to get the most out of Word’s processing capability. The tips above offer an assortment of methods for using the program to help you maximise its utility when it comes to producing documents for business use.