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Microsoft Word - Introduction to Microsoft Word XP

Introduction to Microsoft Word XP

Microsoft's new XP product line introduces changes which may confuse experienced or veteran users. This guide is introduces a few of the bigger changes in Word XP and should help you adjust more quickly.

The Task Pane

The most noticeable difference between the 2000 and XP versions is the addition of a task pane. The task pane is an area of the Word window that lets you access some of its features.

The task pane is displayed when Word is launched and utilizes approximately one fourth of the window.


The Word task pane, showing the New Document listing (This is the default)

The task pane, as pictured above, contains the New Document listing (It contains this by default). The links you can click on here do the same things as those in the New Document dialog box from the older Word 2000 (displayed when you launched it). An image of the old dialog is below:

The Word 2000 New Document dialog box .

The task pane has other features that you can access, too: To access them, click the down arrow/down triangle next to the X (Highlighted in red in the below image). Clicking the arrow will let you see a listing of the other accessible features. Click the names to use them.


The task pane can be closed by clicking the X.

The Tool bar

The next thing you may notice that has change is the tool bar. You may notice that the tool bar is far less crowded. Rather than being cluttered with more than three rows of tiny icons, XP's tool bar has been reduced to a much cleaner and more sparse single row. If your window is too narrow to display all the available icons, only the ones able to fit on a single row are shown. Contrast the old and the new:

The XP tool bar
The Word 2000 tool bar

If you need to access icons which are not present, you can click on the image007.gif icon to access the remaining, undisplayed icons.


Getting Help

Eventually, everyone needs to get a question answered. In addition to the help facilities detailed here (Which still apply to XP, but may look a bit different), a very nifty help search box has been added, located in the upper right corner of the window.


This is a very useful box: you can type in questions into it, and Word XP will search for information about the topic you typed in.


The help box, with some answers

To read help on any of the listed topics, just click on the relevant topic.

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