How to use Microsoft Word to type College Notes! A step-by-step tutorial to learn how to use Microsoft Word to type organized and efficient college notes on your laptop.
How to use Microsoft Word to type organized and efficient college notes on your laptop. The first part of the blog post explains how to organize Microsoft Word. The second part of the tutorial explains how I color code and use different shortcuts in Microsoft Word to type my school notes efficiently.
Please use the following table of contents to navigate through the tutorial ♡
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How to Use Microsoft Word to Type College Notes
1. The first thing you should do is put a title to your document and save it to your computer or cloud folder.
How to autosave your work
Set Microsoft Word to auto-save your work. A couple of semesters ago, I had to write a 12-page history paper. I started writing my paper but never saved it to a folder. Something happened to my computer that made Microsoft Word quit unexpectedly, I only recovered a portion of all the things I wrote.
I learned my lesson and from that day on, the first thing I do is name my file and save it. While I keep adding more information to the document, I constantly click “command+S” to make sure the latest version of my document is saved.
Here is how you autosave a document in Word:
Word > Preferences > save > set the “save autorecovery info” to 1 minute.
How to take advantage of the whole page
Write more by changing the size of the paper. Not only does it gives you more space, but it also helps you organize your titles, pictures, and ideas.
How to easily insert pictures inside the document
Sometimes you need to place a picture in a specific place inside your notes. Here is how you customize an image position in Microsoft Word:
Word > Preferences > Edit > click the option for insert/paste picture as > choose tight.
This option keeps your text organized and your pictures aligned correctly along with the text.
How to assign a folder for all your pictures
Sometimes you need to save pictures from google to add them to your lecture notes. Create a specific folder where all your screenshots or google images are going to be stored. This folder keeps my laptop organized, clean, and all the pictures in one place.
Word > preferences > file locations > clipart pictures
select “clipart pictures” > modify >
select the folder that you want to assign for pictures.
How to customize your keyboard
The best way to use Microsoft Word to take notes faster is by customizing the keyboard. To insert a text box I have my keyboard set up to “command+option+t” and to insert a picture I just click “command+option+i”
Here is how you can customize your keyboard:
tools > customize keyboard >
in categories scroll down to “all commands” > in the search box type what you want to customize.
I suggest you customize the tools you use the most:
- InsertPicture (command+option+i)
- Note: In the previous step, we selected a folder for all the pictures that you want to insert inside a Word document. With this shortcut, the folder will immediately open and you’ll be able to choose the picture faster.
Keep in mind that some shortcuts might already be assigned to other tools. For example, crop Image was already assigned to some other tool, instead of using (command+option+c) I use: (control+command+c)
There are some symbols I constantly use when I type my notes. Instead of searching for the symbols, I have my autocorrect do the work for me. For example, whenever I type the word degree it is automatically replaced with the symbol.
Tools > Autocorrect > replace “type a word” with “symbol”
Tip: To find your characters in an apple computer: click the apple symbol at the top left > system preferences > keyboard > click the option: “show keyboard and Emoji viewers in menu bar”.
click the apple symbol at the top left > system preferences > keyboard > click the option: “show keyboard and Emoji viewers in menu bar”.
How to customize the toolbar
You can also customize the top toolbar to find your most-used tools faster
Toolbar > more commands > choose all commands > now you’ll see more options.
Add all the commands that you want. Keep in mind, some of them will work and some will not (since we selected all commands)
How to organize and color-code your notes
Before you start writing your notes have a picture in your mind of how you want them to look.
My main titles are yellow, my subtitles are green and any extra information that belongs to the subtitle section is color-coded in blue. It helps my brain remember information faster, whenever I take a test I can remember what information was under what title. I also associate the titles with the pictures I include in my notes.
Tip: Try to associate the titles with the pictures you put inside your notes, this is helpful when you are trying to recall information during an exam.
Here is an example of my notes:
The notes from the picture above are written with a 1.5 space.
The space between the lines makes my notes look less crowded and they are easier to read.
How to customize the highlighter colors
Microsoft Word comes with pre-selected highlighting colors, sometimes when I use them I can hardly see the text behind them. Here is a trick to select a softer color as a highlighter:
Select the text that you want to highlight > format > borders and shading >
shading > make sure to select: “apply to text” > click fill >
choose a color or click choose more colors >
In this color options you can choose a pastel green or a light pink as your highlighter:
Once you choose the color click ok
Here is an example of 2 shades of green. I personally prefer the light-green color for my text.
How to assign a specific font and font size to all your future documents
Here is how you can make a font and a font size default in Microsoft Word:
Format > Font > (ignore the Asian text font) >
In the”Latin text font” option > choose the font that you want to use for all your documents > choose a size
Size 10.5 is the perfect font size for me. Even when I print my notes, the font is not small to read. Once you have a font and size click “default”.
A pop-up window is going to ask you to confirm, just click yes.
Now, every time you start a document, it is going to automatically have your desired font and font size. Don’t be afraid to play with the settings in Microsoft Word, the more familiar you become with them, the easier it will be to take notes during classes or online lectures.
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