Skip navigation


Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word title bar

Quick Start Guide

Microsoft Word 2013 looks different from previous versions, so we created this guide to help you minimize the learning curve.
Microsoft Word Quick Start Guide

Quick Start Guide

When you first open Word 2013, you'll see that you have several choices for getting started -- using a template, a recent file, or a blank document.
Microsoft Word Quick Start Guide

What's new on the ribbon

The new Design tab in Word 2013 makes it easier to use themes, styles, and other formatting features and to understand how they relate to one another.
New Design tab

You can easily customize the ribbon to suit your needs by creating new tabs and filling them with the commands you use the most. To begin customizing ribbon commands, select File > Options > Customize Ribbon.
Customize Ribbon

Sign in to Office

Work whenever and wherever you want. By signing in to Microsoft Office, you can safely get to your Office files from anywhere.
Sign in to Office

Look for your name at the top right corner of the ribbon. After you sign in, you can update your profile or switch accounts from here.
Look for your name at the top right corner of the ribbon

Things you might be looking for

Use the list below to find some of the more common tools and commands in Word 2013.

  • To open, save, print, preview, protect, send, convert files or connect to locations to save your documents to the cloud, select File and then look in the Backstage view (select the links on the left side in this view).
  • To change line spacing, apply formatting and styles to text, select Home and then look in the Font, Paragraph, and Styles groups.
  • To insert blank pages, tables, pictures, hyperlinks, headers and footers, or page numbers, select Insert and then look in the Pages, Tables, Illustrations, Links, and Header & Footer groups.
  • To quickly change the look of your document, change the page background color, add a border to the page, or add a watermark, select Design and then look in the Document Formatting and Page Background groups.
  • To set margins, add page breaks, create newsletter-style columns, change spacing between paragraphs, or rotate a page to landscape, select Page Layout and then look in the Page Setup group.
  • To create a table of contents, or insert footnotes and endnotes, select References and then look in the Table of Contents and Footnotes groups.
  • To create envelopes or labels, or do a mail merge, select Mailings and then look in the Create and Start Mail Merge groups.
  • To check spelling and grammar, get a word count, or track changes, select Review and then look in the Proofing and Tracking groups.
  • To switch between document views, open the Navigation pane, or show the rulers, select View and then look in the Views, Show, and Window groups.

Where is Print Preview?

Select File > Print to see a print preview of the current document to the right of other useful print-related settings.
Find Print Preview

The right side of the window previews how the document will look when printed. Use the left side of the window to choose a printer or fine-tune settings -- for example, to change from Portrait to Landscape, to change the paper size, or to print only the current page.

To set more print options, select the Page Setup link at the bottom of the left side of the window, below Settings.

Where do I choose options?

Select File > Options to open the Word Options dialog box. This is where you can customize Word settings and preferences.
Word Options

Some setting in the Word Options dialog box apply only to Word. But some preferences (for example, choosing Light Gray or Dark Gray for your Office Theme) will apply to all of your installed Office programs.

How to work with people who don't yet have Word 2013

Here are some of the things to keep in mind when sharing or exchanging files with people who are using an older version of Word.

  • In Word 2013, if you open a document that was created in an earlier version of Word, you'll see the words [Compatibility Mode] next to the file name on the title bar. Compatibility Mode makes sure that no new features in Word 2013 are available in the document, so that people using earlier versions of Word can work with. You can work in Compatibility Mode or you can convert your document to the new format. To convert the document, select File > Info > Convert. Converting your document lets you use the new features, but people using earlier versions of Word might have difficulty editing certain parts of the document.
  • In Word 2013, if you save your document as a Word 2013 file and someone opens the document in an earlier version of Word, they may not be able to change some items that were created using Word 2013 features. Word 2003 users will need the free Compatibility Pack. A prompt to download the pack appears when Word 2003 user opens the document. If you need to share a Word 2013 document with someone using an earlier version of Word, run the Compatibility Checker tool to make sure the file will work for them. Select File > Info > Check for Issues > Check Compatibility. This tool tells you which new features in Word 2013 won't work in older versions.
  • In Word 2013, if you save your document as a Word 2003 file and you've used new Word features or formatting in your document, Word 2003 users may see warnings about unsupported features, or the formatting or feature may not appear in the file. You don't have to do anything, necessarily. When you save your file in the older Word 2003 file format, the Compatibility Checker will run automatically and warn you about any unsupported features. Then you can choose to make any changes to your document.

Contact Us

Cook Library 102
118 College Drive #5181
Hattiesburg, MS 39406  

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map



Contact Us

Fleming Education Center (FEC) 310
730 East Beach Boulevard
Long Beach, MS 39560

Gulf Park Campus

Campus Map



iTech at Southern Miss on FacebookiTech on TwitteriTech on Instagram