New Book: Microsoft 365 Word Tips and Tricks

I am pleased to announce the launch of a new book, Microsoft 365 Word Tips and Tricks: Discover top features and expert techniques for creating, editing, customizing, and troubleshooting documents from Packt Publishing.Microsoft Word Tips and Tricks Book Cover I wrote this book with longtime colleague and friend, Bill Kulterman. Bill and I have collaborated on many projects over the years, and writing this book with him was such a joy. Bill is just the kind of person that makes any task better, and I believe the fun we had in writing shines through in the book.

Bill Kulterman and Heather Ackmann

We both are longtime Office users and Microsoft trainers, and although our opinions about products and teaching do differ from time to time our passion for technology, our students, and our desire to make the Office products better remain strong and consistent. And that right there makes us great collaborators. We recently did an interview with the Office Insider Team. You should check it out.

Why We Wrote This Book

When we sat down to write this book, we looked at a few Word books on the market and were a bit surprised by how…well…perfect they made Word seem. That hasn’t exactly been our experience working with Word over the years. Don’t get us wrong though. We love Microsoft Word! We are definitely fans of the program. But we  also aren’t going to let what is great about Word excuse some of the inconsistencies and what we see as  flaws that have remained in the program over the years.

We wrote this book as problem-solution guide for users to work through and around some of those inconsistencies and gaps that remain in the program despite Word’s many improvements and advancements . We also spend a great deal of time clarifying terms, and versions of Word you’ll encounter in the wild—things that both new and experienced Word users often find confusing.

Topics Covered in the Book

The book itself is divided into three main sections:

  1. Working More Efficiently, Together or Alone with Word
  2. Making Sense of Formatting Short and Long Documents
  3. Help! Word is Being Strange! Troubleshooting Common Problems


Working More Efficiently, Together or Alone with Word

The first section covers topics that deal with ways in which we work and how that may change how we must approach using an application like Microsoft Word. The world of work has changed, and apps are trying to catch up to the various ways in which people are working. What is slow to change alongside the ways people work is how people work with their more “legacy” applications—applications like Microsoft Word. Think about it. You probably learned to use MS Word a very long time ago, right? But I bet the way you work changed recently, right? Has the way you work with Word changed much? Do you still approach the application the same way? Like a print document? Even though you don’t print anymore? It might be time to rethink this approach.

In this section of the book, we cover topics that will help people use Word across a variety of devices, collaborate with others more effectively and efficiently, and use Word for uses other than print design, like using it to help you read faster or to help you concentrate better in distracting environments.

Making Sense of Formatting Short and Long Documents

In this second section, we focused on the kinds of documents that people produce using Microsoft Word and tools and features within Word to help them produce and organize both short and long documents faster. We decided to think outside the box with some of these and also decided to include some standard advice as well, like Microsoft stock templates; however, you won’t find the traditional advice in using those templates in this book (I have very specific opinions about their templates and how they should be used). We covered topics like

  • Using and Editing Stock Templates
  • Numbered and Bullet Lists
  • Section and Page Breaks
  • Styles
  • Automation and Macros
  • Illustrations, Charts, and Table Basics
  • Document Accessibility (including Dictate, and transcribing audio)


As huge as this section was we honestly could have kept on writing. There is just so much in here, but we had to cut it off somewhere.

Help! Word is Being Strange! Troubleshooting Common Problems

This last section is dedicated to a few common questions and problems that Bill and I have seen students ask over our years of teaching MS Word. We wanted this section as a whole to walk readers through how to troubleshoot general Word issues as a skill as much as show them specific ways to troubleshoot a few select common problems we see. In other words, the goal of this section is that the knowledge gained, hopefully, will be transferrable to other issues you might encounter in Word or other Office applications. You will learn basic troubleshooting steps to take in any application, not just in Word with this one problem. We think that is far more valuable (and possibly the most valuable thing this book will teach).

Some of the problem we tackle in this section include

  • Too much space (as is how to remove extra white or blank space)
  • Annoying Automation (Word does things automatically. Sometimes it’s helpful; sometimes it is not)
  • Frustrating Numbers and Bullet Lists (because…well, you probably know why if you’ve ever used Word for longer than a minute)
  • Copy and Paste (yeah, you read that right. People have a shockingly hard time with this. It’s supposed to be simple, and it is…perhaps, a little too simple AND a little too hard?)


Where to Buy

If you’d like to buy this book, you can purchase Microsoft 365 Word Tips and Tricks on Amazon.

I think it is worth a read, or at least having on your bookshelf for when you just want to scream at Word. It’s designed so that you don’t have to read it cover-to-cover. Every chapter stands alone. You can pick it up, put it down, and reference it when you need it. It is a more expensive book. If cost is an issue for you, the ebook is slightly cheaper, or you can always request your local library or university library purchase a copy of the book. Many people forget that is an option! That is what they are there for.