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Microsoft Word is the word processor component of the Office suite. It's a full-featured program that allows you to create text documents of practically any kind, from simple letters and memos to manuscripts hundreds of pages long.

Word processors have come a long way from the days when a word processing program offered word wrap and little else. Word is rich in features that empower you and make word processing easy.

Getting started, for example, is easier than ever:

  • Document templates provide ready-made models for common documents, such as memos, letters, and reports.

  • Wizards guide you through the process of creating letters, memos, and fax cover sheets.

Whatever your level of expertise, you'll find Word both powerful and user-friendly. Word's paragraph-based commands give you control over the formatting of large bodies of text. You can change tabs, indents, line spacing, or spacing between paragraphs for the current paragraph without selecting it. Or you can select several paragraphs and change them all at once. The Style Gallery allows you to transform the whole document, giving it a completely new look in seconds.

For more complex documents, Word offers footnotes, endnotes, cross-references, tables of contents, and indexes. You can make your text flow into newspaper-style columns, and you can place drawings or clip art graphics on your pages.

In Word 97, you can save your document in HTML, and in Word 2000 and later versions, you can save it as a Web page, complete with its background, sounds, and graphics.

Use Word alone or in conjunction with other members of the Office suite. Here are some examples:

  • Paste that eye-catching graph you created in Excel into your document.

  • Prepare a form letter and run a mail merge using your Outlook address book or contacts folder, an Excel spreadsheet, or an Access data table as your data source.
Box shots reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation.

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Last modified: April 04, 2004

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