Word processing exercises for beginners

Written by stephen andrew baldwin
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Word processing exercises for beginners
Not all fontd are appropriate fo every project, as illustrated in this fun bubble text (font image by Pavel Vlasov from Fotolia.com)

One of the most difficult parts of word processing is learning how to use a new piece of software. Whether you're using Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, or one of the 13 or so pieces of word processing software for Macs, getting to know a program can be tedious. Some of the first things you should familiarise yourself with are saving, opening, printing and creating a new document. You should also learn how to "undo," in case you make a mistake, and how to preview a document before printing.

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Unlike a typewriter, word processors give you the ability to type and edit your documents without finalising every keystroke. The blinking vertical line " | " represents your curser, which is where your typing will show up. Unlike a typewriter you do not have to press the "enter" button at the edge of the page as the word processor will automatically wrap your sentence to the following line. Likewise, rather than using whiteout, practice typing words and pressing the "backspace" button to erase letters or words behind the cursor and "delete" to erase in front of it. You can also use the mouse to highlight an entire word or section to be deleted.

Fonts and Sizes

Beginners should familiarise themselves with different fonts. Fonts are the types of lettering, which can be changed depending on your desired needs. By clicking and dragging the mouse you can highlight a word, sentence or section. Practice changing different sentences to different fonts to get familiar with the different styles. You can also change the font size by increasing the number next to the font style; underline, boldface, and italicise words or sentences, and change the font colours.

Spelling and Grammar

Nearly all word processors have a spellchecker and grammar checking device. While in the past you would have to run a spell check, new word processors will point out mistakes as you go along. A misspelled word will show red squiggly lines underneath it while a grammatically incorrect sentence will have blue ones. You can right click your mouse over these mistakes and the processor will give you options for corrections if you're not sure how to fix them yourself. Practice writing sentences using incorrect spelling and grammar and using the right click feature to correct the mistakes. Don't be alarmed if the program fixes mistakes for you.


Practice writing a few short sentences using small words. Now right click on a word and select synonyms from the box to show a list of alternative words that mean the same thing. Many built in thesauruses have difficulty finding synonyms for plural words, in which case you can remove the "s" at the end and try again. See how many words you can find suitable replacements for then try another sentence.

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