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Office 365

About Word

Word logoFirst released in 1983, Word is a core Microsoft program used to create documents, reports, letters, and more. 

Downloading Office

All active students enrolled in classes are eligible for free downloads of Office 365 ProPlus—including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more—on up to fifteen personally-owned devices: five computers, five tablets and five phones. 

For more details on how to download, visit the FSU ITS Office 365 Resource Page.

A Note About File Formats

Beginning with Word 2007, the file extension for the program changed from .doc to .docx. While all versions of Word will be able to open files with a .doc format (they are backward compatible), older editions will not be able to display all of the tools and features included in a .docx file. These glitches may cause errors either in the program functionality or within the file itself.

In Microsoft 365, you can follow this path to save a file in an older format:

File → Save As → Browse → Save as type

Qucik Guides

Making Documents Accessible

  1. Go to Review > Check Accessibility.

    • Note: If you cannot find the Accessibility Checker option on the review tab, there are two alternate ways to access this feature.

  • File > Check for Issues > Check Accessibility

"Check Accessibility" in Info tab

  • Use the feature search at the top of the program and type in Accessibility.

"Accessibility Checker" in "Accessibility" bar

  1. In the Accessibility Checker pane, review the results and make any recommended changes.

For additional best practices, visit this page on Microsoft’s Support site.

Using Screen Readers

From this page on Microsoft’s Support site.

If you use a screen reader, like Narrator or JAWS in Windows, use your keyboard to navigate Word, and the screen reader will announce to you where you are.

Open a recent document
  1. Press Alt+F, and then O.

  2. Press Tab once to go to the list of recent documents, and then press Tab twice more to open the list.

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the name of the document you want, and then press Enter.

Create a new blank document
  1. Press Ctrl+N.

  2. You will hear the default name of the document (like, "Document 1"), followed by "Editing."

Save a document
  1. Press Ctrl+S.

Learning Tools

From this page on Microsoft’s Support site.

Go to View > Learning Tools, and select your options:

  • Column Width changes line length to improve focus and comprehension.

  • Page Color can make text easy to scan with less eye strain.

  • Line Focus removes distractions so that you can move through a document line by line. Adjust the focus to put one, three, or five lines in view at a time.

  • Text Spacing increases the spacing between words, characters, and lines.

  • Syllables shows breaks between syllables, to improve word recognition and pronunciation.

  • Read Aloud lets you hear your document as each word is highlighted.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Read Aloud

  • Start or exit Read Aloud: Ctrl+Alt+Space

  • Pause or play Read Aloud: Ctrl+Space

  • Speed up reading speed: Alt+Right

  • Slow down reading speed: Alt+Left

  • Read the previous paragraph: Ctrl+Right

  • Read the next paragraph: Ctrl+Left

Using the tools on the References tab, you can easily insert a Table of Contents, Endnotes, Footnotes, Bibliographies, Citations, and more. 

"References" tab



Note: To create an automatically formatted bibliography, you must have already insert citations into the document. See next section for instructions on inserting citations.

  1. Put your cursor where you want the bibliography.

  2. Go to References > Bibliography, and choose a format.

    • Tip: If you cite a new source, add it to the bibliography by clicking anywhere in the bibliography and selecting Update Citations and Bibliography.


To add a new source:

"Add New Source..." in "Insert Citation" drop-down menu

  1. Put your cursor at the end of the text you want to cite.

  2. Go to References >  Style, and choose a citation style (APA, Chicago, etc.). 

  3. Select Insert Citation.

  4. Choose Add New Source and fill out the information about your source.

To cite an existing source within a document: 
  1. Put your cursor at the end of the text you want to cite.

  2. Go to References > Insert Citation, and choose the source you are citing. 

  3. To add details, like page numbers if you're citing a book, select Citation Options, and then Edit Citation.

Endnotes and Footnotes

From Word’s Support site: Footnotes appear at the bottom of the page and endnotes come at the end of the document. A number or symbol on the footnote or endnote matches up with a reference mark in the document.

  1. Click where you want to reference to the footnote or endnote.

  2. On the References tab, select Insert Footnote or Insert Endnote.

  3. Enter what you want in the footnote or endnote.

  4. Return to your place in the document by double-clicking the number or symbol at the beginning of the note.

Table of Contents

In order to automatically create a table of contents, you must apply recognized heading styles within the document. For more information on styles, visit one of the following links: 

"Table of Contents" options

To create a table of contents: 
  1. Put your cursor where you want to add the table of contents.

  2. Go to References > Table of Contents. and choose an automatic style.

  3. If you make changes to your document that affect the table of contents, update the table of contents by right-clicking the table of contents and choosing Update Field.

To update a table of contents: 
  1. Go to References > Update Table.

  2. Select one of the following:

    1. Update page numbers only -- This only updates the pages that the headings are on, and ignores any changes to the heading text.

    2. Update entire table -- This will reflect any updates to the heading text, as well as any page changes.

  3. Select OK.

Included with your Office subscription through the Florida State University is online file storage through OneDrive. All Office suite documents and files can be directly edited online from any computer with an internet connection by utilizing the web versions of each program. Online editing also allows for real-time collaboration on a single document.

From Word’s Support site

When someone shares a Word document with you, the email you receive includes a link that opens the document in your web browser: in Word Online. Select Edit Document > Edit in Browser.

If anyone else is working on the document, you'll see their presence and the changes they're making. We call this co-authoring, or real-time collaboration.

Co-author cursors

From here, if you'd rather work in your Word app, select Edit in Word, near the top of the window.

"Edit in Word" button

You'll still be co-authoring, as long as you're an Office 365 subscriber, using one of these versions of Word:

  • Word 2016 for Windows

  • Word 2016 for Mac

  • Word on a mobile device (Android, iOS, or Windows)

If you're using an older version of Word, or if you're not a subscriber, you can still edit the document at the same time others are working in it, but you won't have real-time collaboration. To see others' changes and share yours, you'll have to save the document from time to time.

Office has equations that you can readily insert into your documents. If the Office built-in equations don’t meet your needs, you can edit, change the existing equation, or write your own equation from scratch.

For a video guide on converting equations to LaTeX format, click here.

Insert a Built-In Equation

  1. Choose Insert > Equation and choose the equation you want from the gallery.

  1. After you insert the equation the Equation Tools Design tab opens with symbols and structures that can be added to your equation.

Write a New Equation

To type an equation from scratch: 
  • press Alt += on your keyboard 

  • OR Choose Insert > Equation and select Insert New Equation from the bottom of the built in equation gallery. This inserts an equation placeholder where you can type your equation.

To add an equation to the equation gallery:
  1. Select the equation you want to add.

  2. Choose the down arrow and select Save as New Equation....

  3. Type a name for the equation in the Create New Building Block dialog.

  4. Select Equations in the gallery list.

  5. Choose OK.

Edit Equations

To change or edit an equation that was previously written,

  1. Select the equation to see Equation Tools in the ribbon.

    1. Note: If you don’t see the Equation Tools, the equation may have been created in an older version of Word. If so, see Change an equation that was written in a previous version of Word.

  1. Choose Design to see tools for adding various elements to your equation. You can add or change the following elements to your equation.

  • In the Symbols group, you’ll find math related symbols. To see all the symbols, click the More button. Button image To see other sets of symbols, click the arrow in the upper right corner of the gallery. 

"Basic Math" option in "Basic Math" drop-down menu

  • The Structures group provides structures you can insert. Just choose a structure to insert it and then replace the placeholders, the small dotted-line boxes, with your own values. 

    "Radical" button

  • The Professional option displays the equation in a professional format optimized for display. The Linear option displays the equation as source text, which can be used to make changes to the equation if needed. The linear option will display the equation in either UnicodeMath format, or LaTeX format, which can be set in the Conversions chunk. 

"Convert" drop-down menu

  • It is possible to convert all equations in a document to the Professional or Linear formats, or a single equation only, if the math zone is selected or the cursor is in the equation. 

Equation drop-down menu

Ink Equations

On touch- and pen-enabled devices you can write equations using a stylus or your finger. To write equations with ink,

  1. Choose Draw > Ink to Math Convert and then click Ink Equation at the bottom of the built in gallery.

  2. Use a stylus or your finger to write a math equation by hand. If you're not using a touch device, use your mouse to write out the equation. You can select portions of the equation and edit them as you go, and use the preview box to make sure Word is correctly interpreting your handwriting. 
    "Write math here" box

  3. When you're satisfied, click Insert to convert the ink equation to an equation in your document.

With tracked changes, multiple users can collaborate on a document, and each person's changes are tracked and displayed. You can review the changes and accept or reject them before finalizing your document.

Tutorial for Windows  (Video Format) |  Tutorial for Mac

Altering How Track Changes Display

To change how tracked changes display on your computer, go to the Review tab. At the bottom right corner of the Tracking box is a small arrow. Clicking this arrow will pop out a box with more options.

Microsoft Word Menu Bar with Tracking Box circled

"Track Changes Options" box

Here, you can change simple settings.

At the bottom of this command box is an option to look at Advanced options.

"Advanced Track Changes Options" box

Within the Advanced options is where you will see more specific display settings including color and style choices. Automatically, the program is set to assign one color per user, or Author, but this can be overridden.

A Note: How you display changes on your computer will not alter how they appear to another user. Individual settings will change the look of a document if Advanced settings have been altered heavily.


Attaching your comments to specific parts of a document makes your feedback more clear. If someone else is commenting on the document, replying to their comments lets you have a discussion, even when you're not all in the document at the same time.

To add a comment: 
  1. Select the content you want to comment on.

  2. Go to Review > New Comment.

  3. Type your comment. If you want to make changes to any of your comments, just go back and edit them.

  4. To reply to a comment, go to the comment, and select Reply.

    1. Note: Keep in mind that it's possible for others to edit your comments. Comments in an Office document are stored in the file, so anyone with edit access to your file can edit your comment.

Alternately, comments can also be added by selecting text and right clicking on the highlighted portion. New Comment will be the last option on the dropdown menu.

To delete a comment: 
  1. Right-click the comment, and choose Delete Comment.

  2. To delete all the comments in the document, go to the Review tab, click the down-arrow on Delete, and choose Delete All Comments in Document.

Accepting or Rejecting Changes and Comments

Even if Tracked Changes is currently turned off, there's a possibility that your document contains colored underlines and strikethrough, indicating insertions and deletions that were made as suggestions while Track Changes was turned on.

The markings are visible to anyone who chooses All Markup or Simple Markup in the Tracking section of the Review tab.

"Simple Markup" option

Remove the markings by accepting or rejecting the changes. Use the buttons in the Changes section of the Review tab.

  • Previous and Next take you from one change to the next.

  • Accept makes a change permanent.

  • Reject gets rid of a change.

The following table describes the file formats that are supported in Word, alphabetized by extension.


Format Name



Word 97-2003 Document 

The binary file format for Word 97-Word 2003. 


Word Macro-Enabled Document 

The XML-based and macro-enabled file format for Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, and Office Word 2007. Stores Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macro code. 


Word Document 

The default XML-based file format for Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, and Office Word 2007.


Strict Open XML Document

Conforms to the Strict profile of the Open XML standard (ISO/IEC 29500). This profile of Open XML doesn't allow a set of features that are designed specifically for backward-compatibility with existing binary documents, as specified in Part 4 of ISO/IEC 29500. 


Word 97-2003 Template 

Template for Word 97-Word 2003 files. 


Word Macro-Enabled Template 

Template for creating new Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, and Office Word 2007 files that contain macros. Users who want to include UI customizations or macros in the template should use this file format. 


Word Template 

Template for creating new Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, and Office Word 2007 files that do not contain macros. 

.htm, .html

Web Page 

A web page that is saved as a folder that contains an .htm file and all supporting files, such as images, sound files, cascading style sheets, scripts, and more. Good for posting on a site or editing with Microsoft Office FrontPage or another HTML editor. 

.htm, .html

Web Page, Filtered 

Saving in the Web Page, Filtered file format removes Microsoft Office-specific tags. If users save in filtered HTML and then re-open the file in an Office application, text and general appearance are preserved. However, some features might work differently. 

.mht; .mhtml 

Single File Web Page 

A web page as a single file that includes an .htm file and all supporting files, such as images, sound files, cascading style sheets, scripts, and more. 


OpenDocument Text 

A file format for saving Word 2019, Word 2016, and Word 2013 files so that they can be opened in document applications that use the OpenDocument format. Users can also open documents in the .odt format in Word 2019, Word 2016, and Word 2013. Formatting might be lost when users save and open .odt files. 



Portable Document Format (PDF), a PostScript-based electronic file format that was developed by Adobe Systems. It preserves document formatting and enables file sharing. 

Files that use the PDF file format can be saved and opened by using Word 2019, Word 2016, and Word 2013. 

Important: PDF files might not have a perfect page-to-page correspondence with the original. For example, the pages might break at different locations.


Rich Text Format 

RTF controls the representation and formatting of a document, both on the screen and in print. When they use the .rtf file format, documents created under different operating systems and with different software applications can be transferred between those operating systems and applications. 


Plain Text 

When users save a document as a .txt file, the document loses all formatting. 


Works 6-9 Document 

This is the default file format of Microsoft Works, versions 6.0 through 9.0. 


Word 2003 XML Document

The XML format supported in Office Word 2003. 


Word XML Document 

The XML file format supported in Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, and Office Word 2007 (Open XML). 


XPS Document 

XML Paper Specification, a file format that preserves document formatting and enables file sharing. When the XPS file is viewed online or printed, it keeps exactly the format that users intended, and the data in the file cannot be easily changed. 

You can use Word 2019, Word 2016, or Word 2013 to save documents in the XPS Document file format, but you can't open them by using Word 2019, Word 2016, or Word 2013. 


Further Reading

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