Word skills…

I have used Microsoft Word for so many years and yet clearly have only ever scratched the surface of it’s functionality.

Today I created a new document and needed to add a table. The table was added to the top of the page and, as is often the case, I then realised I wanted to add a paragraph above it.

The number of times I have been in this position in the past is ridiculous and on every occasion I would spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get around the problem.

The solution in most cases would be to use the table’s drag handle and slide it down the page slightly, only to then find that it hadn’t slid perfectly on its vertical axis. This subsequent problem would then lead me to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to line everything back up horizontally.

I think it’s fair to say that the fault here does not lay with the software, it is very much a problem with both the user and his lack of reading a manual.

Today, I read the manual! Or rather I Google’d “word how to insert carriage return before table”. I always feel a slight sense of relief when Google’s auto-completes my search criteria and my inner voice says, “See, you aren’t the only one!” in a reassuring tone.

The first search result was expanded and displayed exactly what I needed. “Place the cursor in the first empty cell, or, in front of the first word in the first cell and then press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER.”

My mind was blown!

I have no idea why I didn’t try to find an answer to this before but assume it was probably because it never felt like it was a big enough issue to waste the time on. All of those little amounts of time wasted however far outweighed the amount of time needed today to finally search, learn and address the problem correctly.

There’s probably a life lesson here somewhere. Perhaps I’ll look it up, at some point.

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