What is Microsoft Word


Microsoft Word (MS Word) is a word processing program developed by Microsoft. The program uses a graphical user interface which enables users to type and save documents. The first release was in 1981, then other releases in the following years. While it is compatible for Windows, there are also versions for other Operating systems. Earlier, the documents created using MS Word could only be viewed by other users who have the same program installed. Being one of the components of the Microsoft office suite, it is available for Windows and MacOS.

However, since its launch, revisions have ensured compatibility of the documents generated from the word processor. Considering the file formats, currently the documents created using the word processor allow viewing even in other different word processing applications. Furthermore, the improvements on the user interface ensure easier and faster navigation by users.

Microsoft Word User Interface

Regarding the user needs and ease-of use, the development team seems to have keenly considered most of the user requirements. Such needs range from faster access to the menu items and options in the Microsoft Word 2018 Window. Similar to the other applications in the office suite, the menu layout is simple and easy to understand. Most menus and tabs in the window have a text tip that informs the user about its function. Moreover, the development team goes an extra mile by implementing shortcut keys for accessing menus and specific sub-menus. Evidently, the most common shortcut for Word ”Help” option is F1 key.

Spelling and Grammar Checking

Microsoft Word has an inbuilt dictionary for spell checking. It marks misspelled words with an underline, and even utilizes the autocorrect feature in case of obvious spelling errors in phrases or words. Additionally, the Spelling and Grammar checker is accessible by pressing the function key F7 in the MS Word window. In such cases, the user can easily correct spelling errors all in a single instance as well as word suggestions available from the Dictionary.

Formatting Features

Having in mind that Microsoft Word enables typing of data, it is important to consider the available data formatting features. The program has data formatting capabilities that ensure the final document appeals to the eye during reading, presentation and also for printing. For instance, features such as text font size, bold, italics, underline and other underline styles such as strikethrough, double underline, etc. Notwithstanding, the application has much better functionalities that enable page formatting. The paragraph formatting, indents, and justification are such vital components.

External support

The Microsoft team has ensured document compatibility across different platforms and applications. Despite being compatible with other applications in the Office suite, Microsoft Word is documents are also accessible in other programs. Consider the breakthrough from the earlier versions of MS Word. The file format has been evolving with time. In the earliest versions, the documents were saved in an RTF file format. With time, the file extension has changed. The MS Word 2007 version has a .doc file format while improvements have seen a change to .docx as the default format. Therefore, other word processing applications such as Open Office, among others can easily read and edit the documents generated from MS Word.

Versions

The earlier versions of Word range from Word for Windows version 1.1 to Word 7. Thereafter, Word 95, and Word 97 follow the breakthrough. In 1999, Word 2000, was released and later the Microsoft Word version for Windows XP. Version 2007, 2010, 2013, till the latest versions are an improvement on the previous releases. The improvements have edged to an era where even the word processor can generate a portable document format (pdf).