A Student s Guide to Taking Notes Using Microsoft Word 2013

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1 A Student s Guide to Taking Notes Using Microsoft Word 2013 Erin Moreira UMass Amherst 2015

2

3 A Student s Guide to Taking Notes Using Microsoft Word 2013

4 Acknowledgements I would like to thank Professor Solberg for her guidance and shared knowledge, Natasha Marshall and Tayla Monturio for sitting through grueling and frustrating user testing, Luis Gomba for allowing me to pick his brain about his classes and note taking habits, and my fellow students for editing, reviewing, and revising my manual with me.

5 Introduction Who is it for? This manual is geared toward university students who are currently or wish to take notes using Microsoft Word Why use it? This guide will show you how to efficiently use Word in a fast paced lecture setting. It will teach you how to format a note taking template, quickly insert graphics, and editing techniques that can be used to facilitate your education and studying. Many of the instructions in this manual are preliminary actions you can follow to make taking notes a smooth and easy process. Following these instructions will makes notes easier to write, see, and understand for later study purposes. To get the most out of this manual and your notes, read it before attending classes and explore the functions of Word it shows you. When you re studying the night before the final, you ll be glad you did.

6 Table of Contents Chapter One: Formatting and Saving a Word Template 1 Formatting and Saving Margin Defaults 2 Setting Default Shape Options. 4 Setting Default Text Options 6 Saving and Accessing a Template... 7 Chapter Two: Incorporating Graphics into Your Notes 8 Inserting an Image using Copy and Paste. 9 Inserting a Callout 10 Creating a Table Creating a Chart Chapter Three: Saving Time with Shortcuts and Comments 16 Adding Abbreviations to Auto-Correct Customizing the Access Toolbar Creating and Editing Comments Chapter Four: Reviewing and Comparing Notes 21 Maximizing View of the Document Comparing Two Different Documents Side by Side

7 Chapter One Formatting and Saving a Word Template 1

8 Formatting and Saving Margin Defaults Formatting margins helps to maximize the space you can use on the page and changing the default allows you to open a new Word document without having to manually change the margins each time making it easy to open your computer and start taking notes. 1. On a new and blank Word document, click on the PAGE LAYOUT tab in the top ribbon. 2. Click on the Margins icon located in the lower ribbon on the left. A drop down options box opens. 3. Choose a premade option design that is most helpful to your needs or create custom margins and choose the indent distance. The box disappears. Narrow margins are good for typing notes because they allow you more freedom to fit things on the page. Custom margins allow you to set margins starting from one point onward so it won t affect previous notes or graphics and only any new notes. In the Apply to section, choose This point forward and click OK. 2

9 4. Expand the Page Setup section by clicking the expansion arrow. A window opens. If an options box has the expansion arrow, it means there are many more options and designs to choose from. 5. Click Set As Default in the lower left corner. A dialog box opens. 6. Click Yes if you want the margins to apply to all new documents or click No if you only wish to apply it to your note taking template. WARNING! Do not close out the document if you wish to save these settings as defaults for other documents. They only exist in this document. 3

10 Setting Default Shape Options Shapes are great visual aids when taking notes. In order to use them efficiently, it is best to set defaults you like and are easy to see and understand. 1. Click the INSERT tab. 2. Click Shapes in the section titled Illustrations. A drop down box appears. 3. Click on any line located in the second section titled Lines. The cursor becomes crosshairs. 4. Click and drag the crosshairs anywhere on your Word document to create the line. Before After 5. Right click on the line. Two option boxes open. NOTE If you choose a curve, you must double click to signify the completion of the line. This box can be used for simple changes such as color and preset widths without having to use the side bar. 4

11 6. Click Format Shape. A side bar opens on the right. 7. Choose the designs that work best for your needs. There are many designs to choose from including color, size, arrow type, and transparency. 8. When you are satisfied, right click on the line. Two windows pop up. 9. Click on Set as Default Line. Every time you create a new line in this document, Word applies these settings. 10. Repeat steps 3 to 9 to set defaults for a Shape and Text Box which require different default settings than a line. WARNING! Do not close out the document if you wish to save these settings as defaults for other documents. They only exist in this document. 5

12 Setting Default Text Options Similar to shape defaults, text defaults allow you to open up a document and have all your preferences already set making it easy to get right to typing. 1. In the HOME tab set your preferences for font, size, color, and other variables. 2. Click the small expansion arrow located in the bottom right corner of the Font tab. A window opens. If a window does not open, click on the document to exit out of a shape or graphic. 3. Click the button in the bottom left corner that says Set As Default. A dialogue box opens. 4. If you want these options to only apply to a note-taking template select the first option. If you want them to apply to other documents as well select the second option. 5. Click OK. 6. Choose your desired settings for outlines, alignment, indent, and paragraph spacing in the Paragraph tab located to the right of the Font tab. The outline and alignment choices are the most commonly changed based on personal preferences. Figure 1 7. Click the expansion arrow. A window opens. 8. Click Set As Default. 6

13 Saving and Accessing a Template A template is useful so you can save default settings for your notes without changing the settings for regular Word documents. Using a template makes it easy to open up a document and begin taking notes. 1. On a Word document set all desired defaults and customizations. Make sure the document is blank and all graphics and text have been deleted. 2. Click FILE > Save As. 3. Click Computer if it is not already highlighted. 4. Click or browse for a folder to save it in. A window opens. 5. Title the template in the File name: input box. 6. Click on the Save as type: box and save it as a Word Template not a document. 7. Click Save. 8. To open the template click FILE > Open. The Recent Documents file should open automatically. If it does not, click Browse to find the saved template. 9. Click on your template. A blank document with the saved default settings opens. 10. To save your notes taken on the template, remember to change the Save as type: input to a Word Document. 7

14 Chapter Two Incorporating Graphics into Your Notes 8

15 Inserting an Image Using Copy and Paste While taking notes, inserting pictures or images becomes a necessity. To do this you have a few tools at your disposal, but the quickest is to copy and paste an image. 1. Right click your desired image from the internet, secondary document, or photo. A small window opens. 2. Click Copy Image. 3. Enter into and right click on your Word document where you want the image to be pasted. Two small option windows open. 4. Under Paste Options: click the clipboard. The image appears in your document. 5. Resize, cut, or crop the image as needed by right clicking and choosing an action. 6. Move the image by using space, tab, and arrow keys. 9

16 Inserting a Callout Callouts are boxes with an arrow pointing or leading to something referenced in the box. They are used to call attention to information, add a note to previously written work, or label a picture. There are several ways to create them but this manual will show you the simplest and fastest. 1. Click the INSERT tab. 2. Click Shapes in the Illustrations box. A dropdown box appears (see figure 8) You can create callouts that are much more flexible using a text box and arrow, but using the callouts provided makes creating them faster which is imperative in a note-taking situation. 3. Choose and click on a shape in the very last section entitled Callouts. 4. Click and drag in the document where you want the text box to be placed. 5. Type the information and resize the text box to your desired choice. 10

17 6. Click and drag the small squares connected to the pointer of your callout to point the callout towards a specific passage or image. If you do this before resizing the box, the pointer becomes distorted if you fiddle with the text box. Placing the anchor between the title and picture works best for graphics and placing the anchor at the beginning of the line or paragraph of words works best for text. 7. Make sure the anchor is located somewhere in the text that the callout references. This way when you move the text or image, the entire callout moves with it. 11

18 Creating a Table Quickly creating and filling in a table can seem daunting while sitting in class, but it is actually very simple and one of the easiest things to create in Word. 1. Click the INSERT tab. 2. Click Table located in the second box of the ribbon. A drop down box containing a grid appears. 3. Select the entire grid by placing your cursor on the bottom right square in the grid. It is easier to delete unneeded grid space later than try to add more in while taking notes. If you know beforehand how many squares you require, go ahead and choose the exact amount. The grid is constructed on the document as you mouse over the dropdown grid. Note If you are in a numbered outline format, Word assumes you want the numbers to continue into the grid. If this is not the case, make sure to clear the numbered outline format by hitting the Backspace or Enter key. 12

19 4. Click on the square. A table appears in your document with the cursor located in the first box. 5. Start typing. If you need more space than the cell initially allows, it grows to accommodate your needs. 6. Move between grid spaces by clicking the space or by using the arrow keys as long as the cursor is not located in the middle of your words. There are many options to add, delete, and split cells in the options window accessed by right clicking the grid. 13

20 Creating a Chart Charts are a useful tool for visual aids in courses such as math, science, history, and technology. Word contains several forms of charts that are easy to modify and edit while in class. 1. Click the INSERT tab. 2. Click Chart located in the Illustrations box. A new window opens. 3. Choose a chart style and version. Styles Versions 4. Click OK. The chart appears in the document and a small Excel window appears. 14

21 5. Enter data into the chart through the Excel window in the appropriate cells. Type the names of data categories in column A. Type data in column B. Depending on the type of chart, the title can be typed in the Excel window or the graphic itself. Enter title name on the graph or in the Excel window depending on the graph type and how many categories it contains. 6. Close the Excel window to finish and save the data entry. 15

22 Chapter Three Saving Time with Shortcuts and Comments 16

23 Adding Abbreviations to Auto-Correct While taking notes, abbreviations and misspellings happen often when quickly typing. A helping hand in situations such as this is Word s Auto-Correct function. With this function you can tell Word to auto-correct any abbreviations into the full word anytime those letters are typed. 1. Click FILE > Options. A new window opens. 2. In the left sidebar select Proofing. 3. Click the button on the page labeled AutoCorrect Options. A new smaller window opens. 4. Select AutoCorrect from the top tags. 5. In the middle of the window make sure the check box Replace text as you type is selected. 6. In the Replace: box, type in an abbreviation. 7. In the With: box, type in the elongated word that you want the abbreviation to be corrected to. 8. Click Add. 17

24 Customizing the Access Toolbar Do you use a text box often? Do you always find yourself searching through the ribbon to find what to click in order to insert a comment? Or do you want to add a new auto-correct without going through all the tabs. Any action that you find yourself repeatedly wasting time for can be remedied by adding a button to the Access Toolbar. You can add any function of Word to the toolbar and waste having to search for it in the ribbon and multiple tags. 1. Click the expansion arrow in the Access Toolbar on the top of the Word document. 2. Click More Commands located near the bottom of the selection box. A new window opens. The left box allows you to select commands. The right box shows you which commands are already located in the toolbar. 18

25 3. Choose commands from the left box and then click Add > >. The command shows up in the right box. You can choose as many commands from different features of Word. In this example, I selected the paragraph spacing tool found in the Design Tab on the ribbon. 4. Click OK. The new commands you have selected appear in the Quick Access Toolbar. 19

26 Creating and Editing Comments If you want to quickly add information to existing notes without affecting the format, pictures, or outline a comment is a simple editing feature that allows you to do just that. Any comment made on a document does not appear on the document but in a white space to right of it known as the markup area. A small icon on the document lets you know it is there. Comments are also useful for sharing notes with a study group or friend where someone can let you know of any problems or add their own useful information. 1. Place your cursor on the word you want the comment associated with. 2. Click on the REVIEW tab. 3. Click New Comment in the Comments box. The look of the comment depends on whether or not the Show Comments option is selected. The chosen word is highlighted and your name and time passed since the comment was created appears in a text box. This comment is shown and remains in the markup area of the screen as you continue to type in the document. This comment is hidden and disappears when you click back into the document. All you see is the small comment bubble. 4. Type any new or clarifying information in the text box. 5. Click the document to exit the comment and enter back into your previous notes. 20

27 Chapter Four Reviewing and Comparing Notes 21

28 Maximizing View of the Document While taking notes it is beneficial to view as much of the document as possible without distractions in order to navigate quickly and to aid studying. This section will teach you several tricks to do that. 1. Click the View tab. 2. Click Multiple Pages in the Window box. The document shrinks in view and become two pages wide. 3. Adjust the zoom using the slider in the lower right hand corner. 4. Click the Ribbon Display Options button located on the top right of the screen. 5. Click Auto-hide Ribbon. The ribbon and tabs recede. To show the ribbon again click the page button and select Show Tabs and Commands. 22

29 Comparing Two Different Documents Side by Side Taking notes often means referencing past notes, lecture slides, or readings. An efficient way to do this without switching between two widows is by comparing two Word documents side by side so you can see both of them simultaneously. You can also use this function to help you study from two documents. 1. Create or open two Word documents. One for your notes and the other for the reference text. 2. In one of them, click the View tab. 3. Click View Side by Side in the Window box. If you have more than two Word documents open, it prompts you to choose which other document to view. If you only have two documents open, Word automatically formats them side by side. 4. Double click, or select your desired reference document and then press OK. The documents appear side by side on screen but in their own Word windows. Synchronous scrolling allows you to physically scroll in one document and affect the other simultaneously. You can turn it off by pressing the icon. 23

30 Image Credits Open Access Blog Cover JW Illustrations After Auschwitz Art Digital Inspirations ISHIK University

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