Word 2016 For Dummies (2016)

Part II

Your Basic Word

Chapter 8

Documents New, Saved, Opened, and Closed

In This Chapter

arrow Understanding terms

arrow Creating a new document

arrow Saving documents

arrow Updating (resaving) a document

arrow Opening a document

arrow Inserting one document inside another

arrow Retrieving a lost document

I like the word document. It’s elegant. It’s much better than saying “a file” or “that thing I created with my word processor.” A document could include everything from a quick shopping list to a vast cycle of medieval fantasy novels you keep reading despite knowing that your favorite protagonist will die a sudden, horrific death.

Regardless of size or importance, a word-processing file is called a document. It’s the end result of your efforts in Word. You create new documents, save them, open up old documents, and close documents. That’s the document cycle.

Some Terms to Get Out of the Way

technicalstuff To best understand the document concept, you must escape the confines of Word and wander into the larger dominion of computer storage. A basic understanding of files and storage is necessary if you’re to get the most from your word-processing efforts.

File: A Word document is a file. A file contains information stored for the long term, which can be recalled again and shared with others. Windows manages files and their storage, backup, copying, moving, and renaming.

Folder: Files dwell in containers called folders. A folder is nothing more than storage for various files, although folders play a role in how files are organized.

Local storage: The file crated when you save a document must be kept somewhere for the long term. When it’s saved on your computer’s hard drive, it’s kept on local storage. Because some computers use a solid-state drive (SSD) instead of a hard drive, the term local storage is used instead of hard drive or disk drive.

Cloud storage: Also available for saving documents is storage available on the Internet, commonly referred to as cloud storage. Specifically, Word is integrated to use Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage. Files saved to cloud storage are available to your computer and also to any computer connected to the Internet. Yes, you need to log into the cloud storage; not just anyone can pilfer your files.

You can use other cloud storage services with Word, such as Dropbox or Google Drive. These locations are accessed through their shadow copies on local storage.

Behold! A New Document

To summon a new document, click the Blank Document template thumbnail found on the Word Start screen. Or if the Start screen has been disabled (per the directions in Chapter 33), Word starts by displaying a blank document.

After Word has started, you can summon a new document by obeying these steps:

1.     Click the File tab.

The File screen appears.

2.     Choose the New command from the left side of the window.

The New screen lists the same templates that appear on the Start screen. Category tabs are Featured and Personal for Word’s templates and your own templates, respectively.

3.     Click the Blank Document thumbnail.

A new Word window appears and you see a blank page, ready for typing.

tip Ah, the shortcut: Press Ctrl+N to quickly summon a new, blank document in Word.

·        You can produce as many new documents as are needed. Word lets you work with several documents at a time. See Chapter 24 for information on multiple-document mania.

·        Refer to Chapter 1 for information on the Word Start screen.

·        Refer to Chapter 16 for information on templates.

technicalstuffHow long can a Word document be?

The quick answer is that no length limit is assigned to a Word document. If you like, your document can be thousands of pages long. Even so, I don’t recommend putting that limit to the test.

The longer a document, the more apt Word is to screw up. For most documents, the length is fine. For larger projects, however, I recommend splitting your work into chapter-sized chunks. Organize those chapter documents in their own folder.

To stitch together several documents into a larger document, use Word’s master document feature, as described in Chapter 25.

Save Your Stuff!

It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing the next Great American Novel or you’re jotting down notes for tonight’s PTA meeting, the most important thing you can do to a document is save it.

Save! Save! Save!

Saving creates a permanent copy of your document, encoding your text as a file on the computer’s storage system. That way, you can work on the document again, publish it electronically, or have a copy ready in case the power goes poof. All these tasks require saving.

Saving a document the first time

Don’t think that you have to wait until you finish a document to save it. In fact, you should save almost immediately — as soon as you have a few sentences or paragraphs.

To save a document for the first time, follow these steps:

1.     Click the File tab.

2.     Choose the Save As command.

The Save As screen appears, similar to the one shown in Figure 8-1. This screen is part of Word’s Backstage, which is an alternative to the traditional Windows Save As dialog box.

3.     Choose a location for the document.

To use local storage, choose This PC.

To use cloud storage on OneDrive, choose OneDrive.

A list of recent folders appears on the right side of the screen. Click a folder to choose it as the storage location.

After choosing a location, the traditional Save As dialog box appears. Or you can quickly summon that dialog box by clicking the Browse button, as illustrated in Figure 8-1.

tip If the specific folder you need wasn’t shown on the Save As screen, use the Save As dialog box to navigate to that folder — or create a folder by clicking the New Folder button in that dialog box.

4.     Type a name for your document in the File Name box.

Word automatically selects the first several words of your document as a filename and places that text in the File Name box. If that’s okay, you can move to Step 5. Otherwise, type a better name.

tip Be descriptive! The more concisely you name your document, the easier it is to recognize it by that name in the future.

5.     Click the Save button.

The file is now safely stored.


Figure 8-1: The Save As screen.

The document doesn’t close after you save. You don’t need to quit Word. You can keep working.

remember As you work, continue to save. See the section “Saving or updating a document.”

·        You can skip the File tab process by instead clicking the Save button on the Quick Access toolbar. If the document hasn’t yet been saved, the Save As screen appears.

·        Your clue that the document is saved successfully is that its filename appears on the document’s title bar, top center of the Word window.

·        The Save As command can also be used to save a document with a new name, to a different location, or in a different format. See Chapter 24.

·        warning Do not save a document to removable media, such as an optical disc or a memory card. Instead, save the document to the computer’s main storage device, the hard drive or SSD. If you save to removable media and that media is accidentally removed, you may lose your document or the computer may crash.

·        To place your document file on removable media, save and close the document. Copy the file from the computer’s primary storage to the removable storage. This operation is done in Windows, not Word.

·        As an alternative to using removable media, save your document to cloud storage. Documents saved to OneDrive can be shared with others. See Chapter 26 for collaboration information.

Dealing with document-save errors

Saving a document involves working with both Word and the Windows operating system. This process doubles the chances of something going wrong, so it's high time for an error message. One such error message is

The file whatever already exists

You have three choices:

·        Replace Existing File: Nope.

·        Save Changes with a Different Name: Yep.

·        Merge Changes into Existing File: Nope.

Choose the middle option and click OK. Type a different filename in the Save As dialog box.

Another common problem occurs when a message that’s displayed reads something like this:

The file name is not valid

That's Word's less-than-cheerful way of telling you that the filename contains a boo-boo character. To be safe, use letters, numbers, and spaces when naming a file. Check the nearby sidebar, “Trivial — but important — information about filenames.”

technicalstuffTrivial — but important — information about filenames

Be creative in your document, but also be creative when saving the document and christening it with a name. These names must abide by the Windows rules and regulations for all filenames:

·        A filename can be longer than 200 ridiculous-something characters; even so, keep your filenames short but descriptive.

·        A filename can include letters, numbers, and spaces, and can start with a letter or a number.

·        A filename can contain periods, commas, hyphens, and even underlines.

·        A filename cannot contain any of these characters: \ / : * ? “ < > |.

Word automatically appends a filename extension to all documents you save — like a last name. You may or may not see the filename extension, depending on how you've configured Windows. Either way, don’t type the extension. Only concern yourself with giving the document a proper and descriptive filename.

Saving or updating a document

As you continue to work on your document, you should save again. That way, any changes you’ve made since the last time you saved are recorded on the computer’s storage system. Saving a document multiple times keeps it fresh.

To resave a document that has already been saved, follow these steps:

1.     Click the File tab.

2.     Choose the Save command.

You get no feedback, and the Save As dialog box doesn't show up. That's because you already gave the file a name; the Save command merely updates the existing file.

images The fastest, and most common, way to save or update a document is to press the Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut. You can also click the Save button on the Quick Access toolbar.

·        I save my documents dozens of times a day — usually when the phone rings, when I need to step away and the cat is lurking too closely to the keyboard, or often when I'm just bored.

·        If you haven’t yet saved a document, using the Save command, Ctrl+S, or the Save button on the Quick Access toolbar brings up the Save As screen, as described earlier in this chapter.

Forgetting to save before you quit

When you’re done writing in Word, you close the document, close the window, or quit Word outright. No matter how you call it quits, when your document hasn't yet been saved, or was changed since the last save, you're asked to save one last time before leaving.

The warning dialog box that appears when you attempt to leave before saving features three options:

Save: Click this button to save the document and close. If you've been bad and haven't yet saved the document, the Save As screen appears.

Don’t Save: When you click this button, the document is closed without saving. It might still be available for later recovery. See the later section, “Recover a Draft.”

Cancel: Click this button to forget about saving and return to the document for more editing and stuff.

I recommend that you choose the Save option.

Open a Document

Saving a document means nothing unless you have a way to retrieve that document later. As you might suspect, Word offers multiple ways to open a document either on local storage or on cloud storage.

Using the Open command

Open is the standard computer command used to fetch an existing document. Once you find and open the document, it appears in Word's window as though it had always been there.

To open a document in Word, follow these steps:

1.     Click the File tab.

2.     Choose the Open command.

The Open screen materializes, similar to what’s shown in Figure 8-2.

3.     Choose a location where the document may lurk.

Your choices are Recent Documents, which is shown in Figure 8-2, cloud storage such as OneDrive, or local storage titled This PC.

tip If you spy the desired document lurking in the Recent list, click it. The document opens on the screen. Congratulations — you’re done.

4.     Choose a recent folder from the list.

5.     Click a document when you find it.

The document opens, ready for editing.

6.     If you can’t find the document, or you just yearn to use the traditional Open dialog box, click the Browse button.

The traditional Open dialog box appears, which you can use to locate the file you want to open: Click to select the file, and then click the Open button.


Figure 8-2: The Open screen.

The file you open appears in the Word window. Word may highlight the last location where you were writing or editing, along with a Welcome back message.

After the document is open, you can edit it, look at it, print it, or do whatever you want.

·        The shortcut key to access the Open screen is Ctrl+O. Also, an Open command button appears on the Quick Access toolbar.

·        You can open a document also by locating its icon in a folder window, which happens in Windows, not in Word. Double-click the icon to open the document. See Chapter 1 for information.

·        tip To access recently opened documents, right-click the Word icon on the taskbar. Choose a document from the pop-up list (called the jump list) to open it.

·        Opening a document doesn’t erase it from storage. In fact, the file stays on the storage system until you use the Save command to save and update the document with any changes.

·        images When you position the mouse pointer at a recently opened document on the Open screen, you see a pushpin icon, similar to what’s shown in the margin. Click that icon to make the document “stick” to the Open screen. That way, it’s always available for quick access later.

·        To remove a document from the Recent list, right-click the document’s entry. Choose the command Remove from List.

·        warning Avoid opening a file on any removable media, such as a digital memory card or an optical disc. Although it's possible, doing so can lead to headaches later should you remove the media before Word is done with the document. Because of that, I recommend that you use Windows to copy the document from the removable media to the computer’s main storage device. Then open it in Word.

Opening one document inside another

It’s possible in Word to open one document inside another. Doing so isn’t as odd as you’d think. For example, you may have your biography, résumé, or curriculum vitae document and want to add that information to the end of a letter begging for a new job. If so, or in any other circumstances that I can’t think of right now, follow these steps:

1.     Position the insertion pointer where you want the other document’s text to appear.

The text is inserted at that spot.

2.     Click the Insert tab.

3.     images From the Text group, click the Object button.

The Object button is shown in the margin. After clicking the button, you see a menu.

4.     Choose the menu item Text from File.

The Insert File dialog box appears. It’s similar to the Open dialog box.

5.     Locate and select the document you want to insert.

Browse through the various folders to find the document icon. Click to select that icon.

6.     Click the Insert button.

The document’s text is inserted into the current document, just as if you had typed and formatted it yourself.

·        The resulting combined document still has the same name as the first document; the document you inserted remains unchanged.

·        You can insert any number of documents into another document, one at a time. There’s no limit.

·        Inserting text from one document into another is often called boilerplating. For example, you can save a commonly used piece of text in a document and then insert it into other documents as necessary. This process is also the way that sleazy romance novels are written.

·        Biography. Résumé. Curriculum vitae. The more important you think you are, the more alien the language used to describe what you’ve done.

Close a Document

When you've finished writing a document, you need to do the electronic equivalent of putting it away. That electronic equivalent is the Close command: Press Ctrl+W.

·        Because closing a document may also quit Word, more information on this topic is found in Chapter 1, which covers quitting Word.

·        If you haven't saved your document, you’ll be prompted to do so. See the early section, “Forgetting to save before you quit.”

Recover a Draft

When you forget to save a document, or the computer crashed, or the power went out, you can recover some — but perhaps not all — of an unsaved document. Valiantly make this attempt:

1.     Press Ctrl+O to summon the Open screen.

2.     Ensure that Recent is chosen as the file location.

3.     Click the Recover Unsaved Documents button, found at the bottom of the list of recent files.

You may have to scroll the list of recent files a bit to locate the button

The Open dialog box appears, listing the contents of a special folder, UnsavedFiles. It’s Word’s graveyard of sorts. Actually, it's more like a morgue in a county with a lousy EMS.

4.     Click to select a document to recover.

The document may have an unusual name, especially when it has never been saved.

5.     Click the Open button to open and recover the document.

The document you recover might not be the one you wanted it to be. If so, try again and choose another document.

You might also find that the recovered document doesn’t contain all the text you typed or thought would be there. You can’t do anything about it, other than remembering to save everything in the first place!

technicalstuff The recovery of drafts is possible because of Word’s AutoRecover feature. Refer to Chapter 31 for more information on AutoRecover.