You’ve likely worked in Microsoft Word before and know your way around the basics. But to really get the most out of the program, it wouldn’t hurt to level up your skills so that you can deliver sharper reports and other documentation.
Below are five things you should master as a land pro so your MS Word skills can really shine.
Headers, footers, and page numbers are a key way to make any document or report look extra polished. As a land pro, you want to make sure you can deliver documents that don’t look like they were produced by a novice. Below is how to insert and configure headers, footers, and page numbers into your documents.
The best part about setting up headers and footers is that, once you have them set, their contents and formatting do not change. Of course, you can always go back and edit as needed by double-clicking into them. Otherwise, they will remain consistent on every page unless you specifically set your document to have a different first page, or different odd and even pages (often used for book layouts).
Presenting data in a clean and organized manner is another important element of a well-formatted, nicely-structured document. As a land pro, your reports will likely contain a number of comparative or tabular data points and tables are a perfect way to display this data in a visually cohesive way.
Here’s what tables look like in MS Word and two different examples of how to add one to your document:
Once you’ve inserted your table, you can use the Table Design and Layout tabs to adjust the formatting, insert or remove columns and rows, and more.
Your work as a land pro may require you to do a bit of background research. In these cases, it’s important to cite your sources –– both to avoid plagiarism and to give credit to the cited author, researcher, etc. Not to mention, using citations and references helps demonstrate your research skills. Footnotes allow you to insert a marker for a note or reference that displays at the bottom of the page. Endnotes, on the other hand, display at the end of the document. For inline citations, the insert function collects all the necessary bibliographical data so you can easily format the citation and insert a bibliography.
There will be times when you need to use the same overall document design or format, and recreating it manually is a major waste of time, especially considering how easy it is to build a template. Templates capture the structure and format of a document so you can forget about prepping and formatting and get straight to work.
First, you need to create the format and structure that you want to reuse. This includes setting your document’s theme (including colors and fonts), headers and footers, tables, and any other formatting you may require.
Once you’ve created a structure that you’re happy with, you can save your document as a template. When you need to create a document using that template, you need only to open a new document using your saved template. Below demonstrates how to save a template and open a new document using said template.
Templates not only save a ton of time but help maintain consistency across your work.
These days, so much of our work is collaborative, but trying to keep track of a bunch of different versions of one document with various edits can be a mess. Not to worry, there is an easier way! If you need to send a document to someone else to proofread, edit, or otherwise contribute to, you can turn on commenting and change tracking to make suggestions and comments easy to display and share. You can then review comments and suggested edits and approve or reject them as needed. Here’s how to add comments and suggested edits:
With these skills in your land pro toolbox, you’ll be able to create fancy reports and flawless documents that build value for clients and employers alike. As you master these skills, you’ll be set up to take on even more advanced features and become a true MS Word power user!
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