MS Word for Writers
4.6 (49 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
693 students enrolled

MS Word for Writers

Word-processing Mastery for Those Who Most Appreciate the Power of Words
4.6 (49 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
693 students enrolled
Created by Demi Stevens
Last updated 1/2019
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $139.99 Original price: $199.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 6.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 downloadable resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Microsoft Word, especially for writers and authors!
  • Track Changes - the fastest method for working with your beta readers and editor
  • Beginner, intermediate and rock-star hacks to make your writing life simpler
  • Using "Style" settings to create gorgeous chapter headings and 1-click easy font updates throughout your manuscript
  • Headers and footers that make you look like a pro, including different headers on new chapter pages and odd/even pages
  • Drop Caps to make your chapter openings really sparkle
  • Pro tricks for Find/Replace used by editors that save you HOURS
  • Adding "Dictation" for free (no need for expensive software add-ons)
  • Using "Read Aloud" to help the editing process
  • Tables of Contents, Indexes and Bibliographies so easy you wish you'd had them back in high school
  • BONUS: How to format your manuscript for submission to agents and editors
  • BONUS: How to format your manuscript for self-publishing
  • Students may use any version of MS Word

Tired of being told "Scrivener is the answer to all your writing woes"?

What if you could do all those same organizational tricks (plus lots more Scrivener can't do) without needing to purchase or learn a whole new word-processing platform?

Good news! This course -- designed and taught by editor and publisher Demi Stevens of Year of the Book Press -- takes you behind the magic curtain to show you just the tools you need to get the writing done faster and more elegantly.

Using fun sample texts, along with drafts from actual manuscripts, this course goes beyond the mechanics of MS Word to show you how to format your Work-In-Progress using a series of 1-click tools like "Style" settings for chapter headers/sub-headers and main body text, table of contents, bibliography, citations, footnotes or endnotes, and indexing.

Or if you've been tempted to try your hand at dictating your manuscript (pun intended) -- but the price tag and learning curve for Dragon Naturally Speaking ($99+) has got your mouse-hand shaking -- discover the new free "Dictate" feature, which converts voice to text with astonishing accuracy.

Perfect for beginners or advanced MS Word users, you can easily target the skills you want most by lesson topic. If you simply need to solve your page numbering woes to create that illusive "intentionally blank" page between chapters, no problem! Jump straight to Lessons 12 and 13 for page breaks and headers/footers.

Can't stand the thought of removing those now-superfluous 2nd spaces between sentences, or extra line breaks between paragraphs... one by painful one? When you're dealing with an 80,000-word manuscript, there's not enough wine in your rack to get you through that. Instead, skip to Lesson 9 for the almost 1-click wonders of the "Find and Replace" tool.

Maybe you've just landed your dream editor, and they've sent back your entire document with "Tracked Changes" -- but you don't know how to even begin deciphering their suggestions. Fear not! Lesson 27 will get you oriented, as well as provide ideas for what you should verify with your editor before you dive in... so you don't waste valuable deadline time doing the work twice.

Or perhaps you've decided to tread the indie path and self-publish your book. Hiring a format and design team could cost $150-1000 per book. Using skills from this course, plus the bonus book-formatting lesson, you'll be ready to create a file suitable to upload to Amazon KDP, Ingram-Spark, or other POD platform, so you can start building your author brand today!

In addition to the instructor's work in the publishing field, Demi Stevens is a Microsoft Office Certified Trainer, so you'll benefit from the overlap of MS Word ninja techniques plus butt-in-chair/hands-on-keyboard wisdom from the writing trenches.

Who this course is for:
  • first-time authors
  • seasoned and professional authors
  • bloggers
Course content
Expand all 30 lectures 06:21:07
+ Introduction
1 lecture 08:15

This course is designed for all my author friends, both old and new, so you can bend the word-processor to YOUR needs for a change... and ultimately get back to the creative process of writing.

Preview 08:15
+ Basic MS Word Skills Every Writer Needs
6 lectures 01:36:58

While this course is filmed in the newest version of MS Word, almost all of the tools demonstrated have been available in every version of the program since 2003. If you see a particularly awesome skill, but can't find the button or menu item to access it in your version, a quick internet search for "NAME THE SKILL in MS Word 20##" and chances are great that someone else has put up a YouTube video of exactly how to do it.

Preview 12:08

There's nothing worse than writing the BEST SCENE EVER, and then discovering you can't remember where you saved it on your computer.

Okay, maybe accidentally deleting that scene would be worse, but after this lesson, you won't do that either!

Save Your Work!

Not your grandma's typewriter!

Using Microsoft Word has several key differences from how folks learned to type before the mid-1980s.

Even if you already understand word wrap and using just 1 space between sentences, you might enjoy learning how to zoom in on the text (rather than changing the font size) every time you've misplaced your reading glasses.

And the undo button? I can't imagine my life without it! Does anyone know how we could create an "UNDO" button for REAL LIFE??

Word Wrap, Undo, Zoom In, Space Between Sentences

Fonts - the style of the text

Font size &decrease/increase font size (works even in sections that have multiple sizes of print!)

Bold, italics, underline


Sub-script and super-script

Text effects and typography - did you know about using "Ligatures" to connect letters in fancy fonts??

Text highlighter

Text color

Changing case (lowercase, UPPERCASE, Capitalize Each Word)

Small caps and MORE!

Font Characteristics

Alignment - left, center, right, and fully justified

Line and paragraph spacing

  • first-line indent

  • line spacing

  • adding extra space between paragraphs for non-fiction

  • changing the Default settings for ALL YOUR FUTURE DOCUMENTS!

Shading and borders

Bulleted and numbered lists

Increasing indent

A-to-Z alphabetical sorting of lists

Show/hide tool - so you can finally figure out what's going on when MS Word isn't doing what you expect!

Paragraph Characteristics

Page dimensions - because books aren't usually printed on 8.5" x 11" paper!

Margins - including how to format so your text doesn't get lost in the spine of the book


Page Breaks vs. Section Breaks (but more detailed in Lesson 12!)

Adding line numbers (hello, poetry!)

Page Characteristics
+ Intermediate Skills You Wish You'd Known Before You Started Writing Your Book
9 lectures 01:44:52

Move text throughout your document

Paste clips you made earlier -- even before your most recent cut/copy!

Use format painter to save hours when applying similar font characteristics throughout your document

Get a Bigger Clipboard! Cut / Copy / Paste / Format Painter

You may not ever get back the weekend you lost binge watching TV, but this one tool will save you mega hours from deleting extra line-breaks between paragraphs, removing unnecessary tabs, or replacing two spaces between sentences with just one.

Never mind how awesome it is to quickly correct your most commonly spelled words, or to change character names throughout your document - just be wary of replacing short words that may appear as part of a longer word... (like my friend who changed her character Joy's name to Samantha, and then throughout the manuscript, folks were enSamantha-ing their cocktails!)

Find / Replace

Size matters!

Two quick and easy ways to locate your current word count (and section totals), along with word count tips for writing in various genres.

Word Count

Time to stop spending extra moolah for Grammarly... it's already built in to your MS Word proofing options!

What? Not using ANY pre-editing hacks? Then it's time to learn how you can quickly do more than just proofreading!

Spell-check and Grammar-check

Tired of pressing the Enter key a thousand times to make your chapter start on a new page? (And never mind what happens when you add/delete text from earlier chapters!)

Now you'll be able to add page breaks with ease, and even better, you'll learn when to use simple Page Breaks vs. the more useful Section Break - Next Page breaks.

Page Breaks

Stumped by trying to create a header with running page count throughout your manuscript? No problem!

Boggled by not knowing how to use lowercase Roman numerals on your Preface pages? No problem!

Can't figure out how to turn off a header on the opening page of each new chapter? No problem!

What to make for dinner tonight? PROBLEM! Better call an expert!

Headers and Footers

No more excuses for staring at your screen trying to figure out a better word for "walked" - just right-click and have "ambled," "limped," or "careened" at your fingertips.

Or use this feature to translate words, sentences, or entire documents into a myriad of other languages.

Synonyms (in English AND Translation!)

You will NEVER need this knowledge. Until you do. And then you REALLY need it, and you need it NOW!

Help! I've Lost My Toolbar and I Can't Get Up!

Quickly add letters with accent markings, foreign currency symbols, Greek and Cyrillic characters, mathematical operators and more (including the hyphen, en-dash, and em-dash).

Add images to your document -- complete with frames or shadow/glow/reflection effects -- and train the text to automatically re-flow around them!

Help your readers quickly locate source information by adding hyperlinks to your text - so they can click right through (and you won't need to struggle with how to properly cite them on your blog!)

Or maybe you're an emoji-addict and can't imagine writing a blog without smiley faces... no problem, just use the new "Insert Icons" feature.

Insert Symbols / Pictures / Icons / Links
+ Rock Star Techniques to Make Your Writing and Formatting Sparkle
11 lectures 01:14:34

Man vs. Artificial Intelligence

The new "Dictate" feature is FREE and surprisingly accurate. Watch a quick, live test in this session, then download and try it out for yourself.

The other recent addition of "Read Aloud" might be a game-changer for your revision process... just click play and MS Word turns your text into an audio book so (after you've stared at the computer screen for 6 months) you can finally HEAR your words in a fresh new way.

New "Dictate" and "Read Aloud"

If you take away only ONE new skill from this course - make this one yours.

Quickly and easily label new chapters and sub-heads, then format their font and size and characteristics (and drop-down height and line-spacing, and a bazillion other things) in just ONE place... but have it applied THROUGHOUT YOUR BOOK!

Oh, and did I mention you can do this for your main body text as well? No more click-and-drag to highlight whole chapters every time you decide to try a new font. (You can thank me later!)

Styles and Navigation Panel

As if the simplicity of the Styles settings above wasn't enough to evoke praise, here you'll learn how to move between chapters with a single click (bye bye, endless scrolling)... AND if you need to re-order chapters, just drag-and-drop them on the Navigation Panel to test it out without suffering through headache inducing cut-and-paste sessions.

BONUS: Navigation Panel for Speed and Agility

The Sprint phone tech never once asked, "Are you able to discern that of which I am presently speaking?"

Turn on this little hidden gem in the Proofing Options, and let the Flesch Kincaid Readability and Ease scores help you understand whether your audience has a clue what you're writing about.

"Can you hear me now?"

Readability Statistics

More love for the Styles settings...

Once you've enabled your chapter headings and sub-heads, just pop to the beginning of your document and add a full Table of Contents with one click -- with auto-formatted page numbers... or even hyperlinks if you're creating an eBook!

Table of Contents

No more cursing and ranting when it's time to add a footnote or endnote, because you don't know how to get the text to flow around at the bottom of the page. Just click the "Insert Footnote" button and MS Word will automatically number and format your notes (and update those numbers automatically if you later add more notes!).

Change your mind about whether you need footnotes or endnotes? That's no problem, either. Easily convert ALL your notes with just one more click.

Footnotes and Endnotes

Citations and bibliographies were the bane of our existence in the old days. I remember stacks of index cards alongside my dog-eared Chicago Style Manual (later abandoned for Kate Turabian, soon to be followed by MLA)... and still I struggled with where to put the punctuation.

Now... just fill in an intuitive form, and click a button. MS Word will automatically format your citation or bibliographic entry to the whims of your industry's favorite style manual. Even better? Just one more click will convert it between style manuals if you need to submit to another publisher with different preferences.

Citations and Bibliographies

Like window dressing for your book, just seeing these drop-caps applied to the opening line of your chapters will motivate you to want to share it with your fans!

Drop Caps

I used to quake in my leather boots when an author wanted to add an Index to their book. Now, MS Word's indexing makes it easy to mark entries, add the index itself, and even update the page numbers if revisions are needed.


Believe it or not, MS Word recognizes 18 unique English dialects... and even more foreign languages... so why shouldn't your spell-check?

Spell-check in Foreign Languages

The days of the red pen are long gone, but my first-time author friends who receive their first edit back in Track Changes often wish they could teleport back to high school days.

However, once you really get the hang of MS Word's most powerful editing tool, you'll never want to go back. Easily accept and reject suggested changes, scroll through (and resolve or delete) editing comments, or integrate suggestions from multiple beta-readers, all without shuffling hundreds of loose sheets of paper, or losing your mind.

Ready for your close up, my dear author friend? It's time to make every word choice in your manuscript sparkle!

Track Changes
+ BONUS: Formatting Your Manuscript for Agent Submission
1 lecture 20:00

Finished writing your book? Congratulations! Now it's time to find an audience.

This lesson contains simple, easy-to-follow instructions to format your finished manuscript for agent or editor submission.

Do remember to check the current year's "Writer's Market" guide in case your agent or editor has specific requests, but this will get you 95% of the way there!

Formatting Your Manuscript for Agent / Editor Submission
+ BONUS: Formatting Your Manuscript for Self-Publishing
1 lecture 01:13:49

There are entire (pricey!) video courses out there devoted to this topic, but I wanted to help you tie together all the great new tools you've been learning -- so you can now publish your novel and finally start building your tribe of raving fans.

Feel free to pause the video at each step while you implement the formatting, then come back for more.

If you're building an indie-author career, this one set of skills will save you $150-1000 PER BOOK.

Formatting Your Book for Self-Publishing
+ Conclusion
1 lecture 02:39

Congratulations on reaching for new ways to bring more joy to your writing process. I am so excited to have you in this creative world! Feel free to let me know (in the Q&A section here, or by the email address in the lesson) what you're writing next... and of course, when your book launches!

PS. A comprehensive list of MS Word keyboard shortcuts (courtesy of MS Word themselves) can be downloaded from the Resources section of this lesson.