Word Processing Basics

Word Processing Basics

Word processing software not only provides basic ability to enter and modify the text but also provides efficient text manipulation functions that can be used for documentation. Modern word processors provide attractive features. Some of the features provided by popular word processors are as listed below.

  • Create, edit, save, retrieve and print the document
  • Select and move the text from one place to another in the document
  • Copy the text to other places within the document
  • Move or copy a selected text from one document to any other document
  • Change the font size, font style of the text in the document
  • Format paragraphs as well as pages
  • Check spelling and grammar
  • Create table, modify the size of the selected rows, columns or cells
  • Combine one or more documents
  • Insert pictures or graphs within the document
  • Print the selected text or selected pages of the document

Word processors are being used in the business, home, and education, i.e., in schools and colleges for preparing letters, reports, and many other different types of documents. Students use it for preparing project reports and assignments. Teachers use word processors for preparing question papers and notes.

Office suite is a collection of programs, which are useful for word processing, spreadsheet preparation, presentation, and database management. There are several office suits. We will be using LibreOffice, because of its several advantages.

LibreOffice is a free and open source software (FOSS), fully-featured office productivity suite. Currently the versions of LibreOffice is 6.0 and above are available. It is available free for downloading from the website www.libreoffice.org. This suite is available in many languages and runs on many platforms (Windows, Mac and Linux). It uses Open Document Format (ODF) file format, for publishing documents. LibreOffice components are integrated with each other and have a similar ‘look and feel’, which makes it easy to use and train. 

  • A word processor is a software for typing, formatting and creating documents.
  • There are two types of formatting that we can apply – character formatting and paragraph formatting.
  • For character formatting, we must first select all the characters where we want to apply the formatting. For paragraph formatting, it is enough to have any part of the paragraph selected – for a single paragraph, it is sufficient to place the insertion point somewhere in that paragraph.
  • Character formatting includes – font, font style, size, font colour, underline style, underline colour, and effects – for example subscript, superscript, emboss, etc.
  • Paragraph formatting comprises of – alignment; indents – left, right, first line and hanging; space before and after paragraphs; and line spacing.
  • To highlight the points, we can use bullets or numbering for the paragraphs.
  • If we plan to put tabular data, we can either use tabs – left, right, center and decimal; or use table to type in the text within the cells.
  • To enhance the appeal of the document, we can insert pictures – either from clip art, or from files. We might have to select appropriate wrapping options to have the text around the picture.
  • We can move or duplicate text in a document or across documents using options like Cut, Copy and Paste.
  • If we are likely to make mistakes (and all of us are!), we can utilise the word processor to check the spellings and grammar.
  • Before we print the document, we must decide on margins, page size, gutter etc. through Page Setup.
  • If we need to have many copies of documents which are same except for some parts, like invitation letters, we can use the mail merge facility to make the task simpler.
  • We can allow others to review the documents by editing as well as by adding comments. These changes can be tracked. We can later decide as to whether to keep those changes or to revert back to the original text.


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