iCheck™ Series Microsoft® Office 2007 Real World Applications

Unit 1: Word 2007: Business and Personal Communication

Real World Connection Activities

These articles allow you to further explore various computing topics and include a quiz for review.

Introduction Learn about how organizations use word processing applications in the real world.

Directions Read the information below and apply what you learn to answer the questions. Check your work carefully, and click Submit.

The Days Before Word Processing Applications

When one remembers how businesses communicated before the advent of word processing applications such as Microsoft Word, it is not difficult to understand why word processing is the most popular software application for personal computers. For much of the last century, all forms of written business communication were produced using typewriters. In order to rearrange text, a document needed to be retyped. Most errors needed to be retyped as well. Typists could use strips of liquid paper to correct minor errors, but the white blotches were unsightly. Typewriters did not include any “wrap around” feature—a typewriter simply stopped typing when the right margin was reached, so typists needed to estimate when to hyphenate a word before reaching the margin.

Another huge drawback with typewriters was the inability to save electronic files. Documents only existed on paper, so copies of the files needed to be stored in file cabinets. One could imagine how many documents could pile up in a company’s file room. Electric typewriters resolved some of these problems. Typists would key a line of text that would appear on a small screen. After revising the line for errors, they would press a key and the line would be typed on the paper. Word processors, small “computers” that were used exclusively for word processing, allowed users to save files on disks, but without much of a file management system or an ability to integrate with other applications. It was just a matter of time before word processing applications changed all that.

How Businesses Use Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word allows employees to work more quickly and efficiently. Text is quickly moved using the copy and paste features. Margins are easy to set, and text automatically wraps around to the next line. Users determine whether words at the end of the right margin should be automatically hyphenated or not. Word even finds and corrects spelling and grammatical errors for the user. In addition, documents can be saved as electronic files, and with effective file management, these files will be easy to locate in the future.

Some of the most common forms of business communication, and ways in which Word facilitates this communication, are listed below:

  • Memos. A wide variety of templates can be used to create memos in Word 2007. A template provides a framework into which you can insert a memo’s text.
  • Business Letters. Word 2007 allows users to create company letterhead with graphics and text. Paragraph formats, such as the block format used in most business letters, are easy to set, and several business letter formats are built into Word templates. The AutoCorrect feature automatically corrects common spelling errors as you type. AutoText entries can be created to insert frequently used text, such as form paragraphs that are used in custom letters. For example, you could define a paragraph about the business’s annual report and a paragraph about a special ceremony as AutoText. In a large mailing to the company’s stockholders, you could use AutoText to insert the paragraph about the annual report in all letters, and to insert the paragraph about the special ceremony only in the letters to the most prominent stockholders. The mail merge feature enables you to create one document and send it to many recipients. The addresses from an address list are “merged” into a letter. Each letter is then printed separately, so there is no need to key in each recipient’s address.
  • Business Reports. Word 2007 includes features to quickly insert footnotes and endnotes in a report. Page numbers, headers, and footers are easy to format. In lengthy business reports, you must pay special attention to page and section breaks. Print Layout View is an excellent tool for checking page and section breaks as well as the formatting of page numbers, headers, and footers. A document window can be divided into two panes with each pane displaying a different part of the document. This feature is especially useful when you need to view the beginning and end of a report. You can also view two separate documents side by side. In a lengthy report, the Go To feature allows you to navigate directly to a specific heading, page, section, or footnote.
  • Tables. Business often want to organize their data visually. Tables can be quickly inserted and modified in Word. The AutoFit feature automatically adjusts column width, and the Table Style feature allows you to quickly apply predefined styles to your tables. Word 2007 offers built-in diagrams and charts—the user only needs to key in the data. Graphics, WordArt, and SmartArt can easily be added to a table, diagram, or chart.
  • E-mail. Although Microsoft Outlook is the more common application for e-mail, Word provides features that enable you to send documents as e-mails. Instead of sending a mailing, businesses often choose to send a business letter or report as an e-mail attachment. You can also insert a hyperlink into a Word document. For example, a business might decide to insert a hyperlink to the company’s Web site in an e-mail attachment.

Assessment Questions

Name two disadvantages of typewriters as compared to word processing applications.
What does the AutoCorrect feature do?
Name three Word features that would help you create a business report.
When would you use the Go To feature?
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