Here are the Word Processing Skills covered
by this series of lessons. Each skill is followed by a brief
task. The next few lessons will offer more tasks to test your
First read the
text below then either print it out or copy and
paste it to a new page in your word processor. Then do the tasks
described in italics.
This is usually done via the keyboard. Each key inserts a letter
into the text [h]. Pressing SHIFT gives the capital letter [H].
Pressing CAPS LOCK makes all the letters capitals [LIKE THIS].
Write "Hi! My name's Bill"[or put your name].
Make sure you use the SHIFT key for the H ! M and B
The RETURN key moves to a new paragraph. It is not necessary
to use RETURN at the end of every line because text normally
"wraps around" when it reaches the right hand margin.
Press the return key after your piece of writing to get a
new line and write "I'm writing this on a computer because
I'm learning how to use all the main applications and information
sources including the World Wide Web."
The TAB key moves the cursor in regular intervals. A word processor
is usually pre-set with tabs at regular intervals so you can
jump up to ten spaces by pressing TAB or set your own number
of spaces by dragging the TAB symbol along a ruler above the
text. If you want text to move to the right use TAB. DON'T use
the space bar! It will cause problems later!
Move your cursor to the beginning of your
piece of writing - before "Hi". Write "Dear Sir,"
then a RETURN. Now use the TAB key, perhaps several times, to
move to a place to the right of the Dear Sir (and a line below)
so you can write a letter. Write "I'm delighted to be able
to apply for the job of secretary at your company. I look forward
to visiting you at your central office." Add a RETURN.
Text from a file which you've already saved will appear if you
LOAD it. Text can also be added to your file from another file
- so you can use someone else's work for example.
It is essential to SAVE your text to a disk if you want to use
it again. If you switch off the computer without saving to disk
you will lose it all.
Now's the time to save your work. Make a directory called
"My IT course" and SAVE your word processed file to
that directory. Ask your teacher or parent if you don't understand
SELECT a section
To move, change or delete a piece of text you must first SELECT
it, usually HIGHLIGHTING it by holding down the mouse and dragging
it across the text. The computer will then act upon the piece
of text you have SELECTED.
To SELECT a word you may only have to double click your cursor
over it. To select an object in a Draw program click on it once.
Change its shape by click-dragging in the "hooks" which
usually appear at the edges of the object.
Select the sentence "Hi! My name's
Bill"[or put your name]. Press the DELETE button. It should
disappear. If there's a blank line stil remaining press the DELETE
key once more.
To INSERT words just move your cursor to the point where you
want to add and start typing.
Place your cursor after the words "secretary at your
company" and write "I am very skilled in word processing."
To INSERT a paragraph just move your cursor to the point where
you want to add and start typing. Or LOAD or PASTE text from
elsewhere at that point.
COPY AND PASTE
SELECT the word or phrase, COPY it to the computer's memory,
position the cursor at the new point then PASTE it in. This is
useful for copying long words or phrases which are tedious to
type out. The poorer your keyboarding skills the more you will
use COPY and PASTE.
Select the phrase "the job of secretary
at your company" and SELECT it then COPY it. Now click your
cursor after the words "central office" and PASTE in
the words you have copied. If you find this difficult, look at
the Edit menu in your word processor and follow the sequence
SELECT - EDIT/COPY - Insert cursor - EDIT/PASTE.
To DELETE words or letters, place the cursor to the right of
the chosen word and press the DELETE key (usually the key with
an arrow pointing to the left [<-]). Or, for large areas of
text, SELECT the area then press DELETE.
Place the cursor the right of the word
"the" which you have just pasted in. Press DELETE once
to delete the "t" and INSERT "T" by typing
on the keyboard.
Select the paragraph then press DELETE. The paragraph disappears.
You may be able to UNDO this by choosing from the Edit menu.
Select the paragraph which start "I'm
writing this..." and ends "...World Wide Web."
DELETE it with the DELETE key (or you may have to choose "DELETE"
or "DELETE BLOCK" from the Edit menu
CUT AND PASTE
SELECT the word, CUT it - which makes it disappear from the screen
but holds it in the computer's memory,- position the cursor at
the new point then PASTE it in. This is useful for moving long
words or phrases around text. It is ideal for drafting and editing.
The poorer your keyboarding skills the more you will use cut
SELECT the words "at your central office";
CUT them (use the Edit menu) then place the cursor at the end
of your text (after the second reference to "company) and
PASTE in "at your central office"
plus a full stop.
SEARCH AND REPLACE words
Sometimes an old file would be useful but some words or names
need changing. Use SEARCH to find the word or phrase and REPLACE
to put in your new words.
Find SEARCH AND REPLACE in your word processor
(try Edit or Tools menus). SEARCH for "company" and
REPLACE with "business." The words should automatically
Writing letters or newspaper reports may need a different width
of page. This can be done by changing the margins. Usually this
is done by dragging a marker to left or right. Text will wrap
round to fit in the space.
Find the margin markers, which may be small triangles on the
ruler above the text and below the menu bar. Move them to suitable
places. You may have to SELECT some text first to show how margins
The text you are reading now is ALIGNED on the left but ragged
on the right. Text which is straight along both sides is called
JUSTIFIED. Text which balances down the middle is called CENTRED.
SELECT a paragraph and ALIGN it to right, centred and justified
then back to left.
An alternative to aligning text is to use
a TAB key. A block of text like an address will have the last
letter of each line lined up by using ALIGN RIGHT but the first
letter of each line lined up by using TAB.
UNDERLINE and BOLD
If you need to emphasise some text - make it stand out - you
can write it bold or italic. Select the text you want to emphasise
then use menus to choose bold or italic.
SELECT the word "secretary" in your text and make it
At the end of these exercises your text should
look something like this:
I'm delighted to be able to apply for the job of secretary at your
company. I am very skilled at word processing. I look forward to visiting
you. The job of secretary at your company at your central office....
If your text
is different, look at the tasks above again, see where you may have made
a mistake and try again.
now change the text by selecting, inserting, cutting and pasting until
you have written what you want to write.
Move on to