IT for beginners build with support in mind because there is so much to learn about the PC. Because devices and computing have become integral in our society. Every job you apply for will see it as a bonus if you have some computing skills. If you are studying and handing in homework, you may be surprised that your handwritten notes are refused. Need to write to the local council to ask them about a service, it is best to type it. Not to mention if you want to write a book, do some research, type up your notes, make a business plan for the bank, or create a multi-page presentation for the board of your company.

IT and word processing are used in all parts of our daily lives from government office to child's homework. IT serves to make your life more convenient (once you know what you are doing) and also to open doors for you professionally as computing counts as an important skill.

Let's take a look at how to get started with word processing.

A geat skill for professional development
Every job you apply for will see it as a bonus if you have some computing skills. Photo Source: Unsplash

What Is A Word Processor

A word processor is essentially a digital notebook in your PC. So why not just use a notebook? Well, the more advanced software can do much more than you would be able to do in a notebook by hand.

  1. You can write and create: presentations, write books, prepare reports or just write a letter
  2. You can format your text into 100s of font styles, you can use 100s of predesigned templates, you can use colour, add pictures, charts, table and do other kinds of formatting
  3. You can share online, print, save, upload, download, collaborate with a member of a team and even track changes, or lock change by creating a PDF.

This kind of software can be used in the most basic way or in the most complex. It is suitable for the ultimate beginner or for the digital veteran.

Now that we know what the software is let’s take a look at the brands of software on offer for Windows and Mac users.

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How To Decide Which Word Processor To Use?

It's worth taking some time to find the right software for your needs as once you find your favourite software. It will be unlikely that you will switch between other software. Because we tend to get comfortable with how things look and work in the software we are using. Personally, I really love Microsoft (MS) word; MS OneNote and Google Docs. I have tried so many other kinds of software, but I always feel like I am just visiting, never like I am really at home. I use each of the three pieces of software for different things, MS word is where I do my long-form writing, MS OneNote is for my notes, organisation and planning and Google docs is where I do draft work when I am on the road using my phone or tablet devices.

The best way to decide which software to use is to consider what you want to use the software for. Match your requirement to the functionality of the software and then try it to see how you feel. Even paid software tends to come with a trial, and of course, there is also a large variety of free software available.

Useful skill to have even if you don't often use the PC
IT and word processing are used in all parts of our daily lives. Photo Source: Unsplash

The Most Suitable Text Processing On Windows?

There is so much available for windows, you will also find a good range of software and prices available. Starting at free to hundreds of pounds, with the defining factor only being what it is that you are interested in doing on your pc no matter how basic. However, the software has really developed and even free software these days can be enough to create impressive presentations for your professional career or write a business plan for your company.

Microsoft Word

The most popular software and the industry standard for most office on the planet is Microsoft (MS) Office suite. Part of that suite is MS word, which is a powerhouse software that covers the needs of the novice and advanced user alike.

The feature of this software is too many to list but here are some of MS words robust features:

This popular Word processing software allows you to :

  1. Do all basic document creation, editing, formatting and production.
  2. Format any advertising, reports, presentations or communication material,
  3. Turn your full-text document into a PDF document, which allows people to view the document but not make any changes. Great for better distribution,
  4. Type as much or as little, and you like with spacing and syntax correction,
  5. Open a file from your documents or other folders.
  6. Some advanced features can be used, such as the Word GUI or the toolbar.
  7. MS word also had cloud, collaboration and sharing capabilities
  8. If the primary feature is not enough, you can extend the features with add ons. Which allows you to create truly personal software that suits the way that you use it.

What Do You Need For Word Processing On A Mac Computer

If you have a MAC PC, you have a number for great options available to you for your pc. There are great free and paid options, the software also has the option of being very basic or having all of the bells and whistles. Which software you choose is your choice, here are some options for you to choose from:


Text Edit is suitable for the total word-processing beginner, who wants an easy-to-use format to:

  1. Learn how to insert images into documents,
  2. Create lists and tables.
  3. Make basic documents

The main advantage of TextEdit? It's free pre-installed software! Just search its name in your Apple search bar, and it will come up.


Pages word processing software, at first glance, is much more feature rich, especially when compared to TextEdit but the structure of the software is much the same.

  1. Traditional formation tools for stylizing fonts
  2. Lists, tables and inserts
  3. Advanced Image insertion including clip art
  4. Easily advanced formatting with text wrapping so you can create magazine-like layouts
  5. Pages offer real-time collaboration for all files saved in iCloud

Other Leading Software

For both Windows and Mac computers:

  • Google Docs is free cloud-based software that you can use from any browser on any computer. Whenever you log into your google account, you can gain access to this and a long list of other Google apps. The benefit of this software is that you will never lose a file again since the document is autosaved. So if you have been frustrated with POC crashes or regularly forget to save your work this option could suit you well.
  • LibreOffice is another free open source software like some of the other software. Don’t let the fact that it is free to fool you, Libre Office is a full feature software allowing you to do everything that you would expect from a model feature rich software. It is similar to Microsoft office except for the free price tag. Like Open Office this software will continue to be updated and have features added since it is open source software.

Curveball online cloud software for notetaking (both Windows and Mac)

  • Evernote is a note taking application similar to MS OneNote. It allows all of the basic note taking plus writing via voice recognition and dictation. It integrates well with the internet, and you can do extensive referencing with it. You can write using a stylus if your device has this functionality and you can sign in and use it from any device with an internet connection. The software has a limited free account or premium paid accounts.
MS office is widely used worldwide
The most popular software and the industry standard for most office on the planet is Microsoft (MS) Office suite. Photo Source: Unsplash

The Top Shortcuts To Use In Word Processing!

Once you have opened a document, you may find formatting it to be time-consuming and tedious. Especially if you have to go back and forth to the toolbar every time you want to do something. Shortcuts have the advantage of saving time and making your work more comfortable.

Important Keys Which Activate Shortcuts And Dual Outputs On The Keyboard.

  1. The Alt (alternative ) key gives other keys an alternative function
  2. Windows: Ctrl (control) key / Mac: CMD (Command) key is used to activate a new operation.
  3. The shift key modifies
  4. The FN (function) key (not on all keyboards): Modifies the use of a key often give it dual purpose.
  5. F (Function) Keys are keys with a programmed action attached to them.

Forming Shortcuts:

  • Bold text: Select the text that you want to change then press Ctrl + B
  • Italic text:  Select the text that you want to change then press Ctrl + I
  • Underline text: Select the text that you want to change then press Ctrl + U
  • Decrease or increase the font size: Ctrl + Shift + > or <.
  • Other short cut examples
  • Close a file: Ctrl + W
  • Superimpose document windows: Shift + F5:
  • Switch to full-screen mode: F11
  • Change the keyboard language (preinstalled): Ctrl + Shift (Windows 7) or Cmd + Space (Mac)

How To Use The Shortcut Combinations

When creating the combinations on your keyboard. You will press the indicated keys at the same time, you do not need to press the + key.

For example:

  • If you want to activate a new document with the Ctrl+N combination.
    • Locate the Ctrl key
    • Locate the N key
    • Pressed them together to get a new document.

* The + symbol, in this case, means ‘and’ it is not a part of the combination.
Before selecting the software for your mac or windows machine, think about what you are going to use the software for and how often will you be using the software. Once you have selected your software, you can then start to practice with how to use your software, incorporating shortcuts and typing practice. Slowly you will build confidence which is always much more important than knowing where the edit tab is anyway. Good luck!

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