4 helpful tips

A Translation Project Manager has just sent you yet another heavily formatted document to translate, with different layouts on each page, and you’re short on time to fit this in alongside everything else you’ve got on. But, thankfully, you’ve remembered reading this blog and realise that it’s just the opportunity you need to put some of these tips into practice…

Whilst Microsoft Word is one of the most widely used word processors out there, some of its excellent features are not always evident or easy to find. As every day users of this software, the Parallel office team put our heads together to share some of our favourite features with you. We hope the following tips and tricks make your lives a little easier:



1. Section Breaks


Next Page Section Breaks are a great alternative to Page Breaks.

By unselecting the “Link to Previous” button in the “Header and Footer Tools” toolbar, you can insert different headers and footers within the same document, keeping your document looking nice and tidy with the main body of text flowing seamlessly from one page onto another. Trust us – you’ll never look back.


2. Non-Breaking Space

Non-Breaking Space vs. Normal Space: Microsoft Word usually does well to calculate line width and knows when text should be wrapped onto the next line, but it can be frustrating when it breaks a line between two words that should really be read together. This is where the non-breaking space comes in – it will stop the line breaking at that point.

To insert this type of space, hold down Ctrl and Shift as you press the Spacebar.

You can check it has been inserted or used correctly by using the “Show/Hide ¶” button; this will appear as a little degree type symbol instead of a dot.

Linked to this, there is also the Non-Breaking Hyphen, which stops the line breaking between hyphenated words. For this one, the secret formula is Ctrl, Shift + Hyphen.


3. Format Painter Tool

This has to be one of our favourite features of all time!

Format Painter works across documents, so rather than wasting time trying to figure out how the original source document is formatted and trying to replicate this in your translation, simply highlight the source text, click this magic tool and highlight your translated text. Your translated text should then match the original. Repeat as needed. There you have it – one of the most straightforward formatting techniques out there.


4. Clear Formatting Tool


This tool has to be another of the popular features in the office.

If you’re in a pickle and have a mixture of formatting, fonts, tabs, line spacing, colours and anything a converted PDF document may throw at you, give this a try. Simply highlight all of the troublesome text, click “Clear Formatting” (found in the dropdown menu from the Styles toolbar or as a smaller icon to the right of the font tool) and your text is returned to your default document properties. This can be a real lifesaver at times.

Do you have any favourite Microsoft Office features that we should know about? Please do let us know either by email or via our Twitter account (@parallel_trans).