Techniques in Word Processors

Resources for Teachers

To develop student ICT capability, you need to monitor the techniques students use in their work with word processors. In order to be able to do this it is best practice to have a checklist of techniques with you. This can then be used to assess their capabilities.

Here is a list of techniques that students can learn by using word processors (Kennewell, 2004, p.30).

  • Outlining: When developing a structured document, the process can start by listing main points, then breaking these down further before converting these automatically into headings and subheadings;
  • Format text - size, face, font: any selected piece of text can have its appearance changed;
  • Format layout - spacing, indentation, justification: any selected paragraph or section can be changed in line spacing, left/right indented, centred, or lined up to the margin on the right;
  • Bullets/numbering:Numbered or bullet lists can be created;
  • Word art: produces fancy styles for small pieces of text such as headings;
  • Insert clip art, pictures, shapes, charts, diagrams, files, bookmarks, text boxes: various options for incorporating resource material supplied with the word processing program or material prepared in another program;
  • Picture tools: allow images to be manipulated and the way text flows around them to be controlled;
  • Drawing tools: include standard shapes, arrows, text boxes and other features for drawing and editing diagrams;
  • Tables and borders:a tabulated layout can be specified, either in terms off a simple grid of any size, or by drawing  out precise borderlines; any borderlines can be made invisible on printing or varied in thickness;
  • Columns: multiple columns can be used, with text flowing between  them when edited;
  • Borders/boxes: horizontal lines or boxes  can be placed around particular paragraphs;
  • Insert symbol: characters not on the keyboard can be included;
  • Headers and footers: short pieces of text which appear at the top or bottom of every page for identification;
  • Insert page numbers, date/time: these appear in the same way as headers and footers;
  • Spelling and Grammar check: words are compared with a stored dictionary and any discrepancies are highlighted with suggested corrections; sentence structure is analysed are also indicated;
  • Search/Replace: all occurences in a document of a particular word or phrase can be found and if required, replaced with another particular word or phrase;
  • Thesaurus: suggested synonyms for any word can be found;
  • Word count: counts the number of words in the document or section of document;
  • Reviewing/track changes: amendments and deletions are shown on screen with an indication of when and by whom changes were made by;
  • Annotation: comments can be added to the text by a number of different people without them formatting part of the document;
  • Language: sets the appropriate language for user.


It is important to remember that if you are developing student capabilities that you it involves more than just knowing the technique. Students must be able to make the correct decisions about using the correct techniques for right solutions to the problem.


Learn More: DTP techniques, Presentation techniques, Spreadsheet techniques, Database techniques, Generic software for developing student capabilties