7 Microsoft Word Tips for Mac Users

Are you looking to make the most of Word on your Mac?

Microsoft Word is a program most of us will be familiar with on Windows, but it’s not native to MacBooks. If you install Microsoft Word for Mac, it can take a little bit of getting used to. You might struggle to find your way around the Word program you know and love.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Read on for our 7 top Microsoft Word tips and tricks for Mac.

  1. Recover an Unsaved Word Document

You may soon notice that your Mac doesn’t play nice when it comes to unsaved document retrieval in Word. Microsoft Word is a third-party app, so there is no automatic save setting to the iCloud.

Your unsaved Word documents aren’t lost forever though with Mac. There is a good chance that rather than losing the document, you ended up discarding it. So, here is how to retrieve your Word document from the trash:

  1. Right-click your Trash icon on the Mac’s dock
  2. Click Open
  3. With the trash folder open in Finder search for your document
  4. Click Put Back or drag and drop the file to your desktop or another folder in Finder
  5. Find the Word document where you moved it to

Your Word document will be back safe and sound. You’ll be able to edit, rename or do whatever else you need to with ease. That’s only one way though, you can find more here at

  1. Edit the Image Paste Preference

Sometimes you’ll need to paste a picture into your Word document. There are different paste options that you’ll need depending on the use of the picture.

You might need to paste it as a square, or behind the text, things like that. Microsoft makes it easy as it comes with some of these options, or lets you change the default settings.

First, open Microsoft Word and click Word > Preferences > Edit. You’ll see the option that says Insert/Paste Picture As. Clicking that will bring up a drop-down menu showing the following:

  • In line with text
  • Tight
  • Square
  • In front of text
  • Behind text
  • Through
  • Top and Bottom

All you need to do is pick the one you want, that’s it! If you save it as default it’ll apply every time you paste an image. Or you can do one image at a time.

  1. Save As Template/PDF

Say you’ve made a document and you need to make others like it. There is a way to avoid making all those changes each document at a time, you can make it a template. After that, you’d only need to make minor changes.

You might also need to save your Word document as a PDF, the most secure file format you can use. Both of these tasks are an easy two-step process.

For templates, first, make sure your document is ready to go, then click File > Save As > Template. Once you do that, you only need to choose the location and name of the file, then it’s done.

For PDFs, click File > Save As. Then select PDF as the file format from the drop-down menu. Give your file a name and location then you’re all done.

  1. Replace Cmd+V for the “Paste Special” Shortcut

This is one of our most useful tips for using Microsoft Word. Using Cmd + C/ Cmd + V or the mouse-click methods of copy and pasting, you’ll take the original font, size, and color. This can be annoying if your text is different in your Word document.

If you press Cmd + Ctrl + V, you’ll see options to decide what type of paste you want. Unformatted Text gives plan text. This is perfect if you’re pasted from a web page that has links in the text if you don’t want to keep them.

If you do want to keep the links, click Paste and Match Formatting. Using Cmd + Ctrl + V gives you more control over how you paste text to fit in with your existing Word document.

  1. Master Find and Replace

Most of you will know that Find and Replace will apply edits made to a Word document. For example, a word that’s misspelled over and over again. But there are a few more things Find and Replace can do for Mac users.

  1. If you have too many extra line spaces enter ^p^p in the Find field. Then type ^p in the Replace field which will edit out the extra line spaces.
  2. If you enter a wrong digit in a long document, you don’t have to scroll through the entire thing. Type ^? and you’ll scroll through all the digits in the text.
  3. When you’re collaborating with another user, ^a will navigate all comments added.
  1. View Styles

You can do this in two ways on a Macbook. The easy way is to open Styles Pane with the button on the right of the Home bar. At the bottom, click the box to show the style guide.

Each style will get a random number and color assigned. These labels appear in the margin on the left beside each paragraph the uses the style. To see style names instead, open the Preferences window from your main menu.

Click on View and press the option for style area width. Increase this width to around an inch at least and close the window. Use your View bar to change it into Draft. Each paragraph should now have the names listed next to them. If you want to return to the standard layout, press Print Layout.

  1. See All Word Symbols

When you use spaces or hit enter, you will see a blank space, but that doesn’t mean it’s empty. There are symbols and characters all over your Word document and you won’t even see them. If you do want to see them, go to File > Options > Display >Always Show These Formatting Marks on the Screen.

Microsoft Word Tips for Mac You Won’t Want to Miss

So, there you have it! Now you know these Microsoft Word tips for Mac, you’ll be well on the way to making the most of your program.

It’ll take some getting used to if you’ve moved over from Windows to Mac, but your beloved Word is still available. With a bit of practice and exploring the settings, you’ll have it up and running in no time.

If you enjoyed this article, check out our other blog posts today!


Hemant Kumar
Hemant Kumar is a project manager at Tridindia with more than nine years of commendable experience in writing about LMS, translation, and IT. His unmatched talent and passion for digital marketing gave him the opportunity to work as a multi-tasking project manager at TridIndia’s sister company, Link Building Corp. Today, he contributes to the world by imparting knowledge on SEO, link building and internet marketing etc., that helps business owners grow their online business.