Microsoft Word 2010 is very powerful, but some of the features just get in the way. Here are some setting changes I had to make:
- Hide the Paste Options menu. This would appear every time I pasted, and it would just hover there in front of the text, which made working on that text very difficult. It added no extra benefit over using the Paste Options dropdown from the ribbon (the arrow under Paste).
- Disable the protected view. This effectively creates a security hole. However, if you primarily (or solely) work on files that are delivered over email or over the Internet, then Protected View is one of the largest hassles you will face. To avoid having to disable it every time you open a file, go to File > Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > Protected View (see screenshot) and uncheck as many options as you feel comfortable with.
- Be aware of the "hide ribbon" option in the upper-right. There is a caret ("^") symbol that hides the ribbon. This significantly increases the amount of screen space available for the editing workspace. While it makes formatting tools slightly less accessible, the extra screen real estate is very valuable for those of us who primarily use keystrokes.
- Customize the quick access toolbar. There are inevitably a few commands that you love. Even if they are in the ribbon, you want them to be more accessible. To do this, go to File > Options > Quick Access Toolbar (see screenshot). You can switch to "All Commands" under "Choose commands from" to view everything that is available. Personally, I like to have an extra "Close" option in the upper-left. Others might like save-as, close-all, or others. An extra few minutes can make the following years more efficient.
Most other tweaks are more template- and style-related, but these are some good first steps to shaping Word to your workflow.