Using Word 2007's Thesaurus (and Other Proofing Tools) - dummies

Using Word 2007’s Thesaurus (and Other Proofing Tools)

By Doug Lowe

One of the nifty Word 2007 features is a built-in thesaurus that can quickly show you synonyms for a word that you type. Using it is easy:

1. Right-click a word that you typed and choose Synonyms from the menu that appears.

A menu listing synonyms for the word appears. (Sometimes Word throws an antonym into the list just to be contrary.)

2. Click the word that you want to replace your word.

Word replaces the original word with your selection.

If you choose Thesaurus from the Synonyms menu, the Thesaurus section of the Research task pane appears with the synonyms listed. You can also summon this task pane by clicking the Thesaurus button in the Proofing group on the Review tab on the Ribbon. The Thesaurus task pane lets you look up words to find even more synonyms.

For example, if you type sometimes in the Search For text box and click the Start Searching button (the arrow pointing to the right in the green square) or press Enter, the results of your search are displayed in the window below. One of your replacement options is on occasion. If you then select on occasion, a whole new list of words is presented. You can keep clicking words to find other synonyms as long as you like, until you’re ready to get back to real work. Use the Back button above the results window to navigate back to a prior results pane. After you’ve gone Back, the Forward arrow becomes available. Use the drop-down lists attached to either button to quickly navigate to a specific results list.

As you mouse over the results list of synonyms, a drop-down button appears to the right of the word, and it allows you to Insert the word into your document, Copy it to the Clipboard, or Look Up the definition. If you want to show results from, say, a French thesaurus, use the drop-down list under the Search For text box to change what resources are used for your search.

Use the Research Options link at the bottom of the Research task pane to open the Research Options dialog box, which allows you to add or remove reference books and online resources by selecting or deselecting their check boxes.

In addition to the Spelling & Grammar button and the Thesaurus button, the Proofing group on the Review tab on the Ribbon contains more buttons to assist you:

  • Research: This opens the Research task pane with the All Reference Books option selected. Simply enter your criteria in the Search For text box. Alternatively, you can highlight the text you’re working with before you click the Research button.
  • Translate: To translate text that you have highlighted or entered into the Search For text box into a specified language. Use the From and To drop-down lists to change the languages.
  • Translation ScreenTip: Deselect the Turn Off Translation Tool Tip by selecting a language for the tip to translate to. Then hover the cursor over a word that you would like translated and wait for the ScreenTip to appear.
  • Set Language: Want to change the language used to check the spelling and grammar of a particular portion of text? Select the text that you want to change the language for and then click this button to open the Language dialog box and do so.
  • Word Count: To find out how many words are in a particular paragraph or sentence of your document, select the text you want counted and click this button. The Word Count dialog box opens to display all the vital statistics.

The status bar shows the total number of words in your document at all times. If you’re solely interested in the number of words in a selection of text and not all the various vitals shown when using the Word Count button, select the text and take a glance at the status bar, which shows you how many words out of the entire document you have selected.