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Microsoft Word 2003
is the word processing application in the Microsoft Office Suite. Create professional-looking, formatted text documents with this powerful Word processing software.

By the end of this lesson, learners should be able to:

  • Identify the parts of the Word 2003 Window
  • Change the document view
  • Operate the drop-down menus
  • Identify the Task Pane

The Basics of the Word Window

Let's briefly review the basic parts of the Word 2003 window before we move onto word processing.

Shown below is the Microsoft Word default window. When Word is launched, a new blank document, or default window, opens in Print Layout view. Although window elements are fully explained in our Windows course, here is a brief explanation of the Word window.

Word 03 Window

Title Bar

Displays the document name followed by a program name.

Menu Bar

Contains a list of options to manage and customize documents.

Standard Toolbar

Contains shortcut buttons for the most popular commands.

Formatting Toolbar

Contains buttons used for formatting.


Used to set margins, indents, and tabs.

Insertion Point

The location where the next character appears.

End-of-Document Marker

Indicates the end of the document.


Provides quick access to Help topics.

Scroll bars

Used to view parts of the document.

Status Bar

Displays position of the insertion point and working mode buttons.

Task Pane

Provides easy access to commonly used menus, buttons and tools.

View Buttons

Changes the layout view of the document to Normal View, Web Layout View, Reading Layout View, Print Layout View, or Outline View.

Office Assistant

Links to the Microsoft Office Help feature.


Changing your Document View:

  • Click View on the menu bar.
  • Select the view of your choice.

    Change View Menu

  • Click one of the five buttons at the bottom left of your Word window
    (View Full Screen is not available in this location).

    Change of View Buttons 
Pull-Down Menus

Pull-Down Menus

Pull-Down Menus

Each Office 2003 program features a menu bar. The menu bar is made up of many different menus. Each menu contains commands that enable you to work within the program.

If you have used a previous version of Microsoft Word, you may notice the menu bar in Word 2003 operates a little differently than before.

Word 2003 uses pull-down menus that initially display commands that users most often need.

Operating the new Pull-Down Menus

To Open a Menu:

  • Click on a menu name on the menu bar.
  • View the commands listed under the pull-down menu.
  • With the menu open, drag the mouse pointer to a command and click on it to select the command. (As you drag your mouse pointer over the commands, each command is highlighted in blue.)

    Save Command
  • If there is a small black triangle next to a command, hover the mouse pointer over the command with the triangle and a cascading menu with additional options will appear. Point and click to make a selection from the cascading menu.

    Cascading Menu
  • Commands that are not used often in 2003 are initially hidden from the viewer. If you do not see all the commands on a menu, click on the double arrows at the bottom of the pull-down menu. You can also double-click the menu to expand it.

    Double Arrows on Pull Down Menu

Using the Task Pane

When opened, the task pane will appear on the right side of the Word window. The task pane provides easy access to commonly used menus, buttons and tools. By default, the Task Pane will appear when Word 2003 is first launched.

If you do not see your task pane, you can view it by either selecting certain commands or by manually opening it.

To Open the Task Pane:

  • Click on View in the menu bar.
  • Select Task Pane.

    View Task Pane

Along the top bar of the task pane you should see small backwards and forwards buttons on the left as well as a down arrow on the right. To view different task panes available to you, click on the down arrow. Once you have opened different task panes, you can navigate through them by clicking on the left and right arrow button on the left. To close your task pane, click the x symbol on the far right of the bar.

Task Pane Arrows       Other Task Panes

Change in View

In an effort to provide various ways in which to view your work in progress and remain organized, Word 2003 offers six different views for your document. The six views are Normal View, Web Layout View, Reading Layout View, Print Layout View, Outline View, and Full Screen View.

Normal view is best used for typing, editing, formatting and proofreading. It provides a maximum amount of space without rulers or page numbers cluttering your view.

Web Layout view shows you what your text will look like on a web page.

Reading Layout view is best for documents that you do not need to edit. The goal of this view is to increase legibility so that the user can read the document easily.

Print Layout view shows you what your document will look like when it is printed. Under Print Layout view you can see all elements of the page. Print Preview shows you this as well.

Outline view is used to create and edit outlines. Outline view only shows the headings in a document. This view is particularly handy when making notes.

Full Screen view displays ONLY the document that you are working on. All the other pieces of the Word window are removed except for one button that allows you to Close View Screen.


  • Link and copy thetext to MS Word prog.on your computer from  Personal Letter Word document to complete challenges 1 through 6. Need help? How to Do this.
  • After you've done that to the  the document, change the view to Normal View.
  • Practice using the pull-down menus on the menu bar.
  • Find the Task Pane and become familiar with it.
  • Type today's date at the beginning of the document.
  • Save the document by selecting File >> Save from the main menu.
  • Close the document.

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