Microsoft Word Fundamentals

Have you ever worked on a Word document that's working fine one minute and then, following a simple copy and paste, it ends up like someone picked it up, threw it into the blender, and hit the fast button for 20 seconds?

I know we've all been there.

Rosa put it quite eloquently...


But when you've got multiple authors collaborating on a proposal for a multi-million contract and you've been tasked to pull it all together...

...and in less than a nanosecond, your clean, well-laid out, and professionally designed Word document transforms into something resembling a 2-year old's scribbled drawing.

What next?

Unfortunately, though your child's artwork might one day adorn a wall in your country's National Art Gallery in years to come, your piece is actually for a 20 million dollar project proposal and your deadline's in 2 days.

But you're not bothered because you saved a copy and...

“Damn! Not again.”

It's a killer, isn't it (and it happens far too often).

What else can you do but slump back in your chair and take stock.

Twenty-million bucks.

The current economy.

The jobs of all those around you at stake.

Once again, it’s down to you—the company's nominated Word expert—to sort it out.

No pressure. No pressure at all.

Why, oh why, Word?

Eventually, when you're ready to crack on, you slowly raise your head and you're not sure whether you're shocked, surprised, or both.

Why is everyone staring at you?

It's then you realise you let out more than intended.

“Errr, I’m pretty sure I can fix it…”

You did before.

Many times because...

With Word, crashes happen way too often.

Unfortunately, you don't exactly know why.

But this time, somehow, it’ll be different, right?

Except it won't, and you know it'll happen again.

You call on all your years of Word experience to try and solve it ... go back through all those Word courses you've done:

Beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

But you don't ever recall a single lesson named,

"What the h*ll do you do when Word goes to rat-sh** for the 47th time?"

Neither do they explain:

  • Exactly why it happened.
  • How to correct it.
  • How to prevent it from happening again?

All the while, your deadline is looming and the urgency and stakes are non-negotiable...

Sound familiar?

Yet, none of this is your fault.

Why is this happening (and what can you do about it)?

The problem with all these Word courses is they mainly focus on function and features.

Function and features are all useful stuff, but when you’re trying to design professional, easy-to-use, and consistent Word designs, it’s not enough.

Function and features help improve our workflow with Word (and Word does have some real crackers) and they help us get to where we want to be.

But the authors of these courses—these "ahem" experts—are missing the key ingredient.

The ingredient that answers the question of why we use Word in the first place. (As opposed to Google Docs, Notepad, Open Office, and all the rest of them.)

The real reason why we use Word is the output it gives us, i.e., the PRESENTATION.

We use Word because we want professional-looking documents.

Whether it’s a school essay, a dissertation, thesis, letter, a report, an invoice, a proposal, a book ... we're after the end look.

Spacing, indents, font colour, font type, font size, border, border colour, weight, table shading, page colour, page border, and all the rest of it is about presentation.

And the way we do this in Word is with styles.

Styles are THE key ingredient, and most important aspect, in Word.

How important?

Styles are like the dough in pizza, the apple in your pie, and the foundations upon which your house is built. 

EVERYTHING in Word has a style

And I mean EVERYTHING...

...text, text boxes, pictures, images, tables, Smart Art—EVERYTHING.

There are only two options:

  1. You learn about styles, how to use them, and then use them.
  2. You don't bother and you continue to let Word do its thing.

(Combining thesestyles not being setup and used correctly and letting Word do its own thingis why your document is messing up all the time.)

The good news is, once you grasp styles, EVERYTHING else in Word becomes EASY


  • Document setup
  • Layout
  • Formatting
  • Design, etc.

Styles underpin everything in Word and understanding and using styles correctly are the key to your success.

Once you start using styles correctly, functions and features 'just' work.

I'll prove it to you...

Go back to the Word courses you've done (or if you haven't got access to them, go to Udemy and search for and pick 5 or so Word courses).

But don't forget to come back here 😉

Look at how much time they devote to teaching you about styles. In total.

One of the better courses had 21 minutes on styles (see the image on the right; I purchased this course for my research and sanity purposes).

However, note how Section 11, More Word Styles Features is in the Intermediate course, and comes after tabs and tables?

In itself, this isn't an issue as section 11 talks mainly about heading styles...

...but heading styles are one of the most powerful and important styles in Word itself, and in all documentation.

Regardless, in my experience, most courses devote around 5 minutes or so.

Given that styles are THE most important aspect of Word... I hope you're seeing the problem.

It's also why:

  • your documents fail and end up looking like a Jackson Pollack design (like the above).
  • you don't know how to fix your Word problems.
  • the problem will happen again (and again and again...).

Again, none of this is your fault.

However, for me, understanding styles and implementing this throughout my career has helped me to solve Word issues for clients and customers for over 2 decades.

The most important aspect of Word gets a whole 21-minutes.

Read what others have said…

"Makes me reconsider what 5 stars means for everyone else I've worked with. Russ recorded videos explaining everything he was doing to help our document and how we could do it ourselves going forward. Teach a mean to fish... Couldn't recommend Russ more highly."
"By far the most skilled contractor with respect to his mastery of Microsoft Word. I also believe his is one of the most understated profiles as well. My experience with Mr. Crowley far exceeded my expectations. Many freelancers claim to be able to assist with a client's problem but he not only quickly addresses the issue but also ensures you understand why and how he applied the solution. I will be coming back to him again in the future with more tasks."
Tim - Review 1st/sample project
Innovatory Consulting
"Amazing freelancer. Russ has forgot more about WORD than I’ll ever be able to learn. He took what could have been an impossible task and made it incredibly successful."
Tim - 2nd review/full project
Innovatory Consulting
"Russ was amazing to work with. From his tailored job application through to completion of this small project, he was absolutely the right man for the job. His technical knowledge and ability (especially with MS Word) was amazing. His attention to detail, speed in his work, and punctual delivery was probably the best I've seen on UpWork. Will definitely be working with him again in the very near future. His rate is well worth every $ Thanks Russ!"
Garry W.
IT Consultant
"I have to agree with one of the testimonials on his profile that says, "Makes me reconsider what 5 stars means for everyone else I've worked with." I've worked with many consultants in my career (both on Upwork and in real life.) I've found that good consultants provide you with the requested deliverable on time and on budget while keeping you informed on progress. Great consultants on the other hand also do this, but teach you something in the process. I actually learned something from Russ in his initial proposal, before I even awarded him the contract. He showed me some problems in the document I provided for quote purposes, that I was not even aware of, which would have plagued me down the road. This also answered some long-standing questions I've had about Word in mind that I could never quite find the answer to. Working with Russ answers once and for all, "what's the difference between working with a professional/specialist vs an amateur/generalist?" As a result of working with him, I have a new way of working with Word. I also now have an asset - a properly structured, beautiful, REUSABLE Word template - in addition to my initial request. And if that's not enough, he provided videos explaining his work and findings that I can refer back to as needed. By using Russ for this project, I feel as if I've made an investment in my project rather than simply conduct a business transaction. I cannot recommend this man highly enough."

Perhaps you noticed some of the language used:

“whizz with Word”

“made an impossible task incredibly successful”

“makes me reconsider what 5-stars means for everyone else I’ve worked with”

“Working with Russ answers once and for all, "what's the difference between working with a professional/specialist vs an amateur/generalist?" ”

This isn’t because of some magical gift that I have …

it’s because I know how Word works.

And Word IS styles.

And that's exactly why I created my Microsoft Word Fundamentals course.

To teach you Word's styles and how to craft professional, easy-to-use, and reliable documents,

Once you learn styles, everything else in Word falls into place.

Who's this course for?

This course is for any level of Word user who wants to:

  • Boost Productivity: Mastering Word allows you to streamline your workflow and save you time and effort on every document.
  • Enhance Professionalism: Creating polished, professional documents that impress colleagues, clients, and employers is the reason we use Word.
  • Master Complex Documents: Learning how to create and manage large/complex documents is only possible with styles.
  • Fully-customizable: Tailoring Word to suit your specific needs is key to making it work harder for, and to benefit, you.
  • Troubleshoot Like a Pro: Obtaining the skills to quickly identify and fix common Word problems reduces everyone’s frustration and downtime.
  • Leverage Automation: Discovering Word’s phenomenal automation tools (and how they tie into the output) will make your life so much easier.
  • Collaborate Effectively: Mastering Word’s track changes, comments, and document sharing features is key for working with multiple stakeholders.
  • Design with Ease: Creating visually appealing is easy once you understand how Word functions including design tools, such as colours, fonts, and themes.
  • Prepare for Certification: Getting a solid foundation in how Word works easily prepares you for any and all Word certification exams.
  • Stay Up-to-Date: Keeping up to date with the latest Word updates is simple, easy, and painless once you understand how Word actually works (so much so that it’s hardly changed in over 2 decades)

That way, if (when?) Word decides to do its own thing, you not only know exactly why it's doing it but also how to fix it

So whether you're an absolute beginner who wants to get to grips with Word, or you're an advanced user who realises something's been missing from your Word-education and training (but haven't quite been able to put your finger on it), this course is for you.

(As far as I'm aware, I'm the only person who goes into styles in such depth.)

Course contents

Check out the course contents (and some of the videos), below, and you’ll see how we go from the very basics of Word:

  • Modules 1 & 2 cover the introduction to Word (module 1's videos are below) and working with documents.
  • Module 3 is creating a new document, page setup, design settings, and the QAT.
  • Module 4 starts to dig into styles: updating an existing style, creating new, and many more.

Through to other, common Word topics, such as:

  • Modules 13 & 14 – working with lists and tables.
  • Module 16 – automated indexes.

And so on.

The way I designed this course is to learn as you do with exercises at the end of the respective lessons, you can apply what you’ve seen me do to your own document with the course asset files. In doing so, you follow along, step-by-step and leave nothing to chance.


Sample videos

A selection of videos from module 1 are below:

01 - Getting Started

As always, a quick intro to the course and let's get right into it.

02 - The Word Interface (Part 1)

It pays to be fully-familiar with the interface and everything within, so here's part 1 (of 2).

03 - The Word Interface (Part 2)

This is the second of two videos looking at Word's interface.

04 - Backstage and Protect Document

Next we'll look at Word's backstage and how we can protect our documents.

Lifetime access

You get lifetime access to the course and instant access to the members area after purchase.

The Members' Area


You get a 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee.

If, for any reason, you go through the entire course in the 30-days after purchase and don't think that I've delivered what I promised, then contact me within the refund period and I'll refund your money. 

Support Desk

If you have questions for me, get in touch via the Contact/assistance button (bottom right).

Many thanks,


I'm happy to help with any Word questions or issues you have.

How come?

Because, when setup correctly, Word is surprisingly easy.

I’ll record a quick video where I not only tell you what the problems with your template are, but I’ll tell you exactly what you need to do to fix them.

Zero obligations

Being crystal-clear and 100% UPFRONT, there is zero obligation here.

Feel free to take the video and the actionable information I provide and do your own thing/fix it in-house, etc. It’s your call. 

But if you do need to enlist my help, feel free to contact me to discuss.

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