8 – Word

UP 4 PLACES IN 2022

Microsoft Word is a popular and versatile word processing tool used for creating all kinds of documents.

Website: microsoft.com/word
Cost: Commercial. Free Trial
Availability: Download. Online at Office365

Rankings in the previous surveys: 

2021: 12 2020: 6 2019: 7 2018: 7 2017: 6 2016: 16 2015: 30 2014: 17
2013: 17 2012: 19 2011:  42 2010: 60 2009: 36 2008: 22 2007: 10

Comments on Word in 2022

“I use it all the time for writing, good structured outline features, content importable directly into Moodle.” Eoin Campbell, Learning Technologist, Ireland

“I don’t blog, but I do write out my own notes, and reflections on what I read, using Word.” Peter Forrest, Senior Learning Consultant, UK

“i develop interactive, text-heavy documents for multiple teaching & communication purposes using Word. It’s my default when I do not have the bandwidth to learn another app.” Karen Caldwell, University educator and consultant, Canada

Previous comments on Word

“I do not think that I have ever listed Word as one of my top tools … even though I have used Word for the past two decades (WordPerfect before that!).  But in reflecting on my work this past year, much of that work involved mentoring doctoral students on their dissertations … and that meant lots of back and forth editing in Word documents.” Britt Watwood, Academic, Canada, 2021

“Yes, not totally pleased about the provider, but I have yet to find a tool with better industrial strength outlining. And, well, I’ve been using it since around 1989, so…there’s some familiarity…” Clark Quinn, Author and Consultant, USA, 2021

“I use Word to collect training notes and ideas that I am not yet ready to collate into a polished presentation. I also use Word to organize the weekly micro-learnings that I send out to my colleagues.” Quality Assurance and Training Administrator, USA, 2021

“easy to create lesson plan and worksheets for students” Caroline, teacher, Malaysia, 2021

“I am constantly using Word to track what I am doing, write reports, formulate my thoughts, design course materials, document references – I am amazed at how it continues to evolve and meets all my needs. It seems only limited by how much time I can spend learning about what else it can do but, even so, it’s very intuitive to use.” Aaron Johannes, Instructor / Consultant / Researcher, Canada, 2020

“I’ve been using Word for years, so I’m familiar with most of its features. I use it to take notes, gather ideas, and write elearning module scripts. Of course, I use it to write letters and produce other formal documents as well.” Training Manager, Switzerland, 2020

“use it for making documents such as handouts, assessments, promotional material” Steve, Teacher, Australia, 2020

“Ease of use, familiar, easy review of content and sharing as most users also have this program. Now supported in Dropbox too.” Tracie Regan, Instructional Designer, Australia, 2020

“Flexible word processing. Great for reflection and for organizing information.” Elaine Carr, Instructional Design Manager, USA, 2020

“Writing is arguably the top way I reflect. And, so that’d put Microsoft Word at the top of my list. That’s where I write books and articles first … Writing is a way to sort out how I think about things.” Clark Quinn, USA

“Rapid development of complex documents (table of contents, list of references, great templates) Plus, easy to ensure document is fully 508 compliant and available for everyone to access.” Penny Pearson, Coordinator, USA, 2020

“When it comes to producing stuff (i.e. resources), I now believe in keeping things as simple as possible; I don’t over-engineer content. I find that I can quickly create effective content using basic tools like Word and PowerPoint. At the end of the day, the people I create the content for are adults and don’t need trivial or gratuitous “bells and whistles” to be encouraged to read the stuff – they just want the content.” Jane Hart, 2020

Quick Guide to Word 

Here you will find some links to some guidance and links that look at how to use Word for teaching, training, learning and development.

Many individuals make use of Word as a writing tool for personal and professional purposes, for drafting blog posts as well as for thesis writing.

In education it is a very popular tool for creating lesson plans, student guides, worksheets and handouts.

In the workplace it is a useful tool to short job aids (checklists, quick reference guides, etc), simple training materials (like worksheets) as well as more complex (multi-page) instruction manuals.

To design attractive worksheets and other similar documents, the layout of the worksheet will benefit from the use of tables.

A checklist that consists of a list of items that can be checked off as an individual works through a task might be created using a table, or through the use of checkboxes.

  • Here’s how to make a checklist in Word (with checkboxes)
  • Here’s a video that shows you how to add checkboxes in Word.

Basic quick reference guides (QRGs) don’t require a lot of word processing expertise, but more complex QRGs make use of images, screen grabs and annotations like arrows, circles and text books.

  • This video shows you how to use Word to layout a quick reference guide in a logical simple way so that people find it useful

Similarly booklets are short documents with diagrams etc – see How to make a booklet in Word or Publisher

Training manuals (or user manuals) are longer, more complex multi-page documents than can benefit from Word’s more sophisticated features.

Further resources


Last updated: August 27, 2022 at 16:20 pm

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