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How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

Microsoft Learning Tools are free tools that implement proven techniques to improve reading and writing for learners regardless of their age or ability.

One goal of an inclusive classroom is to have all students working and collaborating throughout the day as much as possible, which takes planning, tools and creativity.

Robin Lowell, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert

Leverage powerful Learning Tools

Personalize learning with easy to use features that enable learners to improve reading and writing skills.

Improves reading

Enable learners regardless of age or ability with easy to use features that reduce visual crowding, highlight text, break words into syllables, read text aloud, and provide visual references.

Strengthens writing

With features like Dictation and Read Aloud, students can hear their writing read aloud providing them essential feedback to edit their work and clearly communicate their ideas to others.

Optimizes classroom time

Today’s educators are challenged to teach a wide range of abilities. Learning Tools helps them personalize learning allowing them time to focus on what they love, their students.

Introducing the Immersive Reader

Enable students with learning differences such as Dyslexia using text decoding solutions and help build confidence for emerging readers through features like Line Focus and Picture Dictionary.

How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

Picture Dictionary in Immersive Reader

Built into Immersive Reader, Picture Dictionary enables students to view a picture representation of a word they click on. Students can combine with Read Aloud for multi-sensory processing, a technique to aid reading and comprehension.

Struggling 1st grade readers improve with Learning Tools

Find out how one 1st grade teacher leveraged Learning Tools to help her students and save herself time.

Try Immersive Reader with your own reading material

Learning Tools are available in the products you already use

Free and easy to use. Learning Tools are available in Word, Word Online, OneNote, OneNote Online, Outlook Online, and Microsoft Edge.

How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

Get started with Learning Tools in Office 365 for free

It’s not a trial! Students and teachers are eligible for Office 365 Education, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and now Microsoft Teams, plus additional classroom tools.

By Stella | Follow | Last Updated December 01, 2020

Summary :

How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

In Office, the Microsoft Learning Tools can be used to improve your skill of reading now matter you are old or young, skilled or not. However, many of you don’t know how to use it. Thus, it is quite necessary to make a guide to show you how to use Learning Tools in Microsoft Word.

What Is Microsoft Learning Tools?

Do you know the Learning Tools in Microsoft Office?

Indeed, it is a set of features which is available in Word. It can help you to improve the reading skills anytime.

When you are using an Office 365 subscription or Office 2019, you can follow this guide to use Microsoft Learning Tools.

How to Use Microsoft Learning Tools in Word

Firstly, you need to open Learning Tools in Word:

To open it, you need to open Word. Then click on View tab and Learning Tools button successively.

Then, you will see some features on the tool bar like Column Width, Page Color, Text Spacing, Syllables, and Read Aloud.

All of these options can be used to improve your reading, spelling, and comprehension skills.

In the next content, we will introduce them one by one.

Column Width

You can use this option to decide the width of the text lines which can determine how your eyes see the content.

Here, you can choose Very Narrow, Narrow, Moderate, and Wide according to your own needs.

How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

Mac OS is good, but how do you retrieve lost Word files on Mac when your Word documents disappear? This article will help you with it.

Page Color

This option can make you to change the background color which can suit your eyes in the best way, and thus decrease eye strain while reading the content in Word. There are three choices for you: None, Sepia, and Inverse.

Text spacing

With this option, you can add wider space between characters and words. This can improve your reading fluency.

Syllables

Through this option, you are able to divide the words into syllables which can assist you to improve many skills like reading, spelling and word pronunciation.

Read Aloud

You can click on this button to bring up a set of media controls with which you can hear the words loudly.

Just choose the text you want to hear and click on Play button. Besides, you can press the Previous and Next button to return to the previous or next paragraph you have selected.

To control the reading speed and voice accordingly, you can press the Speaker button to make a selection.

If you make full use of these learning tools, you reading and spelling skills will be improved largely.

By the way, most of you must use Word to deal with your work. There must be some important information in it. For example, you use it to create documents like letters, brochures, learning activities, tests, quizzes and students’ homework assignments.

Obviously, so many important data is saved on your computer hard drive or removable drive as Word. However, you may lose them accidently. To make word document recovery, you can use try a file recovery tool. MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a good choice.

This software can be used to recover different kinds of files from internal hard drive, external hard drive, USB flash drive, memory card, SD card, CD/DVD disks, and more. Just use the trial edition of this software to have a try if you want to recover your lost word documents.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

Position: Columnist

Stella has been working in MiniTool Software as an English Editor for more than 4 years. Her articles mainly cover the fields of data recovery including storage media data recovery and phone data recovery, YouTube videos download, partition management, and video conversions.

Microsoft Learning Tools are free tools that implement proven techniques to improve reading and writing for learners regardless of their age or ability.

One goal of an inclusive classroom is to have all students working and collaborating throughout the day as much as possible, which takes planning, tools and creativity.

Robin Lowell, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert

Leverage powerful Learning Tools

Personalize learning with easy to use features that enable learners to improve reading and writing skills.

Improves reading

Enable learners regardless of age or ability with easy to use features that reduce visual crowding, highlight text, break words into syllables, read text aloud, and provide visual references.

Strengthens writing

With features like Dictation and Read Aloud, students can hear their writing read aloud providing them essential feedback to edit their work and clearly communicate their ideas to others.

Optimizes classroom time

Today’s educators are challenged to teach a wide range of abilities. Learning Tools helps them personalize learning allowing them time to focus on what they love, their students.

Introducing the Immersive Reader

Enable students with learning differences such as Dyslexia using text decoding solutions and help build confidence for emerging readers through features like Line Focus and Picture Dictionary.

How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

Picture Dictionary in Immersive Reader

Built into Immersive Reader, Picture Dictionary enables students to view a picture representation of a word they click on. Students can combine with Read Aloud for multi-sensory processing, a technique to aid reading and comprehension.

Struggling 1st grade readers improve with Learning Tools

Find out how one 1st grade teacher leveraged Learning Tools to help her students and save herself time.

Try Immersive Reader with your own reading material

Learning Tools are available in the products you already use

Free and easy to use. Learning Tools are available in Word, Word Online, OneNote, OneNote Online, Outlook Online, and Microsoft Edge.

How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

Get started with Learning Tools in Office 365 for free

It’s not a trial! Students and teachers are eligible for Office 365 Education, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and now Microsoft Teams, plus additional classroom tools.

Learning Tools in Word 2016 are intended to help you improve your reading skills by boosting your ability to pronounce words correctly, to read quickly and accurately, and to understand what you read.

Learning Tools are hidden on the View tab:

How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

Clicking on it opens up the Learning Tools tab, which offers a few commands you might not have seen before:

Note, first of all, the big red cross at the right of the tab, used for closing Learning Tools.

Each command is self explanatory, but we’ll explore each one briefly anyway:

  • Column Width – lines of text with a high number of words can be difficult to read, so reducing the column width with this command can help you focus on the word you are currently trying to read.
  • Page Colour – you can choose a page colour of none (no change), sepia (pale yellow page with a print feel) or inverse (white text on a black background). I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t detest reading white text on a black background, but knock yourself out if you are one of the few. If you are trying to improve your reading skills, why not stick needles in your eyes to make it even harder?
  • Text Spacing – increases the spacing between words, characters, and lines. This can help you to scan text more easily. The command works as a toggle so click the button again to return to the original spacing.
  • Syllables – breaks up the syllables in a word by placing a dot between each one.
  • Read Aloud – if you like to listen to a stilted, mechanical voice reading your document aloud, Read Aloud is the command for you. Naturally, the first task is to see whether Word 2016 will read swear words aloud. It does!

How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

To close down Learning Tools (you probably should never have opened them in the first place), click on the big red ‘X’.

If you were trying to improve your reading, you probably would not choose to do it in Microsoft Word. Similarly, I doubt that the urge to improve your reading skills would ever overcome you while you were frantically trying to digest a Word document for work.

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How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

Based on researches, Microsoft knows that reading requires the following three abilities:

So, what has Microsoft done for all its users? They have built Learning Tools that will help all the users develop and enhance the above abilities. For us to find out how the Learning Tools work in Microsoft Word 365 , all you have to do is to continue reading.

First, we must use the Read Mode View in order to use the Learning Tools in Microsoft Word 365 . To use the Read Mode View , we can either select the View tab and from the area of the ribbon named Views , we select the Read Mode command as shown in the image below.

The next way to use the Read Mode View , is to select the first icon at the bottom right corner of the Microsoft Word window which is named Read Mode as shown in the image below.

Once we are in Read Mode , we select the View command as shown below, and then from the drop down menu that appears we select the command Syllables . By using this command we Show The Breaks Between Syllables in our Document .

How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

In the image below, I have selected the Syllables command, and now in our Document we can see the Syllables . By showing syllabification of words in our content, it helps word recognition and pronunciation.

How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

In the image below, I have selected once in Read Mode View , the View command and from the drop down menu that appears I have selected the command Text Spacing . Straight away, the Text Spacing increases spacing between words, characters and lines in our Document . By using the Text Spacing feature, it optimizes font spacing in a narrow column view, which improves reading fluency for users who suffer from visual crowding issues.

How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

In the image below, I have selected once in Read Mode View , the View command and from the drop down menu that appears I have selected the command Read Aloud . Immediately, the text is read out loud and each word is highlighted as it is being read. We can notice in the top right corner of our Word Document the Previous, Pause, Next, Settings and Close button . By using the Read Aloud feature, it helps us improve decoding, fluency and comprehension while sustaining focus and attention.

How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

A very useful feature, which will help everyone improve decoding a document, understanding one and comprehending with it.

Below you can check out the video describing How To Use The Learning Tools in Microsoft Word 365 .

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Think you know everything about Microsoft Word? Here are some hidden tricks and time-saving hacks you need to know about Redmond’s word-processing app.

Microsoft Word is the most ubiquitous word-processing program on the market; it’s intuitive even for the most technologically illiterate computer users and is backed by the powerful Microsoft Office suite.

Nudged by cloud-based programs like Google Docs, Word has evolved over the years with online subscriptions that offer access on multiple devices, as well as a free, cloud-based version of Word. But despite the competition, Microsoft’s software remains the go-to tool for producing important docs. And why not? It’s dependable, customizable, and has lots of baked-in functionality you may not have tried yet. Read on for some semi-hidden treats only power users know.

Determine Your Readability Statistics

Word has the power to not only judge your grammar and spelling, but also your writing’s complexity. For example, does your writing meet the comprehension level of someone pursuing a post-grad degree, or someone still learning their shapes and colors?

Word uses lingual tests such as the Flesch Reading Ease test, which calculates a score on a 100-point scale. The higher a number, the easier it is to understand. Office’s own documentation suggests you want a score between 60 and 70.

Additionally, Word will run a similar lingual test, the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test, which will tell you what US grade level a text is written for; most docs should aim for between 7.0 and 8.0, Microsoft says.

In order to use this feature, you will first have to turn it on by navigating to File > Options > Proofing. Then select Show readability statistics under spelling and grammar. Now when you ask Word to run a spellcheck, it will also generate your document’s readability statistics.

Highlight a Square Field of Text

Generate Random Text

If you need to add Lorem Ipsum into your document as a placeholder, Word has you covered. Just type: =lorem(p,l) and replace the “p” with the number of paragraphs you want, and replace the “l” with the number of sentences you need. You can also just include one number in the parentheses and it will create that many paragraphs. When ready, place the cursor at the end of the equation and hit Enter to generate your text.

You can also use random Office documentation gobbledygook as the source material for your place filler. Use the equation =rand(p,l) instead.

Add a Calculator to Word

Word has a built-in calculator that can help you solve equations right in your document. First, add it to the Word menu by navigating to File > Options > Quick Access Toolbar and selecting All Commands from the drop-down menu. Locate Calculate, and click Add to move it to the Quick Access Toolbar column. Click OK to return to your document.

You will notice that a small gray circle has been added to the top of your Word document. Now you can type math equations, and if you highlight them, that icon will change color. Press the icon and Word will calculate the answer.

How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

In Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft added a set of learning tools that help you in reading fluency and comprehension. These tools are designed to remove the distraction while reading any Word document. By using these learning tools, you can add spacing to enhance text visualization, change the color of the background to improve the letters visibility, split words into syllables and highlight part of the speech. Moreover, you may also use the narration feature to hear the text as each word is highlighted. If you are using Microsoft Word on your Windows 10 and want to use these learning tools, here we will provide you a step by step guide that helps you to use these tools.

To use a set of learning tools available in Microsoft Word, follow the below given steps:

Note: This feature is available only for Office 365 users.

  • Open “Word” on your Windows 10 PC.
  • Select the “View” tab and click on the the “Learning Tools.”

  • After clicking on the “Learning Tools” button, you will get a new tab that contains options including “Column Width,” “Page Color,” “Text Spacing,” “Syllables,” and “Read Aloud.”
  • Column Width: With this tool, you may control the width of text lines to improve reading focus and comprehension. You may also select one of the available options: Very Narrow, Narrow, Moderate and Wide.
  • Page Color: With this tool, you may change the text color and scan it with less eyes strain. You may also select one of the available options: None, Sepia and Inverse.

How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

  • Text spacing: With this tool, you may increase the spacing between words, characters, and lines to improve reading fluency.
  • Syllables: This tool helps you to break down words to improve word recognition, spelling skills and pronunciation.
  • Read Aloud: By using the “Read Aloud” tool, you may use a set of media controls to hear your document as each word is highlighted. To hear text aloud, select the text and click the “Play” button in the top-right corner.

How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

Moreover, you may also use the “Previous” and “Next” button to switch back to the previous or next paragraph that you selected. Click on the “Speaker” button that helps you to control the reading speed and the voice selection. Following are some keyboard shortcuts for Read Aloud:

  • Press Ctrl+Alt+Space to start or exit Read Aloud.
  • Press Ctrl+Space to pause or play Read Aloud.
  • Press Alt+Right to speed up your reading speed.
  • Press Alt+Left to slow down your reading speed.
  • Press Ctrl+Right to read the previous paragraph.
  • Press Ctrl+Left to read the next paragraph.

When it comes to word processing, Microsoft Word is the gold standard. As part of the Microsoft Office productivity suite, more than one billion computer users rely on the program every day. That’s nearly one in seven people on the entire planet — an impressive number unmatched in the technology industry.

Even though so many consumers use Microsoft Word, not everyone knows how to maximize the capabilities of the program. Word is packed with a multitude of features that can help make the creation of documents, reports, and text files easier. And when your day-to-day work becomes easier, you become more productive and more efficient — which should be the ultimate goal of any piece of software.

Below are 10 of our favorite shortcuts, tips, tricks, and timesavers to supercharge your use of Microsoft Word. (Most of these suggestions work with all versions of Word, but some are exclusive to newer versions like Word 2013, 2016, or 2016 for Mac.) Try a few out today and let us know what works for you…

1. Copy, paste, and cut with keyboard shortcuts.

Ask anyone who knows these shortcuts — Ctrl + C to copy, Ctrl + V to paste, and Ctrl + X to cut — and they will testify to their critical timesaving nature. Master these three basic commands first and you’ll find yourself zooming through document creation at surprising speeds.

2. Quickly zoom in or out to save eye strain.

Some people like to work in a Word window zoomed in to 150%, while others like to eliminate the need to scroll left and right or up and down by zooming out to 75% to see a document in its entirety. Either way, use the Window > Zoom button to choose the setting that works best for you — or look for the “100%” tab with a slider at bottom right of the document to easily zoom in or out.

3. Delete entire words at a time.

This is an easy one you may not know about: instead of slowly pecking at the keyboard to delete text, or holding down Backspace to eliminate words or entire sentences, press Ctrl+Backspace with the cursor placed after a word you want to erase a word at a time, making a tedious task much easier.

4. Use Smart Lookup to search the Internet.

Anytime you highlight a word or phrase and right-click it, you’ll see “Smart Lookup,” which serves as a quick shortcut to browse the web — without slowing down to open a separate browser window. From word definitions to news scans, this powerful tool can transform a simple question into a wealth of knowledge.

5. Remove unwanted formatting.

Trying to turn a document from an external source into something that works for you? Strange formatting can slow you down, so instead of trying to fix one thing at a time, press Ctrl + Space or click the Clear All Formatting button (in newer versions, an eraser on an A on the Home tab) to remove formatting from highlighted text and start fresh with your own style.

6. Tell the program exactly what you want to do.

Most newer versions of Word include a handy “Tell me what you want to do” field at the top of the toolbar. Insert a word or phrase pertaining to any instruction and the program can quickly identify the command you’re looking for.

7. Use multiple clicks to select chunks of copy.

Rather than employing the tedious drag and highlight method, you can use your mouse to select chunks of copy: double-click over a word to highlight it or triple-click to highlight an entire sentence or section.

8. Quickly insert links into a document.

Similar to the copy / paste / cut commands, learning the keyboard shortcut for adding web links to a document — Ctrl + K — will save lots of time and quickly become one of the sharpest tools in your kit.

9. Select the default font you want, not the default font Word wants you to use.

Don’t like Calibri or Cambria? Prefer Arial to Times New Roman, or like the modern nature of Verdana? The best part about Microsoft Word is you can choose the default font — this command differs by version, but the most reliable way is to click Format > Font, select the attributes you want, and then click Default.

10. Find any word you want quickly and easily.

Instead of using your mouse to navigate to the Find command, click Ctrl + F to either open the window in older versions of Word, or move the cursor automatically to the Search in Document menu that always appears in the toolbar in newer versions.

BONUS TIP: Click the drop-down arrow on the Find menu’s magnifying glass and click Replace to automatically replace a certain word or phrase with a different word or phrase you specify.

No matter what your level of proficiency with Microsoft Word, we could all use a boost to make our use of the program more productive and efficient. Curious about how the Office productivity suite can have an impact on your day-to-day operations? Wondering about whether it’s time to upgrade your version of Word? Have other tips and tricks that have revolutionized your use of the program? Contact CMIT Solutions today.

Have you seen the new Learning Tools from Microsoft? The team at Microsoft has developed a set of inclusive capabilities in Office and Windows to support all learners. Free for all users, the Microsoft Learning Tools will transform the way you think about using digital tools to create inclusive spaces for students.

I spend a lot of time in classrooms and talking with educators who are passionate about leveraging the power of digital tools. Earlier this year I connected with the team at Microsoft to get a firsthand look at their Learning Tools. These totally free tools are designed to support students with a variety of needs. This includes dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, ELL, emerging readers.

In my book, Taming the Wild Text: Literacy Strategies for Today’s Reader, co-authored with Pam Allyn, we talk about the importance of using digital tools strategically in the classroom. Learners of all ages can benefit from increased access to technology. The Microsoft Learning Tools are a great example of how technology can transform reading and learning experiences for students.

Immersive Reader

If you haven’t seen the Immersive Reader from Microsoft, you are going to want to try this out! I was completely blown away by the ease and power of this tool. It is totally free and is an absolute game changer for students. You can use Immerisve Reader on the web on any browser and access it on an iPad, Mac, Chromebook, you name it! It’s also available on OneNote, Outlook and Word Desktop. With Immersive Reader, students and teachers can take any passage of text and set up students so they can hear it read aloud.

As you can see in the screenshot below, Immersive Reader is more than just a tool to hear text read aloud. With this tool, students can highlight different parts of speech and increase the spacing to make it easier for them to read or listen to the passage read aloud. Immerisve Reader gives students the option to change the size of the text, switch the font and choose a theme. When students choose a theme, they are able to pick from a series of different colors. In Immersive Reader, students also have the option to break down syllables and access a Picture Dictionary.

How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

As you can see in the image above, Immersive Reader helps students navigate text as it reads each line. You can copy and paste any text, or use this tool in conjunction with the Microsoft Edge web browser or other files like ePub or PDF. It also works in Office Lens for iPad/iPhone which you can check out here. In addition to using Immersive Reader in English, Microsoft Learning Tools are available in many different languages. You can view an entire list of available tools in each language on this page.

Microsoft Learning Tools in Action

Microsoft Learning Tools are transformative in the hands of students. In the video below (and linked here) you can see students interacting with the Immersive Reader. Students can get instant support as they read and build confidence as they interact with the new text.

In addition to the Learning Tools highlighted in the video, there are a handful of other powerful features you’ll want to explore. Dictation, word prediction, and Microsoft Translator are game changers!

Dictation

In addition to the fantastic Immersive Reader, both Office 365 and Windows 10 now have built-in dictation (speech to text). So when teachers or students open up these tools, they have the option to use their voice to dictate into their device. Office 365 and Windows 10 will turn speech into text. With this tool, a student who may have difficulty typing a response with a keyboard or completing a traditional piece of writing can use the dictation feature to capture and share their learning.

Word Prediction

Windows 10 also has built-in Word Prediction. Known as “Text Suggestions,” this feature will predict the next word a student will add to their sentence so they can add it to their writing. Word Prediction is a new feature so you might not see it on your device. All you have to do is update to the Windows 10 April 2018 update.

How to use microsoft word’s learning tools

Microsoft Translator

Between the powerful immersive reader, the speech-to-text feature, and the ability to see word predictions as you write, there are so many exciting things happening within the Microsoft ecosystem for educators. If you are working with students and family who speak another language, including English Language Learners and families who are deaf or hard of hearing, there is one more feature to you’ll want to investigate!

In the video above, you can see Microsoft Translator in action. This feature makes it easier for all members of a school community to interact with one another. Microsoft Translator gives users access to live captioning and facilitates cross-language understanding. It can support multilingual casual conversations among students, educators and families.

Ready to jump into these powerful Microsoft Learning Tools? Click here to access the Microsoft Education page or use the links above to learn more about each feature!

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