The Screen Elements of Microsoft Word

By Luke Arthur

Microsoft Word is one of the most commonly used word processing applications in the industry and it is simple to work with for most users. If you have never used Microsoft Word before, you need to get familiar with some of the on-screen elements that you may come across when you open the program.

Quick Access Toolbar

One of the first on-screen elements that you need to become familiar with is the quick access toolbar. The quick access toolbar is located at the top left of the screen. On the quick access toolbar, you can find some of the common functions that you will need to use on a regular basis. For example, when you need to save a document or start a new one, you can go to the quick access toolbar.


The ribbon is another important on-screen element to become familiar with when working with Microsoft Word. The ribbon is like a toolbar that is broken up into several tabs across the top of the screen. On the ribbon, you can change the formatting of the page, change the font of the text and engage in many more actions. The ribbon displays tabs with Home, Insert, Page Layout, References, Mailings, Review and View written across the top.

Work Area

The work area of the Microsoft Word program is another important on-screen element. The work area is simply the page of the document that you are creating. On the work area, you can type words or you can insert other elements. For example, you can insert photos, clip art, formatted bullets. From within the work area, you can also format the text and make changes to it.

Dialog Box Launcher

When creating a document, you may also need to use the dialog box launcher. With this element you can bring up even more options to customize the document that you are using. When looking at the ribbon, you will notice a button on the lower right-hand corner of many of the tabs. When you click on this button, it brings up several more options for each tab. This way, you can do even more with your documents.