The latest version of Microsoft Word Basic Tutorial

Microsoft Word is a word processing application that lets you create a variety of documents, including letters, resumes, and more. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to navigate the Word interface and become familiar with some of its most important features, such as the Ribbon, Quick Access Toolbar, and Backstage View.

Watch the video below to learn the basics of the latest version of Microsoft Word.

About this tutorial

The procedures in this tutorial apply to all recent versions of Microsoft Word, including Word 2019, Word 2016, and Office 365. There may be some minor differences, but for the most part, the versions are similar. However, if you’re using an earlier version, you may want to refer to one of our other Word tutorials.

Word word interface

When you open Word for the first time, the Start screen appears. From here, you’ll be able to create new documents, choose templates, and access your recently edited documents. From the start screen, find and select a blank document to access the Word interface.

Click the buttons in the interactions below to learn more about the Word interface.

Use the Word environment

All recent versions of Word include the Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar, where you can find commands for common tasks in Word, and Backstage view.

Word uses a tabbed ribbon system instead of traditional menus. The Ribbon contains several tabs, which you can find near the top of the Word window.

Show and hide the ribbon
If you find that the ribbon is taking up too much screen space, you can hide it. To do this, click the Ribbon Display Options arrow in the upper-right corner of the ribbon, and select the desired option from the drop-down menu:

hide the ribbon

Auto Hide Ribbon: Auto Hide displays your document in full screen mode and hides the Ribbon completely. To display the Ribbon, click the Expand Ribbon command at the top of the screen.

Show Tabs: This option hides all command groups when not in use, but the tabs will remain visible. To display the ribbon, just click a tab.

Show Tabs and Commands: This option maximizes the ribbon. All tabs and commands will be visible. This option is selected by default when Word is first opened.

To learn how to add custom tabs and commands to the ribbon, check out our extra on customizing the ribbon.

Quick Access Toolbar

The Quick Access Toolbar is located above the Ribbon, giving you access to frequently used commands no matter which tab is selected. By default, it shows Save, Undo, and Redo commands, but you can add other commands as needed.

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