Step-by-Step Guide: Microsoft for Beginners


Microsoft Word is a widely used word-processing program[1] that allows users to create and edit documents efficiently. This step-by-step guide will walk you through creating an MS Word document[2], providing references for adding images and citations.

Step 1: Launching Microsoft Word

Open Microsoft Word by clicking on its icon or searching for "Microsoft Word" in the Start menu of your PC.

Step 2: Creating a New Document

By default, Microsoft Word opens a new document once it opens. If you wish to create a new document whilst working, click on “File”. Select "Blank document" then “Create” to create a new document or select a template from the displayed options, as shown in Figure 1 below. Alternatively, press Ctrl + N on your keyboard to create a new document.

Step 3: Document Setup

Word opens each new blank document with a standard page size and layout by default. However, you can customize these settings by going to the "Page Layout" tab in the ribbon, selecting “Page Setup,” and choosing from various customizable options such as paper, layout, margins, and orientation, as shown in Figure 1.

Fig 1 Document Set-up - Margins. Source: How To Geek. 2019. Retrieved on June 24, 2023 from (Page Set-Up

Step 4: Adding Text

Click on the area where you want to add text within the document.

Begin typing to enter your desired text. You can format the text using the font formatting options in the "Home" tab of the ribbon, such as font style, size, alignment, and more as shown in Figure 2.

Fig 2 Tabs Ribbon in MS Word. Source:Microsft Word FAQS on ADD BAlance, C. Kenyon. 2023. Retrieved on June 24, 2023 from (The Ribbons of Microsoft Word 2007-2019)

Step 5: Inserting Images

Place the cursor in the document where you want to insert an image.

Go to the "Insert" tab in the ribbon, as seen in Figure 3, and click on the "Pictures" button.

Locate the image file on your computer and, select it, then click "Insert." The image will appear in your document.

To resize or move the image, click and drag the corners or edges of the image.

Step 6: Adding Citations

Click at the end of the sentence or word where you want to add a citation.

Go to the "References" tab in the ribbon, as seen in Figure 3, and click on the "Insert Citation" button.

Select the appropriate citation style, such as APA or MLA, and choose the type of source you want to cite (e.g., book, website, journal article).

Fill in the required fields in the citation dialog box, including author(s), title, publication date, etc.

Click "OK" to insert the citation into your document. The citation will appear as a superscript number or a bracketed reference, depending on the citation style.

Step 7: Saving and Exporting the Document

To save your document, click on the "File" tab in the ribbon and select "Save" or “Save As” to change the document name. Alternatively, you can use the shortcut keys by pressing Ctrl + S on your keyboard.

Choose a location on your computer to save the file and provide a name for the document, then click “Save.” By default, Microsoft saves the document in the (doc. x) format

If you would like to save your document in another format, such as a Portable Document Format (pdf), in the “File” tab, select "Save As," then choose the drop-down option in the same window and select the preferred document format from the “document type” drop-down menu options as shown in the labeled Figure 4. Select your document type and click “Save” to finish saving your document in the selected format.


Following this step-by-step guide, you can create an MS Word document, add images, insert citations using appropriate references, and save your documents in other formats. Microsoft Word offers numerous features and customization options to enhance your document creation experience. Remember to save your work regularly to avoid data loss.


[1] Microsoft Word Support: Word help & learning

[2] Microsoft Word Tutorials: