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How to start a Word document

Microsoft Word is the most popular application for word processing. No matter if you're a student who needs to write up an essay or a business owner looking to make company reports, Word has you covered. However, the magic all begins at making a new document.

Hoe to start a word document

Although creating a new Word file sounds easy, it can seem like an intimidating task for entry-level users. This is why we're here to help you. In this article, we will guide you through the entire process of making a new Word document, as well as showing you options when it comes to the beginning of a new piece of work.

This is a universal guide aimed towards beginners who’re just starting out using Word. The guide was written for newer versions of  Word, however, it perfectly outlines the process of creating a new document in older releases as well.

Things you'll need:

  • A device with Microsoft Word installed and activated.

Ready to go? Let’s get started with the step-by-step guide.

How to Start A word Document on Windows

  1. Launch Word. You can do this by locating where it is on your computer:
    1. Click on the Windows icon in the bottom left corner of your taskbar. Scroll down to the letter W, and open Word.
      How to start word document on windows
    2. Alternatively, you can also use the Search bar to open Word directly. Click on the Search icon in your taskbar and type in Word, then launch the matching result.
      Seearch word
    3. It’s possible that Word created a shortcut on your desktop. Look to see if you have a Word icon on your desktop, then double-click on it to launch the application.
  2. Once Word is open, you’ll see a start-up screen. This is the screen that opens by default if you don’t launch Word by opening a document.
    How to strat a word document
  3. Microsoft Word comes pre-equipped with a large selection of templates and pre-formatted documents. Simply click on the template you want to use or choose a Blank document to create a new document completely empty.

If you already have Word open and want to make a new document, you can access a similar interface to the start-up screen by clicking on File in the Ribbon and selecting New. This makes it possible for you to quickly create new documents without having to quit Word just to see the welcome screen again.

File location

Tip: Use a shortcut! When you become more experienced with Word, we recommend you learn shortcuts. You can get things done much quicker and speed up your work by memorizing a few simple keyboard strokes. The shortcut for creating a new document in Word is Ctrl+N on Windows.

How to Start A word document on Mac

  1. Launch Word. You can do this by locating where it is on your computer:
    1. Go to your Applications and locate Word, then simply double-click on the icon.
    2. It’s possible that Word created a shortcut on your desktop. Look to see if you have a Word icon on your desktop, then double-click on it to launch the application.
  2. When Word launches, you’ll see a welcome screen that defaults to creating a new document. You can choose from a number of available templates, or simply create a blank document.
    How to start word docuemnt on Mac
    O'Reilly - Video Training
  3. Choose whichever template you want to work with and select it by clicking on it once, then press the Create button. Alternatively, you can double-click on the template you want to use to create a new document using that template.

 How to create a word document

If you’re already working on a Word document but want to make a new one, you can access a similar interface to the start-up screen by clicking on File and selecting New from a template. This makes it possible for you to quickly create new documents without having to quit Word just to see the welcome screen again.


New word template

Tip: Clicking on New document in the File menu also allows you to quickly create a new, blank document.

We hope that this article was able to guide you through everything you need to know about creating a new document in Word. If you want to learn more about Word or other Microsoft Office suite applications, feel free to browse our section of guides.

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