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How to Install & Learn to Use Microsoft Word 2003

written by: Cindy Marcelle•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 4/29/2013

This series brings you step-by-step instructions to unlocking the full potential of Microsoft Word 2003. In this chapter of “Instructions in Microsoft Word 2003", we examine how to install Microsoft Word 2003.

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    Editor's Noe: This article was originally published in 2008 and has been placed in our archive.

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    Before you install Microsoft Word 2003 on your computer you must check if your operating system is compatible with the system requirements of the program.

    To locate general information regarding your operating system:

    • Click on the Start button in Microsoft Windows.
    • Locate My Computer or Computer which is generally located on the right hand side of the menu. This will open a window displaying folders such as Owner’s Documents, DVD/CD-Rom Drive, and Local Disk (C:).
    • Find the System Tasks menu on the right hand side of the My Computer window and click on View System Information.
    • This will open a window displaying General information such as what edition, version, and service pack you currently have installed, as well as how much memory you have available and what processor you are working with.

    All Microsoft Word 2003 components have approximately the same system requirements:

    • A Microsoft Windows XP operating system or Windows 2000 with Service Pack 3 or later.
    • A minimum of 64MB of RAM and a recommended 128MB of RAM.
    • 245MB of memory and 115MB of available disk space on your hard drive.
    • A Pentium III processor is recommended; however, a Pentium 233 MHz Processor or higher is required.
    • A monitor with 256 colors and Super VGA (800x600).
    • A CD-Rom drive and a mouse

    Some additional requirements are necessary to operate specific Microsoft Word 2003 add-ons and/or components:

    • You will need Windows Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher to access InfoPath 2003.
    • To use speech recognition software, you will need a Pentium II 400MHz processor or higher.
    • Office OneNote 2003 requires a Tablet PC pen input to capture handwritten notes in digital ink.
    • The Internet and a Webcam are needed to enjoy the full collaboration benefits of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003.

    Once you have checked all your system requirements, you are ready to install Microsoft Word 2003:

    • Click Start in Microsoft Windows.
    • Once the Start menu is visible, click on Control Panel.
    • From here, click on the Control Panel icon to open the Control Panel window.
    • Open Add or Remove Programs. In this window you will see options to add programs from a CD-Rom or as part of a Windows Update.
    • Click on CD or Floppy.
    • A window will appear that will walk you through the installation process. First, insert the Microsoft Word 2003 installation disk into your CD-Rom drive and select Next.
    • After carefully following the instructions in this window, you will be prompted to restart your computer. After doing so you will be notified that a new program has been added – Congratulations! You now have Microsoft Windows 2003 on your computer!

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    Learning to Use Microsoft Word 2003

    Microsoft Word 2003 has a lot of features that help writers make their word processing documents as polished and professional as can be, yet learning all that the program has to offer can seem overwhelming if you don’t have the right help or support. But the folks at Microsoft aren’t leaving you empty handed, as they have included a host of free online tutorials to associate new users to their programs.

    Make sure you are connected to the internet to access this free service.

    • First, open your copy of Microsoft Word 2003, and on the top right hand corner of the window you will find a white box with the words Type a message for help.
    • In this box type Training. A search result box will appear.
    • Click on the phrase Training Home Page. This will bring you to the Microsoft Office web page where you can begin your training.
    • Scroll down until you see Office 2003 training courses and click on Word 2003

    The Microsoft Word 2003 tutorial page is made of 9 sections, each containing 1 – 4 topics. Each tutorial is 10 – 30 minutes long and begins with an overview of the lesson followed by step-by-step audio tutorials and written transcripts that describe how to perform each feature. The Microsoft Word 2003 training sessions include:

    First Words - This section includes learning how to type, use word count, save documents, how to control document administration, and the basic shortcuts, tool bars, and menus you will encounter in Microsoft Word 2003.

    Track Changes - Use the comment feature to share documents and add or delete feedback along the way.

    A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words - By the end of this section you will be able to add boarders, backgrounds, a watermark, and graphics to your document like a professional.

    All About Tables - Create, structure, and format tables in Word and transfer them to Excel or from the web to create multifaceted documents.

    Add Headers and Footers - This section covers how to use and view headers and footers as well as how to properly use footnotes and endnotes.

    Create a Table of Contents - My favorite feature of Microsoft Word 2003 is the ability to create a table of contents from the document you have already written and this tutorial shows you how to create that as well as a reference tables.

    Outlined and Stylish - Larger documents may require an outline for quick organization, and in this section you will learn how to create an outline and how to view your document as an outline.

    Mail Merge - Your computer turns into a printing press as you learn how to personalize documents and slate them for mass mailings and print your address book as labels.

    The ABCs of XML in Word - XML lets you utilize your data in different facets such as Web pages, spreadsheets and Email, and helps to create tags for the data that further describe what it means.

Instructions in Microsoft Word

This series brings you step-by-step instructions to unlocking the full potential of Microsoft Word.
  1. How to Install & Learn to Use Microsoft Word 2003
  2. How to Save a Document in MS Word 2003
  3. How to Make a Line in MS Word 2003
  4. Microsoft Word 2003: How to Type in Spanish