The very first word-processor I used had a green screen on which white letters were typed. There were no fonts to choose from because when a document was completed it was printed off in a rather bizarre way. The word-processor was hooked up to a huge typewriter and when I selected 'Print', this bulky machine would swing into action, typing the document automatically like one of those self-playing pianos that feature in saloon bars in western films, and making about as much noise as a gunfight from the same film.

As rudimentary as this machine was, it was still a great advancement on the typewriter as editing could be done on the screen and basic functions such as 'Find & Replace' were available. Then along came Microsoft Word to revolutionise the whole concept of typing and manipulating text.

There are many features within Word that simply did not exist on my old green screen contraption. Word has a repertoire of functions so vast that even after long-term use the operator can still come across the occasional surprise discovery. Yet because Word is such a prominent application in the modern office, over time the operator does become quite adept in its use. In fact, Word is so widely used that it would not come as a surprise to see a contestant on Mastermind choosing it as his or her specialist subject. How many would you score if you were in the black leather chair to face this barrage of questions?

You have two minutes on your specialist subject of Microsoft Word, starting now. If you are working in the middle of a document and your typing overwrites the existing text, which key should you press to correct this?


Correct. If you were to type in the keyboard shortcut 'Alt and 0169', which symbol would you get?

Copyright symbol.

Correct. If you wanted to highlight text using the arrow keys instead of the mouse, which other key should you hold down?


Correct. Often used at the start of a novel, in which menu would you find the Drop Cap?

The Format menu.

Correct. Sometimes mistaken for a paste button, what is the function of the toolbar icon that resembles a paintbrush?

Format painter.

Correct. Clippit the paper clip was the most commonly used office assistant, but a lesser-used one called The Genius resembled which famous figure from the world of science?

Albert Einstein.

Correct. If 'Ctrl and A' selects all, and 'Ctrl and C' copies, what function is performed by the combination of 'Ctrl and P'?


Wrong, it's print. The four options for text alignment are align left, align right, centre and which other?


Correct. In Word's spell check function, spelling mistakes are highlighted with a red wavy underline. What colour are grammatical errors?


Correct. In the Draw menu, the three rotate options are rotate left, rotate right and which other?

Free rotate.

Correct. The Print Preview icon... (peep, peep, peep) I've started so I'll finish. The Print Preview icon consists of a sheet of paper and which other item?

A magnifying glass.

A magnifying glass is correct. And at the end of that round you have scored twelve points with no passes.

And the beauty of it is that he did not have to study to learn all of this, it just came to him over time through the use of Microsoft Word on a regular basis. You too can become a mastermind in Word simply by getting to know the rudiments of it and then expanding into the vast repertoire of features that lie within those menus.