Using Technology to Help Compose Your Message: Formatting & Effectiveness

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  • 0:58 Style Sheets & Templates
  • 2:16 Autocompletion & Autocorrect
  • 3:23 File Merge & Mail Merge
  • 4:08 End Notes, Footnotes, Etc.
  • 4:50 Wizards
  • 5:05 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
An important skill for individuals to develop for the work place is the ability to use technology to compose messages. Word processing software can help improve formatting and the overall effectiveness of your message.

Using Technology to Compose Messages

Today's competitive business world depends upon quick and efficient message preparation and delivery. Thankfully, there is technology that can help you compose and format your message into effective communication. This lesson will help teach you some ideas in using technology to improve your message delivery in the workplace.

Nicholas has been a salesperson with Motor Sports Cars for over 40 years. He is old-fashioned and has rejected the use of all technology. He refers to technology as the devil's way of confusing old folks.

A company mandate has been established that all employees must use emails, word processing and other technology in order to be employed with Motor Sports Cars. Nicholas has reluctantly agreed to attend a boot camp at the company to learn how technology tools can help him compose his messages quickly and effectively.

Style Sheets and Templates

One of the first tools in word-processing software, such as Microsoft Word, is the use of style sheets and templates. Style sheets are font and layout setting templates that are used to standardize documents in word processing software.

Nicholas started training on Microsoft Word at the boot camp. He actually started to enjoy creating documents for his sales job. The boot camp teacher provided Nicholas with select style sheets that were approved for use by the company. In addition, the company suggested that all documents are created in Times New Roman typeface and use the type styles of bold and italics when mentioning financial agreements. This made the creation of documents even easier for Nicholas as every document was now standardized for easy completion.

Templates, also called boilerplates, are standardized page designs, which have areas of text that are reused from other documents. Nicholas was shocked about how much he was missing out on by not using this type of technology. He now could complete a contract in less than ten minutes by selecting a car sale template and just filling in the blanks. Previously, Nicholas had to type everything from scratch with a typewriter.


Another tool of technology that can help compose business messages quickly is the use of autocompletion. This tool places a ready-made block of text automatically into a document. For example, when an individual starts typing their first name, the entire last name, address, zip, phone and company website will automatically appear.

Nicholas always completes his follow-up and thank-you messages by adding his contact information. Now, all he has to do is start typing his name, and the entire block of information appears, saving him time.


Nicholas is a horrible speller. He has been embarrassed numerous times by customers calling him to report gross misspellings in his business communications. The boot camp teacher showed Nicholas how Microsoft Word utilizes an autocorrect feature that automatically corrects typing and spelling errors. He also is able to choose the 'Spelling & Grammar' option to have his work reviewed through Microsoft Word.

File Merge and Mail Merge

Another feature of using technology to compose a message in business is the file and mail merge. File merge can combine and merge files from different writers, which allows for easy collaboration. Mail merge is a feature that allows you to personalize form letters by inserting names, addresses, etc. into a document automatically.

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