Learning Tools in Word 2016 are meant to help you improve your reading skills by boosting your ability to pronounce words properly, read quickly and accurately and understand what you have read.
Learning Tools? What? Yes, I know, I was completely unaware of it myself and it is not really intuitive when you go to look for it.
Learning Tools is hidden on the View tab of your Ribbon.
Clicking on it will open up the Learning Tools tab, which will offer a few commands you may not have seen before:
First, note immediately the big red X at the right of the tab, used for closing Learning Tools
Each command is self explanatory, but we will explore each one briefly, just in case.
- Column Width – lines of text with a high number of words can be difficult to read, so reducing the column width with this command can help you focus on the word you are currently trying to read.
- Page Color – You can select a page of color of none (no change), sepia (pale yellow page with a print feel) or inverse (white text on a black background). I have never met one person who does not detest reading white text on a black background, but go for it if you are of that persuasion.
- Text Spacing – increases the spacing between words, characters, and lines. This can help you to scan text more easily. The command works as a toggle, so click the button again to return to your original spacing.
- Syllables – breaks up the syllables in a word by placing a dot between each one.
- Read Aloud – if you like to listen to a stiff, mechanical voice reading your document aloud, Read Aloud is for you. Of course, the first test is usually to see if Word 2016 will read swear words aloud. It does! There, no need to test it now!
To close Learning Tools, click on the big red X.
I highly doubt that you would use this to improve your reading. I also doubt that the urge to improve your reading skills would suddenly manifest while you are trying to work on a Word document in your office at work. Having said that, I think this is a great feature for teachers and students and parents. If your child is learning to read and having difficulty sounding out words, the Syllables tool would definitely be a big help.
Learning Tools could also prove very useful to people who suffer with Dyslexia. I could go on and on but I think you get the drift.
I am just pleased to be the one to introduce you to this handy feature. And, you can also download the app for your phone for when you are working on the run! It just gets better and better doesn’t it?