A word processing program is designed to make it as easy as possible for you to create the document you want and to make it look the way you want. Most modern word processing programs share a common approach. There are enough differences, however, to drive users who are trying to decide what to buy just a bit crazy!
In Word 2007/10 the commands that are used the most are available on the ribbon, which looks like extra fat toolbar with tabs. The ribbon shows your choices as buttons, drop lists, dialogs, galleries, or commands. Some buttons do their actions with the default settings, without offering you any choices. Of course, what commands YOU use the most may not match the programmers' ideas. In previous versions of Word you could customize the toolbars. In Word 2007 there is not much you can change about the ribbon. Word 2010 lets you add sections to the ribbon or create your own ribbon tab, but you still cannot do much about the buttons and palettes that are on the default tabs.
In Word and many other programs, you can write or record a macro to perform a whole set of actions at once. These features are very useful to users who do the same kinds of things over and over. We will not be getting that deep into Word!
Before you try to use high-end features like macros, you ought to thoroughly understand what has been created for you by the programmers. It's amazing what can be done today with a word processor and a little imagination.