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Microsoft Word How To’s – Formatting Tips for Word Documents

Microsoft Word How To’s – Formatting Tips for Word Documents

June 15, 2018 in Corporate IT Training, Microsoft Office / by Craig Gerdes

Has this ever happened to you? You’re plugging along on a Microsoft Word document only to freeze because you can’t recall how to do a relatively simple formatting function. I think it’s happened to all of us at one point or another and I hope the following will be your go-to resource whenever an instance like that takes place. (Bookmark the link so you can easily find it whenever a brain freeze occurs!)

My goal is not to cover all Microsoft Word formatting capabilities, just the basic ones that can increase your efficiency greatly. If you need more information or other guidance, look to the ‘HELP’ feature within the software itself.

How do I capitalize (or uncapitalize) text in microsoft Word?  

You can change the capitalization, or case, of selected text in a document by clicking a single button on the Home tab called Change Case.

To change capitalization (or case) in Word, follow these steps:

  1. Select the text for which you want to change the case.
  2. On the Home tab, in the Font group, click the Change Case buttonHow to change capitalization (or case) in Word
  3. Then choose one of the following:
  4. To capitalize the first letter of a sentence and leave all other letters as lowercase, click Sentence case.
  5. To exclude capital letters from your text, click lowercase.
  6. To capitalize all of the letters, click UPPERCASE.
  7. To capitalize the first letter of each word and leave the other letters lowercase, click Capitalize Each Word.
  8. To shift between two case views (for example, to shift between Capitalize Each Word and the opposite, cAPITALIZE eACH wORD), click tOGGLE cASE.

To apply small capital (Small Caps) to your text:
  • Select the text, and then on the Home tab, in the Font group, click the Font Dialog Box Launcher (the arrow in the lower-right corner). In the Font dialog box, under Effects, select the Small Caps checkboxHow to apply small capital (Small Caps) to your text in Word

To use a keyboard shortcut to change between lowercase, UPPERCASE, and Capitalize Each Word:

  • Select the text and press SHIFT + F3 until the case you want is applied.

How do I add text effects in a Word document?

Besides WordArt and color fills and outlines, you can change the look of your text by adding effects, such as shadows, reflections, or glows.

To add text effects in Word, do the following:

  1. Select the text to which you want to add an effect.
  2. On the Home tab, in the Font group, click the Text Effect button.How to add text effects in Microsoft Word
  3. Point to the effect that you want (Shadow, Reflection, or Glow) and then when more choices appear click the effect that you want to add.

NOTE: To remove an effect, click the Clear Formatting button (eraser) on the Home tab in the Font group.

How do I change or set the default font in microsoft word? 

The default font for new documents in Word 2016 is Calibri, 11 point but you can change/set it to your preference.

NOTE: When you set a default font, every new document you open will use the font settings that you selected and set as the default. The default font applies to new documents based on the active template, usually Normal.dotm.

To change/set the default in Word, follow these steps:

  1. Start with a blank document, or if your document already contains text formatted with the properties that you want to use, select that text.
  2. On the Home tab, click the Font Dialog Box Launcher, and then click the Font tab. How to change/set the default in Word
  3. Select the options that you want to apply to the default font, such as font style and font size. NOTE: If you selected text in step 1, the properties of the selected text are already set in the dialog box. How to change/set the default in Word
  4. Click Set As Default, and set the scope of your changes:
    1. This document only: (if you want your changes to apply to only the current document)
    2. Select all documents based on the Normal template: (if you want your changes to apply to any document based on the Normal template) 
  5. Click OK to apply your changes.

How do I format paragraphs in word?

To change spacing between paragraphs in Word, do this:

  1. Click Design, then Paragraph Spacing.How to change spacing between paragraphs in Microsoft Word
  2. Pick which spacing you want (the default is Open) and notice your whole document will preview as you mouse over the different settings.
  3. If you do not like those options, click Custom Paragraph Spacing and change the numbers under Paragraph Spacing. How to change spacing between paragraphs in Microsoft Word

To change the spacing in only part of a document:

  • Click anywhere in the paragraph you want to change.
  • Go to Page Layout and under Spacing, click the up or down arrows to adjust the distance before or after the paragraph. You can also type a number directlyHow to change spacing between paragraphs in Microsoft Word

To format a Word document with columns, follow these steps: 

  1. Select the text you want formatted in columns.
  2. On the Layout tab, click Columns.
  3. Click More Columnso format a Word document with columns, follow these steps: 
  4. Click the number of columns that you want.
  5. Optional: To add a vertical line between the columns, select the Line Between checkbox. You can also adjust the column width and spacing.
  6. In the Apply to list, click Whole Document, Selected Text or This Point Forwardo format a Word document with columns, follow these steps: 

To control how text flows between columns:

  • Insert a column break. For example, to end a paragraph in one column and start a new paragraph at the top of the next column. How to control how text flows between columns in a Word Document

To Stop Using Columns:

  • On the Layout tab, click Columns and then click One to return to one-column format. NOTE: You may need to insert a section break if you want two-columns in one section of your document and one-column formatting in another section of the document.

To add leaders between tab stops in Word, do this:

Leaders are those special characters—dots, dashes, underlines—that create a visual link between tab stops. Most often, you see leaders in a table of contents or an index.

NOTE: If you want to use tab stops and leaders to format a Table of Contents, consider using Word to create one automatically.

  1. Type the text that you want to appear before the leader.
  2. On the horizontal ruler, set the tab stop where you want (just click on the ruler), and then double-click it.
  3. In the Tabs dialog box under Leader, choose none, dots, dashes, or underline to set a series of characters. How to add leaders between tab stops in Word
  4. Click OK, and then press Tab on your keyboard.
  5. Type the text that you want to appear after the leader.

If you’d like to dive deeper into the formatting tools of Microsoft Word, and other applications within the Microsoft Office Suite, sign up for a one-day training class at Centriq.

View Centriq’s Microsoft Office Training Classes

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