In this article we’ll learn how to apply a style or formatting to paragraphs. Formatting paragraphs can change the entire look and feel of a document.
Perhaps the most crucial step in formatting your page is setting the margins. The margins will determine how your page looks on the screen and also how it will look when it’s printed. A margin is the amount of white space on either side of a page, as well as on the top and bottom.
To set the margins for your document, go to ‘File’ on the menu bar. Select ‘Page Setup.’ A window will appear that looks like this:
You can then set the margins for the top and bottom of your page, then the left and right sides. Also, you can select if you want to apply to the margins to the entire document or from that point in the document (where the cursor is) forward.
Line spacing refers to how much space is between each line of text. You’ve probably heard of the terms ‘single spaced’ and ‘double spaced’ before. Both these terms apply to line spacing.
To increase or decrease the space between lines, you can do one of two things.
Go to ‘Format’ on the menu bar. Select ‘Paragraph.’ You’ll then see the window below.
Go down to ‘Spacing’ and select how much space you want between lines from the ‘Line spacing’ drop down box. You can see how the changes will affect your document in the ‘Preview’ section.
To indent text or the beginning of a paragraph, you can choose to work with commands located in the menu bar or use icons located on the ‘Formatting’ toolbar.
Using the Menu Bar
Go to ‘Format’ on the menu bar.
Under the heading ‘Indentation,’ you can select the size of the indention. (The example shows .25″. Or you can select a ‘Special’ indentation, either a first line or a hanging indentation.
First line: This controls the left boundary for the first line of the paragraph.
Hanging: Controls the left boundary for every line in the paragraph except the first one.
On the Formatting Toolbar
You can use the icon to decrease the indention of a line or paragraph, or you can use the to increase the indention.
Adding Borders and Shading
To add a border to a page:
Go to ‘Format’ on the menu bar. Select ‘Borders and Shading.’
From this tab, you can select the type of border you want to appear around the page, the thickness of the lines, and the color. You can also select what pages you want to apply the border to.
Using the Tables and Border Toolbar to Create Page Borders
The ‘Tables and Border’ toolbar is pictured above. To create border, you only need to use a portion of the toolbar. That portion is pictured below.
Just as you can add border to a paragraph, you can also add shading or color.
Select ‘Format’ on the menu bar.
Choose ‘Borders or Shading’
You can choose a color or customize your own.
MS Word 2003 allows you to also customize the case in a document or a section of a document. To change the case, go to ‘Format’ on the menu bar, then select ‘Change Case.’ This window will pop up:
Sentence case is the case used in this article.
Lowercase puts all letters in lowercase.
Uppercase puts all letters in uppercase.
Title case capitalizes letters that would normally be capitalized in a title such as a book title.
Toggle case alternates between upper and lowercase letters.
AutoFormat allows you to customize MS Word 2003 to automatically correct errors, format the document, or enter text. MS Word 2003 has a lot of features to streamline your tasks and make them easier. This is among the favorites.
To use AutoFormat, go to ‘Format’ on the menu bar and select ‘AutoFormat.’
Automatically enter text. Format your document as you type.
Let MS Word correct errors automatically.
It’s well worth your time to learn how to use AutoFormat and to customize it for your use. You’ll find that it will save you a lot of time in writing and editing the documents that you create.
Columns run vertically on a page. Columns can contain text, data, or graphics. If you have more than one column on a page, the columns appear side by side, as you see in newspapers and magazines.
There are two easy ways that you can add columns to your documents.
The first is located on the ‘Standard’ toolbar.
A drop down menu will appear with four columns on it. Select the number of columns you want in your document with the first column you see in the drop down menu symbolizing one column, the second symbolizing two columns, etc.
On the menu bar, select ‘Format’ then ‘Columns.’
This window will appear:
You can select the number of columns on the page from this window, but you can also set the width of the columns, the spacing in between the columns, and if you want them to appear in the entire document or just from that point forward.