Creating Professional Word Documents

Without having to fight your computer
Word 2007 and 2010 rely heavily on styles and the default style “Normal” is very different from the normal style in earlier versions of Word. This does tend to cause frustration. To avoid frustration follow these simple tips.

Use the Styles

Formatting your document with styles gives many benefits, including:

  • Consistently formatted and spaced documents
  • One click formats font, colour, size and spacing
  • Preview of the formatting before you apply it
  • Ability to build an automatic table of contents
  • Ability to navigate the document using headings
  • Ability to reformat the document in 3 clicks

Which style to choose?

The names of the styles indicate the part of the document they are to be used for.

the Title style – is used for the document title

Heading 1 is used for first level headings within the document. These are the main section headings within the document. Heading 2 is used for second level headings. These are the headings for sub sections of the main sections.

Heading 3 becomes available when you use Heading 2 and Heading 4 when you use Heading 3, etc. There are 9 levels of headings.

Applying a style

The majority of the styles are paragraph styles, which means you do not have to select the text before applying the style to the text. As you hover your mouse over the styles, you are presented with a preview of the effect, so check the preview to see if you have selected the correct text for the result you wanted.

To apply a style:

  • Click into or select the paragraph/text you wish to format
  • Hover over the required style in the Style gallery
  • If the preview is as you require, click to apply
  • If the preview is not as you require change the selection and then repeat the process.

Don’t fight the styles

Having used the styles to format your text, you need to work with them, especially when it comes to line and paragraph spacing. To do this it is important to use the correct kind oif break. Pressing the Enter key inserts a paragraph break. In Word 2007/2010 the styles incorporate spacing between paragraphs. However sometimes you need a new line without starting a new paragraph and getting the large space. To do this you need to insert a line break, which is done by pressing Shift and Enter.

For example, when typing an address, each line does not need a space between it. We use Shift and Enter at the end of the line to start a new line.

Bullets and Numbering

Bullets and Numbering can be problematic. These tips will ensure you do not encounter issues.

Bullets and Numbering can be applied before typing the list or after. However, it is easier to switch them on and then type your list. In Word clicking the bullets or numbering button applies the default button. If you click on the arrow to the side of the button you can choose the style. From that time on clicking the button applies your chosen style of bullets/numbering.

To create a bulleted or numbered list:

  • Switch bullets/numbering on
  • Type first list item
  • Press Enter
  • Type second list item
  • Repeat until list is complete
  • Press Enter twice to return to Normal style

To change list style:

  • Click into any item on the list
  • Choose required style from bullets or numbering options

To type a line/paragraph without the bullet in the middle of the list:

  • Create the list as normal
  • To create the line without the bullet press Shift and Enter
  • When you want the next bullet point press Enter and continue as normal

To create a multi level list:

  • Click the Multi-Level List button in the Paragraph group on the Home tab
  • Choose the style of list you wish to create
  • Type your list as normal
  • To create a sub point, click the Increase Indent button on the Paragraph group on the Home tab
  • To move a point back to the main level click the Decrease Indent button in the Paragraph group on the Home tab

Use the Built In Document Components

Within Word there are now built-in document components that make it easier to compile your document.

Headers and Footer

Headers and footers with standard information have long been part of Excel and Word 2010 also has similar templates. To use a built-in header or footer:

  • From the Insert tab, select Header or Footer
  • Choose the desired style
  • You will automatically be editing the Header or Footer selected
  • Make changes as required then click Close on the Header/Footer Tools ribbon tab.

NOTE: If you pick the option to Edit Header or Edit Footer you can still create your own header or footer. The options to insert date/time, picture and document details are still available from the Header/Footer Tools ribbon tab.

Quick Parts

Quick parts are another item that can be inserted into your header or footer, or indeed, any part of the document. These include document properties and other fields or AutoText entries which you can create yourself.

To include a quick part in your document:

  • From the Insert tab, select Quick Part
  • Choose the desired category and item
  • You will now have a field in your document

Cover Pages

Cover pages are pre-defined single pages, which always go at the start of your document. They use quick parts, such as Document Title, author and subtitle.

Document Title is also used in many document header pre-sets.

The properties used by cover pages and other quick parts can be changed where they appear in the document. All others throughout the document will also be updated. Alternatively you can change this information in the Info section of the Backstage View.

To use a built-in cover page:

  • From the Insert tab, select Cover Page
  • Choose the desired style
  • You will automatically be editing the cover page selected
  • Make changes, as required then continue editing the document.

NOTE: Cover pages are always reformatted to match the theme or style set chosen for the document.

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