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Our Guide on How to Format Word Documents

guide on how to format word documents

Microsoft Office can be a funny thing. Almost everyone who has ever worked in an office, gone to school, or had a home computer has at some point had to use Microsoft Word to type a document. However, we often hear of clients coming up with issues formatting letters, documents, reports and contracts to look right. Well, we’re here to help share our guide on how to format Word documents for the most professional finish.

Document Alignment and Tabs

One of the most common issues when it comes to formatting and typing documents using Microsoft Office is alignment. Often, people who aren’t familiar with Microsoft Office formatting and alignment protocols wind up using manual spacing to simulate the appearance of tabs. Unfortunately, this can create a whole host of problems. Knowing how to align a Word document correctly means creating documents that both look more professional and are easier to read.

Documents that are not formatted correctly in terms of alignment may face issues including:

  • Display errors and irregularities when converting Word to PDF.
  • Confusing spacing errors when copying and pasting text from one document to another.
  • Discrepancies between what is seen by the document creator and recipients of a document.
  • A negative ‘domino effect’ when making edits which can potentially lead to needing to change a significant number of lines manually.

So in order to avoid these issues, here is a short run down and video tutorial on how to use indents and insert tabs into a Word Document.

Page Numbering for Word Documents

For most typists using Microsoft Word, page numbering is considered just as an optional add-on to finish off a document. Page numbering is particularly useful when printing out documents and can be great when inserting contents pages or referencing sections of a file. However, there are some occasions where page numbers need to be edited to a particular format or style, especially when it comes to the literary world and official publications. Here are a few of the main issues around page numbering and when things can become complex:

  • Insert page numbers starting from different numbers, avoiding a default ‘page 1’.
  • Avoid including title and contents pages from the page number count, whilst still having the later page numbers read ‘page 1’.
  • Add in sections with different page number styles. For example, using ‘i, ii and iii’ for prologues or introductions.
  • Edit page number positions and formatting, including page numbers with a full page count. For example, ‘Page 1 of 20’.

Page numbers can help to guide readers through a document and can be invaluable when it comes to official documents such as contracts, reports or schedules. Here is a quick video tutorial on some of the basics on how to format Word documents in terms of page numbers.

Image Insertion and Placement                           

Inserting Images into Word documents is a great way to get your points across visually and better engage your readers. Though inserting images into Word is incredibly simple, image placement and embedding can be a bit more tricky. The whole concept of adding images into Word centres around improving the aesthetics, but ugly misalignments with text can look distracting and unprofessional.

Some common struggles around inserting images into Word can include how to correctly:

  • Wrap text around images in Word.
  • Insert hyperlinks for images
  • Anchor images to text
  • Move images out of line with text manually

With that in mind, here’s our brief guide on how to insert and format images using Word.

That’s it for now on some of what we consider to be the main formatting requirements when using Microsoft Word. Don’t forget to check back for more updates and help on your Word document formatting. 

Alternatively, contact us for your document formatting, transcription or subtitling quote today!

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