Chapter 6. Paragraph Formatting

Everything you type in Word resides in paragraphs. Even if you type nothing at all, in fact, every Word document—even one that you believe is completely empty—contains at least one paragraph. The key to knowing that a paragraph is present is the ubiquitous paragraph mark: ¶. If you don't see them in Word right now, perhaps you have them turned off. Pressing Ctrl+Shift+8 toggles them and the other nonprinting characters on and off.

Also called a pilcrow or an alinea, in Word the paragraph mark is the repository of paragraph formatting. Delete a paragraph's pilcrow, and you've extinguished its soul. A little dramatic? Perhaps, but Word is filled with drama. Just ask anybody who ever wrestled with numbering in Word 2000.

In this chapter I'll go into detail about paragraph formatting, and along the way I'll try to demystify aspects that seem to leave people scratching their heads. You'll also learn about the interaction between selected Word options and the nuances of paragraph formatting.

Styles and Paragraph Formatting

One of Word's challenges is that there often are multiple ways to do the same thing. For any given set of circumstances, however, only one way is the most efficient. The challenge is to see through the clutter and determine which way is best.

"I don't ...

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