FORMATTING IS THE FINE ART of making your documents effective and attractive. Good formatting distinguishes different parts of your text and helps your readers take in your message. You can apply formatting to just about every element of your document, from a single character to entire paragraphs. Body text needs to be readable and easy on the eyes. Headings should be big and bold, and they should also be consistent throughout your document. Important words need to resonate with emphasis. Quotes and references should be set off from the other text.

This chapter starts with the basics: how to format individual characters and words—selecting fonts and making characters bold, italicized, underlined, or capitalized. You learn how to format paragraphs with indents and spacing, and how to control the way Word breaks up the words in a line and the lines in a paragraph. Finally, you find out how to copy and reuse formatting with tools like the Format Painter and style sets.

Formatting Basics

Word deals with formatting on three levels encompassing small and specific on up to big and broad—through characters, paragraphs, and sections. You apply different types of formatting to each of these parts. Character formatting includes selecting a font, a font size, bold or italics, and so on. At the paragraph level, you apply indents, bullets, and line spacing. For each section of your document (even if there’s only one), you set the page size, ...

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