How to Format Documents in Word

By Foye Robinson

Formatting a Word document can make a plain one stand out.
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Whether you are working with an existing Word document or completed one, you can format parts of the document or the entire file. Using bullets and numbering is a quick way to emphasize lists and paragraphs within your document. A wide page margin can be reduced to fit your content better. You can use tabs to align objects that won't align properly with a space bar. Formatting a document makes a plain one stand out.

Using Bullets and Numbering

Create bullets for a list of items or paragraph by highlighting it on your page.

Select the "Home" tab in the Ribbon and then click the "Numbering" or "Bullets" button. The bullets will be applied to the selected list.

Select the "Home" tab in the Ribbon and select the "Multilevel List" button to create bullets if your list has more than one level. The "Multilevel List" gallery will expand, allowing you to choose the type of list you want to create. To place items under the same level, press the "Enter" key after each item. To place under a different level, press "Enter" and then "Tab." Items under the new level will be indented.

Using Tabs

Select the text where the tabs will be set or place the insertion point in the area you want the tabs applied.

Select "View" and "Ruler" from the Ribbon to make the ruler visible. Then click on the button on the left of the ruler to choose the tab alignment you want (left, center, right, decimal or bar). Each time you click the button, the tab alignment will change.

Choose "Left tab" for the alignment. Then click a number (point) on the ruler to set a left tab there. To set additional tabs, click a different number on the ruler. To change the tab alignment, change the "Left tab" button to a different one.

Place your cursor after any text you want to format and press the "Tab" key. Your text will be formatted under the set tab.

Adjusting Page Settings

Select "Page Layout" in the Ribbon. Then click on the "Page Setup" button to open the "Page Setup" dialog box.

Select the "Margins" tab and choose the margins you want to apply.

Go to the "Orientation" section and select "portrait" or "landscape" for your page.

Click the "Layout" tab and go to the "Page" section. To vertically center the contents of your page, change the "Vertical alignment" to "Center." Then click "OK" to return to your document.

Choose how much text you want to display on a specific page by inserting a page break. To insert the break, select "Insert" and "Page Break" from the Ribbon. To delete a page break, select "View" and "Draft" from the Ribbon. Then click on the page break line and press the "Delete" key.