Microsoft Word is undoubtedly the most widely used component of the Microsoft Office Suite series. Since the early 1980s when it was first released, Word has evolved to be a cutting edge software capable of producing complex documents that are primarily used in the communication setups of business correspondence. In this post, we will discuss some of the features that are used to simplify the formatting Microsoft word documents. We will look at how to use: Headers and Footers, Page Styles, Cover Pages, Graphs and Charts.
#1. Headers and Footers
A Header or a Footer, as the names imply, are page sections that are located in the uppermost or lowermost areas of the page. They can consequently be used to display various information about the document, for example: number of pages, page count, graphics (like a logo), name of author, company name or the subject title of the document. In this section, we will learn how to manipulate these features to communicate details of the document in an effective manner.
#2. Insert a Simple Header/Footer
The easiest way to start with Headers/Footers is to insert the ones that are available in Word by default. Let’s see how we can go about this: 1. Go to the Insert tab on the main ribbon (MS Word 2007 or later versions) and click the Header or Footer button found in the Header & Footer action group. 2. Choose the desired Header or Footer, from the resulting options.
This will add your preferred header or footer on all the pages of your document. Once it is inserted, you can go ahead and enter the necessary information such as name of the document, date and company name as shown in the image below. After all the information has been entered, you should hit the escape key, which will make the header or footer permanent until further changes are needed. You can always go back to edit it by positioning the cursor on it and double clicking.
#3. Have the First Page Contain a Different Header/Footer
The first page mostly serves as the cover page of the document, thus contains a format that may differ from the other pages of your document. This may include a Header or Footer that is formatted differently or is non-existent altogether. Let’s see how we go about this: Assuming that you have already inserted a Header or Footer as seen in the preceding section: • Activate the edit-mode in a selected Header/Footer by double-clicking the edit header tab under the header menu. • Select the Different First Page option under Header & Footer Tools > Design > Options. • Make any desired changes to the related Header/Footer that you want in the first page. However, to completely remove the header from the 1st page: • While on the first page, activate the edit-mode in a selected Header/Footer by double-clicking it. • Delete any content found in the Header/Footer.
#4. Styles – Formatting Microsoft Word Documents
A well-formatted document features different styles of formatting in various sections of the document to facilitate navigation and demonstrate emphasis. To achieve this you can either format the sections by hand across the entire document or (to save time, and have consistency) use pre-defined page styles that come pre-installed in Word. You can format your text with the predefined styles that cover: Paragraph, Characters or Headings
#5. Styled Paragraph
A styled paragraph has its components settings pre-defined. The line spacing, alignment and tabs positioning are some of the features that are pre-defined in the style. To set the style to the Word’s paragraph styles, select the paragraphs that you intend to affect then choose either Normal or List paragraph from the style menu.
#6. Styled Character
A styled character has its characteristics predefined. This may include its: font, underline, bold, italic and color aspects. To set the style of a character, select it, then choose among Word’s styles, either: Strong, Emphasis, Subtle Emphasis, etc from the style menu.
#7. Styled Headings
Word has styled headings offer predefined header styles. They also add the heading into the document map enabling it to be incorporated into the Table of Contents in Word. The heading styles are applied to whichever section of the text that you select. If you select a character, the style is applied as a character style and as a paragraph style if you select a paragraph. To achieve this, select the text that you want to affect, then choose among the heading styles which include Title, Subtitle, Heading 1, Heading 2 and Heading 3.
#8. Cover Pages
You can choose among Word’s pre-defined cover pages to create a professional looking page for the first page of your document. To achieve this, choose among those in the gallery then modify the sample text to suit your needs. This is how you can do it: • Choose Cover Page under Insert > Pages. • Choose a cover page from the ones on offer in the gallery. • Modify the sample text in the cover page to reflect the content in your document.
#9. Graphs and Charts
Word contains graphical elements to visual data in a manner that assists readers of a document to understand a series of data ranges. These elements include an array of graphs and charts. To insert a graph or chart in your document, here are the guidelines: • Position the cursor in the document where you want the graph or chart to be inserted. • Click Create New under Insert > Object. • In the resultant Object type dialog box, choose Microsoft Graph Chart then confirm by clicking OK. • A sample graph/chart will be inserted with a corresponding datasheet dialog box opened to allow you to enter your data. Add data manually or copy from an external source, for example, a spreadsheet in Excel. • Double click the graph/chart to bring up the datasheet dialog box whenever you need to adjust the data.
You can also insert smart arts such as workflow diagrams and flowcharts by going into the Insert tab and then clicking SmartArt. This will provide a variety of options to choose from. Once a SmartArt is inserted, you will be able to customize your diagram by adding additional blocks, other design elements and appropriate texts according to your needs.