Formatting tips & tricks for Word

A new readability standard affects the default line spacing in the newer versions of Word. Instead of single spacing, 1.15 lines is now the default. It also adds 10 points between paragraphs. If you wish to change it back to single line spacing and no additional space between paragraphs, on the Home tab, Paragraph group, click the dialog box launcher. After setting the line spacing to Single and the After spacing to 0, click the Default button, select All documents based on this template. You may lose these settings if you have to reinstall Word or refresh/repair the blank document template.


In Word 2010, applying and modifying styles is easier than ever. And there are good reasons to learn them. By applying styles in Word, you open the door to several tools that can make your work easier. For example, to apply a heading style to a document section or chapter, simply click in the middle of the line and click the heading style in the Styles Gallery.

By applying heading styles to headings and subheadings in your document, getting a table of contents is just a couple of clicks: References tab, Table of Contents button, Insert Table of Contents. You can also add the Send to Microsoft PowerPoint button and instantly create presentations. PowerPoint reads Heading 1 as Slide Topic and Heading 2 as Bullet Point. There is also a new Navigation pane that takes advantage of heading styles. It should show up by default, but if it doesn’t, click the View tab and in the Show group, check the Navigation pane checkbox. Use the buttons in the Navigation pane to easily navigate from one section of your document to another.


Themes govern the font sets, colors and layout of your document. Choose one of the preset themes from the Page Layout tab, Themes group, Themes button. You can tweak the colors and fonts to get exactly what you want. Then, save that as a custom theme by clicking on the Themes button again and at the bottom choosing Save Current Theme. You can also just create a custom color set to apply to any theme by clicking on the Colors theme button. Right-click on the color theme that comes closest to your choices and choose Edit…. It can takesome experimentation to determine what color choices affect which items in your document. “Try on” themes by hovering over the theme choices and seeing how it affects your document page. The more objects (charts, shapes, diagrams) it has, the clearer the picture you’ll get of the theme.