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Paragraph formatting basics

From: Word for Mac 2011 Essential Training

Video: Paragraph formatting basics

Paragraph formatting works a lot like font formatting but with a twist. It's applied to entire paragraphs of text. Here is a quick rundown with examples of some of the paragraph formatting you might want to apply in your Word documents. I've got them all laid out here in this document and I'll start off with Alignment. Alignment is the position of text between the left and right indents and I've got four examples here. This is Left aligned, Centered, Right aligned and Justified.

Paragraph formatting basics

Paragraph formatting works a lot like font formatting but with a twist. It's applied to entire paragraphs of text. Here is a quick rundown with examples of some of the paragraph formatting you might want to apply in your Word documents. I've got them all laid out here in this document and I'll start off with Alignment. Alignment is the position of text between the left and right indents and I've got four examples here. This is Left aligned, Centered, Right aligned and Justified.

When it says Left aligned its showing here that this text is aligned to get to the left side of the indent and that's normal alignment in Word. If you look over on this side you'll see that the edges are kind of ragged. The words are not aligned up here. They're just left to end wherever they need to end. In Center there's really no alignment. It's centered in between so the edges are ragged on both sides, you can see that here. especially on this line here. It's just short because it's centered right in the middle and then over here it's exactly the same.

It's a mirror image, basically, of the other side that's because it's centered. In this example, it's right aligned so its aligned on the right edge and the ragged edges are on this side, especially on this last line because it's really, really short and then in this final example it's Justified. Justified means full aligned, aligned on both sides, and sure enough you can see that this line here is aligned and this side here is aligned. Now what I want to point out is when you use full justification or justified text the way it makes it justified is it adds additional spaces between words where it needs to just stretch the whole thing out. If you look at the word spacing on the second line and you compare it to the word spacing on the fourth line, you'll see that there is a lot of extra space in here whereas in this line here it's pretty tight.

The thing to remember about this is if you use full alignment or a full justified text in narrow columns like you might find it a newspaper or magazine, if you've got long words you could make some awkward looking breaks between words. So just keep a lookout for that. Let's go down to next example in the next page and that's indentation. Indentation is the amount of space between the text and the margin. So in this first example here, this paragraph has indentation set with all lines flush with the margins.

In other words, it's not indented at all. Now this second paragraph here has a 1/2 inch of indentation on the first line only. That means on the left side, this side here, there is a half an inch of space on this first line but all the other lines go right out to the margin. In this next example, it's got a 1/2 inch hanging indent. A hanging indent is when the first line hangs out to the left more than the remaining lines, so there's this one goes right up to the margin where these are indented a half an inch.

In this next example here it's also a 1/2 inch hanging indent but the difference here is that we've put a bullet character out at the hanging indent and then used the Tab to move in. When you set up a hanging indent with Word, Word automatically puts in a tab stop to align it up with the rest of the text in the paragraph. So if you type in a bullet, you press Tab, it is going to automatically align you up with the rest the text. In this last example here, it's got 1-inch indentation from both the left and the right sides, so there's an inch of space right here on the left and there is an inch of space right here on the right.

This is commonly used for quotes in a document or to set off text within the document from other text in that document. Next up, we've got paragraph spacing. Paragraph spacing is the amount of space between the top or bottom of the paragraph and the previous or next paragraph. So what I have got here are four paragraphs total, after this first one. This one here has Normal spacing and this one here has Normal spacing. This one here has paragraph spacing with 18 points of space above it but no additional space below it, so there's 18 points of space in this area right here.

And then this paragraph here has 4 points of spacing after it but no additional spacing above it, so again there's no additional spacing between these two paragraphs but there is 4 points of spacing here. People commonly use paragraph spacing to have additional space between paragraphs, without pressing Return to get that extra blank paragraph. So you can get the spacing without the blank paragraph. We'll scroll down to the next one, which is Line Spacing. Line spacing is the amount of space between the baseline of one line of text and the baseline of the next.

Some examples here. This is single spacing, which is the default spacing in Word, this is 1 1/2 line spacing, so there's a half of a line height of blank area between these two lines. This is double spaced. That means there is a full empty line of space in between. These last two paragraphs have special spacing, custom line spacing. This first one has custom line spacing of at least 22 points. Now it's says at least 22 points. The text size is set to 12 points for most of the paragraph but there is some text you with 36 point text.

Now because this is set to at least 22 points, Word has put 22 points of spacing between the baselines but when it gets to this text here, what it has done is it has increased the line height to accommodate the text. This paragraph is setup a little differently. Instead of having at least 22 points, it has exactly 22 points. So you get the same kind of line spacing here but in this particular area where the font size is set to 36, Word is not going to increase the line height to accommodate it. You told Word that you wanted exactly 22 points.

So in that case, it's not making the change and it's cutting off the top of the text. So that the difference between Exactly any At least. And finally, I want to talk about list formats and these are bulleted or numbered paragraphs of text. Word does this automatically for us with a bulleted list, a numbered list and then in this case it's a multilevel bulleted list. In each case, these are separate paragraphs of text and Word has created hanging indent formats.

So that it looks like a nice and neatly formatted bulleted list or numbered list, and in this multilevel format you've got different bullets for each level. There is also a three levels in this example here. So back up to the beginning of this document. I do want to mention that tabs are another type of paragraph formatting but they're involved enough to get their own chapter. So I'll cover them in later videos. But because paragraph formatting is applied to paragraphs of text, it's important to know where a paragraph begins and ends.

That's why it's a good idea to work with non-printing characters displayed while dealing with paragraph formatting. So I am going to turn that on by clicking this button to up here in the toolbar. What that does now is it shows me the paragraph markers. A paragraph ends at a paragraph marker. That's where you press Return at the end of a paragraph. In this document, we have lots of paragraphs, including some empty ones. So this first line is a paragraph, here is an empty one, another line, a paragraph, empty, a longer paragraph, you get the idea.

Now you can apply paragraph formatting the same way you apply font formatting, either as you type or after typing. Let's take a look at how this works by opening up a new document and typing some text. I want to start off this document with a heading and I what that heading to be centered. So, what I'll well do is I'll click the Centered button on the Ribbon and that automatically move the insertion point to the middle. Makes Centered formatting here and I'll type in some text that will be centered. Now If you recall, when I'm applying font formatting, I can turn off a formatting option to continue typing without it but you got to remember that's for individual characters of text. Right now I am formatting paragraphs. If I click the Left align button now what it will do as it will affect the entire paragraph so I can't do this because I'll be turning it off for the current paragraph.

Instead, I've got to press Return to end that paragraph and go to the next paragraph and then if I want this paragraph to not be centered, I can use that Left align button and type in some more text. Now the other way to format paragraphs is to do so after they've been typed. What you need to do is just select the paragraph and apply the formatting but I want to point out that it's not necessary to select the entire paragraph, if you only want to format one paragraph. I can click anywhere in that paragraph and then make the change I want and it'll apply to the whole entire paragraph.

So I am going to click the Right align button just as an example and you'll see it shifts out to the right. Now if I want to apply paragraph formatting to multiple paragraphs I have to select them. I can either select the entire paragraphs by just dragging right through them or if I want to I can select part of one and part of the next. As long as something in that paragraph is selected, the entire paragraph will be formatted with the change. So, for example, I've got half of this half of that, I can click this button here and they're both reformatted.

Now, in the following videos we'll take a closer look at the different kinds of paragraph formatting that you can apply with Word's Ribbon, Ruler and the Paragraph dialog.

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This video is part of

Image for Word for Mac 2011 Essential Training
Word for Mac 2011 Essential Training

95 video lessons · 20980 viewers

Maria Langer
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 6s
    1. Welcome
      1m 8s
    2. Word processing basics
      3m 9s
    3. Using the exercise files
      49s
  2. 21m 53s
    1. Menus, shortcut keys, and toolbars
      3m 43s
    2. The Ribbon
      2m 32s
    3. The Toolbox and the Media Browser
      2m 27s
    4. The Sidebar
      1m 42s
    5. Document views
      5m 24s
    6. Navigating windows and documents
      6m 5s
  3. 13m 40s
    1. Using the Document Gallery
      4m 51s
    2. Creating documents
      1m 51s
    3. Opening, saving, and closing documents
      6m 58s
  4. 14m 20s
    1. Entering text
      5m 33s
    2. Inserting and deleting text
      2m 34s
    3. Using Click and Type to enter text
      3m 26s
    4. Inserting symbols and special characters
      2m 47s
  5. 27m 28s
    1. Selecting and editing text
      6m 34s
    2. Copying and moving text
      7m 1s
    3. Using the Scrapbook
      4m 38s
    4. Undoing, redoing, and repeating actions
      4m 36s
    5. Finding and replacing text
      4m 39s
  6. 24m 50s
    1. Font formatting basics
      9m 0s
    2. Applying font formatting
      7m 12s
    3. Using the Font dialog
      4m 35s
    4. Formatting with the Find and Replace dialog
      4m 3s
  7. 27m 18s
    1. Paragraph formatting basics
      9m 39s
    2. Setting justification and line spacing
      2m 17s
    3. Indenting paragraphs
      4m 37s
    4. Using list formats
      5m 41s
    5. Setting paragraph formatting options
      5m 4s
  8. 14m 33s
    1. Understanding tab tables
      4m 15s
    2. Creating a tab table with the Ruler
      5m 20s
    3. Creating a tab table with the Tabs dialog
      4m 58s
  9. 20m 31s
    1. Understanding styles and themes
      2m 36s
    2. Applying styles
      6m 32s
    3. Reformatting with Quick Style sets and themes
      2m 37s
    4. Modifying styles
      4m 28s
    5. Creating and deleting styles
      4m 18s
  10. 13m 22s
    1. Revealing formatting
      4m 24s
    2. Using the Format Painter
      1m 38s
    3. Creating drop caps
      3m 34s
    4. Using AutoFormat on text
      3m 46s
  11. 27m 29s
    1. Setting margins
      4m 3s
    2. Adding page and section breaks
      4m 54s
    3. Setting multiple columns
      8m 11s
    4. Varying page orientation within a document
      2m 43s
    5. Inserting page numbers
      2m 47s
    6. Adding watermarks and background images
      4m 51s
  12. 13m 39s
    1. Using built-in headers and footers
      5m 34s
    2. Manually creating headers and footers
      4m 0s
    3. Setting multiple headers and footers in a document
      4m 5s
  13. 18m 54s
    1. Creating a cell table
      3m 42s
    2. Entering and formatting table text
      4m 16s
    3. Modifying table structure
      5m 34s
    4. Using table styles
      2m 49s
    5. Converting between tab and cell tables
      2m 33s
  14. 18m 12s
    1. Adding borders to text and paragraphs
      5m 38s
    2. Adding borders to table cells
      3m 47s
    3. Setting page borders
      4m 13s
    4. Applying shading
      4m 34s
  15. 16m 56s
    1. Using the Media Browser to insert media
      3m 24s
    2. Inserting media from a file
      2m 36s
    3. Formatting images
      4m 30s
    4. Wrapping text around an image
      2m 27s
    5. Inserting and formatting a text box
      3m 59s
  16. 13m 17s
    1. Using AutoCorrect and AutoFormat As You Type
      9m 26s
    2. Using AutoText and AutoComplete
      3m 51s
  17. 17m 28s
    1. Building an outline
      4m 26s
    2. Rearranging outline components
      3m 39s
    3. Viewing outlines
      4m 9s
    4. Numbering outline headings
      5m 14s
  18. 26m 49s
    1. Checking spelling and grammar
      8m 19s
    2. Using reference tools
      4m 30s
    3. Inserting footnotes and endnotes
      6m 27s
    4. Using the Word Count feature
      2m 49s
    5. Compiling a table of contents
      4m 44s
  19. 17m 44s
    1. Adding comments
      2m 46s
    2. Tracking changes
      7m 45s
    3. Merging and comparing documents
      4m 28s
    4. Sharing documents with others
      2m 45s
  20. 18m 54s
    1. Using letter templates
      8m 5s
    2. Creating envelopes
      6m 23s
    3. Creating labels
      4m 26s
  21. 12m 36s
    1. Setting Document Security options
      9m 0s
    2. Using Privacy options
      3m 36s
  22. 14m 31s
    1. Setting Page Setup Options
      4m 12s
    2. Previewing a document
      2m 13s
    3. Printing to a printer
      4m 11s
    4. Printing to PDF
      3m 55s
  23. 11m 9s
    1. Using Word's Macro Recorder
      9m 18s
    2. Understanding macro security
      1m 51s
  24. 12m 28s
    1. Customizing toolbars and menus
      6m 0s
    2. Customizing Word's shortcut keys
      3m 38s
    3. Customizing the Ribbon
      2m 50s
  25. 42s
    1. Goodbye
      42s

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