Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Now let's take a look at how to format text you have entered into a word processor. By formatting I am referring to the task of changing the appearance of paragraphs, sentences, words or even individual letters in your word processing document. For this exercise, I have copied the file 08_02 Current Policy to my desktop and I am going to open it in Microsoft Word. If you don't have Word and want to follow along, you can use WordPad, which again is a free basic word processor. It's found by clicking Start > All Programs > Accessories and WordPad. Optionally, you should also be able to right-click on the document and choose Open with, and select WordPad that way.
I am going to open it with Word. So when it comes to formatting text, all word processors follow the universal rule that the item you want to format must be selected in order to be changed. Selecting text usually means taking your mouse cursor, clicking down on the button and dragging across the text you want to format. That tells the word processor that you only want to affect just that text. After you've selected your text, find your formatting tools. Here in Word you'll find most of your formatting tools in the Ribbon found under the Home tab going across the top of your screen.
Other word processors have formatting inspectors or panels or palettes. Wherever they are, they should be fairly apparent though. So with my text selected, I am going to come up to the toolbar and click the B button to make this text bold. And you can see the change occurs right away. We also have buttons for italicizing the text and for underlining the text. We also will find the menu to change the font of your selected text. Here in Word as I roll over the different fonts, you can see it changing live in my document. Now, it's probably worth mentioning right now that another universal feature of most word processors is multiple undos.
This lets you experiment with formatting without having to worry about ruining the appearance of your document. So if I didn't like the last change I made, which was the font change, I can click the Undo button here on Word or in other word processors, you'll choose Edit > Undo. The universal keyboard shortcut is Ctrl +Z and that's definitely when you want to commit to memory. So instead of clicking that button, I will just press Ctrl and Z on my keyboard to take that last formatting change away. And I can keep tapping Ctrl+Z to remove the changes I made in reverse order. So that's the basics of text formatting, and again, it works the same in all word processors.
Just select the text you want to format and then format it. Most word processors also let you make non-contiguous selections, in case you want to apply the same formatting to multiple pieces of text. So just make your first selection and then hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and drag to select another piece of text. So I will select another instance of Two Trees Olive Oil in this case. Once you've made your selections, click the buttons for the formats you wish to apply, and you can see they were applied to both pieces of selected text. So this can be a big time saver.
Now I also want to point out these four buttons here in the Paragraph section of the Formatting Ribbon in Word. You'll find these in all word processors as well, and these are the paragraph alignment buttons. And that will determine how paragraphs appear on your page. Now to apply paragraph alignment, you don't have to drag to select the entire paragraph. Just click anywhere in the paragraph you want to format and then click an alignment button. Left is the default, but we also have Center, Right and Justify. Justify spaces out the words in the paragraph, so both the left and right side of the paragraph aligns some margins of the page.
In this case, I think it has a little too much space between words for my liking, so I am going to switch it back to the left alignment. So again, as long as your cursor is somewhere in the paragraph, you can use the alignment buttons to affect the entire paragraphs. If you want to change the alignment of multiple paragraphs though, you have to select them. But you only have to make sure your selection highlight includes any portion of the paragraph you want to align. So I can just drag to select parts of these two paragraphs, change their alignments, or experiment with their alignments, maybe I will just change it back to left, and I will click off to deselect.
Lastly I want to talk about Copy, Cut and Paste. We touched on these commands in the previous chapter, but I want to give you a practical example here. These commands are usually found under the Edit menu of all word processors and just about any other type of program in which you can type or create content. Here in Word, you'll find them under the Home tab in this first section here labeled Clipboard. We have Cut, Copy and Paste. Let's say I want to take this third paragraph of my document and swap places with the second paragraph. First, I'll highlight the entire paragraph to select it. Now quickly to do this is to triple click anywhere inside the paragraph.
So that's three quick clicks. Now let me click off of that ones. A double click selects an entire word, whereas a triple click will select the entire paragraph that words contained in, just keep that little shortcut in mind. Now with that entire paragraph selected, I'll click the Cut button. Again in other word processors you will choose Edit > Cut. Or you can use the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+X and I will just do that. Holding on the Ctrl key and pressing X. That removes or cuts the selected text out of the document, but its contents are now in a special part of my computer memory called the Clipboard.
Now click in front of the second paragraph where I want the Cut text to appear, because pasting text requires you to place your cursor wherever you want that pasted text to appear, and then you can choose Edit > Paste in most word processors or here in the Word I can click the Paste button or you can use the universal keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+V, and there it is. So I successfully moved that paragraph. So you'll use Cut when you want to move text from one location to another. And it's worth pointing out that cut or copied text can be pasted into any other document or application that accepts text.
So in some cases you might have text inside Microsoft Word that you do want to cut and then maybe put into another application like WordPad or web design program, anywhere we happen to working with text on your computer. So that's Cut. Now you'll use Copy when you don't want to remove the selected text. For example, this is Section 1 of this document I am working on. Maybe I am ready to start working on Section 2. Since the text here is already formatted the way I want, with the heading Section 1 Introduction in Bold and the text below it and the font I want, I am going to select the heading and the very first paragraph just by dragging through them.
Now I will click Copy. Again, you'd choose Edit > Copy or press Ctrl+C. Notice the text stays just where it is. All I have done is copied this text to my Clipboard now. I haven't removed it from the document. Now I just scroll down to the end of my document and place my cursor where I want the next section to begin, so I will just click right here and I will paste my text with Ctrl+V. So now I have a copy of that first heading paragraph. Now I can just change this by making this Section 2, by highlighting the number 1 and typing 2 and I will double click the word Introduction.
To highlight that hit my Caps Lock, and I am going to call this section, and there we go. So if you want your typing to replace existing text, just make sure you select the text and as soon as you start typing it will delete the selected text and your new text will appear as you type. And the same goes here for the body of the text. Because I want to keep this formatting, but not the text, I can just select the text and start typing. So there you have one practical use of the Copy and Paste commands.
Again, I highly suggest learning the keyboard shortcuts for Cut, Copy and Paste. The reason they're Ctrl+X, C and V is because those letters are all right next to each other on your keyboard and can be easily invoked with your left hand. This let's you control your mouse in text selections with your right hand and Cut, Copy and Paste with your left. Also bear in mind that once you've cut or copied some text, you can paste indefinitely until you Copy or Cut something else. So if necessary, I can place my cursor at the end of this document again, hit Ctrl+V to Paste, and you can see those introduction text was still stored in my computers Clipboard, and I can just continue hitting Ctrl+V to make as many copy as I want or need, until I Cut or Copy something else and then that most recent selection becomes added on my Clipboard.
So there you have some basic formatting and selection skills that will apply to whichever word processor you're using.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
82 Video lessons · 74465 Viewers
80 Video lessons · 129695 Viewers
52 Video lessons · 63939 Viewers
59 Video lessons · 49720 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.