Problem: You keep typing 4th, but Word insists on displaying 4th. Because Word automatically changes ordinals into superscripts, your citations do not comply with the Bluebook’s required format.
Solution: Disable the AutoFormat option that automatically superscripts all ordinals.
Explanation: AutoFormat automatically configures text for designated text as you type. For example, AutoFormat will change "straight" quotes to “smart” quotes, superscript ordinals from 4th to 4th, change double hyphens -- to dashes –, and format bulleted lists. Word’s default settings enable some AutoFormat options. The tutorials below explain the AutoFormat options that Word offers and provide a step-by-step explanation with supporting visuals on how to enable or disable those options.
Problem: You now frequently use § and ¶ in your writing. Manually inserting these symbols each time you need them is too much trouble and takes too much time.
Solution: You have two options: (1) use AutoCorrect to change a sequence of keystrokes to your symbol, or (2) assign a shortcut keys to symbols that you frequently use.
Explanation: Whether you chose to insert symbols using AutoCorrect or a shortcut key will likely depend on whether you prefer to remember a sequence of keystrokes (AutoCorrect) or a combination of keys (shortcut keys).
Problem: You know that the court rules and the course policies establish margin requirements for your document, but you can’t figure out how to ensure that your document conforms to those requirements.
Solution: Word automatically sets a one-inch page margin. If the court rules or the course policies require different margins, use the Margins gallery on the Layout tab to modify your document’s margins.
Problem: I need a quick tutorial on paragraph formatting in general.
Solution: Microsoft has a one minute video and accompanying written instructions for that! The video and written instructions include the following topics:
Problem: Most of my document should be double spaced, but I need some parts to be single spaced, such as my headings and block quotes.
Solution: Start out by double spacing your document. From the Design tab, select the paragraph spacing drop down menu and select Double. Note that this tab also gives you six other spacing options, including a “tight” paragraph that eliminates the space between paragraphs. Next, select the text that you want to be single spaced. From the Home tab, select the Line and Paragraph Spacing button in the Paragraph box, and select 1.0 spacing.
Problem: You want the first line of each paragraph to include an indent, and manually adding a tab at the beginning of each paragraph is tiresome.
Solution: Adjust your document’s paragraph settings within the Home tab using the Paragraph Dialog Box located in the Paragraph section.
Explanation: When you include a first line indent, the first line of your paragraph is indented by a half tab more than the remaining lines in your paragraph. First line indents help your document to more visibly set off paragraph breaks, which enhances your document’s readability. You can easily add a first line indent manually by using either the tab button on your keyboard or by adjusting the document’s ruler tabs. However, the most efficient way to add a first line indent is to adjust your paragraph settings so that Word automatically creates a first line indent each time you begin a new paragraph.
Problem: Word defaults to left alignment, which means that the text lines up flush with the left margin. However, your supervisor prefers text to be fully justified, meaning that the text lines up flush with the left and right margins.
Solution: On the Home tab, in the Paragraph section, click on the Justify button. If you have already started drafting, select the text that you have drafted before you click on the Justify button.
Explanation: The Paragraph section provides buttons for the most common types of paragraph alignment.
Tutorial (including instructions on alternative methods for adjusting your document’s alignment):
Problem: You’d like to create a list to visually offset information within your document, and you’d like all of your information to align uniformly.
Solution: Create a bulleted or numbered list.
Explanation: If you are starting with a blank document, place your cursor where you would like the bulleted or numbered list to appear. From the Home tab, click the arrow next to Bullets or Numbering, select the style you would like, and start typing.
If you have an existing list, highlight that list with your cursor. From the Home tab, click the arrow next to Bullets or Numbering, select the style you would like, and Word will apply your choice to the highlighted text.
You can also create a multilevel list by using the tab key to indent the text you select.
Problem: You’ve included a bulleted or numbered list in your document, but you would prefer for the spacing between the bullets and the text to be smaller. You anticipate wanting to make other formatting changes, too, but you’re going to tackle those issues as they arise.
Solution: You can adjust the list indents by selecting the bullets or numbers, right clicking, and selecting Adjust List Indents. You could also adjust the indents manually by sliding the arrows on the ruler at the top of your document, but that method would apply to only one number or bullet, and not your list as a whole.
Explanation: You can control the appearance of your list in many ways, including adjusting the list indents, adjusting the space between items in your list, changing the bullet style, and changing the starting number in the list.
Problem: You would like all or a part of your document’s text to align on the page differently than Word’s formatting presets.
Solution: Use the Ruler to set tabs in the locations on the page where you want your text to align. Simply click the location on the Ruler where you want the tab to appear.
Explanation: Tabs control the placement of text. You can set different kinds of tabs: left, middle, right, decimal, and bar tabs. To view the Ruler at the top of your document so that you can easily set tabs, select the View tab, then check the Ruler box within Show. To clear or remove a tab, drag the tab off the Ruler.
Problem: You’ve copied text from another document, but when you paste that text into your own document, the text retains its original formatting, which then alters your document’s formatting.
Solution: Use the Paste Options button , which appears above your text when you paste it. Select Keep Text Only to paste your text without its original formatting, and Word will conform the pasted text to your document’s text.
Problem: Information that needs to stay together on the same page—like your signature block—is split between two pages.
Solution: You could use the Enter button to push onto the next page the information that you need to keep together. However, this method could create formatting issues when you later edit your document because adding or deleting text will move the text that falls below those edits. Instead, use a page break to push the text onto the next page.
Problem: Your document includes a blank page at the end that you can’t get rid of.
Solution: Documents sometimes contain a non-deletable end paragraph that spills onto the last page, thus causing the document to end with a blank page. You can delete the blank page if you can fit the end paragraph onto the preceding page.
Explanation: Sometimes, deleting a blank page is as easy as selecting all of the lines on the page and hitting the backspace or delete button. Other times, deleting the last page can be more complicated because your document includes coding that may not be visible to you.
Problem: You know that the court rules and course policies require you to number the pages in your document, but you don’t know how to efficiently include page numbers.
Solution: From the Insert tab, use the Page Number button within the Header & Footer section.