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Basic formatting of paragraphs in Word 2016
Paragraph Formatting Basics
Strategic Group | Strategic Group
Microsoft Word 2016
Table of Figures 2
Formatting Paragraphs 3
Paragraph formatting affects the entire paragraph 3
To save time, use styles to format paragraphs 3
Types of Paragraph Formatting 3
Line spacing 5
Space Between Paragraphs 7
Borders and Shading 9
Text Flow 13
TAB Stops 15
Default Tab Stops 15
Custom Tab Stops 15
Types of Tab Stops 18
Tab Stop Leaders 19
New paragraphs keep the formatting of the previous paragraph 19
Paragraph marks “store” the format of each paragraph 19
Table of Figures
Figure 1 The Paragraph Dialog 4
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Paragraph%20Formatting%20Basics.docxFigure 2 Line and Paragraph Spacing Command 5
Figure 3 Line Spacing Options 5
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Paragraph%20Formatting%20Basics.docxFigure 4 Paragraph Group on Layout Tab of Ribbon 7
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Paragraph%20Formatting%20Basics.docxFigure 5 Alignment Options in Paragraph Dialog 8
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Paragraph%20Formatting%20Basics.docxFigure 6 Alignment Commands on Home Tab 8
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Paragraph%20Formatting%20Basics.docxFigure 7 Border Command Drop-down 9
Figure 8 The Borders and Shading Dialog 9
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Paragraph%20Formatting%20Basics.docxFigure 9 Indentation Settings in the Paragraph Dialog 10
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Paragraph%20Formatting%20Basics.docxFigure 10 Right Indent Marker on Ruler 10
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Paragraph%20Formatting%20Basics.docxFigure 11 Sliding marker on the left of top ruler 11
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Paragraph%20Formatting%20Basics.docxFigure 12 Left Indent marker at 2cm position on ruler 11
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Paragraph%20Formatting%20Basics.docxFigure 13 First line indent of 1.5cm on ruler 12
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Paragraph%20Formatting%20Basics.docxFigure 14 2cm hanging indent on ruler 12
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Paragraph%20Formatting%20Basics.docxFigure 15 Decrease and Increase Indent Commands 12
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Paragraph%20Formatting%20Basics.docxFigure 16 Text Flow Options in the Line and Page Breaks Tab 13
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Paragraph%20Formatting%20Basics.docxFigure 17 Text Flow Control Indicator at beginning of Paragraph 14
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Paragraph%20Formatting%20Basics.docxFigure 18 The Tabs Dialog 15
Figure 19 Tab Stop Selector at top of Vertical Ruler 16
Figure 20 Ruler showing Custom Tab Stops 16
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Paragraph%20Formatting%20Basics.docxFigure 21 Tabulation Columns Typed as Separate Paragraphs 17
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Paragraph%20Formatting%20Basics.docxFigure 22 Tabulation Columns Typed as One Paragraph 18
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Paragraph%20Formatting%20Basics.docxFigure 23 The Tabs Dialog 19
Figure 24 Tab Stop Leaders 19
In Word, a paragraph is any amount of text and/or inline objects (such as graphics, equations and charts) that are followed by a paragraph mark (¶). You insert a paragraph mark each time you press the Enter key on your keyboard. If you don’t see paragraph marks on the screen, click the Show/Hide button in the Paragraph Group on the Home Tab of the Ribbon to display them (or CTRL+SHIFT + 8 on the keyboard - using the 8 above the alphabetic keys, not on the numeric keypad).
NB. To force Word to begin a new line without starting a new paragraph, type SHIFT+ENTER at the end of the line. Instead of a paragraph mark you will now see a line feed arrow (). All lines with a line feed character between them remain in the one paragraph.
Paragraph formatting affects the entire paragraph
When you apply paragraph formatting, the formatting will affect the whole of the paragraph that the insertion point is currently in. To apply paragraph formatting to several paragraphs, select any part of those paragraphs before applying the formatting.
This may be achieved by dragging your mouse through multiple, contiguous paragraphs. To affect non-contiguous paragraphs, select at least one character in one paragraph and hold down the CTRL key while dragging the mouse through at least one character in each of the other paragraphs in the document you wish to format.
To save time, use styles to format paragraphs
When you use the same combination of paragraph formats repeatedly in one document, or across many documents, it is best to create paragraph styles. Paragraph (and character) styles are covered in a
Types of Paragraph Formatting
There are seven kinds of basic paragraph formatting:
Space Between Paragraphs
Borders And Shading
All of this paragraph formatting can be set by placing the insertion point in the paragraph and clicking on the Launcher in the Paragraph Group of the Home Tab in the Ribbon.
LauncherFigure 1 Paragraph Dialog Launcher
Alternately, click with the right mouse button in the paragraph you wish to format and choosing “Paragraph” from the shortcut menu. In either case, the Paragraph dialog appears:
Figure 1 The Paragraph Dialog
This defines the distance between lines of text within a paragraph.
Figure 2 Line and Paragraph Spacing CommandYou may also use the Line and Paragraph Spacing drop-down command in the Paragraph Group in the Home Tab to quickly set a line spacing, or select Line Spacing Options… to open the Paragraph Dialog.
In the Paragraph Dialog, the Line Spacing drop-down gives six options to choose from:
Figure 3 Line Spacing Options
The actual line height of any particular line in the paragraph is determined by the largest font size in the line. This paragraph has single spacing with 12pt being the largest font size.
This paragraph has a font size of 16pt, so the line height is larger than the previous paragraph.
This paragraph has a font size of 12pt but a single word within it has a 22pt size. This word causes the line height to be increased, just for the line that contains the large-sized word.
The actual line height is determined by the largest font size in the line, but Word will add an extra 50% of space between lines. This paragraph has 1.5 spacing.
This paragraph has a font size of 12pt with line spacing of 1.5 but a single word within it has a 22pt size. This word does not cause the line height to be increased, because it can still fit within the 1.5 line spacing.
The actual line height is determined by the largest font size in the line, but Word will add an extra 100% of space between lines. This paragraph has double spacing.
The actual line height may be increased to fit the largest font size in the line, but Word will ensure there is no less than the designated space between lines set in the At: box. So if the font size is reduced, Word will not continue to bring the lines closer together below the value you have set. This paragraph has At Least 20pt spacing with 12pt font size.
This paragraph has been set to exactly 12pt line spacing. Even when one word of this paragraph is set to 26pt size, Word does not increase the spacing but chops off part of the characters.
(Note that web sites may not render this in the same way that Word does – try it yourself in a desktop Word document.)
The actual line height is determined by the largest font size in the line, but Word will add extra space between lines based on the value you set in the At: box. This paragraph is 12pt with line spacing of Multiple 4.
As a general rule, it is not a good idea to use empty paragraphs to create space between paragraphs. It is much better to use the property of each paragraph to control this.
There is another Paragraph Group on the Layout Tab of the Ribbon:
Figure 4 Paragraph Group on Layout Tab of Ribbon
Note the Before: and After: spinners that make it easy to quickly alter spacing before and after the paragraph you are currently working in.
To make it even easier, you may right click on each of these spinners and add them to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) for ease of access. (I also recommend changing the QAT to display below the Ribbon, not above. It is much easier to use when displayed below the Ribbon – just right-click on the QAT and choose to display below the Ribbon.)
The Paragraph Dialog lists the four types of paragraph alignment in the Alignment: drop-down:
Figure 5 Alignment Options in Paragraph Dialog
These four alignments each have a command on the Paragraph Group of the Home Tab:
Figure 6 Alignment Commands on Home Tab
Left-aligned is the default paragraph alignment. Lines within the paragraph align on their left-hand ends but the right-hand ends are ragged. Word will not break words across lines, unless hyphenation is turned on, so this results in the raggedness on the right-hand end of lines.
Right-aligned paragraphs, such as this one, align on the right-hand end of the lines and are ragged on the left-hand end. Word will not break words across lines, unless hyphenation is turned on, so this results in the raggedness on the left-hand end of lines.
Centre-aligned paragraphs result in raggedness on both the left and right hand ends of each line as the line is centred midway between the left and right-hand margins. Note that this may not be centred on the page, if the left and right margins are not equal.
Justified paragraphs have both the left and right-hand line ends aligned. To achieve this, Word automatically increases the width of the spaces between words until both ends align. There is a limit to how much this can be done before the line becomes difficult to read, so Word will not force the alignment on any short last line of the paragraph. Justified paragraphs are considered to give a document a more formal and authoritative appearance when used throughout the document.
Remember that the paragraph alignment may be applied to paragraphs within table cells and text boxes, enhancing the graphical effect as appropriate.
Borders and Shading
Figure 7 Border Command Drop-downClick on the arrow portion of the Borders Command in the Paragraph Group of the Home Tab:
Try using the various options that are listed to place a border around the current paragraph. Some options will only apply if you have more than one paragraph selected before apply, including the Inside Borders Command.
Choose the Borders and Shading… command at the bottom of the drop-down list for the borders and shading dialog box:
Figure 8 The Borders and Shading Dialog
This gives you full control over the borders and shading, including the colour and width of the border that appears around the paragraph.
Once a border has been drawn around a paragraph, you may use the mouse to adjust its proximity to the text. Simply move the mouse over the border until the “adjust” mouse arrows appear and drag the border further from, or closer to, the text.
If you select more than one paragraph before applying a border, you may choose to have the border surround the entire multiple paragraphs only, or have borders around each paragraph.
The shading tab of the Borders and Shading dialog allows you to fill paragraphs with colour and patterns. This paragraph has solid shading.
There are four types of indents that may be applied to a paragraph, as shown in the Paragraph Dialog:
Figure 9 Indentation Settings in the Paragraph Dialog
They are Left, Right, First line and Hanging indents.
They may be applied by using the Paragraph Dialog, but a quicker way is to use the top ruler. (If the rulers are not showing, select the View Tab in the Ribbon and check the Ruler box in the Show Group.)
The Right Indent is controlled by the small marker on the right-hand margin in the ruler:
Figure 10 Right Indent Marker on Ruler
You may slide this marker to the left to indent the current paragraph (or multiple paragraphs if you have selected multiples). This paragraph has a 2cm right indent and the ruler looks like:
Figure 12 Ruler showing 2cm Right Indent2cm right indentSliding to the right beyond the right margin will produce an outdent into the margin area.
The other three indents are controlled by the marker on the left-hand end of the top ruler:
Figure 11 Sliding marker on the left of top ruler
Note that this marker has three parts to it; the top section points down, a lower section that points up, and a rectangular part at the bottom. You have to use accurate mouse skills, but the three components may be dragged left or right on the ruler individually. If you click on and drag the rectangular component, the entire marker slides as a unit.
This paragraph has a 2cm left indent, with left alignment. This causes the left-hand end of each line in the paragraph to be 2cm in from the left-hand margin. To apply this using the ruler, drag the rectangular bottom part of the marker and it moves as a unit:
Figure 12 Left Indent marker at 2cm position on ruler
If you click and drag the top section, you are indenting the first line of the paragraph only. All subsequent lines in the paragraph will align with the lower section of the marker. This is called a first line indent. This paragraph has a 1.5cm first line indent and the ruler looks like this:
Figure 13 First line indent of 1.5cm on ruler
Dragging the lower section (the part that points up) controls the starting position of all lines in the paragraph other than the first line. This paragraph has a 2cm hanging indent; called this because it looks a little like the subsequent lines are hanging from the first line. The ruler for this paragraph looks like:
Figure 14 2cm hanging indent on ruler
Once the upper (first line) and lower (hanging indent) parts are separated, as above, you may drag the rectangular component and both parts will again move, retaining their separation. To bring the components back together, drag either the first line or hanging indent parts back together with the other part.
Tip: double-click any part of the indent sliders to open the Paragraph Dialog.
Two command buttons in the Paragraph Group on the Home Tab make it easy to increase and decrease the left indent of a paragraph:
Figure 15 Decrease and Increase Indent Commands
The Paragraph Dialog has a check box labelled Mirror Indents. Check this if you are doing book-style publishing of the document and you wish the indents to swap, depending upon whether the paragraph is on an even or odd numbered page. The indents become Inside and Outside Indents instead of Left and Right Indents.
The second tab in the Paragraph Dialog, labelled Line and Page Breaks, provides options for controlling the text flow for the paragraph.
Figure 16 Text Flow Options in the Line and Page Breaks Tab
The first checkbox turns on Widow and Orphan control, which is usually a good thing to have checked. The definition of widows and orphans, in typesetting, is:
Widow: A paragraph-ending line that falls at the beginning of the following page or column, thus separated from the rest of the text of the paragraph.
Orphan: A paragraph-opening line that appears by itself at the bottom of a page or column, thus separated from the rest of the text of the paragraph.
Word automatically prevents these two possibilities by moving lines of text between pages, if the option is checked.
Keep with next ensures this paragraph is on the same page as the next paragraph. This is useful, for example, for headings where you do not usually want a heading at the bottom of a page and then the content relating to the heading on the next page.
Keep lines together ensures that the paragraph is not split across two pages.
Page break before ensures that this paragraph is always at the top of a page. Note that no page break indicator appears in the document, as when you press CTRL+Enter to create a hard page break.
Suppress line numbers causes this paragraph to have no line numbers, if line numbering is turned on in the document via the Page Setup Dialog.
Note that, if you have Keep with next, Keep lines together, Page break before, or Suppress line numbers selected for a paragraph, and you have Show/Hide all characters turned on (), you will see a small square dot at the start of the paragraph. This tells you that the paragraph has at least one of these text flow options turned on.
Figure 17 Text Flow Control Indicator at beginning of Paragraph
Don’t hyphenate prevents any automatic hyphenation in this paragraph, should automatic hyphenation be turned on.
When you are working with a paragraph inside of a text box, the final option in the Line and Page Breaks Tab becomes available.
You can use the text box options to wrap the text that surrounds the text box more tightly. To use these options, the text box border must be transparent (no line and no fill), and the Wrap Text must be set at Tight or Through.
1.Inside the text box, right-click, and then click Paragraph.
2.Click the Line and Page Breaks tab.
3.Under Textbox options, in the Tight wrap list, click one of the following:
First and Last Lines
First Line Only
Last Line Only
Figure 18 The Tabs DialogTab Stops are used to create Tabulation Columns down the page, for example when you wish to create lists of prices, part numbers etc. When you create a new document you already have a set of tab stops across the page called the default tab stops. Every time you tap the TAB key on the keyboard, the insertion point jumps to the next default tab stop. Word’s default Tab Stops are set to 1.27cm (half an inch) but it would be better in metric countries to change this to 1cm or similar. NB. Tables are often an easier and more flexible way to align columns of typing on the page.
Default Tab Stops
To set the default Tab Stop width, click the paragraph launcher to open the paragraph dialog, then click on the Tabs… button at the bottom.
In the top-right of the Tabs Dialog, you may set the default tab stop distance for the document. To change the default tab stop size for all documents, open the template and set it there (since there is no Set as default button in this dialog).
If you have show all characters () on, you will see an arrow () where you typed the tab. It will be centred across the white space that the insertion point has left (Remember the arrow will not print on the paper). The tab arrow can be deleted like any other character you type.
Custom Tab Stops
When you use tabulation columns it is better to create your own tab stops that override the default tab stops. Your objective in using tabulation columns is to press the tab key only once between columns. In the Tabs dialog, type the position at which you require the tab stop and choose from one of the five types of tab stops (left, centre, right, decimal and bar). Then press the Set button to set that tab stop. Repeat this process for each tab stop you require. When you press the OK button, you will see your tab stops on the top ruler.
Notice that all default tab stops to the left of your first custom tab stop have disappeared but they remain to the right of your last (right most) custom tab stop. Now you only need tab once to jump to your next custom tab stop.
You can set tab stops directly on the ruler by clicking at the point that you require the stop. The default type is the left aligned tab stop but you can choose any of the five types by firstly clicking on the tab stop selection button on the very top of the left hand ruler (vertical ruler). It cycles through the five types of tab stops each time you click, as well as the Left Indent and Hanging Indent selectors.
Tab stop type selector
Figure 19 Tab Stop Selector at top of Vertical Ruler
Once you have chosen the tab stop type, click on the bottom section of the top ruler. A mark will appear on the ruler showing the position and type of the tab stop.
Figure 20 Ruler showing Custom Tab Stops
You can also open the Tabs dialog by double-clicking on the very top of the white section of the top ruler. If you double-click on the lower part of the top ruler, you will create a new tab stop unless you double click (accurately) on an existing custom tab stop.
You may also adjust the position of a tab stop by holding the mouse down on it and dragging it to the left or right on the ruler. When you do this the tab stop snaps to the ruler marks, each quarter centimetre. If you need to position a tab stop more accurately, you will have to open the Tabs dialog and type an exact measurement. As you drag the tab stop left or right on the ruler, hold down the ALT key (or both mouse buttons) to see the measurements from the left margin and to the right margin.
To remove a tab stop, click on it and drag it down off of the ruler until it disappears.
Remember that tab stops are part of paragraph formatting. This means that each and every paragraph can have its own, different set of tab stops if you wish. It also means that it is probably a good idea to type tabulation columns as one paragraph by typing a SHIFT+ENTER at the end of each line instead of an ENTER key.
An example of using tabulation columns is:
Figure 21 Tabulation Columns Typed as Separate Paragraphs
Note that the top ruler shows the tab stops (the insertion point is in the Product No. 1 paragraph). The only issue with typing each product line as a separate paragraph is that you must remember to select all paragraphs before adjusting the position of the tab stops on the ruler (or via the Tabs Dialog).
The same list typed as one paragraph looks like:
Figure 22 Tabulation Columns Typed as One Paragraph
Note that I have left the headings in their own paragraph as they probably will have different types of tab stops from the body of the columns. Now I just need to click anywhere inside of the product list to adjust the tab stops on the ruler and it adjusts all lines. To create the spacing between product items I have used the line spacing within a paragraph, instead of spacing between paragraphs.
Types of Tab Stops
There are five types of tab stops:
Left The left-hand end of any text typed at this tab stop will align with the stop.
Centre The centre of any text typed at this tab stop will align with the stop.
Right The right-hand end of any text typed at this tab stop will align with the stop.
Decimal Used for a column of numbers, the decimal point of the numbers typed will align.
Bar Draws a vertical separating bar down the page between the columns at this point.
Tab Stop Leaders
Figure 23 The Tabs DialogThe Tabs Dialog has a Leader section.
Any of the custom tab stops you set may include a leader; a string of dots (2), dashes (3) or underscores (4) that lead up to the tab stop.
This is commonly used for signature lines, for example. In the figure below, two tab stops have been set at 8.5 and 12cm, each with an underscore leader.
Now it is very easy to adjust the tab stop positions (drag them left or right on the top ruler) to adjust the width of the signature and date areas.
Figure 24 Tab Stop Leaders
New paragraphs keep the formatting of the previous paragraph
If you apply paragraph formatting to a particular paragraph, then place the insertion point at the end of the paragraph (just before the paragraph mark) and press enter, the new paragraph created by pressing enter will have the exact same paragraph formatting. In effect, pressing enter at the end of a paragraph causes the paragraph mark to be duplicated to create the next paragraph. One instance when this may be overridden is when you are using paragraph styles.
Similarly, if you place the insertion point at the very beginning of a paragraph and press Enter, the new paragraph created above the existing paragraph will have the same formatting as the paragraph you were in when you pressed the Enter key.
Paragraph marks “store” the format of each paragraph
In essence the paragraph mark at the end of each paragraph can be thought of as storing all the paragraph formatting applied to that paragraph. Paragraph marks can be copied and pasted just like any other typed text. This means that you may copy the paragraph mark of one paragraph and paste it over the top of a second paragraph’s mark and that second paragraph will now have all of the first paragraph’s paragraph formatting.
P: 1300 857 048
F: 02 4962 5102
We are a Team, We are Reliable, We are Passionate, We act with Integrity, We Care
3alog and type an exact measurement. As you drag the tab stop left or right on the ruler, hold down the ALT key (or both mouse buttons) to see the measurements from the left margin and to the right margin.
Similarly, if you place the insertion point at the very beginning of a paragraph and press Enter, the new paragraph created above the existing paragraph will have the same formatting