Formatting With Microsoft Word

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Microsoft Word Help!   
 Most citation style manuals call for specific formatting "rules" when writing a thesis, dissertaion, Writing Cert III paper, or research paper. Here, briefly, are tips to answer common formatting questions.

*Remember, Microsoft Word has a great Help button in the top right corner!

Aligning  Block Quotes  Graphs  Hanging Indention  Headers  Hyperlinks  Images  Tables

Aligning: Left, Right, Center, Justify

Center major headings; almost everything else will be left-aligned (the default). To change alignment…

Place your cursor where you want to begin aligning the text or image. If you want to change the alignment of only a section, select that section.  
Under Home, look for four buttons in the Paragraph section, second row down. These buttons have seven tiny lines through them. They are, from left to right, align left, align center, align right, and justify. Select the appropriate button.

Block Quotes

Start on a new line and set off a block quote of more than 40 words by indenting it to the same position as a new paragraph… like this...

Type your quote, pressing enter at the start and end of the quote.  
Highlight the quote, and right click, choosing Paragraph.
Under Indentation > Left, enter 2.5
Click OK


Word allows you to create column, pie, line, scatter, and many other types of graphs. To do this…

Click Insert > Chart
Choose the style you want and click OK.
Word will open up a new window with a spreadsheet
Changing the values on the spreadsheet will change the graph in the document.
When you are done editing the values, you can close the spreadsheet.

Hanging Indentation

On your References page, you need to use hanging indentation to offset the author’s last name.

Center References at the top of the page.
On the next line, move the alignment back to left.
Right click and choose Paragraph.
Choose Special: Hanging, and click OK.

Headers & Page Numbers

Insert a running head and a page number at the top of each page. Here's how…

Go to Insert > Header.
Chose Edit Header.
Check the Different First Page box.
Choose Page Number > Top of Page > Plain  Number 1.
With your cursor in front of the number, type “Running Head: NAME OF PAPER” on the first page.
Hit the tab button three times, or until the page number is one inch from the right margin.
Scroll down to page 2.  Pagination should be continuous, but delete the words “Running Head”.  This should delete the words from all subsequent pages as well.

Hyperlinks, Delinking

When you are citing a website or page, you need to include the URL (  Microsoft Word automatically turns URLs into hyperlinks, with underlining and blue text. You can turn off this pesky feature…

Click on the round Windows button.
Select Word Options > Proofing > AutoCorrect Options > AutoFormat as you Type
Uncheck the box for Replace as you type…Internet & network paths with hyperlinks.
Click OK.
An alternative is to delink each hyperlink as you go…  

Right click on the hyperlink.
Choose Remove hyperlink.


Microsoft Word 2007 has powerful image editing capabilities. To insert a picture or figure…

Insert > Picture.
Browse to the folder where your image is saved, and double-click to insert it.
Click on the picture.
Make larger or smaller by dragging the circles at the edge of the picture.  Hold down the CTRL key to keep the ratios of the picture the same.
You will see a new tab at the top of the page that says Picture Tools > Format.
From this tab you can add a border, crop the picture, and compress the picture so the file size is smaller.


Tables are used frequently in APA to present data. To create a Table…

Type the table number and, on a new line, the table title.
Press enter and go to Insert > Table.
Choose the number of columns and rows you need (remember that at least one row and one column will contain descriptions rather than data).
Word will now show Table Tools > Design on the toolbar. You can make this tab reappear by highlighting the table.  
De-select Banded Columns  under Table Style Options.
Choose the second option (Light Shading) under Table Styles.

For more information on what APA style formatting involves, read  APA 6th Ed. Summary—Writing, or review the Manual in the Reference section of the Library