Format Text, Paragraphs, and Sections

In this module, we focus on getting text, paragraphs and sections – the meat of the document – to look great. We’ll explain how to insert special characters. We’ll cover the different methods of editing text, and we’ll look at formatting both text and paragraphs.  

We’ll also look at style and WordArt, as well as covering the different types of breaks to break up and organize documents. 

Inserting and Selecting Text and Paragraphs 

Topics in this Lesson Select text with the mouse or keyboard  Insert special characters 

Select Text with the Mouse or Keyboard 

In order to make changes to your text, you’ll need to know how to select it first. 

Show participants how to use the keyboard to select text. 

  1. Using the arrow keys, place the cursor either at the beginning of the text you want to select, or at the end of the text you want to select. 
  1. Hold down the shift key while pressing the arrow key to select text in that direction. 

The selected text is highlighted. 

Here’s how to use the mouse to select text. 

  1. Point the mouse to either the beginning or the end of the text you want to select. 
  1. Hold the left mouse button down. 
  1. Move the mouse to select the text. You can move left, right, up and/or down.  
  1. Let the mouse button up when you have finished selecting the text. 

Here’s how the mouse shortcuts for selecting text.  

  • You can double click on a word to select it. 
  • You can click three times on a paragraph to select the whole paragraph. 
  • You can click once to the left of a line to select the whole line.  
  • You can press Shift while clicking to add to your selection. The selections must be next to each other. 
  • You can press Control while clicking to add non-congruent text to your selection. 

Insert Special Characters 

Special characters are symbols that don’t appear on the keyboard. Common special characters include copyright and trademark symbols, currency signs and math symbols. 

Here’s how to insert special characters. 

  1. Select the Insert tab from the Ribbon. 
  1. Select Symbol from the Symbols group. 
  1. Select one of the common or recently used symbols. The Copyright symbol is used in this example. 

Here’s how the More Symbols option to open the Symbols dialog box. Browse through the available symbols or special characters. To insert one, select it and select Insert. 

Editing Text 

Topics in this Lesson Cut and paste text Copy and paste text using keyboard shortcuts Automatically change text using AutoCorrect Replace Text 

Cut and Paste Text 

Word makes it easy to move text in your document. You can cut text to remove it and paste it elsewhere. 

Here’s how to cut and paste text. Use the following procedure. 

  1. Highlight the text you want to cut. 
  1. Right click the mouse to display the context menu and select Cut
  1. Move the cursor to the new location. 
  1. Right click the mouse to display the context menu and select the Text Only paste option, as illustrated below. 

Copy and Paste using Keyboard Shortcuts 

Cut, copy and paste are such common actions, that you should learn the keyboard shortcuts. 

Here’s how to copy and paste text using the keyboard shortcuts. Use the following procedure. 

  1. Highlight the text you want to copy and press the Control key and the C key at the same time. 
  1. Move the cursor to the new location. 
  1. Press the Control key and the V key at the same time. 

Change Text Automatically Using AutoCorrect 

AutoCorrect is a Word option that corrects common typing errors and misspellings, as well as some kinds of other errors. 

Here’s how AutoCorrect changes text automatically. 

  1. Enter a common spelling, capitalization, or punctuation error. For example, try entering the word sentence as sentense. 
  1. The part that Word changes has a slight blue double blue line highlighting what was changed. Click on this bar to see options. 
  1. You can change the item back to how you typed it. 
  1. You can stop automatically correcting that text when you enter it in the future. 
  1. You can open the Options for controlling how AutoCorrect works. 

Here’s how the AutoCorrect options. 

Replace Text 

You can quickly replace one or more instances of a word or phrase using the Find and Replace dialog box. 

Here’s how to replace text. 

  1. Select Replace from the Editing group on the Home tab of the Ribbon. 
  1. In the Find and Replace dialog box, enter the exact text you want to find in the Find What field. 
  1. Enter the replacement text in the Replace With field. 
  1. Select Find Next to find the next instance of the item. 
  1. When Word highlights the item, select Replace to delete the “find” item and paste the “replace” item. 
  1. Select Close when you have finished. Or select Cancel to close the dialog box without making any replacements. 

Formatting Text 

Topics in this Lesson Apply font face and size Use the font context list Apply formatting with the Format Painter Highlight text 

Apply Font Face and Size 

The look of your text and document is largely made up of what font face and style you use. Fonts give your text a different feel to make up your design. 

Here’s how to apply font face and size. 

  1. Select the text you want to change. 
  1. Select the arrow next to the current font name to display the list of available fonts. 
  1. Use the scroll bar or the down arrow to scroll down the list of fonts. 
  1. Select the desired font to change the font of text. 
  1. With the text still selected, select the arrow next to the current font size to see a list of common font sizes. 
  1. Use the scroll bar or the down arrow key to scroll to the size you want and select it. You can also highlight the current font size and type in a new number to indicate the font size you want. 

Use the Font Context List 

You may have noticed the context menu that appears when you select text. This makes it easy to change the font and size. 

Here’s how the font context list that appears when you select text. 

  1. Select the text you want to change. 
  1. A very faint context menu appears. Move your mouse over the menu to make sure it stays visible.  
  1. Select the new font face or font size just as you would on the Ribbon. 

Use the Format Painter 

The Format Painter allows you to copy the formatting of your text and use it again. 

Here’s how to apply formatting by using Format Painter. 

  1. Select the text that already has the formatting you want to elsewhere. 
  1. Select the Format Painter tool from the Home tab on the Ribbon. 
  1. Select the text you want to format. 

Highlight Text 

Apply a highlighter to text to help it stand out. 

Here’s how to apply a text highlighter to text sections. 

  1. Select the text you want to highlight. 
  1. Select the arrow next to the highlighter tool to change the color. 
  1. Select the color to apply the highlighting. 

Formatting Paragraphs 

Topics in this Lesson Change spacing Add or remove space before or after a paragraph Use Indents and Tabs Clear formatting 

Change Line Spacing 

You can control the amount of space in between lines with Line Spacing. 

Here’s how to set line spacing. 

  1. With your cursor anywhere in the paragraph you want to adjust (the text does not have to be selected), select the Line and Paragraph spacing tool from the Ribbon. 
  1. Select one of the following options: 
  • 1.0 – single spacing 
  • 1.15 –a little more space than single spacing 
  • 1.50 – one and a half line spacing 
  • 2.0 – double spacing 
  • 2.5 – two and a half line spacing 
  • 3.0 – triple spacing 

Change Paragraph Spacing 

The space before and after a paraph is different than line spacing. This helps in your design with grouping items together. For example, you might want extra space before a heading to separate it from the other text. 

Here’s how to add or remove space before or after a paragraph. 

  1. With your cursor anywhere in the paragraph you want to adjust (the text does not have to be selected), select the Line and Paragraph spacing tool from the Ribbon. 
  1. The Paragraph spacing options listed are based on your current settings. You can choose one of the following to add or remove space before or after your paragraph: 
  • Add Space Before Paragraph 
  • Remove Space Before Paragraph 
  • Add Space After Paragraph 
  • Remove Space After Paragraph 

The amount added by default is usually 12 points. 

Use Indents and Tabs 

Indents and tabs are another way to give your document a professional finish, depending on the look you are trying to achieve. 

Here’s how to add a whole paragraph indent. Use the following procedure. 

  1. With your cursor anywhere in the paragraph you want to adjust (the text does not have to be selected), select the Indent tool from the Home tab of the Ribbon. You can also select multiple paragraphs by selecting the text. 

Clear Formatting 

The Clear Formatting tool removes all of the formatting properties from the selected text or an entire paragraph. 

Here’s how to clear formatting. 

  1. With your cursor anywhere in the paragraph you want to adjust (or just the text you want to change selected), select the Clear All Formatting tool from the Home tab on the Ribbon.  

Using Styles and WordArt 

Topics in this Lesson Apply built-in styles to text Change text to WordArt 

Apply Built-in Styles  

Word supplies a number of built-in styles, based on the theme and document formatting, that quickly give your document a professional finish. 

Here’s how to apply built-in styles to text. 

  1. With your cursor anywhere in the paragraph you want to style, hover over the Style in the Style Gallery to see a preview.  
  1. Open the Style Gallery to see additional styles by selecting the More arrow at the bottom right of the Style Gallery. 
  1. Select the style you want to apply. 

Note that the Style Gallery is also available from the context menu when you select text to make it easy to apply built-in styles for the selected characters. 

Change Text to WordArt 

WordArt can quickly add impact to your document. 

Here’s how to change text to WordArt. 

  1. Select the text you want to change. 
  1. Select the Insert tab from the Ribbon. 
  1. Select WordArt from the Text group. 
  1. Select the WordArt style to apply it. 

WordArt is placed in a separate text box and can be formatted like other objects. We’ll talk more about formatting objects in Module 5. 

Breaking Up Text  

Topics in this Lesson Insert a page break Insert a section break Insert a column break Format text in multiple columns Add a landscape section to a portrait-oriented document 

Insert a Page Break 

Page breaks can give your documents a professional polish by making sure that certain content starts on a new page. 

Here’s how to insert a page break. 

  1. Place the cursor where you want to page break to be inserted. 
  1. Select the Layout tab from the Ribbon. 
  1. Select the Breaks tool. 
  1. Select Page

Insert a Section Break 

Sections make it possible to include different headers and footers, different types of page numbers, and different page layouts in the same document. 

Here’s how to insert a section break. 

  1. Place the cursor where you want to page break to be inserted. 
  1. Select the Layout tab from the Ribbon. 
  1. Select the Breaks tool. 
  1. Select Next Page

Change Page Setup Options for a Section 

This topic illustrates one of the ways that having sections in your document can help create a professional-looking finished product.  

Here’s how to add a landscape section to a document that is portrait oriented. Use the following procedure. 

  1. Make sure that the cursor is located AFTER the section break 
  1. Select the Layout tab from the Ribbon. 
  1. Select Landscape from the Orientation drop down list. 

The new section has a different page orientation. 

Create Multiple Column Layout 

Columns are great for certain types of content, like newsletter articles or an index.  

Here’s how to format text in multiple columns. 

  1. Place your cursor anywhere in the text that will be formatted in columns. 
  1. Select the Layout tab from the Ribbon. 
  1. Select the Columns tool. 
  1. Select the Column layout to apply it. 

Insert a Column Break 

If you want to control the text you’ve formatted in columns, you can insert a column break. 

Here’s how to insert a column break. 

  1. Place the cursor where you want to column break to be inserted. 
  1. Select the Layout tab from the Ribbon. 
  1. Select the Breaks tool. 
  1. Select Column