Helpful tips when typing your paper




Setting up your margins:


 To set the margins for a document click Page Setup on the File menu, click the Margins tab, and then set the margins you want. Most teachers ask that you set the margins at 1” all around (top, bottom, left, right). Leave the gutter set at 0”, and header and footer from edge set at .5”.



Changing to landscape orientation:


              From the File menu, select Page Setup. Click the Paper Size tab, then click on Landscape



Setting up line spacing:


On the Format menu, click Paragraph command. You set line spacing on the Indents and Spacing tab.



First Line Indent


On the Format menu, click Paragraph command. In the Special list under Indentation, click First line. Another way is to use the Tab key at the beginning of each new paragraph.


Inserting a Header/Footer:


On the View menu, click Header and Footer. To create a header, enter text or graphics in the header area. Or click a button on the Header and Footer toolbar. When you finish, click Close. 

To create a different header on the first page, on the Header and Footer toolbar, click Page Setup.  Click the Layout tab and select the Different first page check box, and then click OK.


Inserting Page Number

On the Insert menu, click Page Numbers. In the Position box, specify whether to print page numbers in the header at the top of the page or in the footer at the bottom of the page. You can also insert page numbers when in the Header/Footer menu.


Selecting the View

To customize the way that Microsoft Word displays your document, select options on the View tab. Switch to Print Layout on the View menu (or print preview) to see page borders (the ruler). Page borders do not appear in Web layout view, normal view, or outline view.

Count words and lines in a document

On the Tools menu, click Word Count.


Spelling and Grammar Check

By default, Microsoft Word checks both spelling and grammar. If you want to check spelling only, click Options on the Tools menu, click the Spelling & Grammar tab, clear the Check grammar with spelling check box, and then click OK.


Using the Thesaurus

Select or type a word for which you want to find a synonym, an antonym, or related words. On the Tools menu, point to Language, and then click Thesaurus. Select the options you want.


Adding Bullets

 To add Bullets to an entire list, select the bulleted list button . Bullets will appear by each item in your list. You can also place your cursor where you list will begin, select the bulleted list button and then type in your items one at a time. Press Return/Enter at the end of each item and bullets appear at the beginning of each item you type. After completing your list and pressing Return/Enter another bullet will appear. To remove that bullet, deselect the bullet button in the formatting toolbar.


Setting up columns

Switch to Print Layout (Under View). On the Format menu, click Columns, and select your options. You can specify the number of columns you want, adjust their width, and add vertical lines between columns. You can also add a banner heading that spans the width of the page.

  • To format the entire document in columns, click Select All on the Edit menu.
  • To format part of the document in columns, select the text.
  • To format existing sections in columns, click in a section or select multiple sections.

To add a picture 

Go to Insert, and select Picture. If the picture you want to add is stored somewhere else on your computer, select From File and locate the folder that you have saved your photos in, then click on the picture you want to insert. You can also select to insert a picture from the Clip Art Gallery

After you have selected the picture you want, click Insert. The picture you want to include should appear on the Word page.


Text wrapping (and moving your picture)

If you want the text to wrap tightly and completely around a graphic, make sure that the correct wrapping style is selected. To check this, click the graphic, and then click the command on the Format menu for the type of object you selected — for example, AutoShape or Picture. On the Layout tab, make sure that Tight is selected under Wrapping style.

A shortcut to this feature would be to select the picture or drawing object that you want to move. On the Drawing/Picture toolbar, click Text wrapping, and select your wrapping style.


How to change/modify your picture

Make sure that the picture and drawing toolbars are available. Do this by going to View and Toolbars, and then clicking on Picture and Drawing. Click on the picture you opened. To change the size of the picture, click on the icon on the picture toolbar that says Format Picture.


To place your pictures in front of and behind each other, make sure that picture is highlighted, then right-click on it. Click on Order and then select the placement you would like for your picture.

To write on your photos, create a text box by clicking on the icon with the picture of a newspaper and a capital A on it. You can make this box invisible by highlighting the box, clicking on Format Text Box, and then changing Fill to No Fill and Line to No line.


To Crop a Picture

To crop using the Picture toolbar’s Crop button, select the picture, click the Crop button , and then drag any sizing handle on the picture.
To crop using the Picture tab of the Format Picture dialog box, click the Format Picture button on the Picture toolbar. Enter the amount that you want to crop each side of the picture—as a positive or negative number—into the Left, Right, Top, or Bottom box.


Saving your document

            From the File menu, select Save As (or click the Save icon in the standard toolbar). Name the document, and then select the location in which to save the file.


Title Page

According to the Writer’s Inc. Sample MLA Research Paper, the Title Page should be as follows:

Center the title one-third of the way down the page. Author information should include the following: Your name, the teacher’s name, the name of the class, the date the paper is due. The author information should be double-spaced and centered two-thirds of the way down. You can look at your page in Print Preview (Under File menu, select Print Preview) to see if you have it spaced properly.

Sample Template Title Page


To create an outline, follow this link.


Guidelines for typing "Works Cited" Page

1.  Begin each entry flush with the left margin; indent additional lines five spaces.
2.  Double-space between all lines on the Works-Cited page.
3.  Single-space after each period in a Works-Cited entry.

4.  Entries should be placed in alphabetical order.



This link has other Microsoft Word tips and tricks



Don’t forget that when you have questions on how to do something, you can always go to the Help menu, select Microsoft Word Help, and search for your answer!



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