MSWord Page Layout

Page Layout

In earlier lessons, you learnt about Shortcuts, Navigation and Options. Now you are almost ready to learn how to change the Letter to Format so that it will print out like the Letter Example below.

Learn about margins
Use the Reveal Formatting pane

1.        Learn about margins

This is how the margins are set up. See how the arrows show where the measurements apply. The header takes up the upper part of the top margin and the footer takes up the lower part of the bottom margin.

Illustrates a page with body text and top, bottom, left and right margins. Shows the spacing of header and footer from text and page edes.
A page showing top, bottom, left and right margins, with header and footer.

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2.  Use the Reveal Formatting pane

Place your cursor in the paragraph whose formatting you want to see, press Shift+F1, and the Reveal Formatting pane opens on the right of your screen.

The Reveal Formatting pane featured in an earlier blog post.

Click here for a PDF of this lesson.
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– Display settings

MSWord Options 3 – Personalise Display Settings

Options – Personalise your Display settings

MSWord allows you to personalise many settings under File – Options – Advanced. Scroll down the Advanced settings to see what is available. Below I explain the Display settings.

To personalise your Display settings:

  1. Go to the File tab and select the Options button.
  2. In the left pane of the Word Options dialog box, select the Advanced option.
  3. Scroll down to see the Display block.
    Note the position of the slider in the vertical scroll bar shown in the illustration below.
The Word Option’s dialog box showing the Display block

Show this number of recent documents. – Enter the number of items, between 1 and 50, to display in the Recent Documents list. After you press Ctrl+o, Pinned and Recent documents are displayed in the Open pane, shown below. Note that the recent documents are labelled “Today” and not “Recent”.

Recent and Pinned documents are displayed in the Open pane.
  • To remove a file from the Recent Documents list, right-click on the filename and select Remove from list from the drop-down menu.
  • To clear all the entries from the Recent Documents list, right-click on the last filename in the list and select Clear unpinned items from the drop-down menu.
  • To pin a document to the top of the list, select the filename and click on the ‘pin’ in the centre of the highlighted area, as shown below.

Quickly access this number of Recent Documents – Enable the Quick Access Recent documents list

Show this number of unpinned Recent Folders – (Added in 2013)

Show measurements in units of Select the measurement unit that you want to use for the horizontal ruler and for measurements that you type in dialog boxes. As you can see in the illustration, I use “Centimeters”.

Style area pane width in Draft and Outline views  Type a positive decimal, such as 0.5, in the box to open the style area, which displays the names of the styles applied to text. To close the style area, enter 0. I use “3 cm”.

Show pixels for HTML features Select this option to use pixels as the default unit of measurement in dialog boxes that are related to HTML features.

Show shortcut keys in Screen Tips Select this option to display keyboard shortcuts in the Screen Tips that appear when you hover your cursor over an item in a toolbar.

Show horizontal scroll bar – Select this option to display the horizontal scrollbar at the bottom of the document window.

Show vertical scroll bar – Select this option to display the vertical scroll bar on the right of the document window.

Show vertical ruler in Print Layout view – Select this option to display the vertical ruler at the left of the screen. Select the Ruler check box in the Show/Hide group on the View tab of the Ribbon to display the horizontal ruler at the top of the screen.

Optimize character positioning for layout rather than readability – Select this option to display character positioning accurately as it will appear in the printed document with respect to blocks of text. However, spacing between characters may be distorted so, for better on-screen readability, leave this option unticked.

Disable hardware graphics acceleration – Hardware graphics acceleration is enabled to move all graphics and text rendering from CPU to GPU (a chip on your graphics card) for better performance. However, it increases the burden on the graphics card. If you experience crashes, slowness, blurred text and cursor hanging when running Office, turning off hardware graphics acceleration should solve the problem.

Update document content while dragging – This option allows you to see what the document content will look like when you drag an object with text wrapping, or when you move, resize or rotate objects.

Use subpixel positioning to smooth fonts on screen – It just seems sensible to have this option enabled.

Show pop-up buttons for adding columns and rows in tables. I find this very annoying because it gets in the way of my cursor.

To see all the MSWord Options, go to Better Solutions.com. They have taken a lot of trouble to present the information so that it is easily accessible.

Click here for a PDF of this lesson.
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– Display grey field shading
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Get started with indexing

Indexing for beginners

Example of an index
Example of an index

Indexing is not a quick or simple process but it is very logical and can be very satisfying.

Advice from the Chicago Manual of Style
Automarking
Manual indexing
Automatic indexing

The Chicago Manual Style

The complexity of the indexing enterprise is shown by the fact that the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual Style (CMS) has 64 pages about indexing (I have not seen the 17th edition). The list of entries in Chapter 16 on Indexes shows the many things that have to be considered. CMS very kindly allows free downloads of the 53-page Indexes chapter from the 15th edition.

However, MIT and the Wiley have simple documents that introduce the concepts a beginner needs to know about: how to handle names, abbreviations, compound terms and cross-references. (The documents refer to older versions of CMS and expect you to make manual lists. Don’t worry about the manual lists. They are not necessary because of the computer tools we have today.)

Automarking

Some people think you can get Word to automatically mark your text for the index (automarking) but automarking does not happen without previous input from the author or editor. Here is an Indexing Example document.

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Practise

I suggest you download this one-page Indexing Example document to practice on. Create two versions, one for manual indexing and one for automatic indexing.

Things to think about

  1. Think about whether you will have capital letters for main entries. For example, in a book about composers, I might put PURCELL as the main entry so that composers stand out in the index.
  2. Think about whether you will have italics for other entries. For example, Dido and Aeneas is in italics to show it is a the title of a published work or collection.
  3. Think about saving space in the index. For example, I could have two separate entries for “University of Natal” and “University of KwaZulu-Natal”, but the repetition of “University of” could have made both names wrap onto two lines (4 lines). Instead, I made two main entries under “University” with sub-entries for “Natal” and “KwaZulu-Natal” (3 lines).

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A. Create index entries manually

  1. Go through the first Indexing Example document and see what words or terms you think should be in the index. Select them and manually mark them by pressing Alt+shift+x.
  2. The Mark Index Entry dialog box pops up. Experiment with its different options. Mark All is a very useful timesaver in a larger document.
  3. You can make more than one entry for one item. For example, in the Indexing Example, I entered Dido and Aeneas on its own and as a sub-entry under Purcell.
  4. You can create cross-references in the form of see and see also references. However, you still have to mark all the cross-referenced terms as though they were the main entry so that the index picks them up. For example, “Simon” in the second paragraph has a see reference to “Montiya, Simon”, plus an entry for “Montiya, Simon”.

Generate the index and check it

  1. Once you have marked all the important words,
  • put your cursor at the end of the document and generate the index (Reference tab > Index group > Insert Index. The Index dialog box pops up. Choose the Classic template. Select Indented or Run-in type. Specify the number of columns).
  • Go through the generated index looking for errors of sense and spacing.
  • Go to the error. (The index tells you the page number)
  • Make hidden text show. (Ctrl+* )
  • Correct the error. You can type between the curly brackets. For example, you can change the order of words or type in sub-entries after a colon (with no space on either side of it).
  • Regenerate the index.
  • Recheck.
  • Repeat until you have corrected all errors in the index.

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B. Create automatic index entries

On the second version of your practice document, use a word usage list and then a concordance. You need the concordance in order to use Word’s Automark option. I have attached instructions for creating a word usage list and then a concordance to help with indexing single words. Then you can generate an automarked index (Reference tab > Index group > Insert Index. The Index dialog box pops up. Select Indented or Run-in type. Click the Automark button). But you still have to go through the text to see what terms and connections (see and see also references) should be made.

Generate the index and go through looking for errors of sense and spacing, as in A.7 above.

Format the automatic index

After all that, when you are certain there will be no more changes to pagination, you will still probably have to convert the whole index field to non-field text (Ctr+shift+F9) because there will be corrections that you have to make manually in order to comply with institutional requirements.


Note: This post is written with apologies to professional indexers. It is taken from my personal experience and not from any formal training.

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Tracking moved text

Moved text shows as a deletion and an insertion

Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature allows editors to show their clients what changes they have made to the text. However, moved text is not always displayed in green double strikethrough and double underline as promised in the Advanced Track Changes Options dialog box shown below.

A screen-print of the Advanced Track Changes Options dialog box
To see this Advanced Track Changes Options dialog box, click on Review > Tracking dialog box launcher > Track Changes Options > Advanced.

Moved text is not marked as moved when the text you move has a tracked change in it. Paragraph 1 in the example below shows text that already had a change in it displayed in red as a deletion and an insertion after being moved. Paragraph 2 shows moved text in green. Paragraph 3 shows that the moved text displays the change that was made after it was moved.

Examples of three kinds of moved text
Examples of three kinds of moved text

If you want the moved text to be marked with double strikethrough and double underline (the default colour is green), reject all changes in it, make the move, and reapply all the changes.

If it is a big block of text, with several changes, I suggest you copy it before you reject the changes in the original. Then you can use the copied text as a model for redoing the changes in the moved text.

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MSWord – Remove colour from paragraphs

Remove unwanted shading from paragraphs

Sometimes a paragraph has white or coloured shading behind the text, even though, when you go to Borders and Shading > Shading > Fill, Word tells you there is “No color”.  It usually happens when text has been copied and pasted from the Internet.

Try the simplest solutions first.  Maybe you can simply restore the default font.

Restore default font

Select the paragraph (by triple-clicking in the margin beside it) and press Ctrl+spacebar

If that does not remove the coloured fill (shading), see if the colour is a highlight.

Remove highlighting

Select the paragraph (by triple-clicking in the margin beside it).  Go to the Home tab > Font group > Text Highlight Color dropdown arrowhead > No color.  (The Text Highlight Color icon has “ab” to the left of a highlighter pen over a bar the colour of the highlighting.)

If that does not remove the colour, you need to fix the shading.

If the shaded paragraphs are consecutive, select them all.

If you have many intermittent paragraphs with shading, make sure your Borders and Shading button is on the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) to save yourself extra mouse clicks.

Put Borders and Shading on the QAT

Go to the Insert tab (which used to be called a menu). Select the Table  down-arrowhead.  The Insert Table dropdown menu appears.  Select the top-left cell.  A one-cell table is inserted with your cursor in it and the Table Tools tab in your toolbar.  Go to the Design tab > Table Styles group > Borders down-arrowhead.  The Borders and Shading option is at the bottom of the dropdown menu. Right-click it to see a dropdown submenu with “Add to Quick Access Toolbar” as the first option.  Select it.  The Borders and Shading button is added to your QAT.

Remove Shading

Triple-click in the margin beside the paragraph with shading to select it.  Hold down the Shift key and press the Left Arrow key once so that only the text is selected.  Click on the Borders and Shading button in the QAT > Shading > Fill > No color.

Repeat as often as necessary, using the F4 key.

Use F4 to redo.

The F4 function key allows you, with one key press, to repeat the last action you did that was not a move or a selection, i.e., in this case, apply No color.

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Change Name and Colour in Track Changes

Track Changes with Different Colour and Different User Name

My colleague had to re-edit a document and asked if it was possible to have a different colour for the new tracked changes in the same draft by the same author.  I could not find a way to use the same user name with a different colours in Office 365.  All the marked changes I had made, new and old, just changed to that colour.  I did find that I could change the user name slightly so that Word allocated a new colour to that user, as shown in the screenprint below (click on the screenprint and drag the diagonal handle to enlarge it).

Change the user name

  1. Click on File > Options. The Word Options dialog box pops up.
  2. In the right-hand pane, under the second heading from the top, “Personalise your copy of Microsoft Office”, change your user name and initials (I just added a “2” to the end of mine).
  • Now Word thinks you are a new user and changes the colour it assigns to you, as you can see in the “Sly fox” text below.

Change the Track Changes colour

Go to the Review tab > Tracking group and click the dialog box launcher at the bottom right ().

The Track Changes Options dialog box pops up. Click the Advanced Options… button.

The Advanced Track Changes Options dialog box pops up.

Click the dropdown for both Color buttons at the top right and choose a colour for Insertions and Deletions. All the marked changes you have made change to that colour.

If you would like to find out about having a document edited, click here.
If you would like to find out about having a document formatted, click here.

Reveal Formatting

A very useful feature in Word is the Reveal Formatting pane. The keyboard shortcut is Shift-F1. Click on different paragraphs to give try it out.

Thanks to Bruce Conradie for telling me about it. I love learning new things like this.

The Reveal Formatting pane is also mentioned in instructions about how to format a business letter. They are part of a manual about how to format a document manually in Word 2019. Go to the Manual contents

Word Units of Measurement

Setting the unit of measurement

Microsoft Word’s unit of measurement follows the regional settings in Windows but can be changed in Word. Go to FileOptionsAdvancedDisplay, as shown in the Word Options dialog box below.

Setting units of measurement in Microsoft Word
Setting your units of measurement

Microsoft Word’s Tables of Figures

You can have separate lists or tables of the figures, pictures, or tables in your Word document, similar to a table of contents. The default is a table of figures. But MS-Word can only generate a table of figures if you have previously inserted MS-Word’s captions to mark the figures. Click here to find out how to handle captions. This blog post tells you how to insert a table of figures and how to update it.

Inserting a Table of Figures

Put your cursor where you want your table of figures to be.

  1. Go to the References tab, run your eye along the bottom of the ribbon to the Captions block, and click the Insert Table of Figures button. (Note: If your Word document is not maximized, the Insert Table of Figures option might not be visible. Some minimized views show only the Insert Table of Figures icon.)
  2. The Table of Figures dialog box pops up.
  3. You can change the font and paragraph format by unticking the boxes on the face of the dialog box – but you do not usually need to untick any of them.
  4. The Options… button. If you did not use the caption style for your figure captions, you can tell Word what style you did use by clicking on the Options… button.  The Table of Figures Options dialog box pops up.
  5. The Modify… button. Word uses the Table of Figures style for the entries in your list of figures. You can change the styles format by clicking on the Modify… button. The Style dialog box pops up, and asks you to select the appropriate style for your index or table entry. It has another Modify… button and, if you click on it, the usual Modify Style dialog box pops up.
  6. Make the changes you want. I advise setting a left tab of about 2,5 cm.
  7. Click the OK button or press the Enter key as many times as necessary to get out of the dialog boxes.

Word then searches the document for your captions and automatically adds a list of figures, sorted by figure number and page number.

Updating a table of figures

If you add, delete, change, or move captions, you need to update the table of figures to reflect your changes:

  1. Click in the table of figures in your document. The entire table will be highlighted.
  2. Press F9 or click References > Update Table. (Note: Update Table only becomes an option when you have your cursor in the table of figures.)
  3. The Update Table of Figures dialog box pops up.
  4. Select Update page numbers if you need to adjust the page numbers.
  5. Select Update entire table if you have moved figures or altered captions.
  6. Click the OK button or press the Enter key.

Tip: Do not try to type changes in the table of figures. Make changes to the captions and then put your cursor in the table of figures and press F9 to make them reflect there.

Microsoft Word’s Captions

Captions in documents

Figure 1. Captions are important

A caption accompanies a figure, table, equation or other object, such as a box or a photograph. Figure captions are the default.

A caption usually has three components: a customisable label (like “Figure”, “Table”, “Equation”) plus an ordered number or letter that Word inserts for you (e.g., “1, 2, 3…” or “a, b, c…”), followed by a description.

The advantages to using MS-Word’s caption fields are that, if you add, delete, or move captions, you can easily update the caption numbers all at once; and that you can list the captioned items; for example, in a table of figures or a table of equations.

Click here to open a PDF of the instructions below – with illustrations.

Changing a caption

There are different ways of inserting captions and formatting them, which you get by selecting buttons in the dialog boxes. I suggest you explore them to see what suits you. You can:

Manually positioning the figure and its caption

If you have your cursor in the paragraph above or below the figure when you click on Insert Caption, the Position textbox is greyed out, and it is up to you to keep the figure and its caption on the same page.

(To keep the figure and its caption on the same page, put your cursor in the first paragraph, go to the Home tab > Paragraph group > dialog box launcher > Line and Page Breaks tab > tick the box labelled Keep With Next.)

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Automatically positioning the figure and its caption

If you select the figure before you click on Insert Caption, the Position textbox is not greyed out, you can specify whether the caption is inserted above or below the figure.

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Excluding the word “Figure” from the label

If you just want the number to show in the caption, tick the box labelled Exclude label from caption.

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Changing the number format

To change the 1-2-3 numbers in figure labels to a-b-c or i-ii-iii, click on the Numbering button. The Caption Numbering dialog box pops up with the Format text box selected. Change the number by selecting from the Format drop-down list.

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Including the heading number with the figure number

You can include the chapter, section or heading number with the figure number (e.g., Figure II-1, Table 1-A). To do this, tick the box labelled Include chapter number. The greyed-out items below it are activated:

  • Click the down-arrow on the right of the Chapter starts with style label to see a drop-down list of styles. Select the style of the heading whose number you want to include; and
  • Click the down-arrow on the right of the Use separator label to see a drop-down list of punctuation. Select the punctuation you want between the chapter number and the figure number

Click on the OK button or press the Enter key.

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Formatting captions

After you have added a caption to your document, there will be a Caption style in the style gallery.

To change the formatting of all the captions in your document, right-click the Caption style and choose Modify.

The Modify Style dialog box pops up, as shown below. Many modifications to the font and paragraph are available in the Formatting group, and the effect of a change is shown in the Sample text. More modifications can be made by clicking on the Format button at the bottom left of the dialog box.

Click here to find out how to list your figures in a table of figures.

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