Articles

Please don’t! Basics in Microsoft Word

on
April 29, 2020

Have you ever received a Microsoft Word document that you found hard to read because of its design or format? Personally, I have such an experience more than often. Sometimes, while working in a team, I can’t help but notice how others use Microsoft Word and how they structure their content. Of course, for every task, different steps can be followed. The street artist Bansky stated that “if you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission”.

No alt text provided for this image

However, when it comes to Microsoft Word, I think that we could make our lives easier, if we followed some specific guidelines. Here’s my list with some good practices for Microsoft Word.

Avoid using different fonts.

When you start writing a document, choose a font from the very beginning. Sometimes, people have the willingness to create stylish documents and for this reason they change fonts with every chance they have. However, documents like those usually cause frustration to the people who read them.

No alt text provided for this image

Don’t use Comics Sans for professional reasons.

There are two kinds of people: Τhose who love using the Comics Sans font and those who love to hate it. In whichever category you belong, I would advise you to avoid using Comics Sans for formal documents.

No alt text provided for this image

Insert a page break

If you want to start a new chapter or you just want to change page, don’t press the Enter button multiple times. Type Ctrl + Enter.

No alt text provided for this image

Don’t underline everything

If you want to highlight specific points in your document, you can underline them. However, don’t overdo it. If you underline too much content, then your audience will not distinguish what’s important and what’s not.

No alt text provided for this image

Pay attention to punctuation.

  • Between words click the “Spacebar” only once.
  • End your sentence with a punctuation mark exactly after the last letter of the sentence. Don’t type space between your last word and the punctuation mark (Only some languages, like french, don’t follow this rule).

Indent paragraphs.

If you want to indent the first line of the paragraph, I would advise you not to click the Spacebar 3-4 times. Prefer one of the following ways:

Put your cursor at the beginning of the paragraph and:

  • move the top ruler marker to the right to the desired indent length.
  • press the tab key.
  • select increase indent from the ruler.
No alt text provided for this image

Name your document properly.

Losing a Word document is not uncommon, especially if we haven’t spent some time to name it properly. If you have seen documents with the name “final”, “finalfinal”, “final3” etc, probably you know what I mean. I would suggest you to save your documents, adding the date during which you made your last changes (for example assessment_31.03.2020 or assessment_31032020). In this way we can back up our documents more easily without mistakes.

No alt text provided for this image

All the above, are some principles that I follow when I write documents using Microsoft Word. Of course, every person is different and, thanks to programs like Microsoft Word, we can create something in various ways.

TAGS
RELATED POSTS
IFIGENEIA TSOLAKI
France

Hi! My name is Ifigeneia and I am an instructional designer and e-learning expert. I have been working for a variety of fields and projects, including academia, formal education, lifelong learning and HR trainings. Coming from a creative background, with a rich experience on puppetry, stop-motion and game design, I advocate for creative and intrinsically motivating learning experiences in every project I work on.