Formatting text in MS Word

Step by Step Instructions for Formatting Text

As a rule of thumb for most cases, all you have to do is select the text, and click a button:

Applying bold, italic and underline

Applying simple formatting to text, such as Bold and Italic is achieved by doing the following:

  1. Select the relevant text to be formatted.
  2. Notice that the mini toolbar appears dimly next to the mouse cursor. Move the cursor towards it, and it will become active. (In case the mini toolbar doesn’t appear, fetch it by right clicking inside the selected area).
  3. Click the “B” button, to make the selected are bold. Clicking this button when the text is already bold, will “Un-bold” it, bringing it back to normal.
  4. The same applies to the Italic formatting, using the “I” button on the mini toolbar.

To underline the text do as follows:

  1. Select the desired text.
  2. Click on the “U” button in the ribbon. (if it doesn’t exist, click the “Home” tab on the ribbon, and you will find it in the “Font” group).

Changing the size of the font (the text):

  1. As always when formatting, start by selecting the relevant text.
  2. Move the mouse cursor towards the mini toolbar, and it will become active. If the mini toolbar doesn’t appear, right click inside the selected area, and it will appear.
  3. Clicking the “A” buttons repeatedly will make the font gradually bigger or smaller.
  4. You can also set the font to a specific size by opening the drop down menu, and choosing the desired size. The numbers in the menu represent the font size by pixel units.

Choosing the font type:

The font type relates to how do the letters look like. For example, do you want them to be slightly decorated (eg. the “Times New Roman” font), or should they be plain and clear as possible (eg. “Arial” and “Calibri”). They could look as written in a classic typing machine (“Verdana”), or as written in old street posters (“Broadway”). It could look like handwriting (“Script MT Bold” or “Freestyle script”) or as old Shakespeare (“Old English Text MT”).

The “Times New Roman” is mostly poplar, and is vastly used in formal paperwork.

Applying the font type:

  1. Select the desired text.
  2. Open the fonts drop down menu in the mini toolbar, and choose the font type.

Instead of looking for your desired font in the endless menu (though most of it is ordered in an alphabetic order), in case you know the name of the font, you can type the first letters of it in the font name box, and hit Enter. It will be immediately applied to the selected text.

Applying color to the text

  1. Select the text.
  2. Click the small arrow next to the A button in the mini toolbar. The font color button
    An array of colors appears. Choose one by clicking it.
  3. Cancel the selection by clicking somewhere, to see the color on the white background.

You can find more colors, by choosing the “More Colors…” option which is located below the array of colors (after being opened from the mini toolbar).

The font color pallet when it's opened.

Centering the text on the page

Actually we are dealing here with what is called "horizontal alignment". We wish to set it to become "centered".

  1. Select the relevant text.
  2. Click the “Center” button The center alignment button (whether on the mini toolbar or on the ribbon above).

Note that this effect works on whole paragraphs, even if you selected a part of a paragraph, it will effect its whole.

Aligning the text back to the left:

  1. Select the text that is already aligned to the center.
  2. Click again the “center” button, this will cancel the center alignment and set it back to the left.

Using the format painter

The format painter allows you to copy easily the formatting (font size, color, effect etc.) from one piece of text to another. It can be a big time saver.

The steps for using it:

  1. Select the formatted text (or you can just right click it, to bring the mini toolbar).
  2. Click the format painter button.
  3. Select ("paint") the destination text to be formatted.

If you wish to use the format painter repeatedly (eg. applying the selected format again and again to more pieces of text), double click the format painter button (instead of a regular single click). This will keep the painter button pressed, until releasing it by clicking it once again).