The page called "StyleGuidelines" How should it look? covers basic formatting and style issues. Within the context of an advice page, we cannot teach you everything there is to know about Word.

But teaching yourself how to do the following will reap huge dividends in saved time and avoided irritation. There are literally hundreds of teach yourself manuals for Word, aimed at every level, easily available for free in libraries.

  1. Essential:

    You must know how to alter line-spacing, font size and type, introduce page-numbers, copy and paste text, move text, change margins, print out the whole document and print just specific pages.
  1. Learn basic time-saving keyboard shortcuts for finding text (Ctrl + F), going to the end (Ctrl + End) and beginning (Ctrl + Home) of documents. Nicos Souleles
  1. Investigate the Styles menu (in the Format menu).

    By marking chapter headings and section headings with consistent styles, you can generate an automatic Table of Contents. This will update page numbers automatically as you edit text in and out - a huge time-saver.

  1. Learn how to run the Word -count and spell-checker.

    WARNING: neither are entirely reliable. Word-count includes everything with a space before and after, e.g. 4., which is not a Word .

    The spell-checker runs on a restricted dictionary that definitely does not include art and design jargon, and it will not eliminate mis-spellings that are other words e.g. world for Word .

    Your essay should get a final proof-read by a human, preferably not yourself; we are always better at spotting other people's mistakes.

  1. Learn how to format and resize graphics, text-boxes and tables so text flows around them. These are all convenient ways to deal with extra-textual information but can make an essay look a terrible mess if they completely interrupt the text.
  1. If you are contemplating using a considerable number of illustrations and they must be in the text, keep the size down to less than a quarter of the page area on which they appear.

    Learn how to caption them as captioning will also automatically number them; much easier to refer to them in the text this way.

  1. If you feel your IT skills are letting you down, seek help either from your supervisor or the IT department. The entire learning support team has had training in assisting students with long documents and can show you any of the actions above. Nicos Souleles