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COVID-19 Library Services: Microsoft Word

A guide to library services and academic support center services moving forward Spring 2020

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Copy, Cut, and Paste

Copy, Cut, and Paste

You can highlight and right click on a block of text (or one word, or an image, etc.) to open up the copy/cut/paste options. 

OR you can use these keyboard shortcuts after you highlight the thing you're copying/cutting:

  • Copy: Ctrl+C
  • Cut: Ctrl+X
  • Paste: Ctrl+V

Setting the format, Saving, and Printing

Setting the right format

Most instructors are going to have requirements like this for your papers:

  • 12pt font size
  • Times New Roman or Arial
  • Double Spaced
  • 1" margins

And if you're not sure how to make that happen, follow these steps:


1. Make sure you're on the Home tab. Towards the middle/top of the page, there's a section that says Styles Click the second one that says "No Spacing" underneath the preview. (See the image below for help finding it.) This will ensure that when you hit enter after a paragraph, there won't be any extra space between paragraphs.

Word paragraph spacing 


2. Then, see the image above where there's a smaller circle around a set of lines and some up and down arrows. Click this, and find the option that says 2.0 to set the double spacing.

3. To format the font, go to the box that has the name of the font, and either start typing in the name of the font you want OR just click the dropdown arrow and scroll through the list and choose the one you want. (see the image below step 4 for help.)

4. To change the font size, you can click in the box right next to the font name (where it says 11 to begin with) and either type in the number you want, or click the dropdown arrow and choose from there. You can also click the big A or little A to make the font one step bigger or smaller.

Format font in MS Word


5. The margins should default to one inch. But in the case that you want to change the margins, you'll go to the Layout tab, and choose your margins from the dropdown on the far left. (See the image below for help.)

Setting word margins

Saving your Word document

Saving your document

1. To save your document and choose where it's saving, go to File -- Save as.

2. Where you see locations to save, choose Browse. (see image after step 5 for help)

3. Choose the folder you want to save in. In this example, I'm saving my document in a folder on my flash drive, which can be nice to have if you don't want to use the cloud-based OneDrive and if you're going to be working on a few different computers throughout the course of your project.

4. Name the file and choose the file type. Sometimes you may have to save as a PDF to upload your document to certain platforms.

5. Click save.

Saving a word document


You know what they say--Save early and save often! I like to save mine immediately after I've formatted my paper, and from then on out you can periodically click the save icon OR you can use the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+S. 

Printing a Word Document

Printing a Word Document

These instructions are more specific to printing from the library, but you can still use a lot of this information no matter where you're printing! 

Printing in word1. Go to the File menu, and find Print.

2. In the library, you'll want to double check that you're using the right printer (LB_E111_1 at the North campus). Click the dropdown next to the printer name if this is not the case.

3. You also have to print 24 pages ONLY at a time when you're in the library. Under Settings and "Print all pages," you'll see a box where you can type in pages. Type 1-24, then when you're ready for the next job do 25-49, etc.

4. If you need your pages double-sided, make sure you choose Print on both sides.

5. Library printing page size is 8.5x11 only. Choose that size if it's not already set at that size.

6. Normal margins are 1" x 1", which is what most instructors are expecting. If you need to set your margins to narrow or wide (or there are a few more options too), click the dropdown arrow to choose.

7. To print in color, if you don't see the option (like me, in the screenshot included here), click on Printer properties (the small linked text underneath the printer name) and find the color options there. Choose Auto color in the Select Color box if you need color printing. It's towards the bottom right of the window.



Headers and Page Numbers

Headers and Page Numbers

If you're working on an assignment that requires a last name and page number in the corner, here's what to do:

1. Go to the Insert tab.

2. Click Page number.

3. Choose what part of the page you want your page number to appear on (usually top right).

4. If you need your last name to accompany the page number, click just before the number and type in your name. This should apply it to every page.

Inserting the page number and last name


Headers in APA

Include a Running Head at the beginning of every page. Your cover page will differ from the rest of your document.

1. Insert your page number at the top right.

2. Insert a header on the top LEFT of your cover page, and check the box that says Different first page. The header for the first page only should say "Running head: TITLE OF YOUR PAPER" (with the title in all caps, NO quotation marks).

3. All following pages should have "TITLE OF YOUR PAPER" (all caps, no quotes) on the top left. This is why we chose different first page.

How to do a different first page header


Headers in MLA

1. Insert a page number at the top right, and include your last name just before the page number. There is no cover page.

2. The top left should look as follows:

Your name

Your instructor's name

Class 101

day month year

Hanging indent

Hanging Indent (useful for References/Works Cited/Bibliography)

When you build a Works Cited, References, or Bibliography page, each of your references should be indented 1/2 inch after the first line. Instead of hitting tab at the beginning of every line after the first line, there's a quick way to set the hanging indent. Follow the steps below.

1. Go to the View tab.

2. Check the box next to Ruler.

3. Click and drag the bottom two pieces of the ruler (see the image below).

Setting Word's hanging indent

Spell Check & Preferences

Spell Check & Preferences

You can do a basic proofreading by going to the Review tab and clicking the giant Spelling and Grammar checkmark on the left.


To set your spell check preferences, follow these steps.

1. Go to File.

2. Click Options.

3. On the left of the window that opens, click Proofing.

4. From here, it's up to you how you set your preferences! See the images below.

Spell check preferences


Auto correct options: 

Auto correct settings


Inserting images into a Word document

Inserting Images in Word

You can insert an image from your files or you can find an image online. See the steps below.


Inserting an image from your own files

1. Go to the Insert tab.

2. Click Pictures.

3. Click on the image you want to use, and click Insert.

4. Format options will automatically display at the top.


Inserting an online image

1. From the Insert tab, click Online Pictures.

2. In the Bing search box, type in the image you want.

3. Creative Commons only is automatically checked for you.

4. Click the image you want to use, then click Insert.


Formatting image options

Let's break down the format options into three parts:

Section 1:

 Formatting your images pt 1

  • Remove background will erase parts of the image you don't want. Here's an example:
    • Remove background word images
  • Corrections: Sharpen or soften the lines in the image, or fix the brightness and/or contrast.
  • Color: increase or decrease the saturation; make the tone cooler or warmer; recolor the image (you can make it super light, make everything monochromatic, etc.); set one color to be transparent.
  • Artistic Effects: choose from several special effects, from pencil sketch to plastic wrap and many more. Here's an example:
    • Word image artistic effects
  • Compress Pictures reduces the file size (sometimes makes it quicker to print or send in an email)
  • Change Picture swaps out the picture while keeping the same size and formatting as the first picture.
  • Reset Picture takes you back to your original.


Section 2:

Formatting options for Word images pt 2

1. If you want a frame, choose from the previews you see above.

2. If you want to create your own border, use the options that are in the Picture Border menu.

3. Picture Effects: make your picture Glow, have a Shadow or ReflectionsSoft Edges, Bevel, or 3D rotation.

4. Picture Layout lets you use the image in a sort of smart chart. Several templates pop up when you click this option.


Section 3:

Word format images pt 3

1. Position: relative to the page.

2. Wrap textThis is how you fix that really annoying thing where you try to move an image and everything on the page goes crazy, or when you try to type near an image and it won't stay put... etc. Play around with what works best for your particular project. Uncheck the move with text option and check the fix on page if you DON'T want the image to move when you put more words in.

3. Bring Forward and Send Backward are how you get images to overlap one another in the right order.

4. Align lets you center or left/right justify an image, just like you can with text.

5. Group will cause a cluster of images to move together, instead of having to move everything separately.

6. Rotate spins your image in increments of 90 degrees.

7. Crop lets you trim the image.

8. Height & Width: If you need specific dimensions, you can use this instead of clicking and dragging the sides or the corners of the image itself.


Read Only mode

Read Only Mode

If you download a word doc from Blackboard or something similar, sometimes it opens in a Read-Only mode. If you need to be able to edit the document, you can click Enable editing or if you don't see that option, go to View and Edit document. See the image below.

edit document in read only


Set Read Mode Yourself

On the other hand, maybe you want to change your document to Read-only to make for easier reading. Follow these steps:

1. Go to the View tab.

2. Click Read Mode

That's it! See the image below for help.

Choosing read mode


Stop opening everything as Read Mode automatically!

If every time you download a document, you're getting it in the Read mode and you DON'T want that, here's what you can do:

1. Go to File.

2. Go to Options.

3. You should already be on the tab that says General.

4. Find the Start up options section.

5. Uncheck the box that says Open e-mail attachments and other uneditable files in reading view.


Word's Built-In References & Citations Generator

Use at your own risk! Some instructor prefer that you create your citations without the help of an aid like NoodleTools or Word's Reference tools.

1. Click the References tab.

2. Click Insert Citation.

3. Click Add New Source... (see image below for the first three steps.)

Insert citation menu

4. Fill out the form as appropriate. 

form for references

Make sure you've chosen the right type of source.

Check the box for Show all Bibliography Fields to make sure you're creating a thorough and accurate citation. 

5. Click OK when finished.

6. When you have all of your sources filled out, you can click Bibliography to insert either a Bibliography, References, or Works Cited page, depending on the citation style you're using. It's still a good idea to check your formatting, even with that automatic generation from Word.


*This option doesn't have as much to offer as NoodleTools does!* Check out the "Citation Tools" tab in this research guide to get started with NoodleTools.