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How to Format Word Documents Like a Pro: 5 Handy Tips

How to Format Word Documents Like a Pro: 5 Handy Tips

Every passing day brings us closer to the time when digital solutions would replace papers completely, so being able to create Word documents is a skill everyone needs. However, formatting them can be quite challenging, especially when you need to convert other kinds of text files into .docx. The good news is that you can use several tricks and tools to ensure formatting goes smoothly.

1. Split The Document Into Sections

Microsoft Word is the most popular text processing app in the world, and one of the main reasons for this is its formatting flexibility. Word allows you to shape the text however you like, and even apply different format styles[1] within a single document.

To apply various format styles, you need to insert section breaks, which would split the page into parts that can be formatted separately:

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Page Layout → Page Setup → Breaks

You can set up formatting for every even/odd page, as well as format starting from the next page, or on the same one, but directly after the section break.

2. Use Specialized File Conversion Tools

There is no need to copy the text by hand when you need to transform a document of non-Microsoft Office formatting into Word. Today, you can find a specialized tool for every type of file.

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Students working on their dissertations use the Word to PDF[2] and PDF to Word conversion[3] most often, since a majority of schools require papers to be submitted as PDF files. However, the actual formatting guidelines (MLA, APA, etc.) are all designed for Microsoft Word. If you are a student, be sure to use the exact formatting rules set by your school, and find out if they offer a custom conversion solution.

3. Use The Source Document Formatting

When you work with documents for a living, you often need to produce a text in the same format as the original; Word allows you to do this easily, since it has a built-in feature of adopting the source’s format when you copy-paste a piece of text. This approach might have some issues when copying from non-Word documents, but they are easier to fix than re-setting the format from scratch. Note that you can use the Keep Text Only feature[4] when copying the text to transform it into your default formatting from the start. You can change the Copy/Cut/Paste settings through Help → Options.

4. Fix Your Current Styles Scheme

Creating your specific set of Word styles allows you to apply the proper type of formatting in a single click. However, every time you make a change in some document, the style would be updated by default; in order to disable this feature, go to:

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Home tab → Styles → Choose your style → Modify → Uncheck Automatically Update

5. Unleash the Power Of The Find And Replace Feature

The Find and Replace feature of Microsoft Word is an invaluable helper that makes your life easier. However, not everyone knows that aside from replacing specific characters, this feature can also change formatting. Of course, the exact list of formatting adjustments Word can make via this feature is limited, but it can still be helpful; for example, you can use it to replace all underlined text with bold.

Set the Right Word Formatting And Stick To It

Word is a highly versatile program, and you definitely need to spend a few days studying all its useful features and creating your formatting styles gallery. Once you’ve completed your formatting styles gallery, you would be able to apply a specific style for any type of document, so you’ll only need to make a few small changes to make it perfect. Using various built-in Word formatting features[5] and special document conversion tools makes this easier.

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Featured photo credit: SEO Stock via negativespace.co

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Melissa Burns

Entrepreneur

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Published on June 19, 2019

Your Beliefs About Success May Be Holding You Back

Your Beliefs About Success May Be Holding You Back
Pause for a moment and think about how you would describe success.

If your description is dominated by money or status, then your image of success is faulty.

For example, there are countless people who have these assets but don’t feel successful. Some of these people have enormous amounts of disposable income, but work so many hours during the day that they have no life beyond their work.

Would you regard these people as successful?

At first glance, I likely wouldn’t.

And, then there are the endless celebrities who go from fame to failure (think bankruptcy, addictions and worse).

Are they successful?

Probably not.

In truth, success is about happiness and fulfillment in life.

But, there is more than one definition of success. Just look at the above example of the person who worked too hard to spend their money. If they’re happy with their life, then we shouldn’t criticize their version of success.

So how about you? Do you have a clear definition of what success looks like for you?

If you don’t, you’ll be constantly chasing someone else’s idea of success, and could find yourself totally unfulfilled and miserable.

The good news is that over the next few minutes, I’m going to give you the tools you need to build a crystal clear picture of YOUR SUCCESS.

Positive Thinking

With the right attitude, anything can seem possible.

For instance, if you’re fed up with your job, but do nothing to change it, then you’ll likely be stuck there for years to come. But, if you see the job as a stepping stone to something bigger and better, then not only will you enjoy your work more, but you’ll have something positive to aim towards (e.g., a promotion or new job).

The example above demonstrates a little-known factor of success… suffering!

Yes, suffering may be a negative thing that most people go out of their way to avoid; but successful people use suffering as a springboard to big achievements. Mindset really does separate the losers from the winners.

Another thing you can do, is to gradually build up your positivity and confidence by tracking your progress towards your goals. And, each time you accomplish something – however small – be sure to celebrate it!

This is a great way to propel you towards success.

The Purpose of a Purpose

What is your purpose in life?

These are questions I suggest you spend some time thinking about. To help you find the answers, consider the following:

If you just seek a career, all you will find is a career.

But, if you seek a purpose, you’ll find something much more than a career – you’ll find your calling. And when you’ve found this, and you begin following it, you’ll be firmly in the middle of the happiness, satisfaction and success zone.

This is backed by science, with research showing that people who have a purpose and meaning in life have an increase in:[1]
  • Overall well-being
  • Mental and physical health
  • Resiliency
  • Self-esteem

But, don’t mistake seeking happiness and success as your purpose. These things are a natural result of following your purpose – but shouldn’t be your focal point.

Austrian Neurologist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl said it well:

“It is the very pursuit of happiness, that thwarts happiness.”

What about YOUR purpose?

If you’re struggling to identify it, look for the things in your life that you’re good at, enthuse you, and provide a benefit to the world.

Becoming a Better You

Are your beliefs holding you back?

If yes, here are three things you can do RIGHT NOW to break out of your mind trap:

  1. Boost Your Confidence: you can do this by overcoming challenges that come your way. For example, if you have a fear of public speaking, face this challenge head-on by agreeing to do regular presentations for your company, or by joining a public speaking organization like Toastmasters International. Speak in public often enough, and your fear of it will plunge like a river going over a waterfall.
  2. Develop Healthy Habits: I’m talking about positive habits that will serve you day in, day out. Habits such as lifelong learning, eating well, and waking up early. When these things are automatic for you, you’ll reap incredible benefits from them. Take eating well, for example. You’ll feel better. You’ll look better. And you’ll have way more energy to make things happen in your life.
  3. Invoke the Magic of Goal Setting: Without goals, you’ll drift through life like a plastic bottle in the sea. But with goals, you’ll be like a 100m sprinter running towards the finishing line. Goals really are powerful tools. They’ll direct your focus and energy, and will allow you to track your progress in life. I recommend the SMART goal-setting method (find out about this here).

And, always remember… don’t compare yourself to others; only compare yourself to who you were yesterday.

Each step you take forward is making you a better version of you.

Success Is Self-Love

I encourage you to take the tips I’ve shared in this article and put them into action in your life. Ideally, starting right now!

Firstly, transform your mindset by facing up to challenges and overcoming them. Then spend time to discover your purpose. And, once you’ve found it – start following it.

Becoming a better version of you will take some time, but will be worth the wait. Not only will you reach into untapped potential in your life, but you’ll also develop respect and love for yourself along the way.

So don’t let your beliefs hold you back anymore. BREAK FREE from them and start enjoying a happy, healthy and successful life.

Featured photo credit: Razvan Chisu via unsplash.com

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