Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Changing the appearance of your letter
Keeping your text readable
Before too long, it will be obvious that you can create some truly eye-achingly
ugly documents with Word. It’s easy to end up with something that looks like a
teenager’s scrapbook, with 50 different colours, wiggly lines everywhere, odd
capitalisation, rainbow colourings around letters and fonts so ornate that it would
take the nation’s best cryptographers a good week to work out who fancies who.
The secret of good-looking documents is not so much what you put in, as what
you leave out. It’s good practice to limit the number of different text styles you use.
The number you can get away with will depend on the length and structure of
your document, but you should think carefully before having more than three
different styles on the same page. Use italics or bold for occasional emphasis, but if
you use them for more than a few words at a stretch, the text becomes tiring to
read. Large tracts in capital letters are hard to read, too (which is why lawyers love
them for small print).
There is an art to picking a good font. Don’t be afraid to use boring fonts like Calibri
(the default font), Times New Roman (the default font before Offi ce 2007) or Arial (a
clean font for reading on-screen). These are much easier to read than fonts that
mimic handwriting or have special effects. Try to match the font to its size, too: Arial
Black is good for headlines but can be hard to read in the body of your text. Times
New Roman can look a bit weedy as a headline but works great in your body text.
Fonts are measured in point sizes. A good size for normal copy is 11-12 pt, and
headlines can be 20-36 pt. If your correspondent has poor eyesight, there’s no
reason why you shouldn’t use a larger font, though. The font size options go up to
72 point, which is pretty massive. You can type in values greater than that if you
want, but by that point you’re making giant labels rather than writing letters.
If you want to format your whole document at once, use CTRL+A. That will
select all the text in the document. Then you can apply the same formatting
to everything.
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