Module 2, Lesson 1: Formatting Basics (Mac)

If you use a PC, click this link to go to the Word 2016 for Windows (PC) module.

The following are some basic tips to keep in mind when drafting your Word document.

Layout of content

  • Divide content into manageable blocks of text to make it easier for users to navigate document.
  • Include headings, sub-headings to divide text into related paragraphs and sections.
  • Use bulleted or numbered lists to display lists, instead of using lengthy sentences.

Language used

  • Use language appropriate to your target audience.
  • If using abbreviations or acronyms make sure to provide the fully-expanded definition the first time you use them in a document.

Font type

  • Stick to using standard fonts that are available on the end user's device.
  • Documents with only one, or only a few font faces are usually easier to read.
  • When in doubt, use Verdana. It has a simple, straightforward design, and the characters are not easily confused. For example, the upper-case "I" and the lower-case "L" have unique shapes, unlike Arial, in which the two characters may be easily confused (see example below).

Verdana vs. Arial



Text color

Some users cannot perceive certain colors (green and red). Therefore do not rely on color alone to bring out text in a document. Underline or bold text for emphasis.


Use a high contrast between text and background colors. Use dark text on light backgrounds and light text on dark backgrounds.


Next: Module 2, Lesson 2: Styles (Mac)

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