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Chapter 6. Formatting Characters, Paragr... > Applying Paragraph Formatting

Applying Paragraph Formatting

In addition to formatting individual characters within words, you can also format paragraphs to take advantage of Word's powerful paragraph-format features. As you're exploring the different formatting options, keep these four points in mind:

  • Paragraph formatting affects individual paragraphs. If you want to apply paragraph formatting to only one paragraph, you can select the entire paragraph (by dragging your mouse or clicking within the paragraph three times) or you may simply place the insertion point in that paragraph before applying the change. Word alters just that paragraph and no others.

  • If you want to apply a paragraph formatting feature to more than one adjacent paragraph, select them (or a portion of all of them) first. Word considers any text followed by a paragraph mark to be a paragraph. So, for example, a three-line title contains three paragraphs. If you want to center the title, you have to select all three lines first. By the same token, if you want to make an entire document double-spaced, you have to select the whole document first (Ctrl+A selects your entire document).

  • Each new paragraph you begin takes on the paragraph formatting of the previous paragraph. So you can just type and format the first one and then continue typing the remaining paragraphs.

  • As with font formatting, the options in the Formatting toolbar show you the paragraph formatting that's in effect for the paragraph containing the insertion point. The same is true with the settings on the horizontal ruler. To quickly see what paragraph formatting has been applied to a paragraph, you can simply click in it, and then look at the options that are turned on in the Formatting toolbar and the ruler.


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