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Dissertation Formatting Tips and Tricks

All instructions are written for Word 2007 for PC. The basic instructions are the same for most versions of Word but the actual key strokes maybe slightly different

Margins

Setting Margins

  1. Put your cursor at the very beginning of your document
  2. Select the ‘Page Layout’ tab from the ribbon
  3. Select ‘Margins’ in the Page Setup box

     

  4. Select ‘Custom Margins’

     

  5. Set the margins

     

Inserting a Two Inch Top Margin for the First Page of Chapter/Major Section

  1. Before beginning a new chapter or equivalent (bibliography, abstract, vita, etc.) insert a hard page break by pressing the ‘Ctrl’ key and the ‘Enter’ key at the same time.
  2. To insert a two inch top margin if you are in single line spacing press the ‘Enter’ key six times. If you are in double line spacing press the ‘Enter’ key three times. This will move the cursor down an additional inch so the page will have a two inch top margin without affecting the rest of the pages in the section or document.

Page Numbers

Insert Page Numbers

  1. Select ‘Insert’ tab from ribbon
  2. Select ‘Page Number’ from the Header & Footer box
  3. Select ‘Bottom of Page’
  4. Select ‘Plain Number 2’
  5. In the Position box move the bottom position to 1 inch (default is 0.5 inch)
  6. Close the Header & Footer

Cover Unwanted Page Numbers

  1. Go to the page with the unwanted page number
  2. Select the ‘Insert’ tab from the ribbon
  3. Select ‘Text Box’ from Text
  4. Select ‘Draw Text Box’ from the Text Box options
  5. Draw your box anywhere on the page except in the footer area
  6. Drag the box you drew to cover the page number
  7. Select ‘Shape Outline’ from the Shape Styles box
  8. Select ‘No Outline’

Beginning with Small Roman Numerals for Preliminary Pages

  1. Put your cursor at the end of the copyright page
  2. Select Page Layout’ from the ribbon
  3. Select ‘Breaks’ from the Page Setup box
  4. Select ‘Next Page’ from the Breaks list
  5. Insert page number as previously discussed
  6. Select ‘Page Number’ from the Header & Footer box
  7. Select ‘Format Page Number’
  8. Change ‘Number Format’ to small Roman numerals
  9. Change ‘Start at’ to  'ii' (small Roman II)
  10. Click ‘OK’

Note: Some versions of Word will insert page numbers on the title page and the copyright page even though the insert command is not until the abstract page. A simple method for addressing this is covered in ‘Cover Unwanted Page Numbers.’

Changing from Small Roman Numerals to standard Arabic Numbers

  1. Put your cursor at the end of the text on the last page of your preliminary pages
  2. Select ‘Page Layout’ from the ribbon
  3. Select ‘Breaks’ from the Page Setup Box
  4. Select ‘Next Page’ from the Breaks list
  5. Insert page number (see Insert Page Number)
  6. Select ‘Page Number’ from the Header & Footer box
  7. Select ‘Format Page Number’
  8. Change ‘Number Format’ to standard numerals (1, 2, 3, …)
  9. Change ‘Start at’ to Arabic 1
  10. Click ‘OK’

Putting a Page Number in the Portrait Position on a Landscaped Page

  1. Put your cursor on the landscaped page so you can see both the landscaped page number and the left margin (bottom edge when viewed in portrait orientation)
  2. Insert a text box described in 'Cover Unwanted Page Numbers'
  3. Cover the page number in the landscaped position
  4. Remove the box outline as discussed in 'Cover Unwanted Page Numbers'
  5. Draw a second text box on the same page
  6. Drag the second text box to the left margin approximately one inch from the left edge
  7. Type in the correct page number
  8. Rotate the text in the text box by selecting ‘Text Direction’ from the Text options
  9. Once the page number is in the correct orientation, remove the box outline
  10. You may have to adjust the size of the text box and move it slightly until it is in the correct placement

Table of Contents

Manually Creating a Table of Contents

Includes setting tab stops and leader dot tabs

  1. Type in the items you want to appear in the Table of Contents. At minimum the Table of Contents must include the abstract, dedication (if present in document), acknowledgments (if present in document), vita, list of tables (if present in document), list of figures (if present in document) each chapter with the chapter title, bibliography, each appendix as a separate entry (if appendices are in your document). These items are level one in the Table of Contents. How detailed the table of contents is up to you and your committee. Subheading within these major divisions would be indented based on their level in the text of your document. Every entry in the Table of Contents must have leader dots from the end of the entry to the page number where it begins (see below)
  2. After the entry press the tab key once and then type the page number when the entry begins
  3. Select the table of contents
  4. Select the ‘Page Layout’ tab
  5. Go to the ‘Paragraph’ Box and open the dialogue box (click on the small box in the lower right corner of the box.)
  6. Select tabs
  7. Set tab stops for any sub levels within your Table of Contents by inserting the position (in inches) and clicking ‘set.’ These tabs should be left aligned. The first level of the table of contents does not need to be set as it is the left margin of the page
  8. Set a tab stop for the page number positions (between 5” and 5.75” is usually a good spacing for the page number placement). Leave as a left aligned tab (the left edge of the numbers will line-up) or select right aligned tab (the right edge of the numbers will line up). Select the appropriate leader dots (the periods—usually the second option). Click ‘set’
  9. Click ‘okay’

Word Created Table of Contents

Using Styles

Once all titles, major headings, and subtitle headings have been formatted using Styles, place the cursor on the Table of Contents page

  1. Select the ‘References’ tab
  2. Select ‘Table of Contents’
  3. Select the format
  4. The Table of Contents should generate

Not Using Styles

  1. Go to the first item to appear in the Table of Contents (usually ‘Abstract’)
  2. Highlight the title
  3. Select the ‘References’ tab
  4. Select ‘Add Text’ from the Table of Contents box
  5. Select level

Note: if you did not use Styles marking the item for inclusion in the Table of Contents may change how it appears on the text page. Correcting the format on the text page may change how it appears in the Table of Contents

Styles

  1. Turn Styles on
  2. From Home tab, go to Styles box, click on small box in the lower right corner to open the Styles window
  3. Select Style to modify by hovering over the Style title with the cursor
  4. Click on the down arrow on the right side of the Style
  5. From the menu that appears select ‘Modify’
  6. To change the font size, add or remove bold, change color, and justification, make changes as normal in the modify box
  7. To change spacing above or below, click on ‘Format’ and select ‘Paragraph’
  8. Adjust up or down
  9. Click ‘okay’
  10. To remove or add accent line click on ‘Format’ and select ‘Borders’
  11. Select ‘No Borders’ and click ‘okay’