MS Office

10 Best Practices and Tips for Microsoft Word

10 Best Practices and Tips for Microsoft Word

Author: Brooke Hill, MS

BrookeHill - ASCWriting papers, creating tables, creating reference pages; the list is endless when it comes to creating documents for scholarly studies. Microsoft Word (MS Word) is often the go-to-program for creating document for class projects, studies, and research. Sometimes beginning the document is the hardest part; you are not sure what tools to use, how to format the margins, where page numbers go, or how to save a document with changes you make as you work.

As an Microsoft Office Specialist for Word and Power Point in the Academic Skills Center, I answer questions about ways to use the various tools and features in MS Programs, such as MS Word or PowerPoint to format documents and presentations.

Below are 10 tips and suggestions to make the most of Microsoft Word when formatting your documents.

  1. Insert page numbers using the header/footer icon located on the Insert tool ribbon.
  2. Set line-spacing using the line space icon, located on the Home tool ribbon.
  3. Set your font type and size.
  4. 4-ASCSet your margins using the Page Layout tool ribbon and Page Set Up Group.
  5. Check your styles!
  6. Always “Save As” your document.
  7. Never change the original file type when saving your document unless directed by your instructor. Appropriate File types for MS Word documents are Word 97-2003Document or Word Document.
  8. Set your page orientation, all documents are pre-set to portrait orientation.
  9. Create a folder on your computer to save your MS Word documents.
  10. If you do not know how to use a tool or you have a question, email wordsupport@mail.waldenu.edu/.

As you work on your documents wordsupportcontactusing Microsoft Word you will become a better user. Practice is the best way to learn. Take the time to experiment with the different tools and features of Microsoft Word.

It is not practice that makes perfect, but perfect practice.

For more information on MS Word, visit the Academic Skills Center’s Microsoft Word Resources page, contact the ASC, or make an appointment with a tutor today!


Brooke Hill is passionate about teaching and learning. She has worked and taught students of all levels and abilities, and incorporated the values of positive communication skills in to her lessons and presentations. Brooke is an endurance runner/marathoner, portrait painter, illustrator, graphic novel artist, and a free lance writer. She loves to read and write in her spare time.

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