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Lesson Five: Working with Paragraphs

Open Microsoft Word. In the lesson that follows, we will look at various paragraph formatting options. When executing paragraph formatting, you do not need to highlight the entire paragraph. Placing the cursor anywhere in the paragraph will enable you to format it. After you set a paragraph format, subsequent paragraphs will have the same format unless you change their format.

We will need text to work with to perform the exercises, so type the following exactly as shown. End paragraphs where you see the end-of-paragraph marker (¶). Press Enter once to end the paragraph, but do not leave spaces between paragraphs. You will set the space between paragraphs during the exercise. Do not press Enter to move to a new line -- Microsoft Word automatically wraps at the end of a line.

Sample Paragraphs ¶
We will use this paragraph to illustrate several Microsoft Word features. It will be used to illustrate Space Before, Space After, and line spacing. Space Before tells Microsoft Word how much space to leave before the paragraph. Space After tells Microsoft Word how much space to leave after the paragraph. Line Spacing sets the space between lines within a paragraph. ¶ 
We will use this paragraph to illustrate some additional Microsoft Word features. It will be used to illustrate first-line indent. With first-line indent, you can indent the first line of your paragraph. We will also look at indentation. Indentation enables you to indent from the left or right margin of your document.

 Space Before and Space After

Space Before sets the amount of space before the paragraph. Space After sets the amount of space after the paragraph. Following are the sample paragraphs with Space After set to 12 pt. The exercises give you a chance to see how this works.

Example -- Space After

Sample Paragraphs ¶ 

We will use this paragraph to illustrate several Microsoft Word features. It will be used to illustrate Space Before, Space After, and line spacing. Space Before tells Microsoft Word how much space to leave before the paragraph. Space After tells Microsoft Word how much space to leave after the paragraph. Line Spacing sets the space between lines within a paragraph.¶ 

We will use this paragraph to illustrate some additional Word features. It will be used to illustrate first-line indent. With first-line indent, you can indent the first line of your paragraph. We will also look at Indentation. Indentation enables you to indent from the left and/or right margins of your document. ¶ 

Exercise 1

Space Before

  1. Highlight the title of the sample text: "Sample Paragraphs."
  2. Click on Format.
  3. Highlight Paragraph. Press Enter.
  4. Click on the Indents and Spacing tab, if that tab is not in the front.
  5. Enter 18 pt in the Before field.
  6. Click on OK.
  7. You should now have 18 points before "Sample Paragraph."
Space After
  1. Highlight all of the text you typed (the title and both paragraphs):
  2. Click on Format.
  3. Highlight Paragraph. Press Enter.
  4. Click on the Indents and Spacing tab, if that tab is not in the front.
  5. Enter 12 pt in the After field.
  6. Click on OK.
  7. You should now have 12 points after each paragraph.
Line Spacing

Line Spacing sets the amount of space between lines within a paragraph. Single spacing is the default. The spacing for each line is set to accommodate the largest font on that line. If there are smaller fonts on the line, there will appear to be extra space between lines where the smaller fonts are located. At 1.5 lines, the Line Spacing is set to one-and-a-half times the single-space amount. For double-spaced lines, the line spacing is set to two times the single-space amount.

Exercise 2

  1. Highlight the first paragraph you typed, starting with "We will use" and ending with "within a paragraph."
  2. Click on Format.
  3. Highlight Paragraph. Press Enter.
  4. Click on the Indents and Spacing tab, if that tab is not in the front.
  5. Click to open the drop-down menu on the Line Spacing field.
  6. Click on 1.5 Lines.
  7. Click on OK.
  8. Your line spacing for the paragraph should now be 1.5.
First-Line Indent

This exercise will demonstrate how you can indent the left side of the first line of your paragraph, as in the following example.

Example -- First-line Indent

      The first-line indent feature indents the first line of the paragraph. The amount of the indent is specified in the By field. The remainder of the paragraph is indented by the amount specified in the Indentation field. Exercise 3
  1. Highlight the second paragraph you typed, beginning with "We will use" and ending with "of your document."
  2. Click on Format.
  3. Highlight Paragraph. Press Enter.
  4. Click on the Indents and Spacing tab, if that tab is not in the front.
  5. Click to open the drop-down menu on the Special field.
  6. Click on First Line.
  7. Enter 0.25" in the By field.
  8. Click on OK.
  9. The first line of your paragraph should now be indented .25 inches.
Special Note: To remove the first line indent:
  1. Place the cursor anywhere in the paragraph.
  2. Click on Format.
  3. Highlight Paragraph. Press Enter.
  4. Click on the Indents and Spacing tab, if that tab is not in the front.
  5. Click in the Special pull-down menu; then click on None.
  6. Click on OK.
Indentation

Indentation allows you to indent your paragraph from the left or right margin. The following examples show different types of indentation.

Example -- Indentation

We will use this paragraph to illustrate several Word features. It will be used to illustrate Space Before, Space After, and Line Spacing. Space Before tells Word how much space to leave before the paragraph. Space After tells Word how much space to leave after the paragraph. Line Spacing sets the space between each line within a paragraph. We will use this paragraph to illustrate some additional Word features. It will be used to illustrate first-line indent. With first-line indent, you can indent the first line of your paragraph. We will also look at Indentation. Indentation enables you to indent from the left or right margins of your document. Exercise 4
  1. Highlight the second paragraph, beginning with "We will use" and ending with "of your document."
  2. Click on Format.
  3. Highlight Paragraph. Press Enter.
  4. Type 1" in the Left field.
  5. Type 1" in the Right field.
  6. Click on OK.
  7. Your paragraph should now be indented one inch from both the left and right margins, as in the example.
Alignment

Microsoft Word gives you a choice of several types of alignment. Left-justified text is aligned on the left side. It is the default setting. 

Example -- Left-Justified

Sample Paragraph

This is a sample paragraph. It is used to illustrate alignment. Left-justified text is aligned on the left. Right-justified text is aligned on the right. Centered text is centered between the left and right margins. You can use Center to center your titles. Justified text is flush on both sides.

Right-justified text is aligned on the right side.

Example -- Right-Justified

Sample Paragraph

This is a sample paragraph. It is used to illustrate alignment. Left-justified text is aligned on the left. Right-justified text is aligned with on the right. Centered text is centered between the left and right margins. You can use Center to center your titles. Justified text is flush on both sides.

Centered text is centered between the left and right margins.

Example -- Centered

Sample Paragraph

This is a sample paragraph. It is used to illustrate alignment. Left-justified text is aligned on the left. Right-justified text is aligned with on the right. Centered text is centered between the left and right margins. You can use Center to center your titles. Justified text is flush on both sides.

Justified text is flush on both sides.

Example -- Justified

Sample Justified Paragraph
The following exercises demonstrate how to justify text.

Exercise 5

Right Justify

  1. Return to the first paragraph you typed, beginning with "We will use" and ending with "within a paragraph." Highlight the paragraph.
  2. Click on Format.
  3. Highlight Paragraph. Press Enter.
  4. Click on the Indents and Spacing tab, if that tab is not in the front.
  5. Click to open the Alignment pull-down menu.
  6. Click on Right.
  7. Click on OK.
  8. The paragraph should now be right-aligned.
Left Justify
  1. Highlight the first paragraph you typed, beginning with "We will use" and ending with "within a paragraph."
  2. Click on Format.
  3. Highlight Paragraph. Press Enter.
  4. Click on the Indents and Spacing tab, if that tab is not in the front.
  5. Click to open the Alignment pull-down menu.
  6. Click on Left.
  7. Click on OK.
  8. The paragraph should now be left-aligned.
Alternate Method -- Right Justify by Using Keys
  1. Highlight the text.
  2. Press Ctrl-r.
  3. The paragraph should now be right-aligned.
Alternate Method -- Left Justify by Using Keys
  1. Highlight the text.
  2. Press Ctrl-l.
  3. The paragraph should now be left-aligned.
Alternate Method -- Right Justify by Using the Icon
  1. Highlight the text.
  2. Click on the Align Right icon Align-right Icon.
  3. The paragraph should now be right-aligned.
Alternate Method -- Left Justify by Using the Icon
  1. Highlight the text.
  2. Click on the Align Left icon Align-left Icon.
  3. The paragraph should now be left-aligned.
Center - Using the Menu
  1. Highlight the first paragraph you typed, beginning with "We will use" and ending with "within a paragraph."
  2. Click on Format.
  3. Highlight Paragraph. Press Enter.
  4. Click on the Indents and Spacing tab, if that tab is not in the front.
  5. Click to open the Alignment pull-down menu.
  6. Click on Centered.
  7. Click on OK.
Justify - Using the Menu
  1. Highlight the first paragraph you typed, beginning with "We will use" and ending with "within a paragraph."
  2. Click on Format.
  3. Highlight Paragraph. Press Enter.
  4. Click on the Indents and Spacing tab, if that tab is not in the front.
  5. Click to open the Alignment pull-down menu.
  6. Click on Justified.
  7. Click on OK.
Alternate Method -- Justify and Center by Using Keys
  1. Highlight the text.
  2. Press Ctrl-e. The text should now be centered.
  3. Press Ctrl-j. The text should now be justified.
Alternate Method -- Justify and Center by Using the Icon
  1. Highlight the text.
  2. Click on the Center icon Center Icon. The text should now be centered.
  3. Click on the Justify icon Justify Icon. The text should now be justified.
Hanging Indent

The hanging indent feature indents each line except the first line by the amount specified in the By field, as shown in the example.

Example: Hanging Indent
 

Hanging Indent:

The hanging indent feature indents the first line of the paragraph from the margin by the amount specified in the Left field, all subsequent lines are indented by the amount specified in the Left field plus the amount specified in the By field.

Exercise 6

When you begin typing the following paragraph, you might find that your paragraph is indented one inch on both sides. When you start a new paragraph in Microsoft Word, the setting from the previous paragraph carries over. If you wish, you can reset the indentation. If you choose not to reset the indentation, it will not affect your ability to perform the exercise.

  1. Type the following:

  2. Hanging Indent: The hanging indent feature indents the first line by the amount specified in the Left field. The amount in the Left field plus the amount specified in the By field indent all subsequent lines.
  3. Highlight the paragraph you just typed.
  4. Click on Format.
  5. Highlight Paragraph. Press Enter.
  6. Click on the Indents and Spacing tab, if that tab is not in the front.
  7. In the Special field, click to open the pull-down menu. Click on Hanging.
  8. In the By box, type 2.0".
  9. Click on OK.
  10. Place the cursor after the colon following "Hanging Indent."
  11. Press the Tab key.
  12. Notice how the indentation changes.
Save File and Exit Microsoft Word

Save your file by following these instructions:

  1. Click on File.
  2. Highlight Save As. Press Enter.
  3. Specify the correct folder in the Save In field.
  4. Name your file by typing lesson5.doc in the File Name field.
  5. Click on Save.
  6. Click on File.
  7. Highlight Exit. Press Enter.