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Formatting Magic with Word

See how experts make their Word documents look better and more professional. Word 365/2019/2016 edition

Font effects, paragraphs, tabs, borders,  lists, numbering, tables, text boxes, styles and many special formatting tricks for all occasions.

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Formatting Magic with Word is your comprehensive guide to the document formatting options in Microsoft Word.  Over two decades of experience writing Word documents, flyers, certificates, signs and more packed into over 460 pages.

  • Word 365, 2019 and 2016 for Windows
  • Full Color
  • over 460 pages
  • Fast find, table of contents with links
  • PDF format compatible with Windows, Mac, Apple and Android tablets and pretty much anything else including, of course, iPads!
  • <g>Gluten free, Calorie controlled, Low kilojoules / calories, Caffeine free, 100% fat free, Zero sugar, No animal cruelty, Dolphin friendly, CFC free, Not radioactive, No asbestos </g>.

Change Word defaults

How to change the default font in Word?  It’s a staple of ‘Word Tips’ columns. Sure, we’ll show you how to do that, but we’ll also show how to change other Word defaults like page size, line spacing, paragraph settings and more.

Better than Galleries

Modern Office has many Galleries, lists of pre-set designs and options that are quick and easy to use.  Perhaps too quick and too easy because too many documents look the same even when they come from different authors.

Formatting Magic with Word looks beyond those Galleries and shows how to change and adapt those designs into unique and different looks.

All the buttons and more …

The book goes through all the common options for fonts and paragraphs that you’ll find on the Home tab, but also many other choices that can help you make your documents really stand out and look professional.

In other words, in-depth with the Word choices that are hidden behind the simple ribbon choices.

Lists, Lists and more lists

So many list options in Word:

  • Bullet
  1. Numbered

2.a Multilevel

All the options to make lists that suit you, your boss or teacher.  Also list features and tricks that might surprise you.

SmartArt is a graphic way to display lists that’s worth considering.

Formatting Tricks

So many possibilities to make your documents look great.

Mirror, Reverse and Flipping text.

Handwriting fonts.

Formatting Magic with Word

Drop Caps with many choices including fancy lettering, colors and even pictures.

Chalkboard and Whiteboard effects

Adding a text or shape over an image

Some ‘copycat’ looks from Star Wars, Thunderbirds, Friends, Law and Order and more

Highlighting isn’t just for marking up a document.

Tables and Text Boxes

Word Tables are intended to present grids of information, but they have another use in solving difficult formatting problems.

Similarly, Text Boxes are a lot more powerful than the name suggests. The name ‘Text Boxes’ is a lie. They can contain a lot more than just text and don’t have to be boxes!


Then we’ll show you an easy way to use those formats.  Word has a great way to standardize the look of your documents, but it’s been so clouded in mystery and confusion that even the name scares people away:  Styles.

Styles can be your friend .. no honestly they can … there’s no need to run screaming at the very mention of styles.  Formatting Magic in Word makes it easy.

We’ll take you through the basics of styles and why they are good for you.  We’ll also tell you about parts of styles that are good for experts but best for us mere mortals to avoid (at least at first).

As usual with books, we don’t limit ourselves to the narrow topic.  There’s useful extra coverage in this book that will help you make better Word documents.

Formatting Magic with Word, 4th edition

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Change Word defaults

  • Changing Settings
  • Changing defaults for ‘blank document’
  • Styles in a Template
  • Edit the template directly


  • Font Style
  • Size
  • Font Color
  • Underline Style
  • Underline Color
  • Effects
  • Character Spacing
  • OpenType Features
  • Animations

Text Effects

  • Fast Text Effects
  • Keep it simple
  • Options
  • Styles
  • Some Live Preview
  • PowerPoint


  • Word
  • Outlook
  • PowerPoint
  • Excel


  • Indents and Spacing
  • Line and Page Breaks


  • Tab Stop position
  • Default tab stops
  • Alignment
  • Leader
  • Ruler
  • View Tabs
  • Tables instead of tabs


  • Setting
  • Style
  • Color
  • Width
  • Preview
  • Apply to: Paragraph or Text
  • Options
  • Page Border
  • Shading
  • Horizontal Line


  • List Styles
  • Other Numbering Options

Bullet Lists

  • Define new bullet

Numbered Lists

  • Advanced Numbering Tricks
  • Hidden Numbering Options

MultiLevel Lists


  • Text Formatting
  • Styles
  • Color changes
  • Picture Designs

Text Boxes

  • Not just boxes
  • Misleading Text
  • Insert
  • Gallery
  • Drawing Tools
  • Change Shape
  • Text Direction
  • Vertical Alignment
  • Edit Text
  • Caption
  • Linked Text Boxes


  • Using hidden tables
  • Beyond the Gallery
  • With Footnotes
  • Excel worksheet to Word table

Drop Caps

  • The ‘missing’ Drop Cap option
  • Word or Letter
  • Remove a Drop Cap
  • Settings
  • More choices
  • Styles and Consistency
  • Images
  • When to use a Drop Cap

Mirror, Reverse, Flip

  • Mirror horizontal
  • Reverse vertically
  • Both effects together
  • Mirror vertically
  • Vertical Text
  • Mirror text only
  • Any way you like
  • Printer options

Styles 101

  • Inheritance
  • Making a style
  • Changing style setting
  • Applying an existing style
  • What’s Next

Be More Stylish

  • Character Styles
  • Table styles
  • List styles
  • Word 2007 etc. changes

Special Formatting Tricks

  • Chalkboard / Blackboard
  • Whiteboard
  • Handwriting fonts
  • Text or Shape Overlay on picture
  • Star Wars
  • Thunderbirds