Word processing

Word processing packages are used for saving documents, changing the style of text and creating attractive layouts.

Word processing

All word processing programs allow you to:

  • enter and edit text
  • save
  • print
  • cut/paste/copy text and images
  • spell check
  • format text
  • insert tables
  • insert headers and footers
  • add page numbers
  • add bullet points

Formatting text

Text formatting is changing the way text looks on the page.

You can change the size of titles, make headings bold and put lists into bullet points. Using these features will help you to make your project a lot easier to read.

To format text:

  1. Highlight the text you want to format and then click the 'Format' button on the toolbar.
  2. Click 'Font' and then click on the required font, style and size.

A box with three columns. First column has a list of font styles, eg Arial, comic sans and Times New Roman. The second column has a list of styles, eg bold, underline and regular. The final box has a list of sizes, 8, 10, or 12 points.

Selecting a font

Alternatively, highlight the text you need to format, and then click one of the buttons on the toolbar

A toolbar with a one of icons including a Bold B, a letter underlined, rows of text formatted in the centre, to the left, and to the right and numberered bullet points.

The formatting toolbar


Tables are really useful for organising and displaying information. Most word processing packages allow you to insert tables into your document.

Inserting a tableThe Insert table tab on the top toolbar, with insert table highlighted

On the Insert tab, select the table option

Inserting a tableThe insert table window, with number of columns set to 3 and number of rows set to 2

Enter the number of rows and the number of columns you would like your table to have. Rows go across the page, and columns go down the page.

Inserting a tableA simple table with 3 columns and 2 rows

The table will then appear in your word processing document.


Text in magazines and newspapers is split into columns. This makes text easier to read.

If you're asked to produce a leaflet or newsletter, you can put large blocks of text into columns.

  1. Highlight the block of text that you'd like to put into columns.
  2. Select the Format option on the toolbar, and then click Columns.
  3. The box below will pop up. Choose the number of columns you would like.
  4. You can also choose the width of the columns and how far apart they are.
the columns window in microsoft word

Choose the column layout you would like for your document


Insert picture option in microsoft word

Insert picture from file

In a word processing package, you can insert the following images:

  • shape outlines
  • images from other files
  • symbols
  • Clipart
  • diagrams


Most Word Processing packages will allow you to insert Clipart images. These are free from copyright and can be used in your DiDA project. However, don't get into a habit of using Clipart. Examiners have probably seen these images hundreds of times before.

3 expamples of bad clipart

Beware of bad clip art


Autoshapes allows you to draw shape outlines, files, organisation charts, banners and speech bubbles. These could be used in newsletters or leaflets you're asked to produce.

5 examples of autoshapes

Examples of autoshapes

Headers and footers

Headers can include your name, the date or name of the file. Footers are often page numbers, appendix notes or the date the document was created.

the header and footer option in microsoft word

Click on the header or footer tool on the insert tab


To print a document: select File and then Print. You can then select details such as printer, printing area and number of copies.

A Print Setup box with options to choose which pages to print and orientation - landscape or portrait.

A Print Setup box with options to choose which pages to print and orientation - landscape or portrait.


It's essential to regularly save your documents. Computers can crash and lose your work at any time.

save as window

Make sure you save your file in the correct format

To save your work select:

File, then Save.

Clicking on the Save icon will save the document as the same name. You may want to save your document as a new name or make a copy of it.

On the toolbar, click File and Save As to rename the file.

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