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Using the Format Menu of Microsoft Office Word 2003

Patrick, a computer technician, is a dedicated writer who wishes to make the world better by informing individuals who seek more knowledge.

The Format Menu of Microsoft Word

The Format Menu of Microsoft Word

The Format command is commonly used among the other commands on the Microsoft Office Word 2003 menu bar. It helps us to format documents in various ways to achieve the desired effects. The following options are available on the format menu.


The Font command enables us to format the following.

  1. Font: This allows you to change the font, font style, size, font colour, underline style and underline colour. You can also add some special effects like strikethrough, superscript, subscript, shadow, emboss and others.
  2. Character Spacing: This option enables you to increase or decrease the space between characters. It can also be used to change the position of your text by either raising it or lowering below the normal position.
  3. Text Effects: These effects are found on the text effects tab. These are simply animations that can be applied to text—for example, the blinking background, Las Vegas lights, shimmer, and others.

Paragraph and Bullet and Numbering

  • Paragraph: The paragraph command is used to create indents and spacing on a paragraph. Under the general, you can set left, centered, right and justified text alignments. On the indentation, you can create a left or right indent (a gap from the margin), or you can create a special first line (the first line is pushed inside) or hanging indent (the first line is left hanging while the rest of the text is pushed on the inside).
  • Bullets and Numbering: This command is used for applying bullets and numbers on points. To set a specific bullet, highlight your list, click on Format > Bullets and Numbering. If you do not find the bullet you want on the provided list, select one of them and then click on customize. Then click on Character to open the symbols window. Locate the bullet type you want from this area. Remember to keep changing the font to get different bullets. The same case applies while setting specific number formats.

Borders and Shading and Columns

  • Borders and Shading: You will use this command to set borders for text or paragraph. The border will enclose the text or paragraph you select. The page border option applies a border to all our work (the whole page). Here, you can also make use of an art style. Remember to select the style, colour, and width for the border. The preview area is important for setting the areas you want or do not want to have a border. The shading option will enable you to apply a shading colour to the selected text.
  • Columns: This is an important command for setting columns to your work. You can set the number of columns you want and you can make them have a line between them.
Drop Cap Option in MS Word 2003

Drop Cap Option in MS Word 2003

Tabs and Drop Cap

  • Tabs: They are used to indent text on the horizontal ruler, and they enable you to line up text to the right, left, or center.
  • Drop Cap: This command creates a large dropped initial capital letter on a paragraph. The paragraph must contain text. The procedure is: click on Format menu, select Drop Cap, click Dropped or In margin. Select any other options you want like the font and how many lines to drop.
The different sentence cases available

The different sentence cases available

Text Direction and Change Case

  • Text Direction: This is used to change the text orientation or direction in a table.
  • Change Case: Use this command to change the case of your text to any of the following: Sentence case (normal writing style where we capitalize the beginning of a sentence), lowercase (every text will appear in lower case), UPPERCASE (selected text will be capitalized), Title Case (beginning of every word will be capitalized) and tOGGLE cASE (reverse the title case of every letter in the selection).


  • Background: This feature is used to apply a normal background, fill effect and a printed watermark to your page. Format > Background, then select the colour you want to use. To use fill effects: Format > Background > Fill Effects, then you can make use of gradient, texture, pattern or a picture as your background.

To use a watermark on your document: Format > Background, Printed Watermark. You can then make use of a picture watermark or a text watermark.

Formatting Background in MS Word 2003

Formatting Background in MS Word 2003

Theme and Autoformat

  • Theme: A theme is a set of unified design elements that provides a good look for your documents by using colour, fonts and graphics.
  • Autoformat: This is an automatic formatting feature that will help you apply formatting such as headings, bulleted and numbered lists, borders, numbers and symbols, among others.
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Styles and Formatting and Reveal Formatting

  • Styles and Formatting: This command is used to apply different formatting styles to your work.
  • Reveal Formatting: Use this to display the different formats that have been applied to your work.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2012 Patrick Kamau


Kiran on September 18, 2017:

Thanks this information was very helpful for college project

Harpal on May 30, 2017:

Sir, This site not show Insert, Format menu plz attached

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on August 18, 2016:

You are much welcome @Avisha. Thanks for the visit.

Avisha on August 08, 2016:

Thnx for sharing info. i loved it.I surely be working on it.

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on July 22, 2014:

Yes Lyns, you can try if this one will be of much help. Thanks again for the visit.

Lynn Jones from USA on July 21, 2014:

Great hub thanks for sharing, I was looking for the MS 2003 that shows how to do the margins set, etc., do you have one on this as well? Thanks for sharing. 7212014 11p lyns

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