Lesson 3: Working with Paragraphs

In this lesson, I discuss paragraphs. I will show you how to set the space before and after, and set the line spacing within paragraphs. I will also show you how to create several types of paragraph indents including right-indents, left-indents, and first line indents.

In addition, I will discuss several ways to make a paragraphs stand out, including placing a border around, creating a color background for, bulleting, and numbering them.

When practicing the concepts taught in this lesson, you can type the practice text or to save time, you can use the RAND() function. Functions are used to obtain information. You tell the function what you want and it returns that information to you. Arguments enable you to be specific about what you want. There are two arguments you can use with the RAND() function. The first one specifies how many paragraphs and the second one specifies how many sentences in a paragraph you want. Place arguments between the parentheses and separate them with a comma. For example, if you type =RAND() and press Enter, Word returns four paragraphs. To tell Word you want one paragraph, type =RAND(1). To tell Word you want two paragraphs with three sentences in each paragraph, type =RAND(2,3).

Add Sample Text

  1. Type =RAND().
  2. Press the Enter key. The following text appears:
Video provides a powerful way to help you prove your point. When you click Online Video, you can paste in the embed code for the video you want to add. You can also type a keyword to search online for the video that best fits your document.

To make your document look professionally produced, Word provides header, footer, cover page, and text box designs that complement each other. For example, you can add a matching cover page, header, and sidebar. Click Insert and then choose the elements you want from the different galleries.

Themes and styles also help keep your document coordinated. When you click Design and choose a new Theme, the pictures, charts, and SmartArt graphics change to match your new theme. When you apply styles, your headings change to match the new theme.

Save time in Word with new buttons that show up where you need them. To change the way a picture fits in your document, click it and a button for layout options appears next to it. When you work on a table, click where you want to add a row or a column, and then click the plus sign.

Reading is easier, too, in the new Reading view. You can collapse parts of the document and focus on the text you want. If you need to stop reading before you reach the end, Word remembers where you left off - even on another device.


When you apply a paragraph format, the format continues until you change it. For example, if you indent a paragraph, Word indents every subsequent paragraph until you remove the paragraph indent.


When working with paragraph settings, you do not need to select an individual paragraph to format it. Placing the insertion point anywhere within the paragraph will apply any settings to the entire paragraph.

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