G Suite: Tips on Formatting Google Docs and Microsoft Word

This doc contains formatting tips for Google Docs and Word docs for college writing.  This guide does not address tips for content or specific styling, although links to these resources are provided.

Recommendation: Google Docs is a great place to create content and write papers, but if specific formatting for APA or MLA is required, we recommend Microsoft Word as it has built-in templates that are ready to go and can act as a guide.  Google Docs can be downloaded into Word format.  Word documents can also be uploaded to Google Drive in their original format or converted to a Google Doc.

Microsoft Word - all GFU students have license for the full Microsoft Office 365. 

To get Microsoft Office 365 do the following:

  1. Go to microsoftonline.com or portal.office.com
  2. Enter your George Fox email address and password.
  3. You will be given the version of Office that will work with your operation system.  If you want Office 2016 you have to be running at least Yosemite (v10.10) on your mac. Windows 7 will work, but Microsoft recommends the newest operating system for the best performance.
  4. If you have any problems, contact the IT Service Desk. 

email servicedesk@georgefox.edu, or call 503-554-2569

Editing and Formating in Docs and Microsoft Word

Google Doc Add-ons

These are apps that you can add to your doc for more tools and features.

Thesaurus

Easybib Bibliography Creator - add through george fox google apps account

there is also an APA template for Google Docs but you have to search for it in the templates site

Show the Ruler

If you do not see the ruler in Google Docs or Word, go to the View menu and check the box. Google Docs on left, Word for Mac on the right.

Google docs view menu          word for mac view menu

In Word you can also go to the View tab and check the box for the ruler.

view tab and ruler box selection

Undo

Knowing how to undo edits is a great tool and Word lets you undo several of your last edits.  

On a Mac computer:

Google Docs and Word for Mac

undo button on word for mac

On a Windows computer:

Google Docs on Windows

undo button on google docs

Word for Windows

undo icon You can also use the keyboard, Ctrl+Z.

Click the small arrow on the right to see the history of items you can undo.

Headers and Footers

  • In Google Docs, select Insert menu>Header

inserting a header in google docs

  • In Word, insert menu and the header option has a menu of options.  As soon as you select a header, you have a new menu on the ribbon with all the options.

inserting a header in word

This activates a new ribbon Header and Footer

Header and Footer Ribbon

Page Numbers

Google Docs

From the Insert menu choose page number

Insert Menu

Page number tab

Word for Mac

Word for Windows

Auto-formatting quirks 

(and how to change them)

  • Some computers autoformat to 1.25” on left and right margins, while many professors require 1” margins all around.
  • Some computers autoformat to Cambria, Calibri, or Arial, while some professors require Times or Times New Roman.
    • Google Docs
      • From  the Edit menu choose select all or press Command + “A”, Select all tab

then on the tools menu bar select the font and size shown there Text Font and Size

  • Word on Mac - preferences - overtype mode,
    • Command + “A,” (also in edit menu) then under “Home” tab, select font drop-down menu and choose desired font and size 
  • Word on Windows
    • Ctrl + A  or choose Select>select all from Home ribbon on far right. Font and size options also on Home ribbon on left

Extra space between paragraphs

  • Google Docs - the default spacing is 1.15 but you can change it.
    • Select desired text, click on “Line Spacing” option from bar menu, and choose desired degree of spacing.

line spacing in paragraphs in docs

You can also use page breaks instead of using “returns” to get to the next page.

  • Word on Mac
    • Select desired text, click on “Line Spacing” option from bar menu under “Home” tab, and choose desired degree of spacing.line spacing paragraphs in word
  • Word on Windows 

Footnotes 

  • Google Docs
    • Click on “Insert” in top menu, then select “Footnote.” The in-text footnote number will appear wherever your cursor is, and the footnote will appear at the bottom of the page.

adding footnotes in google docs

  • Word on Mac
    • Click on the “References” tab to see the option to insert a Footnote

inserting footnotes in word

  • To see more formatting options click on “Insert” in top menu, then select “Footnote.” You then have several options for how to format your footnotes.

formatting options for footnotes in word

  • Word on Windows
    • also click on the “References” tab and select insert Footnote

references tab in word

To see more options for formatting click on the tiny box with arrow

First-line indentation

  •  for body paragraphs (so as to avoid using lots of “spacebar,” “Enter,” or “Tab”)
  • Google Docs
    • Select desired text (one entry or multiple paragraphs)
    • Move “First Line Indent” marker on ruler ( the top blue rectangle) to 0.5”.

indentation ruler in docs

  • Formatting will continue on subsequent paragraphs if you hit “Enter” from the end of the formatted paragraph.
  • Word on Mac
    • make sure ruler is visible - View tab and check the box for ruler
    • Select desired text, click “Format” from top screen menu, select “Paragraph,” then under “Indentation” section, click the drop-down menu under “Special,” and select “First Line.”

indentation ruler in word

  • Formatting will continue on subsequent paragraphs if you hit “Enter” from the end of the formatted paragraph.
  • Word on Windows
    • Select desired text, select “Home” ribbon, click on small arrow in the lower right-hand corner of “Paragraph” section to see the same options as shown above for Mac, then under “Indents and Spacing” section, click the drop-down menu under “Special,” and select “First Line.”

indents and spacing menu'

  • Formatting will continue on subsequent paragraphs if you hit “Enter” from the end of the formatted paragraph.

Hanging indent

  • for reference pages (so as to avoid using lots of “spacebar,” “Enter,” or “Tab”)
    • Google Docs - see quick video on YouTube
      • Select desired text (one entry or multiple paragraphs)
      • First: Select the text you want indented. You can select a single paragraph or multiple paragraphs at a time. Locate the Indent marker on the ruler.

hanging indent in docs

  • Next: On the ruler, drag the ▼Left Indent (light blue inverted triangle ▼) to the right as far as you want the text to be indented. As you will notice, the ▃ First Line Indent marker (light blue rectangle ▃) will come along for the ride, and all your selected text will move to the right.

hanging indent in docs

  • Finally: Drag the ▃ First Line Indent marker (light blue rectangle ▃) back to the left margin. It will move independently, and your hanging indent will be created.

hanging indent in docs

  • Formatting will continue on subsequent paragraphs if you hit “Enter” from the end of the formatted paragraph.
  • Word on Mac and Windows
    • Select desired text, click on the small triangle/rectangle shown below on the ruler and drag to the right.hanging indent in word
    • OR - click “Format” from top screen menu, select “Paragraph,” then under “Indentation” section, click the drop-down menu under “Special,” and select “Hanging.”
    • Formatting will continue on subsequent paragraphs if you hit “Enter” from the end of the formatted paragraph.

Set personal Default settings

  • In general, stay with defaults unless you know what you should change and why.
    • Google Docs
    • Word on Mac
      • Open the Word document you want to save as a template.
      • On the File menu, click Save As Template.
      • In the Save As box, type the name that you want to use for the new template.
      • Next to File Format, click Microsoft Word template (.dotx) saving your paper
  • Word on Windows
    • Open the Word document you want to save as a template.
    • On the File menu, click Save As Template.
    • In the Save as type: select Word Template

file type of paper

How to clear formatting 

  • Google Doc: select text and click this symbol at the far right of the toolbar

clearing formatting in docs


    • Word on a Mac and Windows - select text and click this symbol on the Home ribbon

clearing formatting in word

Recognizing changes in fonts 

  • Quick way to double-check
    • Google Docs
      • Command + “A,”(Select All) and select font drop-down and choose desired font type and size
    • Word on Mac
      • Command + “A,” then under “Home” tab, select font drop-down and choose desired font type and size
    • Word on Windows

Accent marks for ESL/Spanish-speaking students espanol

Resources

Library guides for APA and MLA formatting and citing - this page includes a sample APA paper which is the same as the template in Word and has all the help text.

(some of the links require sign-in and search or just do a google search)

Google Apps Quick Guides  - multiple links to Google Apps training, locating on the George Fox website

Microsoft Word Training - videos and tutorials for multiple versions of Word on both Windows and Mac

Questions? Contact the Service Desk | servicedesk@georgefox.edu | 503-554-2569