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Tips for Using Word on Mac

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Page Settings


Check page size

  • Click Layout tab.
  • Click the Size icon.
  • Select US Letter (8.5" X 11")

Check margins

  • Click Layout tab.
  • Click the Margins icon.
  • Click Custom Margins.
  • Enter the following settings in the Document dialogue box that opens.
    • Margins tab
      • "Top:" = 1"
      • "Bottom:" = 1"
      • "Left:" = 1.25"
      • "Right:" = 1.25"
      • "Gutter:" = 0"
      • "Gutter position:" = Left
      • "Multiple pages:" = Normal
      • "Apply to:" = Whole document
    • Layout tab
      • "Header:" = 0.5"
      • "Footer:" = 0.5"
      • "Apply to:" = Whole document
  • Hit OK
  • If you have multiple sections in your document, check each section.

Spacing


Turn off Widow/Orphan control

  • Select all the text in your document.
  • In the Mac menu bar, open the Format menu.
  • Click Paragraph. This will open a dialogue box.
  • Click the Line and Page Breaks tab
  • If the box for Widow/Orphan control has a check mark, click the box to remove the check.
  • Hit OK.

Check line spacing

  • Select all the text in your document.
  • In the Mac menu bar, open the Format menu.
  • Click Paragraph. This will open a dialogue box.
  • Click the Indents and Spacing tab and enter the following settings.
    • "Before:" = 0 pt
    • "After:" = 0 pt
    • "Line spacing:" = Double
    • Click the box that says “Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style.”
  • Hit OK.
  • Now you can create heading spaces by simply hitting enter twice.

No gaps or white space in text

  • Continue the text to the 1” bottom margin.
    • EXCEPTIONS: Places where it is acceptable to have a gap or white space.
      • At the bottom of the page if there is a subheading and the white space is not large enough for the heading space, the subheading, and 2 lines of text below the subheading. This also applies if there are two subheadings in a row, there must be at least 2 lines of text below the bottom-most subheading.
      • At the end of a chapter.
      • If you are using footnotes and there needs to be a white gap because on the top line of the next page is a footnote that would not fit if the line were moved to the previous page.

Section Breaks


Insert a section break

There are two ways you can do this. Use whichever method you prefer.

Method 1

  • Place your cursor where you would like the section to end.
  • Click the Layout tab.
  • Click the Breaks icon.
  • Click Next Page.

Method 2

  • Place your cursor where you would like the section to end.
  • In the Mac menu bar, open the Insert menu.
  • Hover your cursor over Break.
  • Click Section Break (Next Page).

Add "Insert Page Section Breaks" to Quick Access Toolbar

  • Locate the Customize Quick Access Toolbar button and click it.
    • In the top, left corner are the Save, Undo and Redo buttons. Next to those is a button that has a small horizontal line with a down arrow under it. Click it to edit the Quick Access Toolbar.
  • Select More Commands...
  • This will open the "Ribbon & Toolbar" dialogue box.
  • Click Quick Access Toolbar tab.
  • In the commands list on the left, scroll to "Insert Page Section Breaks" and click it.
  • Click the right arrow button to add to the list on the right.
  • Hit Save.

Adding section breaks using the Quick Access Toolbar

  • Place your cursor where you would like the section to end.
  • After following the steps above, a new button should appear in the Quick Access Toolbar button.
  • This button has two stacked rectangles with an arrow pointing down on the right side. Click it.
  • Click Next Page.

Page Numbers


No page numbers on MAIN HEADING pages in the preliminary pages

NOTE: This applies only to second pages of Abstract, Table of Contents, Lists of Figures and Tables, Acknowledgments, and all preliminary pages. (Numbers do not appear on pages with main headings).

  • Insert a section break at the end of the preceding page if there isn’t already one there.
  • Click in the footer space on the bottom of the second page of the section where you would like a page number to appear.
  • Make sure “Link to Previous” is turned on (it will have a darker background color).
    • EXCEPTION: When inserting a page number onto a second page of an abstract, you do not want “Link to Previous” turned on.
  • Make sure the box stating “Different First Page” has a check mark.
  • Insert page number (Roman numerals in center bottom of page).
    • For the Abstract
      • Click Page Number icon.
      • Select Page Number and enter the following settings.
        • "Alignment:" = Center
        • Make sure box for "Show number on first page" is not checked
      • Click Format... button and enter the following settings.
        • "Number Format:" = i, ii, iii…
        • "Start at:" = iii
        • Hit OK to save formatting
      • Hit OK to save and insert page number
    • For all other sections
      • Follow the same procedure described for the Abstract, but start at whatever is the first page of the current section.
  • If you have done it correctly there will be no page number on the first page, but page numbers will appear on all subsequent pages of the section.
  • Repeat by creating a new section for each MAIN HEADING page (Abstract, Table of Contents, etc.).

No page numbers on MAIN HEADING pages

  • Create a new section by inserting a section break at the end of the preceding page.
  • Click in the header space at the top of the second page of your new section.
  • Make sure “Link to Previous” is turned on (it will have a darker background color).
  • Make sure the box stating “Different First Page” has a check mark.
  • Insert page number (Arabic numerals in top right of page).
  • If you have done it correctly there will be no page number on the first page, but page numbers will appear on all subsequent pages of the section.
  • Repeat the steps above and create a new section for each MAIN HEADING page.
    • For the first main text section (your first chapter), make sure the box “Link to Previous” is NOT selected in either footer or header.

Alternative methods to remove page numbers 

  • Leave the page numbers on each page and create a borderless white fill text box formatted “In Front of Text” to cover the page numbers on the MAIN HEADING PAGES
  • After converting to PDF, remove the page numbers on the MAIN HEADING PAGES using Acrobat Pro

Correct number placement on landscape pages

The University of Wisconsin Green Bay has a tutorial that details how to rotate landscape page numbers to match the Portrait layout.

Footnotes


Formatting footnotes

  • Place your cursor where you want your first footnote number.
  • In the Mac menu bar, open the Insert menu.
  • Click Footnote... This will open a dialogue box.
  • Enter the following settings.
    • "Footnotes:" = Below text
    • "Apply changes to:" = Whole document
  • Hit Insert.
  • This will help eliminate white gaps caused by footnotes.

Correct spacing for footnotes

  • Select your footnote text.
  • In the Mac menu bar, open the Format menu.
  • Click Paragraph. This will open a dialogue box.
  • Click Indents and Spacing tab.
  • Enter the following setting.
    • "Before:" = same as your font size (e.g., 12 pt)
  • Hit OK.

Marriott Library Services

Tech support: Ask the Library

Workshops

Check the schedule for these valuable, intensive workshops that will help you learn how to correctly format your dissertation or thesis.

  • Dissertation Boot Camps
  • Formatting your thesis or dissertation in LaTeX
  • Thesis & Dissertation Formatting in Word 2016
Last Updated: 4/15/22