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Introduction to Formatting

The appearance of text (the words, numbers, etc., that appear on screens and on reports) can be readily changed by selecting different options in a computer program.  You can specify a certain word or group or words, and can easily change their appearance (or "format") using any of the following options:

Font

    This sentence uses the "Arial" font
    This sentence uses the "Times New Roman" font

Size

    This sentence uses letters that are 8 point size
   This sentence uses letters that are 12 point size

Emphasis

   This sentence is normal type.
    This sentence is in italic.
    This sentence is bold.
    This sentence is underlined.

Alignment

This sentence is aligned to the left ("flush left").

This sentence is "centered".

This sentence is aligned to the right ("flush right").

Specialized formats for numbers

 Numbers are stored as just that:  numbers, and nothing else.
A "numeric format" adds things like dollar signs, commas and decimal points.

For example, $1,200 is stored as just 12, but it can be displayed using any of the following numeric formats:

$1,200.00 ("currency format": dollar sign, comma, two decimals
$1200.00 (currency format without a comma)
1,200.00 (general: no dollar sign, comma, two decimals)
1200.0 (general: no dollar sign, no comma, two decimals)
1200 (general: no dollar sign, no comma, no decimals)

Specialized formats for dates

Dates are stored in a way that makes it easy to calculate the number of days between two dates, but they can easily be displayed in any of the following date formats:
03/10/03
03/10/2003
3/10/03
March 10, 2003, etc.

Examples of setting format

Click here to see examples of how easy it is to change formats using Microsoft Word.

 


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