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:
This sentence uses the "Arial" font
uses the "Times New Roman" font
This sentence uses letters that are
8 point size
This sentence uses
letters that are 12 point size
This sentence is normal type.
This sentence is in italic.
This sentence is bold.
This sentence is underlined.
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
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:
March 10, 2003, etc.
Examples of setting format
Click here to see examples of how easy
it is to change formats using Microsoft Word.