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Using Microsoft WORD: General Formatting

Headers & Footers

If typing a paper in MLA format, the Header is where the page numbers will go as well as the abbreviated title of the paper.

There are two ways to activate the header:

  • Double-click at the very top of the page


  • At the top of the page, click on 'Insert,' then click on 'Header.'

To insert page numbers in the header:

Once you have activated the header:

  • Click on Insert at the top of the page.
  • Click on 'Page Number'
  • For MLA, choose option 'Plain Number 3' to place the page number in the upper right corner.

To set the margins on the paper:

The default margins are usually 1" all around which is MLA format. If the margins are not 1" all around:

  • Click on 'Page Layout'
  • Click on 'Margins'
  • Choose 'Normal' which is 1" on all sides. This is MLA format. If not using MLA format, you can choose whichever margins you would like.


To double space the paper:

If you have not typed anything yet...

1. Click on the 'Home' tab

2. In the center toolbar column where it says Paragraph, click on the arrow in the lower right corner

Line Spacing on the Home tab






3. Under 'Spacing', choose 'Double' from the drop down menu where it says 'Line Spacing.'

To double-space text you have already typed:

  • Select/highlight all of the text you want to double-space
  • Follow steps 1 - 3 above

Spell Check

To spell check your document:

  • On the top navigation, click on 'Review.'
  • In the left corner, click on the icon that says 'ABC Spelling & Grammar.'