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How to Create Fancy Headings with Microsoft Word 
 
by Laura Lond August 16, 2005

Microsoft Word comes equipped with a wide variety of fonts and many tools to allow you to be creative with your word processing. Yet, from what I see, most people don’t go any farther than using boldface and a larger font size and maybe a different color for the headings and parts of text they need to highlight.

While in business documentation the use of fancy fonts and excessive decorations may not be appropriate, knowing the full potential of Microsoft Word will be very helpful when designing a newsletter, a brochure, or a card.

Fonts

First of all, I would recommend you to check all the available fonts. You will find them in the upper left corner; there is a little white box there that probably says “Times New Roman” – the default font you are most likely using. If you click on it and scroll down, you will see all the other font names and samples of them. There are fonts that look like handwritten script, fonts that are slim and narrow or thick and bold, fonts that look formal, informal, and funny – in other words, enough to find something useful for whatever project you are working on.

Color and Special Effects

When you have chosen the font you like, you can experiment with color and special effects. There are two ways to change the font color. First is through the little button you should have on your toolbar, an underlined letter “A”; the second way is to click on “Format,” also on the toolbar, and then on “Font.” The window that will open will not only allow you to change the font color but also let you use special effects like adding shadow to your text. You will see little checkboxes titled “Shadow,” “Outline,” “Emboss,” “Engrave,” “Small Caps,” etc. Try and select each one; a sample text below will show you what happens and how it changes the text.

Another handy tool is Borders and Shading; you will find it under “Format” as well. That feature allows you to put a border around certain parts of your text, in many different styles. Your border can be plain, or 3-dimentional, or have a shadow. You can choose how thick it is and you can change the color of the border. The “Shading” feature allows you to fill the border with color – inside. Imagine, for example, how much better the heading “My Newsletter” will look if you make it blue, surround it with a blue border and fill the border with, say, yellow… But wait, even that is not all.

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