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Creating Professional Word Documents at Work

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Post Creating Professional Word Documents at Work   Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:29 am

Here are some tips for creating better Word documents:

1. Choose your content carefully. Keep it simple, to-the-point with as little jargon and rhetoric as possible. Be selective about your content and make sure you stay focused. It's important to read and reread what you have written to make sure it is grammatically correct, uses proper punctuation and make sense. Having someone else review your document will also mitigate the changes for error. Always remember to spell check your document. If you have access to a grammar-check, it would be helpful to run the document through that as well.

2. Select or create a document theme. Microsoft Office has some great themes to ensure your document is coordinated with respect to fonts, colors and graphics. Themes can not only offer your document a professional flare, but also make it look consistent. When one page flows visually into the text, the continuity of style can offer continuity of content as well.

3. Create your own set of styles. Using the same font for everything you do within your documents can streamline all of your communication. Consistently using Times Roman with a size of 12 or Comic Sans size 10 will help your reader feel comfortable with your style and recognize it quickly.

4. Use graphics to illustrate key points. Don't be afraid to use graphics to accentuate your ideas and add value to what you are writing. Be sure not to over-due graphics as well. The written content is the most valuable material you have to offer the reader. Using the graphics can simply at support and documentation to your assertions.

For the more elaborate documents you may need to generate here are four additional tips:

5. Use tables for page layouts. Tables look great, professional and are easy to manage. They can offer substance to your document as well.

6. Use heading styles and a table of contents. These also add value to your document and professionalism. They also allow your reader to know what to expect and have a general idea of your ability to communicate the material.

7. Use footnotes for supporting details. These can also add value. Footnotes indicate you have done your homework and researched some (if not all) of the information you are providing in the document. Showing what sources you use also gives weight to your document.

8. Add an appendix. Providing supporting information continues to add value to your document.

We write in order to materialize or ideas into documents which can be useful to our superiors, co-workers and customers. It's important to write informative and concise documents, which send a message to your readers about who you are and what you have to say. Remaining focused, clear and accurate is critical so you are not misunderstood, underestimated or worse-yet, ignored.

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