Published on

Loio’s Guide To Paragraphs in MS Word

Imagine creating a legal document like constructing a house. Every component, whether a brick or a roof tile, must fit perfectly into the overall structure. Paragraphs form a foundational unit, presenting complete ideas or statements for the reader. Enhanced with headings, lists, and legal numbering, they are perfect for making legal documents more digestible.

MS Word offers a plethora of tools for refining paragraphs. It helps you create documents that are well organized and ready for the next steps – a crucial aspect of legal document formatting.

This guide will walk you through the principal paragraph settings in Word, which apply to macOS and Windows. These settings play a significant role in numbering paragraphs in legal documents, similar to constructing a house one brick at a time.

Basic Paragraph Settings and Legal Document Numbering Format

In MS Word, paragraph settings include the essential elements central to establishing a legal document numbering format. Lets take a look on the example of Real Estate Purchase & Sale Agreement.

A typical paragraph encompasses options for lists (bullet points or numbering), the ability to adjust indents, text alignment (left, centered, right, justified), and the choice of defining line and paragraph spacing. Other settings include formatting marks and extra design options for tables and letters. In short, these are the tools you need to understand how to format a legal document.

For more nuanced paragraph settings, on Mac, use the hotkey Option + Command + M. If you are on Windows, click on the bottom right corner of the paragraph section. An advanced settings window will show up on both systems.

Let’s now look at tabs — another critical element in paragraph work. Tabs settings are available in the bottom left corner of the expanded paragraph settings. Click on it and use the alignment, leader, and default stop tools to make adjustments.

Paragraph Editing and Formatting in Legal Document Format

Once you know basic paragraph settings, you can begin editing the paragraphs. Select the necessary section or part and text alignment, create lists, or adjust spacing. These tasks can be done seamlessly on Mac and Windows, making them integral to creating a legal document format.

Let’s now switch gears to paragraph formatting. For enhanced visibility, opt to “Show formatting marks” in the paragraph section on both operating systems. This will help you better understand the legal document format.

Another critical function you must understand when learning to format a legal document is the Hard return. This action separates paragraphs bullet points in lists, headings, or other text elements.

A Soft return — pressing Shift + Return/Enter on both operating systems – ensures text formatting stays intact as it moves a section smoothly to the following line.

Bonus Tool for Paragraph Management

After editing your paragraphs, it’s time to review them. MS Word provides a convenient tool: the Find & Replace management toolbar, which is accessible by using Shift + Command + H on a Mac or Ctrl + H on Windows.

This feature makes finding and replacing specific words and phrases in your document more accessible, an essential tool in numbering paragraphs in legal documents.

To “summon” it, use Shift + Command + H on Mac. Press Ctrl + H on Windows. A Find and Replace managing toolbar will open.

As you can see, on Mac and Windows, this toolset looks a bit different. Besides finding and replacing text elements, the macOS version is also focused on document navigation (Thumbnails Pane), tracking its changes (Reviewing Pane), and defining a table of contents (Document Map). 

In Word on Windows, you may find, replace, and go to certain text elements in independent tabs, including extra options. 

On both Mac and Windows, the Find and Replace feature provides a dropdown list of various text characters, marks, digits, and others that you would like to proceed within the document. On Mac, just click on the duplicate name rows and choose the needed options. 

On Windows, you can find this dropdown list in the Special tab beneath the Find and Replace window.

The Find and Replace tool is also perfect for searching and modifying specific words and phrases in your document. Let’s find the “Buyer” word. After you type it in the Find and Replace toolbar on Mac, you’ll see all the suitable matches highlighted in the document and their total number. 

On Windows, select the Find tab and fill in “Buyer” in the row. To highlight this word in the document, choose Highlight Breaking below, then Highlight All. Next, Word will display all the matching results.

If you want to change a word or phrase, fill the current unit in the Find row and the needed unit in the Replace row in the toolbar, and click Replace or Replace All on both OSs. 

Paragraphs contribute to the consistency and organization of legal documents, making them indispensable in creating a clear structure. Add-ins like Loio can also help you edit legal documents smarter and faster.

With this guide, formatting shouldn’t feel like breaking rocks but rather like playing with Lego. Use MS Word’s full features and see your productivity soar.

Article by Yevheniia Savchenko

Yevheniia Savchenko is a Product Content Manager at Lawrina. Yevheniia creates user interface copies for Lawrina products, writes release notes, and helps customers get the best user experience from all Lawrina products. Also, Yevheniia is in charge of creating helpful content on legal template pages (Lawrina Templates) and up-to-date information on US law (Lawrina Guides). In her spare time, Yevheniia takes up swimming, travels, and goes for a walk in her home city.

Thank You! Welcome on board