APA Format and Microsoft Word

This website is about APA format and how to use Microsoft Word to format your writing the APA way.
You will find out:

  • the rules of APA formatting
  • how to write by these APA rules using Microsoft Word

Follow the instructions and you will:

  • create a document (e.g. a piece of academic writing) that will look professional, satisfy styling requirements, and increase your chances of success
  • learn more about Microsoft Word which will be a great asset for you in your future career

What Will You See?

You will see the following:

  1. description of the APA format
  2. Microsoft Word screenshot(s) showing how to format in APA style
  3. Written instructions should you want an alternative explanation.

Of course there will be other useful information, but the basic structure is as described.

An Example (How to Write a Paragraph in APA Format)

The following is an example of what you will find.
The APA format for a paragraph is as follows:

  • left aligned
  • first line indent of 0.5" (1.27 cm)
  • double line spacing

Figure 1 shows you how to create a paragraph in APA format using Microsoft Word.

Word screen for alignment and line indent and spacing for a paragraph in APA formatFigure 1: Word settings for a paragraph in APA format

Figure 1 written instructions (if required) are as follows:

  1. Select the Indents and Spacing tab (if not already selected).
  2. Set Alignment to Left (if not already set - should be the default).
  3. Set Outline level to Body Text (if not already set - should be the default).
    If a level number is assigned (for example Level 1), the text could appear in the table of contents if you have one).
  4. Set First line indent to 0.5 inches (1.27 centimeters).
  5. Set Before and After Spacing to 0 pt.
    Microsoft Word usually has a positive value here. Set to zero because in the next step you will set line spacing to double which is the APA format. You do not want double line spacing plus before and after spacing.
  6. Set Line spacing to Double.
  7. Select OK.

How Will www.apaword.com Help You? 

This website (www.apaword.com) will:

  • save you time: Enter APA format settings from the screenshots instead of looking up the APA format, and then entering the settings in Microsoft Word.
  • help you format your academic writing correctly every time: Set up the correct APA format, and then reuse - even for new Word documents.
  • improve your chances of success in academia and business: New Word skills will be invaluable in your career.

The following information is provided:

Basic APA Format 

A paper in APA format has requirements for the following:

  • Margins
  • Font type and size
  • Headers
  • Title page
  • Abstract page
  • Headings
  • Paragraphs
  • Quotations
  • Footnotes

See how to use Microsoft Word to write your paper in APA format.

Advanced APA Format

Figures in APA Format

Figures (images) have their own APA format as well.
See how to use Microsoft Word to create a figure in APA format.

Table of Contents in APA Format

There is no official guide for a Table of Contents in APA format.
However, you may want to create one in your APA formatted paper.
I have applied APA formatting in other areas to a table of contents.
See how to use Microsoft Word to create a table of contents in APA format.

Useful Microsoft Word Functions

Microsoft Word has many useful functions that will help you in your career - academic, business or other. They include:

  • headers
    APA formatting requires only a page number in the header. 
  • footers
  • page numbering
  • title page (cover page)
  • table of contents
  • list of figures
  • list of tables
  • outline
  • citations and references
  • index
  • special characters

Summary

By following the screenshots and instructions given, you will:

  • learn APA formatting: The Microsoft Word screenshots (see Figure 1 for example) and instructions will show you how to write in APA format.
  • save time: Enter APA format settings from the screenshots shown instead of looking up the APA format, and then entering the settings into Microsoft Word.
  • format your academic writing correctly every time: Set up the correct APA format, and then reuse - even for new Word documents.
  • improve your chances of success in academia and business: New Microsoft Word skills will be invaluable in your career. Knowing the APA format will be very useful if you want to pursue an academic career.
    Good Microsoft Word skills will benefit you in any career - academic or business.

Microsoft Word is a powerful tool that will help you in many ways with your academic writing.

The time and effort put into learning and using these features will:

  • help you with APA formatting, and any modifications your instructor may ask for, such as a Table of Contents.
  • automatically format your writing as required, for example, Times New Roman, size 12, double spaced.
  • save you time, for example, by automatically updating page numbers.
  • help you present your work in an academic writing style that makes you look professional.
  • help you structure your work, for example, using the Outline feature to give an overview of your work.

The following feedback is for a Masters thesis (that I edited):

  • "the content is excellent" - the student had good Microsoft Word skills and so used their time on research, analysis and presenting their findings instead of wasting valuable time finding out how to use Microsoft Word
  • "the thesis was very professionally presented" - good use of Microsoft Word enabled the thesis to be presented  in the best academic writing style.

Knowing how to make best use of Microsoft Word will greatly "help" with your academic writing and future career.

See word tips if you want to know more about how Microsoft Word can help your academic writing.

The official APA website is here.