Learning Some Basic Steps in Formatting Text

When you are working on a document, it would look quite dull and plain if you just rely on the basic formatting and settings offered by document processing software such as WordPad or Microsoft Word. You’ve surely seen a host of nicely formatted documents from different sources while you are in your workplace or even when doing something over the web and if you are still wondering how on earth were they able to do it then you probably are a novice Windows user who needs a little bit of learning and mastering in this aspect of the Windows operating system. In this tutorial, we will be teaching you the basics in formatting the texts that you input on word processing software such as WordPad but first, let’s discover the ways in accessing this built-in desktop app in your Windows 8.1 machine.

1. Accessing the WordPad Desktop App

You might have got used to using the previous Windows versions like Windows 7 which offers a lot of ways in accessing all of the desktop programs that you installed in it and find it hard looking for the same program in Windows 8.1 because of the absence of an important feature called the Start Menu but it doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, accessing a desktop program such as WordPad has become even easier in Microsoft’s latest operating system edition.


To access a desktop app like WordPad in Windows 8.1, the easiest way that you would probably prefer is by using the Search feature and this is done in two ways, first, you can get the Search screen to appear from the right-edge of your computer’s monitor by clicking on the Search button that is located on the top-right portion of the Start Screen lying just beside the Power button and as well as your account name and picture. To access the Start Screen, just click on the Start Button or press the Windows key on your computer’s keyboard.


After clicking the Search button, you should be able to see the Search screen bearing an input box on it and this is where you will need to input the name of the app that you are trying to open which is WordPad in this case and the shortcut that will open the app will appear right away at the bottom of the search input box.



You can also do it in an even shorter way which is done by first clicking on the Start Button or pressing the Windows key and once the Start Screen opens, simply type in “WordPad” on your computer’s keyboard and you will see the Search screen appear from the right edge and the name of the app that you typed will just be entered into the search input box automatically.

2. Accessing WordPad from the Apps View Screen

Another way in accessing desktop apps such as WordPad in a Windows 8.1 machine is by first getting into the Apps view screen which works like a full screen Start Menu. To do this, you will first need to access the Start Screen and once it opens, simply move the mouse over it until you see a round button with an arrow down icon sitting in it that will appear at the bottom-left portion of the screen. Once this button appears, you will need to click or tap on it so you can get into the Apps view screen.


Now, on the Apps view screen, you can scroll further to the right by using the scroll wheel of your mouse or by using the arrow right key on your computer’s keyboard. There’s also an arrow right scroll button at the bottom right corner of the screen as well as the scroll bar that you can use in doing this action then look for the WordPad desktop app shortcut under the “Windows Accessories” category.


After finding the WordPad shortcut using any of the steps that I have shown above and being able to open the app, it is time to learn some options for tweaking the texts that you typed in it. Take note that most of the options found in WordPad are also available in other document processing programs such as Microsoft Word and even those for photo editing such as Paint which supports adding texts to a certain file that is being created or edited in it.

3. Learning How to Highlight Texts

Now that you’ve learned how to access WordPad, the next thing that you need to do is type something into its screen. The basic thing here is you should learn how to move the cursor just in case you would need to add a word into a sentence and it is done by simply clicking on the area where you would want another word to be inserted or an extra letter to be deleted. You can also input a letter in caps without using the “Caps Lock” button simply by holding down the Shift key and pressing the letter that you want to be in caps. To do some formatting, you will need to highlight the word, phrase or sentence to be formatted as shown on the screenshot below.


To highlight a word like the one shown above, simply put the mouse pointer before the word, phrase or sentence that you want to be highlighted and after doing so, you will need to hold the left-click button of the mouse and drag it towards the right until the word/s are enclosed in a blue rectangle indicating that it is already highlighted.

4. Changing the Size and Style of Fonts

Now, when the word/s that you want to change formatting of is highlighted, you can start doing changes to it such as changing the font style and increasing its size simply by choosing your desired style and setting the size that you want from the “Font” options group.


The screenshot above shows the highlighted text in “Broadway” font style and a font size of 20. You can also make some other tweaks like “Bold”, “Italicize”, and “Underline” by clicking on their corresponding buttons on the “Font” options group or pressing their keyboard shortcuts which are  “Ctrl+B”, “Ctrl+I” and “Ctrl+U” respectively while the word that you want to make changes on is highlighted.


To remove these formatting on a highlighted word or group of words, all you need to do is click on the same options again or press the same shortcut keys and you will see each of the formatting options being taken away one after the other. Lastly, you can also change the color of the text simply by clicking on the small arrow down icon located just beside the Text color button.


After doing so, simply select your desired color from the colors box that appears or if the color that you want does not appear in the box, just click on the “More colors…” link at the bottom to see even more colors and hues on a separate Window. After picking a color, the text that you have highlighted will automatically change its color from black to the new one that you have selected and that’s it! You now learned all the basics in formatting texts on WordPad and you can also try the same in Microsoft Word since most of the options and buttons just look the same as the ones that you’ve seen here.