A document is more than paragraphs - it might have footnotes, endnotes, tables of contents and figures, and so on... On this page we look at sorting out your page structure, from how to move to a new page (without hitting Enter a lot!) to setting up your table of contents and numbering.
Though the content of a document is, of course, vital, the structure of the pages is very important too, especially for longer documents or those that will be edited frequently. As with styles, using good page structure ensures that the computer knows the different elements of your document, especially where the document has different sections or where there are footnotes or endnotes.
Combined with styles, using proper page structure allows you to use the full range of features in a text processor, makes it easier to keep your documents updated and looking how you expect them to, and helps with accessibility and accessing your document on different devices and in different ways.
Some features relating to page structure only exist in Word, and others exist in both Word and Google Docs. It is worth bearing in mind if you need to use a feature that is only in Word (like automatically numbered headings) when deciding which application to use.
One advantage of using heading styles in your document is that you can then automatically create a formatted table of contents without needing to manually type one out. Heading styles need to be applied to all headings and sub-headings first, so the document knows which text should be included in your table of contents.
Adding numbering to the headings and sub-headings in your document can help to add structure and define the different sections in your document. Being able to add automatic numbering is another useful outcome of using styles in a Microsoft Word document.
When you use heading styles, they are linked to different 'Levels', which is how the document knows the difference between a top-level heading and then sub-headings within. For example, we may use the 'Heading 1' style for the main chapters or sections of our document. Then for sub-headings, we may apply 'Heading 2' as a level 2 style. Once that multi-level structure is set up in your document, you can then create numbering while helps to show those levels (1, 1.1, 1.1.1, 188.8.131.52 etc).
Adding automatic heading numbering is only available in Microsoft Word.
Sometimes you need to start a new page or break your document into different sections, so that those sections can be formatted differently. This can be achieved by placing a 'break' into the document; to tell it where one thing should end and another should begin. There are two types of breaks: Page Breaks and Section Breaks, which behave differently.
Page Breaks are simply used for marking where text should end on one page and any following text should continue on the next page. This is a more reliable method to using the 'enter' key on your keyboard to make space. Page breaks will still stay in the same place even if you were to edit or alter your document later on.
Section Breaks are a little more powerful. They tell the document where one section ends and another one begins. This could be at the end of a chapter, or wherever you may need certain parts of the document to differ in some way. Once the document knows where the different sections are, elements such as the Header or Footer, page orientation or automatic numbering can be altered for just a particular section. One example could be needing the first few pages of a document to have Roman Numerals for the page numbering, but then the main text to start again in a different format (1,2,3 etc). By inserting a section break, you can unlink these sections so they have different formatting or orientation.
In Microsoft Word, you may need the header or footer in your document to have a different setup (numbering, title etc) for one particular section of your document. If so, you will need to 'unlink' the sections before changing any formatting. This process is slightly odd as you have to work backwards, starting by looking at the section which is after the one you want to change to unlink it:
Footnotes or Endnotes are a way of placing a small 'superscript' number or letter next to a word or sentence. This then links to a comment, citation or other note that is listed either at the bottom of the page (Footnote) or end of the document (Endnote).
You may need to check with your department around if you should use Footnotes or Endnotes, along with what information can be included in these.
Once you've gone over the material on this page, try the following exercises to apply your knowledge: