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MENG 421 Assignment 7, 8

Setting Up Microsoft Word

and Starting a Term Paper

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In this lesson you will set up Microsoft Word for use on Windows. Then you will create the title page and major headings for a bridge design report that you won't have to do. However, you will make simple Truss Plan with Word and insert the graphic of Trussw you made last week. Notice the small triangles and circles under the truss. You will also learn to distinguish serif and sans serif typefaces.

Table of Contents Your outline must have the following parts:


          Title Page
          Abstract
          Table of Contents
          I. Introduction
          II. Objective
          III. Procedure
          IV. Results
          V. Discussion
          VI. Conclusions
          References
          Appendix A, Truss Plan
          Appendix B, Ansys Code and Trusses
The Table of Contents will look like this. Use the Format Tabs Leader control of Word to make the rows of dots. (Click Format and Tabs, then pick Leader 2.) Use the page numbers in the figure to set the tab stops.

The lesson is designed for Tech PCs, but can be used on any Windows computer. MS Word is a very powerful editor with many features. However, it is not necessary to know all the features to use it. You will certainly want to use Word for writing papers, memos, and formal letters. However, don't use it for writing HTML for web pages or for computer programs such as Matlab and Ansys. Use Notepad instead.

You should have already have set up the desktop to include shortcuts to Word, Notepad, Wordpad, Windows Explorer, and MSIE (Microsoft Internet Explorer).


  1. You should be reading this lesson from a printed listing or from a browser on a Windows PC.
  2. Before starting Word, set up a folder for saving your work.
  3. As you know, you must be careful to save your work in the Win directory on drive U. Otherwise, you will lose your work.
  4. To be sure your work is safe, create a special folder for it and make a desktop shortcut to easily continue the work each time you log in.
  5. Start Word by clicking the start menu and clicking its icon, or double-clicking its icon on the desktop.

    Make background transparent

  6. Look at the top of the Word window where there are at least four bars. The first two of them are found in most windows.
  7. If the toolbars are not showing, click the View menu and move right at Toolbars to get a new menu. Check both Standard and Formatting.
  8. If the Ruler is not visible below the Formatting toolbar, click the View menu and pick Ruler. The ruler is used to set tab stops and margins.
  9. Type the line
         Bridge Design Project
  10. Notice that there are two cursors; a mouse cursor and a typing cursor.
  11. The mouse cursor follows your mouse movements and changes shape depending on where it is. Clicking in the text area positions the typing cursor.
  12. The typing cursor is a vertical line and marks your location in the text. It moves as you type.
  13. If the typing cursor is not in the line you just typed, move the mouse cursor to the line and click the left button.
  14. Near the center of the Formatting toolbar are four alignment buttons for left, center, right, and justify. Move the mouse pointer over any tool button and a ToolTip pops up to identify it.

    Word alignment buttons

  15. To center the title:
  16. Next you will change the font and size of your title, but first you must highlight the characters.

    Word undo button

  17. You can select or highlight the text in one of following four ways.
  18. Now that your line is highlighted, we can change the typeface. But remember, if you touch any regular key the highlighted text will be erased.
  19. Before leaving this page, you will add your name and the system date. The system date will automatically update your title page each time you make changes to your report.
  20. Let's vertically align the text on your title page.

    Word print-preview button

  21. We are going on to other pages. However, you will need to come back to this first page to add the class name and other things and to vertically center the lines again.
  22. Notice that the lower-left corner of Word shows Page 1.
  23. The line and column numbers of the typing cursor are also identified on the bottom near the middle.
  24. Also check the four buttons just above the page number. To top
  25. Press Enter several times to move below the date on your title page.
  26. While holding the Ctrl key, press the Enter key to get a new page.
  27. You can also get a new page by clicking the Insert menu and selecting Break.
  28. Notice that the page number is now 2 and there is a dotted line across the page indicating a page break.
  29. Click the Align Left button to turn off centering.
  30. Type the word Abstract and press Enter.
  31. Double-click the new word to highlight it.
  32. Pull down the Font Size list and pick 14. Alternatively, while holding both Ctrl and Shift, you can repeatedly press the < key to reduce the type size.
  33. Click a blank area to remove highlighting.
  34. Before continuing with regular text, change the typeface for the next text you type to Times New Roman and set the font size to 12.
  35. Type the following text, but be careful not to press Enter at the end of each line. Just let Word start a new line automatically. Also, please type the two misspelled words just as they are shown (they are in boldface).

    In this section I will describe whaat I did and what I found. But first we will use some temporary text to study two features of Word. One feature is changing the spacing and the other feature is correction of spelling. For example, the word carefull is misspelled so Word immediately puts a wavy line underneath. Then you can correct the misspelled word by right clicking it and picking the correct spelling from a menu.

    Wavey underline for misspelled word

  36. After typing all the above text, press Enter to get a new paragraph.
  37. Notice the wavy lines under the two misspelled words.
  38. Right-click on each one and pick the correct spelling from the menu.
  39. With the typing cursor on a line in the paragraph, hold the Ctrl key and press the 2 key (the one on the row above the letters not on the one on number pad) to get double spacing.
  40. Hold the Ctrl key and press 5 to get 1.5 spacing.
  41. Hold the Ctrl key and press 1 to get back to single spacing.
  42. If you were preparing a real report, you would now hold Ctrl and press Enter to get a new page. Just press Enter twice.
  43. Type the next heading
         Table of Contents
    and press Enter.
  44. Notice that the typeface and size are wrong; we'll easily fix that in a moment.
  45. Press Enter twice.
  46. Type the next heading
         Introduction
    and press Enter.
  47. Go back and highlight the word Abstract by double clicking it. Format Painter button
  48. Look on the Standard toolbar for the button that has a paintbrush on it. This tool tip is Format Painter.
  49. The Format Painter lets us easily make the font and size of one block of text match that of another.
  50. With the word Abstract still highlighted, double click the Format Painter button. Double clicking lets you use the painter tool more than once. Otherwise it shuts off after the first use.
  51. Notice that the mouse cursor has changed to a combination of an I-beam and a paintbrush.
  52. Left drag the mouse cursor through Table of Contents and watch it change to the form of the Abstract heading.
  53. Click Introduction to change it too.
  54. Click the Painter button to turn it off.
  55. If you only want to use the Painter once, single-click it; then it will automatically turn off after you use it.
  56. Pages are not initially numbered, so turn on page numbers with the following. View button
  57. To see the page numbers, change to Page Layout View. Print Preview button
  58. Page numbers also show in Print Preview mode
  59. Save your work before you lose it.

  60. Making a better Truss Plan
    You can improve your Truss Plan with Word by importing your truss graphics made by Ansys. You don't have your own graphics yet, but you can insert Trusswtp.gif that you make last time and add yours later. Make your Truss Plan look like this today. Notice that there is a pin at the left end and a roller at the right and three down arrows for the forces. Truss with circles and triangles

  61. Adding triangles, a circle, and the arrows
    The Word drawing tools are powerful, but may be hard to learn at first. You will now add triangles, circles, and arrows to the truss.

  62. To print your report, do the following.
  • Here are some useful MS Word Shortcuts.


    Also see: Joe Schall's Style for Students, Harvey Lipkin's Writing Reference , Matt Young

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    Revised: March 19, 2004 -- Copyright 1997-2004 ARMiller