How to Create Professional Reports with Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is one of the most popular word processing tools for creating reports and other documents. Whether you are a student, professional or anyone who does documentation works, proficiency in Microsoft Word is a skill that is necessary for today’s digital age. Microsoft Word software comes with a vast number of features to improve the productivity of your works and to produce accurate outputs. In this post, I will show you how to use some of these features to create professional reports with Microsoft Word.

When you write a Thesis, Dissertation, Project Report, and Technical Report, etc… Microsoft Word helps you to keep your content more organized, clear and structured. Microsoft Word comes with inbuilt options such as Source Manager for managing your citations, Track Changes, Document Outlines, etc… to make it easier to handle your documents and related resources.

If you closely observed any professional report created with Microsoft Word, you can identify there are several common features in every document. Those common features include Table of Contents, List of Tables, List of Figures, different levels of Heading Styles, Sections, Image and Table Captions, Index, Headers & Footers, Page Numbering, etc… Microsoft Word has specific ways of creating and generating those features. If you follow those methods correctly, you can create your report more easily and correctly.

In this series of tutorials, I will show you how to create Microsoft Word reports and make use of the inbuilt features correctly to make your report looks professional.

For better understanding, I have created a separate post for each key options that you will need to create reports and documents with Microsoft Word. I have listed out all the posts below, and it is not necessary to follow the same order. How ever, to use some options there are some prerequisites. I have added links to those prerequisites within the post itself.

First of all, let’s identify the main sections of a report.

Identify the main sections of a report

In a professional report, the appearance or look of the report as well as it’s flow is significant. So, you should first identify the main sections of the report. The sections given below are the most common in a professional report. (in this post I assume that you know the meaning of bellow terms)

  • Cover Page
  • Title Page
  • Abstract
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables
  • List of Acronyms
  • Main Content/ Chapters
  • References
  • Appendixes
  • Index

Creating these sections manually is not an easy task. However, if you practice the following Microsoft Word features, you can easily create the above sections.

The list of must-know features in Microsoft Word to create Professional Reports

Each feature below described in separate pages. You may click the post image or “read more” link to access these pages.

Insert Section Breaks

Insert section breaks in Microsoft Word

As the name suggests, section breaks used to break the document into separate sections. Sections allow you to handle its contents separately with the contents of other sections. Read More…

Create Numbered Multilevel Heading Styles

Numbered Multilevel Heading Styles in Microsoft Word

Numbered multilevel heading styles let you clearly distinguish the heading levels make the report easy to read & track. Correctly styled headings are used to generate… Read More…

Add Captions

How to add Captions in Microsoft Word

It is a good practice to caption all the tables, images, maps, etc… added to your report. Caption helps you to refer to those objects precisely in your text. Read More…

Add Citations and Bibliography

add Citations and Bibliography in Microsoft Word

Citation is “a word or piece of writing taken from a written work” [Cambridge Dictionary]. If you are obtaining information from another source, you must reference them. Read More…

Add Headers and Footers

Headers and Footers in Microsoft Word

Headers and footers are areas in the top or bottom of each page in a document. You can add title, page numbers, dates, or some graphics to every page in a document using headers and footers. Read More…

Add Page Numbers

How to add Page Numbers in Microsoft Word

Page numbers are generally added in the footer section of the document. Therefore the easiest way to add Page Numbers in Microsoft Word is to select a footer with page numbers when you are adding footers to the document. Read More…

Create a Table of Contents

How to Create a Table of Contents in Microsoft Word

Table of content help readers to easily navigate through your document. In this post, I will show you how easily you can create a table of contents in Microsoft Word. Read More…

Create List of Tables and Figures

How to create list of tables and figures in Microsoft Word

When you add several tables and figures or any other objects in your report, it is a best practice to create a list of tables and figures or lists of other objects in the preface of the report. Read More…

Create an Index

How to Create an Index in Microsoft Word

An Index is a list of terms and topics that are discussed in a document. The terms and topics are listed along with the page numbers that they appear in the document. Read More…

Wrapping Up

The listed above are the essential features required to create professional reports with Microsoft Word. Here I have explained the basics of those features only. Once you get used to them, you can find more design and customization options inside those features. These features not only adding rich & professional looks to your documents, but they also help you to create and manage your report more easily and productively.

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