In the United States, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper every year. You may be surprised to learn just how much paper is produced, used, and thrown away every day.
This is just one reason why the formatting of a document is important. You wouldn’t want to format your document incorrectly, print it out, and waste that piece of paper, would you?
Besides preserving trees and saving paper, though, there are many reasons why formatting your documents correctly is crucial.
Read on to learn more.
What Does Formatting Documents Consist Of?
A document format refers to how the document is laid out on the page. The way it is organized and the mechanics used can greatly affect your document’s format.
These mechanics include:
- Font types
- Font sizes
- Font presentation
- Bullet points
Formatting can change between various mediums, such as when converting Word documents to PDF formats.
A document is considered well-formatted if it follows all instructions and guidelines, stays consistent throughout, and is easy to read.
Makes Information More Accessible
When the formatting of a document is consistent and correct, it makes it easier for the reader to absorb the information. The visual appeal of the document has a significant effect on how the reader relates to the information.
If you are constantly changing formats throughout the document, the information will automatically become more difficult to understand. This is especially true if you are writing technical or business documents.
If the formatting isn’t right, the reader will be focusing more on the inconsistencies than on the information that is being presented.
Instead, formatting a document correctly can actually make it much easier to read. If you label all of your sections the same way and highlight your keywords throughout using the same type of presentation (bold, italics, or underlined), the reader will automatically see what you are trying to show them.
Creates a Lasting Impression
The first impression a reader sees of a document is its formatting. If you want to create a good first impression that lasts, focus on following all rules surrounding the formatting of the document.
If your margins are correct on the first page but change throughout, the reader will notice. Suddenly what could have been an excellent professional paper has become messy.
If you format your document flawlessly, the reader will remember you as someone that is a professional in your field, which could lead to them sharing your work and returning to it.
Allows You to Meet Specific Standards
Proper formatting signifies professionalism and knowledge. If you want your colleagues to see you as an expert in your field, then you better be formatting your documents correctly.
Because formatting helps to improve communication, it can also show that you are knowledgeable about the subject at hand. Poor formatting provides a last-minute look as if you put something together without thought.
If you are proud of the work you’ve done, make sure you show that through your attention to your formatting. Investing in tools can help make this part easier, too, such as with the Java PDF library.
Master the Formatting of a Document
While the formatting of a document may not seem entirely important, it can actually make a huge difference, especially when done well. Take the extra time to ensure your formatting is correct and consistent.
You’ll be glad you avoided the consequences of improper formatting, trust us.
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