In this article I will show you how to customize paragraph formatting to allow to you call out one paragraph of text in Microsoft Word.  This is a skill that we practice in the Introduction to Microsoft Word Class. We are going to start with a sample document created using the Lorem Ipsum Text Generator found here.

How to customize paragraph formatting
Starting with a Generic Word Document

First lets select the entire paragraph we would like to format. The easiest way to do this is to Triple Click a word inside the desired paragraph. Triple Clicking the word will select the entire paragraph. You can also use the click and drag method if you prefer. Once the paragraph is selected right click it and choose the paragraph menu option as seen below.

Triple Click to select paragraph
Triple Click to select the paragraph then right click and select Paragraph

This will bring up a window with settings to allow us to customize paragraph formatting for the selected text.

Custom Paragraph Formatting settings
Custom Paragraph Formatting

Paragraph Indentation

Change the paragraph indentation to 1 inch on the left and right and leave the other settings as they the default for now then click on the OK button. The paragraph should now look like the below screenshot.

Word Paragraph Indentation
Paragraph with 1 inch indentation

That alone may be enough for you but we are going to explore some additional custom formatting options for Microsoft Word.

Add a Border to a Paragraph

We have seen how to adjust the indentation of a paragraph now lets add a border and adjust some colors to make our text stand out. To add a border find the Border icon on the Home menu tab then in the Paragraph icon Group.

Add a border to a paragraph
Add a Border Icon

For this example I will add a simple border around all 4 sides of the paragraph. Note you can also choose to add borders around only only one side or any combination of sides using the options found in the Border icon drop down box. Our paragraph now looks like the below screen shot.

Add border to all sides of paragraph
Border added to all sides of paragraph

Add a Drop Shadow to a paragraph

Lets take it a step further and add a drop shadow as well to this paragraph. To add a drop shadow make sure the paragraph is selected and then click the same icon but click on the small triangle to the right of the icon to display the drop down option with Borders and Shading as seen below.

Microsoft Word Borders and Shading
Select the Borders and Shading option

Choose Shadow in the left hand side, choose a color for the border and a thickness Width for the shadow then click OK.

Drop Shadow on paragraph
Select the Shadow option for the paragraph

Your paragraph should now look like the below screen shot.

Custom Formatted Paragraph
Paragraph with Drop Shadow Applied

There are countless ways to customize your text and paragraph is Microsoft Word. For my students, I hope this quick tutorial is a good start to help you with your customized paragraph formatting.

Stay tuned for a similar article on how to do this with Google Docs

View some of our other Word Tips and Tricks.

Please leave comments below with questions or other MS Word tips you would like to see.