MS Word | Standard Formatting Specifications
  • 2-minute read
  • 6th October 2022

MS Word | Standard Formatting Specifications


Suppose you’re unsure of how best to format a document and haven’t been given any specific guidelines to follow. In that case, you can use this guide, which offers a useful baseline for formatting your work to an internationally recognized standard.

Our editors use this guide when formatting is requested, but the customer hasn’t supplied any requirements, particularly in the case of academic documents.

Core formatting (usually applied to all documents)


  • Page numbering: Roman numerals for introductory pages, Arabic for main body
  • Page number position: Bottom of page, centred
  • Page breaks: Between main headings
  • Section breaks: Between chapters
  • Font: Times New Roman
  • Font size: 12
  • Line spacing: Double
  • Left margin: 4cm for dissertations and theses, 2.5cm for other document types
  • Right margin: 2.5cm
  • Spacing between paragraphs: 6pt after
  • Heading 1: Bold, 18pt
  • Heading 2: Bold, 16pt
  • Heading 3: Bold, 14pt
  • Text distribution: Justified

Additional formatting (usually applied only to dissertations/theses)



For examples of the cover, declaration, and acknowledgments pages, see the Dissertation Formatting Example (download the Word version instead of viewing it online) or in the Editor resources area.


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