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APA 6: Formatting in Word

Margins, Font, and Spacing

Margins are one inch in all directions

To set margins:

  1. Open a new document.                   
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button.                     
  3. Click New.
  4. Click Blank Document.
  5. Click Create.
  6. Click the Page Layout tab near the top of the page.
  7. Click the Margins icon in the Page Setup group.
  8. Select Normal (Top 1", Bottom 1", Left 1", Right 1").

Margin settings in Word

Font is Times New Roman in a 12-point font size

To set the font:

  1. Click the Home tab on the top left of the page.   
  2. Use the down arrow to the right of the Font Menu (found in the Font Group) to select Times New Roman.
  3. Select 12 as the font size.   

           font settings in word



The paper is double-spaced

To set the line spacing:

  1. Click the Home tab on the top left of the page.   
  2. Go to the Paragraph Group (see image).
  3. To set the double-spacing, click the Line and Paragraph spacing button and select 2.0.
  4. Click the Line and Paragraph spacing button again. Click Remove Space After Paragraph. (The default on Microsoft Word is to have a small space between paragraphs. This is NOT used in APA).

 Line and paragraph spacing button

Create the Running Head

The running head appears at the top of the page. It is an abbreviated title of the paper, typed in all capital letters. NOTE: The running head on the title page is different from the running head for the rest of your paper.

How to Insert a Running Head

For Microsoft Word 2013, read this how-to article.

  1. From the menu, click on the Insert tab.
  2. On the toolbar that appears, choose the Page Number option.
  3. Select the option you want (usually top of the page).
  4. Go to the menu, at the top of the page, under Header and Footer Tools, click the box that says Different first page.
  5. Your cursor should now be at the top of page 1 in the header box. Set the cursor just to the left of the number 1 and type Running head: and then your abbreviated title.
  6. Use the backspace key to set your title to the left and then use the tab key to move the page number back to the right hand side (usually 2 tabs).
  7. Close the header and footer (red x on the top right-hand side of the page)
  8. Go to page 2 of your document (or if you haven't started writing it, insert a page break) and delete the phrase Running head, leaving just your abbreviated title.
  9. On page 1, Running head will remain in your first page header, and only your abbreviated title will appear on subsequent pages.

Things to Remember

  1. A running head is written in all capital letters.
  2. Make sure the header is set to Times New Roman 12 point font.
  3. It cannot be longer than 50 characters (letters and spaces).

Video - Title Page, Running Head, Abstract, and Section Headings

This video will show you how to set up your paper using the latest version of APA Style for Microsoft Word 2016 on Windows. The steps are very similar on older versions of Word.