When mastered, features such as automatic formatting, styles, and templates can be used to design a look for almost any purpose, from a letter, typescript, or journal article to an address list. Merrily type away and the computer will format the material, automatically handling such mundane details as paragraph indentation, hyphenation, pagination, and heading styles.
Automatic formatting can save considerable time when used on lengthy reference lists, in particular. An additional advantage of automatic formatting becomes evident if that format later must be modified. One simple change to the document style sheet will update all occurrences of text formatted with a given style.
Some journals require that lines of text be numbered in the left margin to allow editors to refer authors to specific passages. In the past, this required the use of special paper, and changes in text necessitated retyping the entire typescript. With the proper command, word-processing programs now will number lines automatically as the document is printed, either page by page or from the beginning of the typescript to its end.
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