Document design for the workplace

Intermediate word-processing for your CV and other important documents

Design first, then word-process

This course is for people who really need their documents to be effective and reader-friendly. If you join us, you will use Microsoft Word to design documents rather than merely word-process them. Previous experience with MS Word or any other word-processor is not very important because we won’t be teaching a particular software package – you will learn some general principles that you could apply to other word-processor apps such as LibreOffice Writer, Apple Mac Pages, Google Docs and others.

That is definitely an employability skill!

Keep it simple – use styles

This is not new, and certainly not difficult – but it will make your word-processing life easier. People who use word-processors professionally don’t format their text as they write. They set up styles for their documents as the first thing they do – because that is actually the default way to make a document consistently readable from beginning to end.

The most obvious use of a design-first approach is a reader-friendly CV, but it works for all documents, and is an absolute necessity for long documents. Take this flyer as an example – it uses two font faces, several font sizes, headings, paragraphs, bullet lists, and it is consistent throughout. All the formatting is in styles. If we want to change the way it looks, all we have to do is change the styles. The result is instant.

What you will learn, and how

At the first session (4 January) we will have two extra city volunteers to help you settle into the word-processor for the course. We will use MS Word 2010 because it is available on the Kingsland Hub laptops. As it happens, MS Word handles styles very well. It’s the best choice.

But this is not a conventional IT course about one word-processor. It’s really about understanding word-processing itself as a useful skill. Nor is it a course about design principles. You won’t be a designer at the end of January, but you should have developed a better eye for the kind of detail that makes a document readable. We won’t offer advice on document content. Your words are yours alone – but when you finish, the content of your words should be easier to grasp.

Related soft skills training

‘Document design for the workplace’ is a standalone course with laptops and software. We think some of our learners would like to apply what they learn to a real problem – particularly designing a CV. CV content is a priority topic for the soft skills workshops we hope to offer soon at Whitmore Community Centre.

Course outputs

This was a word-processing course — results and achievements are not visible here on the web.