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Document Formatting. Personal Business Letters and Common documents. Purpose of Document Formatting. In this Unit, we will learn how to format personal business letter, business letters, and memos

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Document Formatting

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Document Formatting

Personal Business Letters and Common documents

Purpose of Document Formatting

  • In this Unit, we will learn how to format personal business letter, business letters, and memos

  • Regardless of your future occupation, knowing how to communicate effectively with businesses is essential

  • To communicate effectively, there are rules that must be followed on how your documents should look

  • During this presentation, pay careful attention to spacing between document parts (that includes any margin changes)

What is a Personal Business Letter?

  • Is a letter written from a person to a company

  • Can be used for any purpose that requires written communication from an individual to a company

  • Such as:

    • To accompany returned goods

    • Complaint letter

    • Thank you letter

    • Résumé cover letter

Personal Business Letter Parts

  • Inside Address: name and address of the business to whom you are writing

  • Date Line: current date written out as month, day, and complete year

  • Salutation: letter’s greeting – you use the same name you used in the Inside Address – using Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss

  • Body: message or ‘meat’ of the letter

  • Complimentary Closing: letter’s goodbye – using phrases such as Yours truly and Sincerelyyours

  • Signature: writer's handwritten signature

  • Writer’s Identification: writer’s typed name and address

Personal Business Letter Order and Spacing

  • 2” Top margin

  • Inside Address and then Date – QS (press Enter 4 times)

  • Salutation – DS (press Enter 2 times)

  • Body – SS the text within the paragraph and DS between the paragraphs

  • Complimentary Closing – QS

  • Writer’s ID (name and address)

Personal Business Letter Styles and Punctuation

  • There are two types of letter styles that are acceptable in business:

    • Block style – all lines in the letter begin at the left margin (no tabbing or indenting)

    • Modified block style – date line, complimentary closing and writer’s identification begin at midpoint

    • Semi-modified block style - date line, complimentary closing and writer’s identification begin at midpoint and all body paragraphs are indented (or tabbed over) ½”

  • There are two types of letter punctuation that are acceptable in business:

    • Mixed punctuation – there will be a colon (:) after the salutation and a comma (,) after the complimentary closing

    • Open punctuation – there will be NO punctuation after the salutation or complimentary closing

What is a Business Letter?

  • Represents a company not an individual

  • Usually prepared on company letterhead

    • Company letterhead is official company stationery that often contains a logo along with the name, address, phone and fax number

    • Follow this link to look at sample letterheads

What are the differences between a Personal Business and Business Letter?

  • Writer’s company name and address should appear in the letterhead, so there is no need to type it again at the bottom of the letter

  • Writer’s business title is usually keyed under the name

  • Reference initials are added a DS (press Enter 2 times) after the Writer’s ID –

    • These initials are of the person who types the letter

    • Used to easily locate who typed the letter

  • Enclosure or Attachment notations are added a DS below the Reference Initials

    • This is a special section that is only added if something else is either physically attached to the letter or accompanying the letter in the same envelope

What is a Memo?

  • Used to communicate information quickly throughout a business or organization

  • Memo parts:

    • TO: - to whom the memo is written

    • FROM: - who the memo is from

    • DATE: - current date of memo

    • SUBJECT: - precise, short point of memo

Memo Spacing

  • 2” top margin

  • Each of the four headings are DS (double spaced) and keyed in all caps followed by a colon (:)

  • After the colon, the Tab key is pressed to line up the text that follows

  • Be sure to check under Document Examples in Unit 7


  • There are many different acceptable ways to format a report

  • Formatting depends upon the type and reason for report

  • Examples are:

    • Academic report

    • Technical report

Academic Report Formatting

  • Use default margins (don’t change margins)

  • Change line spacing to double (entire document DS)

  • Four headings at the top left margin

    • Student’s name

    • Teacher’s name

    • Class or Subject

    • Date

  • After the Date heading, key the title of the report using initial caps (capitalizing the first letter of important words) then press Enter to begin keying report

  • Indent the first sentence in each paragraph by pressing the Tab key


  • In this Unit, you have learned how to format:

    • Personal Business Letters

    • Business Letters

    • Memos

    • Academic Report

The End

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