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Theses and other long documents (e.g., books, manuals, reports) can present challenges that shorter documents wouldn't. Theses are often more structured, contain several levels of headings, and may have numbered headings. It is more difficult to maintain a standard "look and feel" throughout a long document like a thesis.
Information on using the UWaterloo Thesis template.
Theses often contain components not found in shorter documents such as a Table of Contents, List of Tables/Figures, an Index, cross references, footnotes or endnotes. (The files used in the exercises below are: Nursery_Rhymes (.docx) and fiddle.bmp. The .jpeg version below can be saved and used.)
uWaterloo thesis regulations for formatting requirements are outlined on the Graduate studies website.
Some details worth mentioning (as of April 2008):
Modifying styles (including a related exercise)
Creating a new style (including a related exercise)
Modifying a heading style (including a related exercise)
Numbering headings (List style and legal style numbering) (including related exercises)
Document templates (including accessing and using the uWaterloo Word Thesis template)
Captioning and numbering of tables and figures (including related exercises)
Footnotes and endnotes (including related exercise)
Endnotes with square brackets (,,...)
Bookmarks (including related exercise)
Cross references (including related exercise)
Outline view (including related exercise)
Creating a Table Of Contents (including related exercise)
Generating a list of tables and a list of figures (including related exercises)
Page numbering/headers and footers (including related exercises)
Inserting landscape pages (including related exercises)
Creating your thesis from many small documents (including a related exercise) Enter document properties
Inline references and bibliography
PDF for electronic submission
Electronic thesis submission
All web pages, including, Word and PDF files on our websites, published as of January 1, 2012, will need to be accessible as per the Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act (AODA) by January 1, 2014 (WCAG 2.0 Level A). This may include theses on UWSPACE as well.
Review the following and follow the steps to ensure your thesis is accessible.
Once your thesis is complete, or periodically as you write it, it is recommended that you check it for accessibility. Word 2010 has an accessibility checker that checks a variety of things to ensure your document is reasonably accessible.
The rules that Word follows for the Accessibly Checker are found on Microsoft's Accessibility Checker page.
The best way to ensure consistent formatting in a Word document is by consistent use of Word styles. Every paragraph in Word has a “Style” associated with it. A style is a collection of formatting that details the font, font size, font highlighting (bold, italics, etc.), paragraph alignment, paragraph indents, paragraph spacing, and so on. If a style is edited, and any of its attributes changed, the formatting of any paragraph to which that style was assigned will immediately change to reflect the modifications.
The style assigned to the current paragraph is indicated in the Home tab and in the Styles section.
If no style is highlighted in this area, you may need to scroll up or down using the arrows to find the assigned style.
A document can contain many different styles, but most documents will have paragraphs of “Normal” style, which are standard paragraphs, and one to three levels of headings (Heading 1, Heading 2 and Heading 3).
It is important to use styles in all documents to carry out formatting of paragraphs of different types. This is especially true in longer documents where it is more difficult to apply standard formatting manually, and where the formatting requirements may change a number of times throughout the document production time. A unique style should be created for every paragraph type: normal paragraphs, indented paragraphs, etc.
You can create your own styles, or adapt one of the many styles that are pre-defined in Word. You can view the recommended style list from Word by simply scrolling through them using the arrows, but to see a complete list of styles:
As you will see, there are a very large number of styles available. For practical purposes, you may want to show only Recommended styles.
You will note that clicking on the button in the bottom right of the Styles section in the Home tab, caused a floating Styles window to be displayed. If you want to close this window, simply click its Close button. When the Styles window is visible, you can click on any of the styles and that style will be applied to the selected paragraphs in the document.
Amongst Word’s predefined styles are nine levels of heading styles: Heading 1 through Heading 9. Although you could make up your own styles to apply to headings in your document, there are several reasons why you should use Word’s built-in heading styles.
To practice editing styles, we will use the file called Nursery Rhymes.docx.
If you do not explicitly assign a style to a paragraph, Word assigns the “Normal” style. Most other styles are based on this Normal style, so modifying the Normal style can have the effect of modifying other styles in the document.
To modify a style, right click on the style in the ribbon or in the Styles window and choose Modify.
For example, to change the Normal style to Arial, 11 point, with three points of white space following each paragraph, do the following.
You may need to create a new style that does not currently exist in Word. For example, you may want a paragraph that is indented half an inch from both the left and right margins, and has three points of white space after and three points before.
Up Jack got and off did trot, As fast as he could caper, He went to bed to mend his head, With vinegar and brown paper
As mentioned above, Word has nine levels of built-in heading styles, Heading 1 to Heading 9. You will probably use three or four levels in your thesis, and likely you will want to change the format and appearance of them.
Steps to modify the Heading 1 and Heading 2 styles are given below. Other heading styles can be modified in the same way.
Generally speaking, all paragraphs should have Widow/Orphan control set. Also, all headings should have Keep with next set; otherwise a heading might appear all by itself at the bottom of a page, and that is not a desirable situation. Notice some other settings you can make on this dialog box. Keep lines together should be used if you have a paragraph that you want to prevent from being broken across two pages. The other option, Page break before, could be used perhaps for a Heading 1, if you always wanted Heading 1 to begin on a new page (this can be confusing sometimes, though, if you aren't aware of this setting and are trying to remove the page break).
Some documents use the style “body text” for standard document paragraphs. If that is what you want, you should modify all other styles used in the document to make “Body Text” be the paragraph type to follow all other paragraphs and also the style other styles are based on.
Theses frequently have a requirement that all headings in the document be numbered. There are two types of numbering.
The first is list style numbering, where major headings are numbered with one style, perhaps I, II, III… second level headings in another style, perhaps A, B, C…etc. third level headings in yet another style, perhaps 1, 2, 3… and so on. Every time a new higher level heading occurs, the numbering of lower level headings starts at the beginning.
The other type of numbering is legal style numbering, where first level headings are numbered 1, 2, 3… (or perhaps I, II, III…); second level headings are numbered 1.1, 1.2, 1.3…(or 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2… as appropriate); third level headings are numbered 1.1.1, 1.1.2.… and so on.
Note 1: If you are defining this numbering format to a document that already has headings with heading styles applied, make sure that the mouse is clicked at the very beginning of the document. This will cause the numbering styles to be applied from that point forward. The numbering will also apply to any subsequent headings that you enter.
Note 2: You could have selected a pre-formatted numbering style from the Multilevel drop down list; however, the procedure outlined above makes it clearer to you that you can attach any numbering scheme to heading level styles.
Every document created in Word has a template associated with it. A template is a collection of formatting, styles, macros and possibly text. When you start Word 2010, it opens a blank document based on the “Normal” or “standard” template. When you go to create a new document by clicking the File tab and choosing New, or open Word 2013, Word displays a variety of available templates from which you can choose, including the standard Blank document template which uses the Normal template.
A template is simply a Word document, with a file extension of .dotx (regular template) or .dotm (a template that may contain macros) instead of .docx.
Templates you create should be stored in the trusted templates folder:
Where 'userid' is the name of the computer account you are logged into.
Saving here tells Word that it is safe to open even if the template should contain macros or other code. Because macros can contain malicious code, Word is on the lookout against opening documents with macros. If your computer security settings are at the recommended level, Word will open any template file, but it will disable any macros it contains. For templates that are in the (Trusted) Templates folder, however, Word doesn't disable the macros. It assumes the files are safe, so be sure the files you store there are from a trusted source.
You may wish to create all the styles you think you will need, and set up some standard formatting, (margins, etc.) and save these settings as a template:
The UWaterloo Thesis template (dotm) may be useful as-is for your thesis, or it may be a useful starting point for you to modify.
Exercise: Downloading and using the UWaterloo Word Thesis template
In a longer more structured document, you will frequently want to number and add captions to your tables and figures. You could do this manually, but a better idea is to let Word add these captions and automatically assign the numbers. You need this automated approach for a number of reasons.
A caption consists of the word Table or Figure, whichever is appropriate, followed by a number. You may then choose to add punctuation, such as a period or a colon, and then the text you wish to have for the caption.
You may want to add captions to tables already entered into your document or, alternatively, you may want to have captions automatically added to any new tables you create.
If you have tables without captions in your document and wish to add captions, you can do so quite easily. For each table:
Repeat the above procedure for every table in your document. Word will automatically provide the correct table number.
Word can automatically add the caption to a table when the table is created. To do this:
You can manually caption any existing tables, and then ask Word to automatically caption any additional tables you add. Word will handle the numbering properly.
To caption an existing figure, select the figure and:
Automatic captioning is probably not a viable option for figures. Automatic captioning only works with figures inserted via an application that supports Object Linking and Embedding (OLE), that is, objects that can be inserted into a document via the Insert>Object command. Generally, most people insert figures from a variety of sources, so manually captioning is often necessary.
Now we will ask Word to automatically add captions to any additional tables that we create:
Now we will ask Word to automatically add captions to any additional tables that we create:
Enter the following information into the table.
Note: The caption “Table 2” is created automatically, and you can click after the 2 and type a colon, and then type the caption “Result of Climbing Hill”.
Now we will add a caption to the Lamb figure that appears in “Mary had a Little Lamb”:
Now we will add an additional figure near the top of the document. On your N: drive is an image file called fiddle.bmp.
The caption for both figures and tables defaults to left alignment. You may wish to have your captions centered, particularly if your tables and figures are centered on the page. Captions are inserted with the Caption style attached. To change the alignment:
Since the same style is applied to Figure and Table captions, you cannot have different alignments for these two types of captions, unless you create a new style for one of the captions. This will work, but you must remember to apply that style manually to the captions, and if you are creating a List of Tables or List of Figures, you must remember to tell Word to use items of that style to build the list.
You may wish to have the chapter number appended to the table or figure number in the caption, such as Table 1.3, or Figure 3.8:
You likely want to caption your tables and figures in your Appendices using the Appendix letter and the number of the table/figure (e.g. A-1). I have found two ways to do this:
Footnotes and endnotes are handled in a similar fashion, except that footnotes appear at the bottom of the current page, and endnotes appear at the end of the document.
The instrument in question was really a violin. The rumour that it was a very expensive Stradivarius was simply that, mere rumour.
Here you could make changes to the number format, restart the numbering, convert footnotes to endnotes, etc. We won't make any changes now so just click the Cancel button.
A crown is another name for the head. They could have said that Jack broke his head, but that would not rhyme, so they used the word crown instead.
Note: If your Word file was imported from a previous version of word and you have issues with footnotes appearing on the wrong page, you can try the following:
The footnote separator is the thin line that appears between the bottom of your page and any footnote text that may be on that page.
A Bookmark marks a place in a document that you may wish to jump to, refer to, etc.
We will insert a bookmark at the location of the song “Inky Dinky Spider”.
The square brackets simply indicate that a bookmark is present. They do not print. Note that you could have created a bookmark by simply clicking the mouse and not selecting any text. This would be indicated by the square brackets displaying one on top of the other ().
A cross-reference is a referral from one location in a document to a component elsewhere in the document. For example, “see Table 2: Snowfall in 2003”. Cross references can be made to tables, figures, footnotes, headings, page numbers, bookmarks, etc.
We will create a cross-reference to the “Jack and Jill” table.
and we can add the text “climbing things can prove dangerous”. Note that the grey area that you see when you click on the inserted cross-reference text is there to indicate that this is a cross-reference. It will not print.
Outline View is very useful for viewing the structure of your document, or for restructuring it. The following exercise takes you through some of the features/uses of Outline View.
Word can automatically generate a Table of Contents (TOC) from your styles, primarily the Heading styles you have used. Although it is easiest to create the TOC from built in Heading styles, you can also ask Word to include other styles as well by clicking on the Options button in the Table of Contents window while generating the Table of Contents. To create the Table of Contents, you
A List of Tables and a List of Figures can be automatically generated as well. You would click on the References tab and click on Insert Table of Figures from the Captions section of the ribbon. From the Caption label: drop down menu, you would choose either Table or Figure, whichever is appropriate. If you wish to generate a list for both, do one first and then the other.
Exercise: Adding a title page and creating a Table of Contents
Exercise: Creating a list of figures and a list of tables
The pages of the front material of the thesis (all components up to and including the Table of Contents) should be numbered in lower case Roman numerals, but no page number should appear on the first page. The body pages of the thesis must be numbered in Arabic numerals, starting at 1. In order for parts of the document to have different formatting, it must be divided into sections. Earlier, when we were inserting the Table of Contents and Title Page, we inserted a section break. We will need to insert another section break between the preliminary pages and the body pages. We will then have the front material in one section, and the body in another section and be ready to number our pages. We will place our page numbers in the bottom centre.
Sometimes you may have a table or figure that is too wide to fit on a normal portrait page (8.5 by 11) so you want to place it rotated on the page. That is, you want to create a landscape page, (11 by 8.5). That is fairly simple to do if you understand the concept of Word sections.
In order to change any formatting in Word, such as the page orientation, you need to insert a new section.
Exercise: Adding a landscape page in the middle of a document
Perhaps you have already created the table, and now wish to modify it so that it appears in landscape mode.
Exercise: Modifying a table so that it appears in landscape mode
Note that when you add page numbers or headers/footers to this document, they will appear in a landscape not portrait orientation. This is acceptable in an electronic thesis. If you had a requirement for a printed copy to have a portrait page number on a landscape page, Microsoft has instructions or in Word 2010/2013, you can do the following:
Since computers are faster and have more memory than they did in the past, and since Word 2010/2013 file sizes are smaller (due to format) than earlier versions of Word, it may be best and easiest to have your thesis all in one file.
While you are creating your thesis, however, you may create it as a number of smaller files, perhaps storing each chapter in a separate file. In order to build a table of contents, create cross references and get pages numbered sequentially, you will want to combine them into a single file at the end.
The easiest way to do this is to simply amalgamate all files by selecting the Insert tab then Object/Text from File. This method will combine all your smaller files into one large file. This one large file should be fine for the reasons stated above, if you have sufficient memory on your computer, and if your thesis is not too large and doesn't contain a lot of large images.
If you absolutely cannot have such a large file due to an older computer or lack of computer memory, another option exists. The other option is to use the Insert as Link feature.
Notes about the 'Insert as Link' feature:
To ensure your PDF and Word file is accessible, it is imperative that the Title of your thesis be entered in the document properties:
If you are creating your bibliography manually, you may want to create a hanging indent. To do so:
Creating in line references and generating a bibliography is possibly the most complex task involved in preparing a thesis. This isn't because this is hard to do, but because there are probably as many different formats required for references as there are people preparing a thesis at any given point in time.
One solution to this problem is to purchase a Personal Bibliographic Management program. Packages such as these, all perform essentially the same functions, interface with Word, and let you manage a bibliography, etc.; however, these packages can be costly to purchase.
The recommended solution is to use RefWorks, a web based bibliographic management package licensed by the UW Library, that is available to all UW faculty, staff and students at no charge. It is linked from the UW Library web site in the right panel. The UW Library offers courses on how to use RefWorks and they also maintain course notes for RefWorks.
Theses are now submitted electronically in PDF format to the Graduate Office. They should be named, based on your name, Lastname_Firstname.pdf. Word 2010 and Word 2013 have a built in PDF creator, and Word 2007 allows you to download a free PDF creator add-in that works very well with Word 2007 for creating PDF files.
For Word 2007, check to see if the PDF creator add-in is installed:
Word 2007: How to install the add-in if it is not installed:
If you are using Word 2010/2013 built in PDF creator
How to save a Word 2007 file as PDF using the add-in:
PDF files can be checked after creation, to ensure that the tags are in a logical sequence and that all items are properly tagged.
Procedures for submitting your thesis electronically.