Below are online instructions and tutorials for some of the most important formatting skills you'll need to learn in MS Word for Windows. Only the latest three versions of MS Word are represented in these tutorials. Tutorials for the latest versions of MS Word for Macs are in the "Formatting in Word for the Mac" tab.
You can create a Table of Contents either manually or by using Headings to have Word create the Table of Contents automatically after you've assigned those Headings in the text.
The University of Massachusetts, Amherst IT department created a number of excellent tutoral guides for formatting theses and dissertations in MS Word. Click on the appropriate links for the version of MSWord you are using and for the tutorial and sample files. Be aware that tutorials created on this page adhere to UMass Amherst theses and dissertation guidelines and may not be suitable for use with Rutgers graduate school requirements.
This will, by far, be the most useful of the formatting skills you'll learn in MS Word. Use this to create sections that have different formatting from other sections. For instance, your front matter will be one section, and then you’ll have a section break that will allow you to format your first chapter differently than the front matter.
Styles let you set a template for the type face, paragraph spacing and other formatted elements in a document. If you choose to use the single document method, setting a style for your document will save you time and effort down the road.
Templates are an option if you want to create your thesis or dissertation one chapter at a time. If you use a template, every time you open the template, you will get the same formatting every time. Be aware that, when trying to combine chapters at the end of the writing process, there may be conflicts between the template you create for chapters and other items, such as indexes, front matter and tables of contents.