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Word for scientific texts

MS Office 2016 is pre-installed on faculty and library computers.

The discounted purchase of the current MS Office version for students and faculty staff is explained on page Computer, Software, WiFi in the Software section.

Document templates for the thesis

See > Dr. med. or Dr. sc. hum. > Document template dissertation for PC or Mac (in German).

There is also the file Note on the document template Dissertation (in German), which is linked at the same place.

Useful tips for working with Word

Making changes: usually via style sheets

Settings for e.g. font size, line spacing and spacing before or after paragraphs can be adjusted by making one-time changes in the so-called format templates Standard or Heading 1ff or Directory 1ff (Table of Contents) or Labeling - this automatically adjusts all text passages that are marked with the corresponding format template.

Note: For details see the file Note on the document template Dissertation above or the Tutorials section below.

Display headings for navigation

Display the headings as a navigation aid via View > Navigation Area.

Set automatic hyphenation

When using justified text (the default setting of the document template), you should activate automatic hyphenation for the entire document via Layout > Hyphenation > Automatic otherwise the spaces between the words in each line will be different and larger gaps will look unsightly.

Labelling of tables and graphics with automatic numbering

Tables and graphics can be labelled in such a way that they are automatically numbered and it is possible to create an index of figures or tables.

Labels: References > Insert Label

Create directory: References > Insert Directory of Figures

Note: See the Tutorials section below for details.

Protected spaces and hyphens

Protected means that the characters before and after this special space or hyphen always remain on one line and are not separated at the end of the line.
If you activate the formatting symbols using Ctrl + Shift + *, these characters are marked with a special formatting (not visible on the printout).

Protected space: Ctrl + Shift + Space

Protected hyphen: Ctrl + Shift + Hyphen

Page break instead of several empty paragraphs

If you want to start with an image or text on a new page, you can easily do this with Ctrl + Enter.

Advantage: no empty paragraphs at the top of the page when the document text moves.

Revision function and spell check

Your own annotations or corrections from proofreaders are activated via Review > New comment or Review > Track changes.

The Check tab also contains the Spelling and Grammar option.

Note: See the Tutorials section below for details. 


Script of the Library and Medical Statistics Department (in German)

SciTec@MedMa - Scientific work at the Mannheim Medical Faculty - (via Moodle login (in German)

Libre Office Writer and Google Docs as alternatives

Alternatives to MS Word are for example Libre Office Writer (free software, free of charge,, or Google Docs (online, free of charge,, Google account required).

The advantage of Google Docs is the comfortable collaborative work on the web. But some things do not work in comparison with Word or Writer, e.g: Hyphenation, automatic numbering of headings and illustrations, index of illustrations, cross references, one landscape page between portrait and landscape, adjusting page count at any position.

Libre Office Writer has a similar range of functions to Word.

Reference management:

The cooperation with EndNote works as follows in both programs: EndNote quotations can be inserted via copy/paste and at the end the document can be saved as a .rtf file and completed in EndNote via Tools > Format Paper.

In Google Docs you can comfortably work with reference management add-ons, e.g. from Sciwheel and Zotero. LibreOffice Writer works comfortably with Zotero.

Contact persons, training course and advice

Contact persons within the faculty:
Volker Braun (Library) and Sylvia Büttner (Medical Statistics)

Word training course for doctoral students (course language = German)

Please arrange individual consultation appointments on Word topics under Book a Librarian.

Context Column