Word processing challenges

The following wordprocessing challenges are designed to flex your wordprocessing skills. The idea is simple: use your favourite word processor to re-create the document displayed in the picture for each challenge

Each challenge provides you with some text to cut-n-paste into your document, but not all the text! A paragraph of each document will need to be typed by you to practise your keyboarding skills.

Note: You can right-click on any image and open it up in a separate window to see a larger version. If you then want to print the image you can then click on the "Download high resolution version" link on that page.

Challenge 1: Basic formatting and styles edit

Right-click on the image and open in a new window to see a larger version

Take a look at the image on the right. Your first challenge is to reproduce this document with the basic formatting shown.


  • The paragraphs of text are justification on both the left and right sides.
  • Headings should be set using styles (Heading 1, Heading 2 etc.), not by making the text larger and adding bold.

Getting help:

Activity: Basic formatting and styles

Challenge 2: Adding and arranging graphics edit

Right-click on the image and open in a new window to see a larger version

Take a look at the image on the right. Your challenge is to reproduce this document with the images and formatting as shown.


  • All the paragraphs except the first are indented on the first line.
  • Headings should be set using styles (Heading 1, Heading 2 etc.), not by making the text larger and adding bold.
  • The second image has a caption.

Getting help:

Activity: Adding and arranging graphics
Start up your favorite word processor (such as OpenOffice or Microsoft Word). You should be looking at a blank document.

You will then need to:

  1. Copy-n-paste the text below into your word processing document,
  2. type in the missing paragraph,
  3. Save the images below to your own folder,
  4. Add the images to your document,
  5. Arrange the images and captions as shown,
  6. format the text as shown.

Required images:

Right-click and save image to your folder
Right-click and save image to your folder
Right-click and save image to your folder

Document text to copy and paste:

Sydney is the most populous city in Australia with a metropolitan area population of over 4.2 million people (2006 estimate). Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and is located on the country's south-east coast.


It has been speculated that the Sydney region has been populated by indigenous Australians for at least 40,000 years. At the time of the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, 4000 - 8000 Aboriginal people lived in the region. There were three different language groups in the Sydney region; these were further refined into dialects spoken by smaller clans. The principal languages were Darug (the Cadigal, original inhabitants of the City of Sydney, spoke a coastal dialect of Darug), Dharawal and Guringai. Each clan had a territory; the location of that territory determined the resources available. Although urbanisation has destroyed most evidence of these settlements (such as shell middens), rock carvings still exist in several locations.

European interest in colonising Australia arose with the landing of British sea captain, Lieutenant James Cook in Botany Bay in 1770. [The rest of this paragraph is missing - you need to type it in!]

Macquarie's tenure as Governor of New South Wales was a period when Sydney was improved from its basic beginnings. Roads, bridges, wharves and public buildings were constructed by British and Irish convicts, and by 1822 the town had banks, markets, well-established thoroughfares and an organised constabulary. The 1830s and 1840s were periods of urban development, including the development of the first suburbs, as the town grew rapidly when ships began arriving from the British Isles with immigrants looking to start a new life in a new country. On July 20 1842 the municipal council of Sydney was incorporated and the town was declared the first city in Australia, Charles H. Chambers was the first mayor. The first of several gold rushes started in 1851, and the port of Sydney has since seen many waves of people arriving from around the world. Rapid suburban development began in the last quarter of the 19th century with the advent of steam powered tramways and railways. With industrialisation Sydney expanded rapidly, and by the early 20th century it had a population well in excess of one million. The Great Depression hit Sydney badly. One of the highlights of the Depression era, however, was the completion of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932.

Challenge 3: Headers and footers edit

Right-click and open in new window to view a larger version

Take a look at the image on the right. Your third challenge is to reproduce this document with the basic formatting shown.

Getting help:

Activity: Headers and Footers
Start up your favorite word processor (such as OpenOffice or Microsoft Word). You should be looking at a blank document.

Required images:

Right-click and save image to your folder

Copy-n-paste the following text into your word processing document, type in the missing paragraph and have fun formatting make sure to use the attached photos as per the example!

Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee, KBE, FRS, FREng, FRSA, (born June 8, 1955 in London, England) is the inventor of the World wide Web

Background and early career

Berners-Lee was born in London, England, the son of Conway Berners-Lee and Mary Lee Woods. His parents, both mathematicians, were employed together on the team that built the Manchester Mark I, one of the earliest computers. They taught Berners-Lee to use mathematics everywhere, even at the dinner table. Berners-Lee attended Sheen Mount Primary School (which has dedicated a new hall in his honour) before moving on to study his O-Levels and A-Levels at Emanuel School in Wandsworth where he learned about computer science. He is an alumnus of Queen's College (where he played tiddlywinks for Oxford, against rival Cambridge), Oxford University (which has dedicated a computer room in his honour), where he built a computer with a soldering iron, TTL gates, an M6800 processor and an old television. While at Oxford, he was caught hacking with a friend and was subsequently banned from using the university computer. He graduated in 1976 with a degree in physics. He was employed at Plessey Controls Limited (a business that specialises in traffic lights) in Poole in 1976 as a programmer. In 1978, he worked at D.G. Nash Limited (also in Poole) where he wrote typesetting software and an operating system.

World Wide Web

This NeXTcube was used by Berners-Lee at CERN and became the first Web server. While an independent contractor at CERN from June to December 1980, Berners-Lee proposed a project based on the concept of hypertext, to facilitate sharing and updating information among researchers. While there, he built a prototype system named ENQUIRE.


The first Web site built was at CERN and was first put online on August 6, 1991. It provided an explanation about what the World Wide Web was, how one could own a browser and how to set up a Web server. It was also the world's first Web directory, since Berners-Lee maintained a list of other Web sites apart from his own.In 1994, Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It comprised various companies willing to create standards and recommendations to improve the quality of the Web. In December 2004 he accepted a chair in Computer Science at the School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, UK, where he will be working on his new project — the Semantic Web. Berners-Lee made his idea available freely, with no patent and no royalties due. The World Wide Web Consortium decided that their standards must be based on royalty-free technology, so they can be easily adopted by anyone.

Challenges 4: Creating templates edit

You are a friend of a local window washing business owner, Sally Fiddlesticks. While visiting one day, you notice that every time Sally creates an invoice for her business, she opens up an old invoice, modifies it, and then saves it with a new name. You decide to help her by creating a document template for her business letters.


Activity: Headers, footers and templates
A document template with a header and footer. Right-click and open in a new window to see larger version.
Create a template document for Sally's business similar to that shown in the picture (the clipart need not match exactly!) Note: Ignore the grey lines in the image - they are just guidelines in OpenOffice and you won't see them if you use MS Word.

The footer of the document should contain the page number (Sally often sends multi-page documents).

Once you have your document looking right, be sure to save it as a template for later use.

Finally, test and demonstrate that you can create a new document based on your template.

Challenge 4A: Tables and hyperlinks edit

Creating and formatting tables is a great skill to learn, and can improve the presentation of your information no end!

Activity: Tables and hyperlinks
A document with a formatted table and hyperlink. Right-click and open in a new window to see larger version.

Use your template from challenge 4 to create the price list displayed in the image.


  1. Create a new document based on your template from Challenge 4
  2. Create a basic table and enter the information,
  3. Format your table to make it more attractive.

Note: The hyperlink should point to http://www.windows.com/

Challenge 5: a table of contents edit

Right-click on the image and open in a new window to see a larger version

Take a look at the image on the right. You will see there a word processing document that includes a table of contents that has been automatically generated by the word processor.

Getting help:

Activity: Creating a table of contents
Start up your favourite word processor (such as OpenOffice or Microsoft Word). You should be looking at a blank document.


  • Copy'n'paste the following text into your document
  • Type in the missing paragraph from the image.
  • Have a go at creating the table of contents automatically from your wordprocessor! (If you're unsure about this, make sure you use the tutorial linked above).


  • If you've used your styles wisely, creating the table of contents will be a cinch!

Penrith, New South Wales

Penrith is a suburb in the City of Penrith in western Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It includes the city's commercial centre as well as the residential neighbourhoods of Lemongrove, South Penrith, and Glenmore Park. It is the western-most part of Sydney (50 km west of the Sydney central business district), lying on the Nepean River, at the foot of the Blue Mountains, which are part of the Great Dividing Range.

The name Penrith came into use in the area in 1822. It may have been named after the town of Penrith, England.

Geography & climate


The climate is temperate, similar to Sydney although usually a few degrees warmer on summer days and a few degrees cooler on winter nights. Average Temperatures: Summer 16 °C to 30 °C, Winter 0°C to 17 °C. Median yearly rainfall is 821.6 millimetres.

During Sydney's heatwaves, the temperatures may reach as high as 47 degrees Celsius in the western suburbs, including Penrith. Very occasionally during the cold, clear winter nights, light frosts can form in suburban areas of Penrith.


The estimated population of the Penrith LGA in June 2003 was 178,233.

According to the 2001 Census the population of Penrith City was 172,397 (10th largest City in Australia by population) with a median age of 30 years. 72% of people were born in Australia, with 81% of people having the English language as the only language spoken at home. The population was 49% male and 51% female.

There were 45661 households in the area, of which 55.1% were couples with children, 26.4% were couples without children, 17.3% were one parent families and 1.3% other families. 85.3% of families live in detached houses, the remainder in townhouses, semi detached, flats, etc.

The mean household size was 3 people with a median weekly household income of AUD$800-$999.


There are a number of high schools in and around Penrith, including Jamison High School, Nepean High School, Cambridge Park High School, Saint Dominic's College, Caroline Chisholm Catholic College, and St Paul's, Penrith High School and Penrith Anglican College. There are also a number of primary schools in the area including York primary, Mary Mackillop College and Leonay Public school.

Additionally, the University of Western Sydney has its Penrith Campus in the area, and the University of Sydney has its Western Clinical School at Nepean Hospital.

Sporting & Recreation

Penrith has a number of local sporting clubs, the most well known being the Penrith Panthers rugby league club, the winners of the 2003 National Rugby League Grand Final. Penrith has produced two home grown Test captains in Cambridge Park's Brad Fittler in 1995 and Colyton's Craig Gower in 2005. The club (one of the largest in Australia) has a massive entertainment complex and resort, Panthers World of Entertainment. Penrith's Junior Rugby League competition is the largest in the world, which also incorporates teams from the Blue Mountains, Blacktown and Windsor/Richmond areas. Visit the Penrith Junior League Website for more information.

The city is also home to the Penrith Lakes Scheme, a system of flooded quarries that are now recreational lakes. One of these lakes hosted the rowing events of the Sydney 2000 Olympics. According to [1] , it is rated as a Level One course which can be used for International events. The course itself is fully buoyed and can be modified to accommodate swimming and kayaking events.

There are also many other sporting associations, including cricket clubs, AFL clubs and swimming clubs. Penrith is also home to the Penrith Panthers Triathlon club[2]. For a full list see the Penrith City Council's list of sporting groups.

Additionally, Penrith hosts a large shopping centre, known as Penrith Plaza, which is a major gathering point for local youths and is the main commercial hub of the area. Construction to increase the size of Penrith Plaza is complete and has been re-branded a Westfield shopping centre. This development is typical of the growth the area has experienced in recent years.

Penrith has the unique honour of having the first Krispy Kreme outlet in Australia.



Penrith is served by Penrith Railway Station a major railway station in the heart of the city. As it is on the Sydney suburban network, it has frequent services to and from the City. It is also a major stop on the intercity network.


Penrith railway station has its own bus interchange (as do several major railway stations in Sydney). Penrith is also served by Nightride Bus route 70.


Penrith can easily be accessed from St. Marys and Mt. Druitt via the Great Western Highway. Access from further east is best obtained by the M4 Western Motorway using either The Northern Road or Mulgoa Road exits. If travelling east from the Blue Mountains, access is best obtained by the Great Western Highway. Access from the south can be obtained by The Northern Road and Mulgoa Road, north from Castlereigh road or Richmond road, or from north and south via Westlink M7 and the M4 Western Motorway.

Sister cities

Fujieda, Shizuoka, Japan

Famous locations & tourist attractions

Penrith Museum of Fire Penrith has a campus of the University of Western Sydney Sydney International Regatta Centre, which was the location for the rowing competitions for the 2000 Olympic Games Panthers World of Entertainment Penrith Sake Brewery Nepean River Head of the River (Australia) The Train shed: The Sydney home of Thomas the tank engine & Friends

Challenge 6: edit

Go to the finish and celebrate

Challenge 7: Mail Merge edit

The customer details spreadsheet

For this challenge you will be doing a mail merge for a store with a customer loyalty system. Each customer builds 'loyalty points' for their purchases over the year. At the end of the year they're sent a letter with a gift certificate. To complete the challenge you will need to create a spreadsheet with the following customer data (click on the image for an enlarged version):

An example of the mail merged letter

Once you have the spreadsheet saved, use it to create this mail merged letter. You will need to assign the spreadsheet columns to field names for the merge, insert an address block and put the points field into the mail merge template. If you're feeling creative you could go on to create the gift certificate with a fancy border, embedded image and word art to match.