Computers nowadays make our life so easy Dixie finds it hard to believe.
With all this new technology formatting business letters has become a breeze. Especially if you know the major rules Dixie has gathered for you in this place. If you use proper format for business letters your letters produce a good impression on the reader... provided the content does not spoil it, of course.
What else could you wish for?
Dixie suggests we focus here on the following three business letter layouts which are used quite widely: Full, Modified and Indented Block.
Each of business letter layouts merits its own page, so go to the Full Block Business Letter page to read about it in more detail and also to see a list of major elements of a business letter.
Dixie thought that she needed to mention though that some critics feel that this layout looks a little crowded. Well... it's good then that there are two more of them, modified and indented.
Dixie invites you to go to the Modified Block page on her site where you can try out a modified block format generator, see additional business letter elements and even practice writing a business letter in modified format.
Again, Dixie has a separate page on her site with an Indented Business Letter Format. Check it out for more details, especially on using a letterhead.
Dixie invites you to visit her Multiple Page Business Letter page to see more details about formatting such letters.
Whichever layout you are using to format your business letter, try to leave 1-1.5" margins. Dixie suggests you imagine that the margins create a frame around your words, which makes your letter more appealing.
If your business letter is not too long (like has about two or three sentences), start it between 6-12 lines from the top of the page.
Another advice from Dixie, make your paragraphs rather short. We live in the world so crammed with information that a lot of people scan their mail and in the best case read something that catches their attention. And we all know that short paragraphs are easier to read than the long ones. Besides, the white space between the paragraphs provides a resting place for the reader's eyes.
If your stationery has a letterhead, the letterhead stays on top, of course. In this case leave at least two, better three empty lines under it, and if the letter is short leave even more space and try to place the body of the letter in the middle of the page.
Some letterheads also use inscriptions on the left edge of the paper and sometimes (least common, and least convenient in Dixie's expert opinion) on the bottom, and Dixie wants to remind you to leave space for those.
See an example of a business letter with a letterhead above.
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