How To Type A Formal Letter
Formal letters are used for many occasions—to inform of serious issues, to apply for jobs, or to make a request. It is important to make formal letters look professional, and a word processing program can help you produce clean, well-formatted formal letters.
If you do not already have a word processing program, there are many available for free online. HowSpot recommends OpenOffice Writer, a free open source alternative to Microsoft Word.
You can download a variety of formal letter templates here.
Download and install OpenOffice Writer.
Once installation is complete, open OpenOffice Writer for use.
Click File > New to create a new document.
Choose a clear and legible font, such as Times New Roman or Arial.
Type your address and telephone number on the top left hand side of the page. After the address, press Enter twice to create one line of space beneath it.
Type the date directly below the sender’s address. Press Enter twice to create another line of space.
Write the recipient's name and their mailing address on the left hand side of the page directly below the date. If writing to a business rather than an individual, include the business name above the address. Press Enter twice to create another line of space.
Place the recipient’s name, including a formal title. For example: “Dear Mr., Mrs., Miss, Dr. Press Enter twice to create another line of space.
Type the body of your letter. This should contain what you intend the letter to state, such as a complaint, request, or application. Try to be as concise as possible. Press Enter twice to create a line of space.
Sign off your letter with the appropriate salutation. For example, “Sincerely,” or “Best”. Also offer you’re the best way to reach you and your preferred contact information.
Proofread your letter. OpenOffice Writer has a spelling & grammar function to assist you with this.
Save your changes by clicking File > Save. You can also Save as a PDF to preserve the formatting if you need to send the letter over email.
If you need to print your letter and send it by mail, click File > Print.