There are distinct advantages to using the same format for all documents, and two are especially evident. The first is the consistency factor; identical formatting translates to a greater ease in switching texts, moving copy, and in every other editing function required. With information technology, today’s document is rarely ever a completed work. The technology, in fact, encourages revision as it enables it, and this is true of virtually all the written material an individual may need to create. Relying on a known and standardized format, then, removes unnecessary complications.
The second obvious advantage in holding to a specific format is that of the mentioned familiarity. Word processing today comes with many options, and each format has its own demands. The needs of a certain format become second-nature, both in terms of actual knowledge of them and in execution, when it is a format very familiar to the user. Knowing all the rules and standards required makes the process something that does not actually require specific focus, and this frees the writer to concentrate on what should be the object of attention: the content.
All that notwithstanding, today’s student or business person must be at least somewhat adaptable in regard to format. No matter which is eventually turned to as the most practical and desirable, the reality is that the format can never be completely relied upon as the only one. There are always issues of preference from those receiving the work, be they professors or business associates, and then there are guidelines for acceptance not always up to the actual recipient of the work. Ultimately, it is a good idea to hold to a particular format because it best enables a comfort factor valuable to doing better work, but it is equally essential that the student or writer be prepared to switch to a different one. It is important to know your preferred tool, yet it is also vital to be capable of using the others commonly employed.