Using styles in Microsoft Word allows you to format your documents quickly and consistently. Styles help you establish a uniform look and feel throughout a document. In this blog post, we will walk through how to use styles in Word to save time and effort.
What Are Styles in Microsoft Word?
Styles are combinations of formatting characteristics that you can apply to text to quickly change its appearance. For example, a “Heading 1” style might make text bold, 18 pt font size, and add spacing above and below the text.
Some key benefits of using styles include:
- Apply formatting quickly with just one click
- Ensure consistency in formatting across a document
- Easily update formatting by changing the style
- Automatically generate tables of contents and navigate documents
- Create templates for re-use that retain style formatting
View and Apply Built-In Styles
Word comes with many pre-defined styles that you can view and apply.
To view styles:
- Go to the Home tab
- Click the small arrow in the bottom-right of the Styles section to open the Styles pane
- Click the Options link and ensure “All styles” is selected to view all available styles
To apply a style:
- Select the text you want to format
- Click the desired style in the Styles pane or Styles gallery
For example, to set a heading, highlight the heading text and click “Heading 1” or “Heading 2” in the Styles pane. The text will take on the formatting of that style.
Modify an Existing Style
You can customize an existing style to meet your needs.
To modify a style:
- Right-click the style you want to edit in the Styles pane
- Select Modify
- Make changes to the formatting options like font, size, alignment etc.
- Click OK
The changes will apply to all text already using that style.
Create a New Style
You can also create new styles based on your preferred formatting.
To create a new style:
- Select example text with the desired formatting
- Right-click and choose Styles > Create a Style
- Give the new style a name and click OK
The new style will appear in the Styles pane for you to apply.
Use Style Sets
Style sets allow you to define a group of coordinated styles for titles, headings, and text.
To apply a style set:
- Go to the Design tab
- Click the Style Set dropdown and select a set
You can also create custom style sets once you have styles defined. This allows consistent, professional formatting across documents by applying the entire style set in one click.
- Use styles consistently for headings when writing long documents. This allows easy creation of tables of contents.
- Modify any pre-defined styles that don’t meet your needs.
- Create keyboard shortcuts to apply frequently used styles rapidly.
- Store custom styles in templates to reuse formatting.
Using styles is an excellent way to work more efficiently in Microsoft Word. Styles allow quick, uniform formatting and easy whole-document updates. Learning to view, apply, modify, and create styles can save significant time and frustration. Implement these style tips and tricks in your next Word document!