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Understanding how to use styles in Word will cut down your formatting time immensely. The program's built-in capabilities for defining and applying styles in your documents are easy to use and offer quite a range of formatting options. The following articles discuss how to utilize styles in Word to automatically format characters and paragraphs.
The following articles are available for the 'Styles' topic. Click the article's title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.
Adding Individual Styles to the Template
One of the things you can store within templates are styles. When you use styles, it is critical that you understand how they can be added to a template so you can use them in a lot of different documents. Here's the way to make that addition.
Styles are a powerful formatting tool for the text in your documents. Once you've created styles that describe how you want your text to appear, you need to be able to apply those styles. Here are the three ways you can apply styles to text.
Applying Styles in Word 2002 and Word 2003
How to apply styles to your document elements.
Applying Styles in Word 6 through Word 2000
How to apply styles to your document elements.
Assigning a Shortcut Key to Styles
Shortcut keys are a great way to apply styles to text in a document. You can easily create a shortcut key assignment for any style you desire. This tip explains how.
Automatically Updating Styles
When you add formatting to some text in your document, Word may apply your formatting to every other part of your document as well. If you don't want this to happen, here's a way around it.
Avoid Using the Normal Style
The basis of almost all styles in Word is the Normal style. Here's a good reason why you shouldn't use it.
Can't Select Style Instances
Using the Styles and Formatting task pane, Word allows you to select all instances of a given style in your document. This capability is controlled by a configuration setting in Word, as described in this tip.
Styles are a great boon to making your documents look better and making them easier to update. You can change the formatting associated with a specific style, but how you do it depends on the version of Word you are using.
Changing the Return Address Location
When Word creates envelopes for you, there may be times that you don't like where it places the return address. Repositioning the return address involves modifying the styles used by Word for the envelope. Here's how to make the adjustment.
Cleaning Up a Document that Mixes Styles with Direct Formatting
Need to get rid of direct, explicit formatting applied to a document? Here's an easy way to do it using familiar Word tools.
Creating an Inline Heading
When settling on an overall design for your document, you need to decide how you want your headings to appear. If you want one of your heading levels to actually be "inline" with the paragraph it precedes, applying the styles and not messing up your Table of Contents can be tricky.
Cut and Paste Formatting
What happens when you copy information from one document and paste it into another? It is possible for what you paste to look completely different than you intended. Here's the skinny on what is happening to your text.
Default Font for Page Numbers
Page numbers are a common addition to documents, and a great aid to readers. If you want to easily format page numbers, you need to understand how Word formats them. This tip explains the best ways to get the formatting you want.
Styles are a powerful component of Word. You use them to determine the way that your text should appear. This tip explains how you can define styles or modify existing styles.
Deleting a Large Number of Styles
Styles are a fantastic tool for formatting documents. As you work with documents created by others, you may want to get rid of a bunch of styles all at once. Here's how you can make short work of eliminating those unwanted styles.
As documents evolve, so do your needs for various styles. You may create new ones and, invariably, old ones need to be abandoned. At some time you'll want to delete a previously created style; the information in this tip makes the housecleaning chore a breeze.
Determining a Paragraph's Style in VBA
When processing a document via a macro, it is often helpful to understand what style has been applied to a paragraph. You can figure this out by using the Style property, described in this tip.
Determining How Many Styles are Available
Got a macro that processes or uses styles? You definitely need to know how many styles Word has available in the document. Use the Count property of the Styles collection to determine the figure.
Developing Style Families
Styles, as implemented in Word, represent a powerful way to help you easily standardize your formatting tasks. When creating your own styles, you may want to consider developing a series of style families. The logic behind such an approach is described in this tip.
Duplicating Styles without Dependency
Creating new styles in Word is a great way to ensure that your document has a uniform look. But what if you want to create a new style that is not based on an existing style? This tip examines whether that is even possible.
Ensuring that Spell Checking is Enabled in All Styles
Ever want to enable spell checking in all of the styles within a document, but don't want to check each and every one individually? Here are some ideas you can use to make sure that all the styles in a document (or template) don't turn off the spell checking of a paragraph.
Finding Unused Styles
Use this VBA macro to determine which styles are being used in the current Word document.
Getting Rid of Modify Style Message
When you apply styles to a paragraph, you may periodically see a message asking if you want to reapply the style or modify the style. This can be bothersome, particularly for some long-time users of Word. This tip explains how to get rid of the message and also describes those conditions under which the message is displayed.
Getting the Expected Space Before a Heading
If your heading styles are designed to add extra space before the heading, you may be surprised when that extra space is not used by Word. Here's how you can configure the program to treat that extra space as you expect.
How Word Applies Styles
Styles are a great boon for applying styles in a powerfully consistent manner. How Word applies styles, however, depends on what you have selected when you do the application.
Inserting a Cross-Reference to the First Style on a Page
A common way to set up a header is to have it refer to the first occurrence of a heading on the page. (Think how the headers in dictionaries refer to the first word defined on the page.) Word makes this easy to do using the STYLEREF field.
Intelligently Starting a New Paragraph
When using styles in a document, you can increase your productivity by letting Word know what paragraph style you expect to follow the current paragraph. Here's how to easily configure your styles for this feature.
Jumping to Styles in the Task Pane
Mouse versus Keyboard selection of Styles in Word.
Listing All Styles in the Style Drop-Down List
Want to see all the built-in styles in the Style drop-down list? Here's the quick way to do it.
Losing All Formatting in a Document
Have you ever made a formatting change to a couple of characters or to a paragraph, only to see those changes affect text elsewhere in the document? Here's the reason that is happening and what you can do about it.
Making Sure Styles Do Not Update Automatically
One of the features of Word that can cause some problems is one that allows styles to be automatically updated based upon changes made in a document. If you want to make sure this feature is turned off, there are some "gotchas" you need to watch out for.
No Space Before at the Top of a Page
Want to make sure that Word handles space before a paragraph correctly when the paragraph is at the top of a page? Check the things discussed in this tip and you'll get just the spacing you want.
Numbering on New Paragraph Doesn't Work as Expected
The Numbering feature in Word can be a bit tricky to navigate. Sometimes it works as it should, and other times it seems to be doing its own thing. This tip is about setting up your numbering styles properly to ensure that the numbering in your document works the way you expect it to work.
One Change Affects Everything
Have you ever made one formatting change in your document, only to see that change applied to all the paragraphs in the document? If so, you'll want to read this tip, as you can fix this odd behavior rather quickly.
Preserving Style Formatting when Combining Documents
Insert one document into another and you may not get the results you expect. Here's why, along with what you can do about it.
Preventing Styles from Changing
It is frustrating to spend a lot of time working on a document, getting your styles just right, and then have those styles change without notice after someone else works with the document. Unplanned changes in styles, when two or more people are working on the document, can be due to a number of different conditions. This tip explains what you need to check (and change) to make the best of the bad situation.
Printing a Full Style Sheet
Word supports the use of styles (they are very powerful), but it doesn't provide a way to get a full-featured style sheet printed. This tip examines ways you can create your own style sheets for printing.
Printing a List of Custom Styles
You can add any number of styles to your document in order to define how you want your text to appear. If you later want to get a list of those custom styles (particularly the ones in use), that can be tricky unless you use a macro. This tip looks at how you can access the desired info in VBA.
Printing a Style Sheet
Styles are a fantastic way to format your documents easily and consistently. At some point you may want to print out a list of styles available for a particular document. Here's how to do it.
Printing Style Sheets
Want to see what styles are defined in your document? Let Word print out a simplistic style sheet for you.
Problems with TOC Styles
If you generate a table of contents for your document, there may be some unexpected surprises in the way the TOC appears. This could be directly related to how you have the headings in your document formatted.
If you spend a lot of time getting your document styles set "just right," you don't want to take the chance that they will be corrupted through regular editing tasks. As this tip explains, the best way to protect your styles is to make sure you only paste plain text in your document.
Putting Style Names Next to Paragraphs on a Printout
If you use styles to format your document, you might want a way to print the document and show, to the left of each paragraph, the style applied to that paragraph. While you can configure Word to show such information on the screen, there is no way to see the information on a printout. Here are some ideas on how to get around this shortcoming.
Quickly Copying Styles
You can easily use regular editing techniques to copy styles from one document to another. Here's how to make quick work of the copying.
Quickly Displaying the Style Dialog Box
If you display the style area, you can quickly display the Style dialog box.
Removing Entire Paragraphs from Your Document
If you need to get rid of a lot of paragraphs in a document, it's easy to do as long as the document relies on styles for those paragraphs. You use the Find and Replace feature of Word to do the cutting, as described in this tip.
Removing Unused Styles
Got an older document that has a bunch of unused styles defined in it? You can get rid of those styles easily by using the short macro in this tip.
Renaming a Style
Styles are invaluable when it comes to applying consistent formatting in and across documents. If you need to rename a style you previously created, you'll want to follow the steps in this tip.
Retaining Explicit Formatting after Applying Styles
The formatting in a document is often a mix of styles and explicit formatting, applied over time. You may want to apply style-based formatting to various paragraphs and still retain some of the explicit formatting with the paragraph. Here's one approach you can use.
Searching for Borders
Want to find all the paragraphs in your document that have borders applied to them? The regular Find and Replace tool won't work for this purpose. Here are a couple of ways you can find what you need, however.
Searching for Styles
If you use styles to format your text, you can later search for words and phrases that are formatted using various styles. You do this using the same Find and Replace dialog box with which you are already familiar.
Shading Table Rows
Need to format the rows of a table so that your data is showcased better? Here are a few ways you can get the shading you need.
Shortcuts for Basic Style Formatting
Want to get your text away from the explicit formatting you applied, back to the underlying formatting? Here are a couple of handy shortcuts you can use in that regard.
Style Names Can Affect Style Definitions
Most people think that you can name styles almost anything you want. You can, but there may be some unintended consequences in some instances. Here's an example.
Turning Off a Dictionary for a Style
There may be some paragraphs in a document that you don't want Word to spell- or grammar-check. You can "turn off" the checking for those paragraphs by following the steps in this tip.
Turning Off Automatic Hyphenation for Parts of a Document
Word can hyphenate documents automatically, if you want it to. But what about those situations where you want most of a document hyphenated and some of it not hyphenated? The answer is to do some formatting changes to your styles.
Turning Off Proofing for Superscripts
When you add superscripts to words in your document, you may not want those superscripts to be spell-checked. Here's how to disable the checking of your superscripts.
Turning Off Smart Quotes for Specific Styles
Smart quotes can be helpful in making a great-looking document, but at times they can be a real pain. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could control smart quotes based on the style of the paragraph you are creating? Unfortunately, this isn't currently possible in Word.
Styles are a key concept in Microsoft Word. If you understand styles, you will find it much easier to use Word effectively.
Want to get rid of some styles in a document that you don't need any more? It can be a difficult thing to do, unless you try the technique described in this tip.
Using Alternating Styles
Alternating styles can come in handy when you have to switch between one type of paragraph and another, automatically, as you type your document. Here's a way you can set up this type of formatting, using a Q and A type of approach.
Using the Style Area
The style area is an esoteric feature of Word that allows you to easily see the styles applied to the paragraphs in your document. Here's how to display and use that style area.
Word Freezes when Updating Styles
If you have problems with Word freezing at times, it can be very frustrating. Here are a couple of things you can check out if Word freezes when you update styles from a template.