Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Applying Bold Italics.

Applying Bold Italics

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 19, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


As I am formatting documents, there are many times I need a particular word or passage to be formatted in both bold and italics. Word includes tools (on the Formatting toolbar) that apply bold and italics, but not bold italics. I got tired of doing two clicks, so I created my own tool to apply both formats at once. The resulting macro can then be assigned to a toolbar tool, right next to the Bold and Italics tools.

The simplest way to do this is with a macro as follows:

Sub BoldItalics1()
    Selection.Font.Bold = True
    Selection.Font.Italic = True
End Sub

This macro turns on the attributes, but it doesn't do any toggling. In other words, you can't turn off bold italics by using the same macro, as you can with the individual Bold and Italics tools. This led to the "next generation" macro, which checks to see the state of the selected text before making any changes:

Sub BoldItalics2()
    Dim BIStatus As Integer

    BIStatus = 0
    If Selection.Font.Bold Then BIStatus = BIStatus + 1
    If Selection.Font.Italic Then BIStatus = BIStatus + 1

    If BIStatus = 0 Then
        Selection.Font.Bold = True
        Selection.Font.Italic = True
    End If
    If BIStatus = 1 Then
        Selection.Font.Bold = True
        Selection.Font.Italic = True
    End If
    If BIStatus = 2 Then
        Selection.Font.Bold = False
        Selection.Font.Italic = False
    End If
End Sub

The first lines of the macro increment a variable (BIStatus) depending on whether the Bold or Italic properties are set for the selection. When these lines are complete, BIStatus will be 0 if the selected text is neither bold nor italic, 1 if it is either bold or italic, or 2 if it is both bold and italic.

If BIStatus is set to 0 or 1, then the Bold and Italic properties for the selected text are set. If they were previously set (BIStatus is 2), then both properties are turned off.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (606) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Applying Bold Italics.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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