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: Quickly Displaying Formatting Specs.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 6, 2016)
There may be times when you want to quickly determine what the formatting is that is applied to either a character or a paragraph. Word allows you to quickly view this information by following these steps if you are using Word 97 or Word 2000:
Word displays a "balloon" that looks like the dialog balloons used in some cartoons. The balloon contains detailed information about the formatting of the character you pointed to, as well as the paragraph in which the character appears. You now have two options:
If you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003, simply select some text or place the insertion point within a word. Press Shift+F1 and the Reveal Formatting pane appears at the right side of the screen. This pane shows the formatting applied to the text you select in the main portion of the screen. When you are done reviewing the information in the Reveal Formatting pane, you can close it just as you would any other pane.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1134) 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: Quickly Displaying Formatting Specs.
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Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.