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: Understanding Font Styles.

Understanding Font Styles

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 24, 2014)

Word allows you to format your documents in many different ways. One of the ways you can format the characters within your document is through the use of font styles. The phrase "font styles" is easy to confuse with "character styles" and "paragraph styles." In Word these latter two phrases refer to styles you can define to indicate how characters and paragraphs should look. Font styles, on the other hand, are not style definitions at all; they are variations of a font that indicate different ways that font can appear. While you can define a character or paragraph style, you cannot define a font style at all.

You probably already know that you can use different fonts for displaying characters. Each font typically comes with a number of styles in which it can be displayed. For instance, if you format a character as bold, then you have specified the Bold font style.

If you want to see the available font styles for a particular font, follow these steps:

  1. Select the text you want to affect.
  2. Choose the Font option from the Format menu. Word displays the Font dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Font dialog box.

  4. From the Font list, select the font you want to use.
  5. Examine the Font Style list to see which styles are available for the font.
  6. When you are done, click on OK.

You should note that different fonts have different font styles available. The most common font styles are Regular, Italic, Bold, and BoldItalic. This is not the limit, however, and not every font will include these four. Indeed, the styles available for a particular font are entirely up to the font designer.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1471) 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: Understanding Font Styles.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Understanding Leading

Those with a publishing, typographic, or design background may understand what leading is, but not how to adjust the setting ...

Discover More

Understanding Names

Excel provides the ability to define names that refer to cells or ranges of cells. These can then be used in your formulas to ...

Discover More

Capitalizing Spring

According to the normal rules of grammar, the word "spring" is not supposed to be capitalized. There may be times, however, ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Applying Formatting to Words

You don't have to select whole words before applying direct character formatting. With the proper Word options set, simply ...

Discover More

Changing Character Color

Need to easily change the color of some selected text? A quick way to do it is with a custom macro that sets just the hue ...

Discover More

Copying Character Formatting

If you are applying character formatting directly to text rather than using a character style you can copy it from one place ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 + 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

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.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.