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 Styles.

Applying Styles

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 1, 2020)

Styles will do you no good if you cannot apply them to your text. There are three ways you can apply styles.

The first way to apply styles depends on your use of the toolbars. The left-most side of the Formatting toolbar indicates the style of the current paragraph. You can change the style of whatever you have selected by pulling down the list and selecting a different style. If you have nothing selected and you pick a paragraph style in the drop-down list, then that style is applied to the paragraph in which the insertion point is located.

The second method of applying styles uses the menus. You can follow these steps to apply a style, if you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003:

  1. Position the insertion point in the paragraph to which you want to apply a paragraph style, or select the characters to which you want to apply a character style.
  2. Choose Styles and Formatting from the Format menu. Word displays the Styles and Formatting pane at the right side of the document window.
  3. In the Pick Formatting to Apply List, click once on the style you want applied.

If you are using Word 97 or Word 2000, the steps are slightly different:

  1. Position the insertion point in the paragraph to which you want to apply a paragraph style, or select the characters to which you want to apply a character style.
  2. Choose Style from the Format menu. You will see the Style dialog box.
  3. In the Styles box, select the name of the style you want to apply.
  4. Click on Apply.

The final method assumes you have assigned your styles to specific shortcut keys. If you have, then you can position the insertion pointer in the paragraph to which you want to apply the style, and then use the shortcut key.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1888) 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 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. ...

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