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: How Word Applies Styles.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 14, 2016)
If you work with styles quite a bit, you already know that the there are two types of styles you generally work with in a document: character styles and paragraph styles. (Word 2002 and later versions also allow you to define table and list styles, but they are not used as often as character and paragraph styles, and thus are beyond the scope of this tip.) As their names imply, character styles define how individual characters should appear, while paragraph styles are more comprehensive and define how entire paragraphs should appear.
Word includes quite a number of built-in styles that you can use for your documents. Some of these are defined as character styles, but the majority of them are paragraph styles. The general rules by which style application is governed are as follows:
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11618) 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: How Word Applies Styles.
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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.