Understanding how to use styles in Word will cut down your formatting time immensely. The program's built-in capabilities for defining and applying styles in your documents are easy to use and offer quite a range of formatting options. The following articles discuss how to utilize styles in Word to automatically format characters and paragraphs.
Tips, Tricks, and Answers
The following articles are available for the 'Styles' topic. Click the article''s title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.
Adding Individual Styles to the Template
One of the things you can store within templates are styles. When you use styles, it is critical that you understand how they can be added to a template so you can use them in a lot of different documents. Here's the way to make that addition.
Styles are a powerful formatting tool for the text in your documents. Once you've created styles that describe how you want your text to appear, you need to be able to apply those styles. Here are the three ways you can apply styles to text.
Assigning a Shortcut Key to Styles
Shortcut keys are a great way to apply styles to text in a document. You can easily create a shortcut key assignment for any style you desire. This tip explains how.
Automatically Update Document Styles Setting
Templates and styles are a great way to apply formatting consistently within and across documents. A couple of the settings related to styles and templates, however, can be a bit confusing.
Automatically Updating Styles
When you add formatting to some text in your document, Word may apply your formatting to every other part of your document as well. If you don't want this to happen, here's a way around it.
Bold Turning On by Itself
Word always relies on styles to define how text appears in your document. If you don't understand how Word applies styles, it can lead to some confusing results at times.
Can't Find or Delete a Style
Using the shortcuts available in the Styles pane to select text can be very helpful. It may, however, be quite frustrating if you don't get the results you expect from using those shortcuts.
Can't Select Style Instances
Using the Styles and Formatting task pane, Word allows you to select all instances of a given style in your document. This capability is controlled by a configuration setting in Word, as described in this tip.
Styles are a great boon to making your documents look better and making them easier to update. You can change the formatting associated with a specific style by following the steps in this tip.
Changing the Style Area Font
The style area, displayed at the left side of your document, can be helpful in understanding how styles are used in your document. Word doesn't allow you to change the font used to display the information in the style area, but there are some tricks you can try.
Checking Bilingual Documents
Do you routinely work with multiple languages in your documents? If so, you may appreciate the suggestions in this tip, as they can help you check spelling and grammar faster than ever.
Creating a TOC that Includes Specific Styles
Want to create a special TOC that contains different elements of your document? It's easy to do if you consistently use styles. Here's how to create the special TOC.
Styles are a powerful component of Word. You use them to determine the way that your text should appear. This tip explains how you can define styles or modify existing styles.
Deleting a Large Number of Styles
Styles are a fantastic tool for formatting documents. As you work with documents created by others, you may want to get rid of a bunch of styles all at once. Here's how you can make short work of eliminating those unwanted styles.
As documents evolve, so do your needs for various styles. You may create new ones and, invariably, old ones need to be abandoned. At some time you'll want to delete a previously created style. The information in this tip makes the housecleaning chore a breeze.
Deploying Standard Styles through an Organization
When you are working with Word in an organization (regardless of how many people), standardizing styles and their use can present a challenge. Here are some ideas on how you can deploy standard styles throughout your group.
Determining a Paragraph's Style in VBA
When processing a document via a macro, it is often helpful to understand what style has been applied to a paragraph. You can figure this out by using the Style property, described in this tip.
Displaying the Styles You Want Displayed
Want to customize your styles list so that it only lists the ones you are using? It's easy and can save some time when you are working with multiple styles.
Duplicating Styles without Dependency
Creating new styles in Word is a great way to ensure that your document has a uniform look. But what if you want to create a new style that is not based on an existing style? This tips examines whether that is even possible.
Ensuring that Spell Checking is Enabled in All Styles
Ever want to enable spell checking in all of the styles within a document, but don't want to check each and every one individually? Here are some ideas you can use to make sure that all the styles in a document (or template) don't turn off the spell checking of a paragraph.
Getting Rid of Modify Style Message
When you apply styles to a paragraph, you may periodically see a message asking if you want to reapply the style or modify the style. This can be bothersome, particularly for some long-time users of Word. This tip explains how to get rid of the message and also describes those conditions under which the message is displayed.
Getting Rid of Variant Styles
If you use the Styles task pane, you may have noticed that it can list more than just styles. It also lists variants of styles, and those variants can really clutter up what you see in the task pane. Here's why those variants appear and what you can do to get rid of them.
How Word Applies Styles
Styles are a great boon for applying styles in a powerfully consistent manner. How Word applies styles, however, depends on what you have selected when you do the application.
Inserting a Cross-Reference to the First Style on a Page
A common way to set up a header is to have it refer to the first occurrence of a heading on the page. (Think how the headers in dictionaries refer to the first word defined on the page.) Word makes this easy to do using the STYLEREF field.
Intelligently Starting a New Paragraph
When using styles in a document, you can increase your productivity by letting Word know what paragraph style you expect to follow the current paragraph. Here's how to easily configure your styles for this feature.
Keeping the Styles Pane Open by Default
Word doesn't provide a way that you can display the Styles task pane by default. If you get tired of manually displaying it each time you use Word, you may want to adapt and use the macro presented in this tip.
Making Language Changes Apply to Text in Footnotes and Text Boxes
Word allows you to modify the language associated with the text in your document. How you modify the language can affect which parts of the document the changes apply to, as described in this tip.
Making Sure Styles Do Not Update Automatically
One of the features of Word that can cause some problems is one that allows styles to be automatically updated based upon changes made in a document. If you want to make sure this feature is turned off, there are some "gotchas" you need to watch out for.
Minimizing and Correcting Propagation of Similar Styles
When there are multiple users working with a document, it can collect a number of unwanted styles over time. Here are some ideas on how to deal with this vexing issue.
Noting the Current Style
One of the drawbacks of the ribbon interface used in Word is that it can be difficult to easily see what style is applied to a particular paragraph or text selection. Here are some ways you can get rid of the difficulty.
Numbering on New Paragraph Doesn't Work as Expected
The Numbering feature in Word can be a bit tricky to navigate. Sometimes it works as it should, and other times it seems to be doing its own thing. This tip is about setting up your numbering styles properly to ensure that the numbering in your document works the way you expect it to work.
One Change Affects Everything
Have you ever made one formatting change in your document, only to see that change applied to all the paragraphs in the document? If so, you'll want to read this tip, as you can fix this odd behavior rather quickly.
Preserving Style Formatting when Combining Documents
Insert one document into another and you may not get the results you expect. Here's why, along with what you can do about it.
Preventing Changes to Styles in Documents
Have you ever created a template only to have the styles within it changed as they were used within a document? Here are some ideas on how to prevent this from happening.
Preventing Styles from Changing
It is frustrating to spend a lot of time working on a document, getting your styles just right, and then have those styles change without notice after someone else works with the document. Unplanned changes in styles, when two or more people are working on the document, can be due to a number of different conditions. This tip explains what you need to check (and change) to make the best of the bad situation.
Printing a Full Style Sheet
Word supports the use of styles (they are very powerful), but it doesn't provide a way to get a full-featured style sheet printed. This tip examines ways you can create your own style sheets for printing.
Printing a List of Custom Styles
You can add any number of styles to your document in order to define how you want your text to appear. If you later want to get a list of those custom styles (particularly the ones in use), that can be tricky unless you use a macro. This tip looks at how you can access the desired info in VBA.
Printing a Style Sheet
Styles are a fantastic way to format your documents easily and consistently. At some point you may want to print out a list of styles used for a particular document. Here's how to do it.
Problems with TOC Styles
If you generate a table of contents for your document, there may be some unexpected surprises in the way the TOC appears. This could be directly related to how you have the headings in your document formatted.
Putting Style Names Next to Paragraphs on a Printout
If you use styles to format your document, you might want a way to print the document and show, to the left of each paragraph, the style applied to that paragraph. While you can configure Word to show such information on the screen, there is no way to see the information on a printout. Here are some ideas on how to get around this shortcoming.
Quickly Copying Styles
You can easily use regular editing techniques to copy styles from one document to another. Here's how to make quick work of the copying.
Reapplying Styles Seamlessly
Styles are a very powerful feature in Word, as they allow you to consistently apply complex formatting throughout a document or set of documents. It can be a bother, however, to reapply styles to a heavily edited document. Fortunately, Word provides several techniques that can make the task easier.
Reformatting a Document with Messed-Up Styles
If there are lots of hands that touch a document, there are lots of ways those hands can mess up the document. You may be charged with simplifying and normalizing the appearance of a document that has been messed up. Here are some techniques you can apply to the task.
Removing Styles from the Quick Access Toolbar
Got something on the Quick Access Toolbar that you don't need there any more? Here are two quick ways to get rid of that item.
Renaming a Style
Styles are invaluable when it comes to applying consistent formatting in and across documents. If you need to rename a style you previously created, you'll want to follow the steps in this tip.
Retaining Explicit Formatting after Applying Styles
The formatting in a document is often a mix of styles and explicit formatting, applied over time. You may want to apply style-based formatting to various paragraphs and still retain some of the explicit formatting with the paragraph. Here's one approach you can use.
Saving Styles in a Macro
If you are trying to limit what styles can and can't be used in a document, you might think a good approach is to store those styles in a macro so you can later do a check. This is easier said than done, however, as discussed in this tip.
Searching for Styles
If you use styles to format your text, you can later search for words and phrases that are formatted using various styles. You do this using the same Find and Replace dialog box with which you are already familiar.
Searching for Text Not Using a Certain Style
Word is very flexible in what it allows you to search for. One thing it can't do, however, is allow you to search for text that is not formatted using a certain style. Here are some things you can do to get around this seeming shortcoming.
Shortcuts for Basic Style Formatting
Want to get your text away from the explicit formatting you applied, back to the underlying formatting? Here are a few handy shortcuts you can use in that regard.
Stepping Through Head Formats
You can use the shortcuts described in this tip to quickly change the heading levels of the headings in your document. You'll easily get the exact heading level you need.
Turning Off a Dictionary for a Style
There may be some paragraphs in a document that you don't want Word to spell- or grammar-check. You can 'turn off' the checking for those paragraphs by following the steps in this tip.
Turning Off Automatic Hyphenation for Parts of a Document
Word can hyphenate documents automatically, if you want it to. But what about those situations where you want most of a document hyphenated and some of it not hyphenated? The answer is to do some formatting changes to your styles.
Turning Off Smart Quotes for Specific Styles
Smart quotes can be helpful in making a great-looking document, but at times they can be a real pain. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could control smart quotes based on the style of the paragraph you are creating? Unfortunately, this isn't currently possible in Word.
Understanding Style Sets
When you display the Home tab of the ribbon, Word shows a variety of styles in the Styles group. These are Style Sets, as described in this tip.
Styles are a key concept in Microsoft Word. If you understand styles, you will find it much easier to use Word effectively.
Want to get rid of some styles in a document that you don't need any more? It can be a difficult thing to do, unless you try the technique described in this tip.
Using Alternating Styles
Alternating styles can come in handy when you have to switch between one type of paragraph and another, automatically, as you type your document. Here's a way you can set up this type of formatting, using a Q and A type of approach.
Using Hidden Styles
Using styles to format templates can save a lot of time and ensure consistency when working on several documents. Some styles within a styles list may not apply to every document. It is possible to hide the styles you aren't using without deleting them completely.
Using the Style Area
The style area is an esoteric feature of Word that allows you to easily see the styles applied to the paragraphs in your document. Here's how to display and use that style area.
Viewing Your Custom Styles
If you develop a set of preferred styles, you may want to use those styles with a document you receive from someone else. Here's how to make those styles available.