Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Intelligently Starting a New Paragraph.

Intelligently Starting a New Paragraph

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 23, 2019)

If you use styles in your documents, there is a very powerful feature you can use. The Next Style feature is defined when you set up a style and indicate what Word should use as the style following this one.

For instance, let's assume you have two styles defined as: Figure and Caption. The Figure style is used for figures in your document and it is always followed by the Caption style, which is used for the figure caption. You can set the Next Style for the Figure style so that when you press Enter, Word automatically makes the next paragraph a Caption style.

  1. Display the Home tab of the ribbon and then click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Styles group. Word displays the Styles task pane.
  2. In the list of styles shown, hover the mouse pointer over the name of the style you want to change. A drop-down arrow should appear at the right side of the style name.
  3. Click the drop-down arrow and choose Modify. Word displays the Modify Style dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Modify Style dialog box.

  5. In the Style For Following Paragraph drop-down list, select an existing style that you want to follow this style. In the above example, this would be the Caption style.
  6. Click on OK.
  7. When you are done, close the Styles task pane if desired.

When modifying a style, you may want to select the radio button called New Documents Based On This Template. This saves the changes you are making in the template file for use in other documents.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7724) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Intelligently Starting a New Paragraph.

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

Forcing Dates Forward

Want to push a date to some pre-defined day of the month? Here's some ways to force the issue.

Discover More

Changing Existing Highlighting

Need to change the color you previously used to highlight text in your document? You can use Word's Find and Replace tool ...

Discover More

Understanding the Guest Account

If lots of people may need temporary access to your computer, then you may want to set up the Guest user account. Before ...

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 (ribbon)

Making Custom Heading Styles Appear in the Navigation Pane

Creating styles for your documents is a powerful way to format them. How do you get paragraphs formatting with those ...

Discover More

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. ...

Discover More

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 ...

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 9 + 8?

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 ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu 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.