Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 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: Quickly Displaying Formatting Specs.

Quickly Displaying Formatting Specs

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 22, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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There may be times when you want to quickly determine what the formatting is that is applied to either a character, paragraph, or selection of text. Word allows you to quickly view this information; all you need to do is select the text or place the insertion point within a word. Press Shift+F1 and the Reveal Formatting pane appears at the right side of the screen. This pane shows the formatting applied to the text you select in the main portion of the screen.

The interesting thing about the Reveal Formatting pane is that once it is displayed you can change your text selection or move the insertion point and Word updates what is shown in the pane. This means that you can use it to display, in real time, the detailed formatting for your text.

When you are done reviewing the information in the Reveal Formatting pane, you can close it just as you would any other pane.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7873) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Quickly Displaying Formatting Specs.

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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Comments

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What is 3 + 7?

2023-08-26 12:22:49

Kiwerry

Addendum: While working on emails in Outlook, it occurred to me that the Word Editor is used if the body text is HTML text, not plain text, so I tried the Shift-F1 combination. The Reveal Formatting pane opened, and displayed the formatting as it does in Word, but only after a considerable delay. The pane is also sluggish when either the selection or the format are changed.
I tried the Shift-F1 in the body pane of an appointment, with the same result.


2023-08-24 13:06:05

Kiwerry

Second attempt at adding the screenshot (see Figure 1 below) .

Figure 1. 


2023-08-24 04:47:39

Kiwerry

THANK YOU very much for this tip, Allen.
One of the main things I missed when I finally caved in and moved from WordPerfect to Word was the very useful Reveal Codes pane; particularly the facility to change the formatting directly there was very useful.
The Reveal Formatting pane in Word comes close, particularly if you notice that the formatting elements are hyperlinked; a click on "ALIGNMENT", for example, opens the relevant dialogue. I was initially puzzled by the lack of any information about the Style in force, but then I noticed the "Distinguish Style Source" option near the bottom of the pane.
The only problem for mouse-centric users is that this functionality is not easy to access; one has to locate and click on three buttons (see screenshot[{fig}])! If you have difficulty remembering the Shift-F1 shortcut, add Reveal Formatting to your Quick Access Toolbar.


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