Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Applying Formatting to Words.

Applying Formatting to Words

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 8, 2018)

1

The general way you accomplish tasks in Word is to select the text on which you want to perform an action and then perform the action. For instance, if you wanted to make a text selection bold, you would first select the text and then click on the Bold tool on the Home tab of the ribbon, or press Ctrl+B.

If you want to apply formatting to a single word in your document, you don't need to first select it. All you need to do is make sure the insertion point is located within the word. To test this out, follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point within a word in your document.
  2. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click on the Bold tool, in the Font group. The entire word should be changed to bold type.
  4. Press Ctrl+U. The entire word should become underlined, and the Underline tool (also in the Font group) is automatically selected.
  5. Press Ctrl+Space Bar. The formatting of the word returns to its default setting.

You can try this out with virtually any character formatting. It even works if you make changes in the Font dialog box (press Ctrl+D). Any changes you make in the dialog box are automatically applied to the entire word.

If this whole-word formatting doesn't work for you, it could be because of the way you have Word Options configured. Check this setting:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and Word 2013 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Select the Advanced option at the left of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The advanced options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. In the Editing Options section, confirm that the When Selecting Automatically Select Entire Word check box is selected.
  5. Click on OK to save your changes and exit.

This setting controls not only how words are selected, but also how they are formatted when using the technique described in this tip. If the check box is selected, then the formatting works as described here; if the check box is not selected, then whole-word formatting won't work.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8794) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Applying Formatting to Words.

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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What is one more than 2?

2014-06-27 05:37:14

geetikaarora

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