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: Understanding Font Styles.

Understanding Font Styles

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 9, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Word allows you to format your documents in many different ways. One of the ways you can format the characters within your document is through the use of font styles. The phrase "font styles" is easy to confuse with "character styles" and "paragraph styles." In Word, these latter two phrases refer to styles you can define to indicate how characters and paragraphs should look. Font styles, on the other hand, are not style definitions at all; they are variations of a font that indicate different ways that font can appear. While you can define a character or paragraph style, you cannot define a font style at all.

You probably already know that you can use different fonts for displaying characters. Each font typically comes with a number of styles in which it can be displayed. For instance, if you format a character as bold, then you have specified the Bold font style.

If you want to see the available font styles for a particular font, follow these steps:

  1. Select the text you want to affect.
  2. Press Ctrl+D to display the Font dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Font dialog box.

  4. From the Font list, select the font you want to use.
  5. Examine the Font Style list to see which styles are available for the font.
  6. When you are done, click on OK.

You should note that different fonts have different font styles available. The most common font styles are Regular, Italic, Bold, and BoldItalic. This is not the limit, however, and not every font will include these four. Indeed, the styles available for a particular font are entirely up to the font designer.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13325) 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: Understanding Font Styles.

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

Merging with Two Data Sources

Setting up a Word mail merge to combine a data source with a merge document is easy. But what if you want to use two data ...

Discover More

Days Left in the Year

Sometimes it is handy to know how many days are left in the current year. This tip provides a quick formula that ...

Discover More

Removing HTML Tags from Text

HTML tags are great when you want to display information on a web page. They are not so great when you have them in a ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Making a Signature Line that Doesn't Disappear

Do you need to add a line to your document that indicates where a signature should be made? If you don't want that line ...

Discover More

Turning Off Highlighter Display

You can use the highlighter tool to add all sorts of color to your document. If you want to turn off those colors so that ...

Discover More

Updating to Smart Quotes

As you type a document, Word automatically converts your quote marks and apostrophes to "curly" versions that look more ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 1 + 1?

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.

Videos
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.