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: Understanding Font Styles.

Understanding Font Styles

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 29, 2014)

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, and 2013. 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

Selecting a Sentence

Need to select an entire sentence? It's easy by making one small adjustment to how you click the mouse.

Discover More

Converting Mainframe Date Formats

Different industries and different computer systems specify dates in all sorts of strange ways. If you need to convert a ...

Discover More

Replacing Some Formulas with the Formula Results

Macros are often used to process the data stored in a worksheet. Some of these processing needs can be pretty specific to ...

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)

Squeezing Everything In

Do you have just a line or two of text that 'spills over' onto another printed page? Here are some ways you can compress ...

Discover More

Formatting a Company Name

Want your company name to always appear in a particular formatted manner? Word provides two ways you can approach the ...

Discover More

Vertical Alignment of Sections

Using one of the page setup options in Word, you can specify that the paragraphs within the section be vertically aligned ...

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 seven more than 2?

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.