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

Removing Protection from a Protected Workbook

Excel provides built-in capabilities to protect your workbook files. If you apply these capabilities, it is possible that at ...

Discover More

Formatting Canadian Postal Codes

Postal codes in Canada consist of six characters, separated into two groups. This tip explains the format and then shows how ...

Discover More

Keeping Centered Headers and Footers Centered

Headers and footers provide a nice final touch for your printed documents. If you want to expertly align text in those ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 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 your ...

Discover More

Quickly Displaying Formatting Specs

It's easy to apply formatting to text, but often hard (after the fact) to know exactly what was done. If you often need to ...

Discover More

Formatting Multiple Documents

Need to format a bunch of documents so they all look the same? If the documents use styles, doing the formatting is ...

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 for this tip:

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. 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 - 7?

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.

Links and Sharing