Word - Styles


Styles can be quickly used to apply a formatting choice over a large area of a document. All text is initially created under the Normal style and will remain in this style unless Word is told otherwise. You can modify any existing style or create your own if there is not a pre-existing option similar to what you require.  Creating or modifying a Style allows you to choose all formatting; The font, size, colour and paragraph settings.

Modifying an existing style

To change the formatting of an existing style, right-click on it in the style menu. From this drop-down menu select Modify Illustrative image

In the modify style menu you will have buttons/menus for: 

  • Changing the font size
  • Bold, Italic and underlined
  • Colour of the text
  • Alignment
  • Sentence spacing
  • Paragraph spacing
  • Increase/decrease indentation

If you wish to see the full paragraph settings or font menus you can access these by the format drop-down menu on the bottom left of the modify style window:  Illustrative image  

When you click ok, the existing text in this style will be modified throughout your document. Even if it has other styles/formats between them.

Create a new style

If none of Word's pre-existing styles is close enough to what you require, you can create a new style by clicking the corner of the styles section and then selecting Create new style Illustrative image

Word will then ask you to name the style before it appears in the style section:  Illustrative image

Using Styles with the table of contents

Certain features of Word make use of styles. One of these is the automatic table of contents feature. Any text that has been selected as a Heading 1,2 or 3 style will automatically appear in the table of contents. When creating a document from new, only Heading 1 and Heading 2 appear in the style menu. Anything marked as a Heading 1 will appear in the table of contents with no levels of indentation. However, if the text is marked as 'heading 2', it will have one level of indentation in the table of contents. If you use any of the further headings 3,4,5 these will have further levels of indentation. You can see this in the example here: Illustrative image

A guide on using the automatic table of contents can be found here: Word - Automatic Table of Contents- Email ITSkills@chi.ac.uk if you would like help.

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