Thursday, 20 June 2013

How to use the MS Word (2007 and 2010) Styles Feature

Microsoft Word has a couple of nifty tools that save you lots of time when writing and editing documents. One of these features is the Styles feature.  This article details how to use styles in Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. The simplest way to format your MS Word documents is by making use of the inbuilt predefined styles. On your Home tab there are a number of styles listed. You should have something similar to the image below:

Below is some sample text for the purposes of this tutorial. We want to format this text and as you can see, the default style is the Normal style.

The first thing that you would want to do is to change the headings so that they stand out from the rest of the text.  Select each of the headings on your document and click on ‘Heading 1’ option on the tab. You should then end up with text as shown below:

As you can see the heading ‘Post’ stands out from the rest of the text in the document.
Let’s say for some reason you need to change the color of your heading to red. Right click on the tab you used to set the Heading styles as shown below:

Click on the ‘Modify’ option and change the settings to your preferences and then click ‘OK’.

You should then end up with text as shown below:

As you can see, we have changed the color of the heading from blue to red. It really is that simple!
Now that you know how to format your headings, let’s look at how to format the main text in your document. Let’s say you want to italicize the main body text and change the font color to blue. Here is how to do it:
On the ‘Styles’ tab, click on the ‘Modify’ option as shown in the earlier example. Right click on the option ‘Normal’ and select your preferred formatting you will end up with something like this:

As you can see it’s all quite easy to do and saves you a lot of time having to go back and format every small detail in your word document.

What is the importance of the styles feature?

MS Word Styles improve the appearance of your document and make it more appealing to your readers in the following ways:

  • Headings in a different font from the rest of the text
  • Indented bulleted lists
  • Adequate white space separating paragraphs
  • Emphasized text in a contrasting color.
  • Styles also save you lots of time.
  • It is easy to identify important aspects of a document that has been formatted using styles; a reader is able to quickly navigate a document.
  • Styles also give your documents a professional look.

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