MS-Word / General Formatting

What is Styles and How Its Work?

A style is a collection of commands and formats that have been bundled under one name. With styles, you don't have to visit a bunch of dialog boxes to change the formatting of text or paragraphs. Instead, you simply choose a style from the Quick Styles gallery or the Styles window. You can be certain that all parts of the document that were assigned the same style look the same.

The template you used to create your document determines which styles are available. Each template comes with its own set of styles, and you can create your own styles, too. A simple document created with the Normal template - a document that you created by double-clicking the Blank Document icon or pressing Ctrl+N - has but a few styles, but a document that was created with an advanced template comes with many styles.

To see which styles are available in your document, go to the Home tab and open the Styles gallery (you may have to click the Quick Styles button first) or click the Styles group button to display the Styles window. As shown in Figure below, the Styles gallery and Styles window show which styles are available to you. Want to know which style has been assigned to text or a paragraph? Click the text or paragraph and glance at the Styles gallery or Styles window.

Styles Gallery and Styles Window

In the Styles gallery and Style window (if you click the Show Preview check box), each style name is formatted to give you an idea of what it does to text when you apply it in your document. Word offers four types of styles:

Character styles:
Apply to text, not to paragraphs. You select text before you apply a character style. Create a character style for text that is hard to lay out and for foreign language text. A character style can include these settings: font, border, and language. When you apply a character style to text, the character-style settings override the paragraph-style settings. If the paragraph style calls for a 14-point Arial text but the character style calls for 12-point Times Roman font, the character style wins. Character styles are marked with the letter a.

Paragraph styles:
Determine the formatting of entire paragraphs. A paragraph style can include these settings: font, paragraph, tab, border, language, and bullets and numbering. Paragraph styles are marked with the paragraph symbol ().

Linked (paragraph and character):
Apply paragraph formats as well as the text formats throughout a paragraph. These styles are marked with the paragraph symbol () as well as the letter a.

Table styles:
Apply to tables. Table styles are marked with a grid icon.

List styles:
Apply to lists. List styles are marked with the paragraph icon.

The beauty of styles is this: After you modify a style, all paragraphs or text to which the style has been assigned are instantly changed. You don't have to go back and reformat text and paragraphs throughout your document.

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