Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Microsoft Word offers a wide range of text formatting options that you can use to make your documents more interesting and readable. The most basic is font or character formatting. Character formatting applies to individual characters of text. Basic examples include Bold, Italic, Underline, and Font Color, but there are a lot more. Let's take a look at some examples. Now I've created this document that has some examples in it and I will just go through it and discuss what each one is.
The first example here on the top is the font. A font is the typeface used to display characters and I am showing three different examples here. I've got Cambria, Bankgothic, and Papyrus, and you could see that each one looks very different. Font style is the appearance of font characters. By default you'll probably use Regular or Roman. Roman and Regular are pretty much used interchangeably, but you might also use Italic, Bold and Bold Italic. Size is the size of characters expressed in points.
A point is one 72nd of an inch. So 72 points would equal a whole inch. In most cases you'll probably use a font size in your documents of around 12, maybe 11 or 10. It really depends on the font. In these examples here I've got 12 point, 18 point, and 28 point and you can see that they are very different in size. Next we have got font color and that's the color of font characters. Most of your text will be black but you could also make it blue or even purple.
You can actually make any color that Word supports and Word supports pretty much the full spectrum. Scroll down a little bit, bring these up to the top. Next section is text highlight and that's highlight color applied to text characters. Think of this as an actual highlighter, a fat yellow pen that you can highlight text in a document, and we've got colors of yellow and green here as examples but it does support other highlight colors. Underline is one or more lines beneath characters and by default, it's a single underline like this first one that goes under all the characters.
You can also have words only underline, which only underlines the words, a double underline, which has two lines underneath, and a dashed underline and Word supports even more underline formats. These are just four of them. Once you have got an underline, you can then set the underline color and again by default it will be black but you can make it green or you can even make it red. Any color you like. Effects are special effects that change the appearance of characters. The first example here is Strikethrough, the next one is Superscript and the next one is Small Caps.
As you see Superscript not only raises the text characters but it also makes them smaller. Next we have got scale, which is the horizontal size of characters. The first example is 100%, the next example is 75%, which makes the characters kind of squished together, and then the last example is 150%, which stretches the characters apart. We will scroll down some more, get the last bunch. Spacing determines the amount of space between characters and your options are Normal, which is normal spacing.
There is Condensed, which squishes the characters together. There's less space between characters, and then there is Expanded and in this case it's expanded also by just one point and that makes the characters way wider apart. Again the same font size, just different spacing. Position determines the location of the text in relation to the baseline. Now the baseline is an invisible line that characters sit on. So it doesn't really show up here but the second example is raised by five points and the next example is lowered by two points.
If you could see that invisible baseline you would see that the characters are raised above it or descended below it in these two second examples. Kerning determines how certain letter combinations fit together and the most commonly used example are the characters W A, uppercase W A. In this first example, the W ends and the A begins. There is no additional or closed-in spacing here. But in the second example which has Kerning turned on the W and the A are kerned so the A kind of comes in an underneath the upstroke of the W and that's Kerning.
It's really important in topography but in using Microsoft Word for general document creation, you are probably not going to have to use this too often, if at all. Finally, we have text effects and those are other more advanced effects for applying to text characters and there are two example shown here. Text shadow, which is very subtle. There is a shadow to this text here, and text reflection, which is kind of cool. It's reflecting the text back as if it's sitting on a mirror. These are just two examples. There is a lot of different examples for text effect.
Text effects work best on large characters, the kinds of things that you put in headings and also maybe on fliers or bulletins that you are creating with Word. Now properly formatting your documents can make them more readable by drawing the eye to headings and emphasizing text through the use of bold or italics. Now I have two examples behind this document that I want to show you. In one case, I've called Font Formatting -OK and the other one is Font Formatting -BAD and I hope you agree. As you work with font formatting remember that more is not usually better. This is more.
It's not really better. In fact the more font formatting you use in your documents, the less professional they are likely to look. A basic rule of thumb is to stick to one or two fonts, perhaps one for body text and another for headings, and I call this the one or two rule and it would probably also work well for other formatting options including colors, sizes, and effects. If your document is for an organization, you might also consider using organization fonts and colors. So for example if your company uses this particular shade of green in a lot of it's marketing material, you might want to use it for headings and other text in your documents to really stress the branding for your company.
If you take nothing else from this video, let it be this. Don't overdo text formatting in your documents. Don't make stuff like this. Now the way I see it there are two ways to apply font formatting in your documents and I'll create a blank new document to take a look at how this works. This is just the mechanics of applying it. I will make it a little larger so you can see. One way is to apply font formatting as you type. For example, you are typing along and you decide that you want the next word to be bold. So let's do that.
So I've typed in here is an example with and the next word I want it to be bold. So I am sitting on my keyboard. I may as well as use the keyboard shortcut for Bold, which is Command+B. So I have pressed that. It's basically turned on bold formatting. I could type in the word bold and it's bold. Now I am done using bold so I want to turn it back off. I will press Command+B again, and the next thing I type will not be bold, like that. That's one way to do it. Another way to do it is to apply font formatting after you type and this is basically what I do.
I do formatting after writing and editing the document text. So in that case the text would already be typed and once it's typed, I would select the word I want to format, in this case the word bold, and I can either use a toolbar button or the shortcut key or any other technique to apply the bold formatting. The method you choose depends on which method you prefer. I prefer type first and then format but you might prefer it the other way. One thing I do want to point out is that if you format some text and then attempt to insert some new text right after it or before it, that text might be formatted the same way.
So for example, if I wanted to put in the word font after the word bold here, my blinking insertion point is there, I am all ready to insert the text and when I type it it's also gets to be bold. The reason is because the font formatting was carried forward with that new word. If I didn't want it to be bold, I would have to select it and basically turn off the bold font formatting, like that. This is a common thing that you'll run into with Microsoft Word. I just wanted you to be aware how it works. As far as actually applying the formatting, that depends on the type of formatting you want to apply and the technique you prefer.
Some commonly used formats such as Bold or Underlined can be applied with toolbar buttons, shortcut keys, or a dialog. Less commonly used font formatting such as Character Position could only be applied with a dialog. That's the basics of font formatting. Throughout the rest of the videos in this chapter, I'll explain exactly how to access and apply various font formatting in your documents.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
82 Video lessons · 87333 Viewers
80 Video lessons · 136361 Viewers
59 Video lessons · 55017 Viewers
52 Video lessons · 68876 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.