Styles offer another way to apply formatting in your documents. But rather than formatting individual bits of selected text or paragraphs, styles enable you to create and apply consistent formatting throughout your documents. A style is a collection of formatting settings that can be applied to text. Word supports several types of styles including paragraph, character, table, and list styles. Numerous styles are built into Word documents through the use of templates. For example, the document shown here is based on the Normal template.
It includes styles for normal text, which is down here, headings like this one and this one, two different levels. Quotes, that's what this italic stuff is here, a title, and a subtitle, and there are other styles as well. You could see them applied throughout the pages of this document. When you apply a style to text in your document, you apply all formatting settings associated with that style to the text. By consistently using styles in your document, you ensure consistent formatting of document elements.
For example, if you use the Heading 1 style for all top-level headings in your document, that's what this is, they will all be formatted exactly the same. But what's even better about styles is how changes to style definitions affect the appearance of your document. For example, if you redefine that heading style to use another font or color or size or all three, those changes are automatically applied to all headings to which the style is applied. This makes it quick and easy to ensure consistent formatting changes too.
Microsoft Office applications use themes to determine which fonts, colors, and backgrounds are available to each of Word's built-in styles. So for example, the Heading 1 style for the Office theme might be Calibri Blue font as shown here, while the same style for the Essential theme might be a dark red Arial Black font. Office comes with dozens of themes. Applying any one of them can completely change the appearance of your entire document. Styles and themes work hand in hand to determine the appearance of your documents, but while styles are part of the template on what your document is based, it can be applied to specific text, themes are part of Microsoft Office and are applied to entire documents.
In Microsoft Word, you can modify and create your own custom styles. You do this within Word and the styles are automatically saved to the document's template file. That's the basic information about styles and themes. Next up, we will see how to apply styles in your documents.
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