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Automatically modifying styles

From: Word 2007: Styles in Depth

Video: Automatically modifying styles

There is an option in Word that certainly sounds good in theory, but it can also be a dangerous little button if you don't know exactly what the function will do. It's called the Automatically Modify Style option. It will be easier for us to see for ourselves how this works if we just apply and use the function. So let's get started. Let's start by opening up the Style Inspector. Remember that it's located on the Style pane. So go ahead and open up your Style pane, and you are going to click on, not New Style, but the Style Inspector.

Automatically modifying styles

There is an option in Word that certainly sounds good in theory, but it can also be a dangerous little button if you don't know exactly what the function will do. It's called the Automatically Modify Style option. It will be easier for us to see for ourselves how this works if we just apply and use the function. So let's get started. Let's start by opening up the Style Inspector. Remember that it's located on the Style pane. So go ahead and open up your Style pane, and you are going to click on, not New Style, but the Style Inspector.

It's the button right in the middle on this row of three. If we look at this, each one of these paragraphs has body text supplied. Select the first paragraph and click on B for bold, and it says Plus: here, as far as the paragraph formatting goes, but we do have direct formatting of bold applied to this style. That's what our intention was, and it works great; everything is good so far.

Close the Style Inspector and do an undo, Ctrl+Z on your keyboard, and we'll get a fresh new start, remove the bold there. Let's see what happens when we choose the Automatically Update option. We are going to modify the style called Body Text. So come over here to your Style pane, and you are going to find Body Text; hold your mouse over it, and click on the down arrow, and then choose Modify. Now, down at the bottom, there is a check box for Automatically update; click it and then click on OK.

Now make sure your first paragraph is still selected. Our scenario is we want to change the first paragraph's formatting only. That's why we selected it in the first place. This time, we are going to apply underline. So click on the U for underline and look what happens; everything changes. Notice how all of our paragraphs changed, which was not our intention at all. Let's also check out this style. If we go back over to Body Text, you'll see that part of this Styles attributes now includes underline.

You could see it here in your tooltips, or you can open this up underneath the Modify, and you could see it down in here, and you could see that underline is also applied. So it became part of the attributes for the whole style. Now, I'll do a cancel here, and we are going to apply italics to the whole paragraph. So I will click on I for italics. Everything is now in italics and underlined. If you check out the style, you'll see that now italics and underline are part of that style.

Another issue with this option that can unknowingly cause problems is if any of the styles were based on the style in which you selected the Automatically Update option, it'll also have underline and italics applied, and it becomes part of its style, as well. It's for this reason that a lot of seasoned style users shy away from using this feature. On the other hand, if this is your intention, it may come in handy in certain circumstances. The key is to understanding how it works, and what using this feature can result in.

Using the Automatic Update feature can affect styles in a way that may be unexpected. Knowing the possible outcome of applying this feature to a style, or related styles, can help you avoid unnecessary grief in the future.

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This video is part of

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Word 2007: Styles in Depth

43 video lessons · 6609 viewers

Mariann Siegert
Author

 
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  1. 2m 27s
    1. Welcome
      1m 35s
    2. Using the exercise files
      52s
  2. 22m 26s
    1. Why use styles?
      4m 25s
    2. Creating your first style
      4m 3s
    3. Displaying styles in use with the Style area
      3m 59s
    4. Viewing formatting applied to a style
      4m 24s
    5. Overview of the five types of styles
      5m 35s
  3. 28m 27s
    1. Using the Styles pane to apply styles
      5m 9s
    2. Applying styles using the Apply Styles box and alias names
      3m 54s
    3. Using the classic 2003 Style box
      4m 58s
    4. Replacing one style with another using Find and Replace
      3m 22s
    5. Using table styles to add professional design
      2m 58s
    6. Formatting numbered and bulleted lists using styles
      8m 6s
  4. 34m 3s
    1. Naming conventions and aliases for styles
      2m 53s
    2. Creating a paragraph style by example
      7m 21s
    3. Creating character styles
      6m 12s
    4. Creating a new style by definition
      5m 56s
    5. Basing one style upon another
      6m 13s
    6. Making custom table styles
      5m 28s
  5. 18m 33s
    1. Updating a style to match selected text
      3m 49s
    2. Modify styles using the Style Inspector
      7m 0s
    3. Automatically modifying styles
      3m 41s
    4. Modifying table styles
      4m 3s
  6. 12m 56s
    1. Applying styles with a click
      4m 29s
    2. Saving a selection as a new Quick Style
      2m 55s
    3. Adding and removing styles in the Quick Styles Gallery
      5m 32s
  7. 16m 50s
    1. Formatting an entire document with one click
      3m 17s
    2. What makes Quick Style sets work?
      6m 25s
    3. Saving custom styles in a new Quick Style set
      7m 8s
  8. 15m 15s
    1. Applying styles to build a table of contents
      7m 8s
    2. Generating a table of contents from applied styles
      5m 0s
    3. Modifying built-in table of content styles
      3m 7s
  9. 7m 26s
    1. Defining and using a new list style
      7m 26s
  10. 15m 10s
    1. Copying styles between documents and templates
      6m 56s
    2. Deleting unneeded styles and Quick Style sets
      4m 39s
    3. Renaming styles
      3m 35s
  11. 13m 46s
    1. Navigating using styles
      5m 4s
    2. Using and assigning style keyboard shortcuts
      5m 49s
    3. Printing a list of styles and keyboard assignments
      2m 53s
  12. 17m 26s
    1. Setting font, document, and template defaults in Word 2007
      6m 26s
    2. Setting sort order and styles to show
      6m 22s
    3. Editing, hiding, recommending, and restricting styles
      4m 38s
  13. 13s
    1. Goodbye
      13s

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