Creating character styles
Video: Creating character stylesA lot of folks don't use Character styles in documents because they can't see the benefit of taking the time to create a Character style versus just formatting a document directly. In this movie, we will create some Character styles of our own and then explore how they can automate formatting changes that would otherwise be time consuming and tedious work. Let's begin by opening up the styles pane. Click on the Extend button or use your keyboard shortcut: Alt+Ctrl+Shift+S. We're going to select John Doe from our document; it's in the first paragraph here, and just select the name John Doe.
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In Word 2007: Styles in Depth, author Mariann Siegert shows how to take advantage of Word styles to make professional documents. The course starts off with a demonstration of the benefits of using styles and then shows how to apply, create, and modify styles to suit individual needs. More advanced topics include creating a table of contents from styles, using Quick Styles and style sets, sorting and hiding styles, restricting styles in protected documents, using keyboard shortcuts for styles, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.
- Understanding the five types of Word styles
- Using the Style pane
- Swapping styles with Find and Replace
- Formatting bulleted and numbered lists with styles
- Basing a new style on an existing one
- Modifying styles with the Style Inspector
- Building a table of contents with styles
- Linking styles with multilevel lists
- Copying, deleting, and renaming styles
- Setting document and style defaults
Creating character styles
A lot of folks don't use Character styles in documents because they can't see the benefit of taking the time to create a Character style versus just formatting a document directly. In this movie, we will create some Character styles of our own and then explore how they can automate formatting changes that would otherwise be time consuming and tedious work. Let's begin by opening up the styles pane. Click on the Extend button or use your keyboard shortcut: Alt+Ctrl+Shift+S. We're going to select John Doe from our document; it's in the first paragraph here, and just select the name John Doe.
Then we're going to apply underline, so just click on U for underline, and now we're going to create a new style. So go to the New style button in the styles pane, down at the very bottom. It's the first one in the row of three, and click, and we're going to name it Txt Names, comma and an alias of TN. Now, I like to name my Character styles with Txt for consistency and easy reading. It can also help us sorting in the styles pane, as well.
Now, this isn't a Paragraph style. It's a Character style. And choose Character, and then simply click on OK. The Txt Names is applied to John Doe now, and you can tell by looking up here at the Classic Styles box, It says Txt Names, TN, our alias, and we're ready to go. Now, this is only applied to John Doe. We need to apply it to a few other things. So select "Plantersville," and you can apply text names by selecting it over here, and you can go to "DDF," and you can select it, and let's select a few more things at the same time.
Let's hold down your Ctrl key and select "Fund I." Keep your Control key down and select "Brendan." Keep your Control key down, and select "Partnership." This is called non-contiguous text selection. And we're going to apply this style to everything that we have selected, so just click on Txt Names. We've got that done. Now scroll down in your document. Where it says Additional Contributed Equity, we're going to select it, and we're going to apply underline.
You're probably wondering why we wouldn't just hit the underline, but if you just keep following along, it'll probably make a little bit more sense later. Now we need to create our new style from this, so go down to the New style button, and we'll again create one. This time we're going to call it Text, Txt First Line, comma, FL and it's going to be a Character style, and we're going to click on OK. Now, we need to apply that to a few more things. Scroll down a little bit and find "1.2 Adjusted Capital Account Balance" and select it.
Hold down your Control key and select "Affiliate." You can double-click on "Distributor" to select it, and then select a couple more. We won't do all of them for the sake of time. Okay, that's good. Now what we're going to do with this is we're going to apply the Txt First Line. So click on it, and it's applied to all of these. Okay. Now one more thing: Underneath the Recitals, double-click on "Whereas," hold your Control key down, double-click on "Whereas" again, and then select "Now Therefore," and we're going to apply one more style.
And this time, we're going to make it all caps, so you can click on the two As here together, click on the down arrow and then select UPPERCASE. We also want it to be bold, so click on B for bold, and there you go. Now, we're going to apply our styles. We go to New style. We'll call this one Text Txt Wheres and Theres, comma, and we'll call it WT for our short little alias that we can use Our style type is going to be Character one more time, and we'll click on OK.
Okay now, it's applied to everything, and you can tell that by looking at your Classic Styles box up here at the top. So if I click on any of these, it says Wheres and Theres. If I click anywhere else in this paragraph, it gives me the Paragraph style instead of the Character style name. Now, let's say that a decision was made that the first line needs to be italicized, as well. That's all of these that we put our underline to. So what we need to do is not only underline this, but we also need to italicize it as well.
So, what we're going to do is we're going to modify the style. We don't have to go through every single one of these and apply italics because we used a style. So let's go in, and we're going to choose this Txt First Line. That's what we applied to it and click on the down arrow and choose modify, and we're going to click on I for italics and click on OK, and that's it. All of your Character styles through out your document have changed. Let's just pretend instead of a five- page document, this was a 50-page document or a 250-page document.
That's going to make a huge difference. Now, let's also say that all of the names now need to be bold, so in addition to underline. So, what we'll do is we go over to Txt Names, we will click on the down arrow, we'll click on Modify, we will click on B for bold, and we will click on OK, and they are all done. Just a note: If you are a seasoned style user, you may wonder why you wouldn't use Word's pre-built Character styles Emphasis and Strong, instead of creating your own Character styles for italics and bold. Many people believe that Emphasis is just another word for italics, but this is not necessarily true.
When using style sets, Emphasis changes with each. For example, when you use the Elegant Quick Style set, Emphasis is displayed as bold and small caps. Per the folks at Microsoft, the Emphasis and Strong styles are design elements within the Quick Style Set, not in explicit format, in and of itself. Using Character styles can save a lot of time as opposed to using direct formatting, by applying several formatting attributes at once. It also gives you the ability to make changes throughout your entire document by simply modifying the style, not the entire document.
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Word 2007: Styles in Depth .
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- Q: How do I make Word revert to the original document styles, the ones that it came with?
- A: To restore the original styles in Word 2007, open your new document, choose the Styles group on the Home tab, and choose Change Style > Style Set. Select Word 2007.To set Word 2007 as the default style set for all documents going forward, go back to the Styles group, choose Change Styles, and then click Set as Default.To delete any additional styles you may have added, open the Styles pane (Ctrl+Shift+Alt+S), click the arrow to the right of the style name in the list, and choose Delete from the menu that appears. Note you cannot delete the styles that ship with Word. (The Delete option will be grayed out for these.)
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