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You can use a neat little tool to really speed up your work when creating and applying styles. Word is smart enough to go through your document and select text that has similar formatting. Once the text is selected, you can apply or create a new style. Let's see how this works with this employee handbook. First off, switch to Draft view. So go to View and then click on Draft. As you can see in this document, someone has applied all of the heading styles throughout this document, but nothing else.
You can see that the Normal style is applied to most things. Well, here is List paragraph, but other than that, you've got the Normal style and the Heading styles applied. So what we need to do in this document is we need to create the body styles. Let's create a new style called Handbook Body Text and then we'll apply. If we were to create the style, and then go through the entire document, applying to one paragraph at a time, it would be very time consuming. So let's take a shortcut. Select the second paragraph at the very top, so go back up to the top of your document.
You can do Ctrl+Home on your keyboard if you like. We're going to select the paragraph that starts with "The information contained in this manual." Now, do a right-click, go down to Styles, and choose Select Text with Similar Formatting. Now you will see that all throughout your document, the Normal style has been selected for us and anything else that looks similar. Although it's not completely perfect-- for example, it selects things like table and bulleted text sometimes-- it did select most of the paragraphs for us that we need to apply our body style.
Of course we need to create our body style first, so let's open up the Apply Styles box; use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+S. Now type in the name of our new style, HB Body Text, and then press Enter and you not only have a new style based on our formatting, but it's automatically been applied to all selected text. Let's say we want our body text to be justified, so let's go ahead and justify this. So go back to the Home Ribbon and click on the Justify button, and now we want to update our style to match selection, so go up here to the Style gallery and find HB body text, right-click, and choose Update HB Body Text to Match Selection, and that's all you have to do to modify your new style.
Of course, we would still have more work to do in this document, such as creating styles that apply automatic formatting to our heading styles, but most of the document is now styled. It's easy to create new styles from similar formatting by allowing Word to do most of the work for you. Think how much time this just saved us by uncovering another hidden gem by using Word's Styles feature.
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