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Have you ever used a style before? If you just answered no, you may be surprised to know that the correct answer most probably is yes. Believe it or not, if you've used Microsoft Word, you've used styles. That's because, straight out of the box, Word automatically opens new documents using a default Paragraph style called the Normal style. When you open a blank document, the Normal style is what tells Word what font, alignment, spacing after, et cetera to use when you start to type.
Then how can you tell that Word is using the Normal style when you open a document? One of the ways to see what style or styles are in use in your document is by using a tool called the Style area. For veteran Word users, you may recall that older versions of Word also included this feature, and it's still available in Word 2007. It's just a little hard to find. So, let's see the Style area in action. As I said, the Style area is a bit hidden.
When I say hidden I mean you first have to turn this feature on from your Word Options before you can see it at all; not only that, but you can only view it from the Draft and Outline view, not from the default Print Layout view. Let's turn it on. We are going to go up here to this big, round button called the Office button and click on it once and then go down to Word Options. From Word Options, find the Advanced tab, and from the Advanced tab, scroll down into the middle, to where it says Display.
You are going to change the Style area pane width in Draft and Outline views to 1 inch and then click on OK. Now, I'll go to the Draft view. What you want to do is go to the View tab and then click on Draft, and there it is. Voila! It's finally turned on. We can now see the Style area. The Style area is a vertical area along the left edge of your document window that displays the name of the Paragraph style that's applied to each paragraph.
Here, you could see this is the Title style, the First Indent Body style, Witnesseth style, First Indent Body Text. So, this could be resized, either by pulling it to the right or clicking and dragging to the left. You do need to be careful because if you pull it all the way to the left, it will close it. Let's look at a new document. Do Ctrl+N on your keyboard and go to View and make sure that you are in Draft view. You'll be able to see that your Normal style is indeed in use.
Hit the Enter key a few times to create a new paragraph, and you'll see the Normal style is applied to each paragraph, unless you or someone reset to your Word defaults that is. So, even if you didn't know it, you've been using the Normal style all along when you use Word. The Style area will stay on until you decide to turn it off; therefore, it's a good idea to leave it turned on so you don't have to go through all those steps each and every time you want to view. In other words, if you leave it on, all you have to do to view the Style area is go to the Draft or Outline view.
As I was saying, you can click and drag to make this larger or smaller, or go ahead and click and drag all the way off to the left, and you'll see that it's closed. To open it, just go back to the Office button, go to your Word Options, go to Advanced, find your Display area and change this, again, to 1 and then click on OK. By viewing the Style area, you can see what styles are in use in your document. We also know that, by default, Word opens using the Normal Paragraph style.
We'll be going into more detail about what the Normal style is, changing the default settings and knowing what formatting attributes are applied to the Normal in upcoming movies.
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