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Up to this point we've been formatting text and paragraphs using the commands in the Font and Paragraph groups on the Home tab of the Ribbon. There is a much better way to format text, formatting that will make our documents more versatile, more reusable, and that takes advantage of other built-in features in Word 2010. This powerful formatting in Word 2010 uses Styles, this group of commands. A Style is a set of format settings: Fonts, Font Size, Styles, Bold, or Italics, Underline, Text Effects, Numbering, Alignment, a whole mix of things from the Font and Paragraph groups that you apply with a single click at one time.
For example, let's take a look in this document, and let's increase the size of this to make it a title. Maybe even center it if we wish to and make it Bold. We could change the color if we wanted to. A whole series of things, but this is still normal text, if we take a look. Let's also create something that looks like a heading. Let's go ahead and kick this up to 14, and let's change the font color to a deep purple and Bold. And because we are sharp, we will use the Format Painter and copy that format several times.
So we have a document that we've done some formatting to here, but all of our formatting has been right here, manual formatting. I'm going to switch to another copy of this document, and we are going to format the same document using Styles. So now rather than using the Font and Paragraph commands, we are going to say this is a Title. Let's make it a title. This is a Heading. Let's make it a heading. Perhaps this is a lower level heading, a Heading 2. We also have Heading 3 and other styles. So we've now formatted part of this document.
Notice that when I click, I'm applying several different things at once. I am applying a color, and I'm applying a font, and I am applying a size. I am actually also apply an alignment, all at one time. In this document that I formatted manually, this is a lot like painting a wall, for example. I'm simply painting on a different font, or a different color, or a different alignment. When I use Styles, I'm actually describing a structure for my document. I'm building walls and then painting the walls.
Styles are far more powerful than Font or Paragraph formatting alone. Styles aren't new. They've been around for a while. What's new is how Styles are organized in Word. In Word 2010, we have Style sets, groups of Styles saved together. Because of that, we can switch from one Style Set to another and automatically reformat our document on-the-fly. Let's take a look at how that looks in this document where we used Styles. For example, if I change to the Distinctive Style Set, notice my font changed, my title is centered, underline on top in red.
Let's choose Elegant. A huge change in how this document is formatted. Fancy, which isn't all that fancy. Newsprint, Simple, Traditional. The entire document is being radically reformatted, alignment, fonts, colors, everything simply by changing from one Style Set to the other. Let's return to our document that we formatted manually. When I change Style Sets here, I will get some of the effect.
Notice, for example, that my paragraph alignment changes. That's because I didn't manually format my paragraphs. But I did manually format my fonts. Therefore, that purple that I applied, it stays. The font size I chose, it stays. The fact, for example, that my title is centered. Any formatting I apply using the Font or Paragraph commands will overwrite anything that I can apply in Styles. So all the formatting that I do here, it's not that it's permanent, but if I don't want to use it, it needs to be undone.
Contrasts this formatting where a few things change, but I can't really radically restructure my document, with this document where I can change the entire look and feel, this easily all at one time. There are other reasons to use Styles. Advance Word features like Table of Contents, and the Enhanced Navigation pane rely on Heading Styles. Let's go take a look at what it would look like to create a Table of Contents in this document. I am going to press Ctrl+Enter and make space for a Table of Contents below my heading.
Let's go to References > Table of Contents, and I automatically get a Table of Contents that's created based on the headings that I used. Again, Word recognizes the structures I put in place, the Heading 1s and the Heading 2s and creates a Table of Contents. If I change this document, this Table of Contents will update automatically and very easily. So, for example, if I add some more text here, and this goes to a new page, now Regular Part-Time is on page 3.
I can simply go to my Table of Contents, tell it to update the entire table and my page numbers change. That's because I use Styles. Let's return to our document that we've formatted manually, and I'm going to create a Table of Contents here. Let's go to References > Table of Contents. No entries found. The manually formatted text doesn't let Word know that these are Headings. Therefore, if I want a Table of Contents in this document, I'll end up typing Employees Defined, Exempt, Non-Exempt and so on.
If I end up changing my order or changing my pages, I'll be manually updating my Table of Contents. Because I used manual formatting, I need to create a manual Table of Contents. There is something more. There is a document map that also relies on these same headings. If I go to View > Navigation Pane, it says this document does not contain headings. Well, that's true. Let's go back to our document that we formatted using Styles. I'm going to go to View > Navigation Pane and on the left, a Navigation Pane opens up based on the Styles in my document.
You'll notice that these same headings that I see here are the headings that are reflected in my Table of Contents. So if I want to quickly go to the Regular Part-Time section of my document, there I am, Temporary (Full-Time), just like that. Exempt, just like this. And if I want to reverse any of these, if I want to radically rearrange my document, if I want to not have to retype or not even have to use Cut and Paste, I can change, for example, Regular Part-Time to be above Regular Full-Time, just like that.
Rearranging my entire document by simply dragging and dropping here in my Navigation Pane. If I want to rearrange my document that I manually formatted, I need to use Cut and Paste. Not bad tools, but not as easy as using my Navigation Pane to rearrange my document sections. When you don't use Styles, it's far more difficult to update or to reuse documents. Word 2010 provides you with all the tools you need to create well-formatted documents that are easy to read format and to reuse.
When you use Styles to format your document, here, you can quickly and easily apply formatting choices consistently throughout one document or a group of documents. If you haven't used Styles previously, this is a great time to start.
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