Join Gini von Courter for an in-depth discussion in this video What styles can do for you, part of Word 2013: Styles in Depth.
- One of the great things about Word 2013 is how easy it is to be able to create documents that look like they were laid out by a professional designer or by a typesetter. Often I find that we focus on adding illustrations to a document or tweaking page layout to create a professional and compelling report or proposal. But documents that only include text deserve our attention too, perhaps even more, than illustrated documents. And when we focus on document text, then we create documents where the body text is consistent and it's distinct from the headings, where the headings are contrasted with body text but don't clash with them, where paragraphs are separated by just enough white space for ease of reading, where our lists, whether they're numbered lists or bullet point lists are indented and are laid out, where text that needs to be emphasized can be emphasized in a contrasting color as well as using basic things like bold and underline, and then for longer documents, a professional design will often include an element like a Table of contents.
Styles drive all of these features. And Word 2013 makes it easy to use styles even if you've never used them before. Most Word users, even most Word Power users do most of their formatting using the font in the paragraph groups on the ribbon. But I want to convince you to abandon fonts and paragraphs for styles because styles will allow you to quickly and easily apply a set of formatting choices consistently throughout one document or throughout many documents.
A style is a set of formatting choices, a font name and size, a color, items you choose from the font group, in the paragraph group, things like alignment, borders, shading, and the amount of white space that we would find between paragraphs. Instead of selecting text and applying these same choices over and over again, or even saving some time by choosing some formatted text and using the format painter, styles allow us to bundle this series of formatting choices together, font formatting and paragraph formatting, and then apply them all with just one click.
As an example, I'm going to take a look at this section of text that's formatted with a Heading 1 style. I can tell that because up in my styles list Heading 1 is selected. That contrasted with Normal, which is used for my body text. Normal is Calibri 11 and no other real attributes, left aligned. If I choose a Heading style, though, what I get is Calibri Light 16 point. It has a color to it. When I go choose here, notice that a color is selected. And there are other attributes as well, such as the amount of spacing.
All of these choices with simply one click. If I were to choose some section of text, here, for example, and select it, I can apply all of those choices at one time. And because I have this dynamic gallery, I can simply hover over it to see how it would look. I haven't even clicked yet. Now, the Heading 2 style is interesting as well because it's made to go with the Heading 1. You'll notice that it's very similar, just a little bit smaller. And you don't need to remember the choices that sit behind either of these. You don't need to remember that a Heading 2 is 14 point, a Heading 1 is 16 point.
All you need to remember is Heading 1 and Heading 2. This area is called the Quick Styles Gallery. And in the Quick Styles Gallery are styles that are meant to go together. Heading 1, Heading 2, Title, Normal, all of them are meant to look good, to look professionally designed. Whenever you create a new document, the body text of your document is automatically formatted with the Normal style. Quick Styles can be applied not only to paragraphs, but also to individual words and characters. So if I select, for example, the word once and I want to choose to emphasize this, notice Emphasis, Intense Emphasis, Strong, Quote, so I can use these styles on one or a group of words or on entire paragraphs or sections of paragraphs.
If I create a list somewhere in my document, that list will automatically be formatted. Notice as soon as I typed the one period space with the list paragraph style right here. If I decide later that I'd like to have my Heading 1s or Heading 2s look differently, that's very easy to do. I can simple select and say I wish these were stronger, I wish they were bold. I can bold one of them, right-click, update my Heading 1 to match this example that I've provided, and notice Wind Installations is also bold.
Heading 1 in my Quick Styles Gallery is also bold. So by applying Heading 1s consistently to my first level of headings in my document, that doesn't mean I've chosen a format. That means that I've elevated them to become headings so that I can then apply whatever formatting I wish to apply. What else do we get out of styles? Well, do you ever create reports, proposals, or other documents with a group of users? Whether different members of the team are sending you paragraphs or pages in Word, and it's your job to assemble them into one document, or you're using Word's tracking features and all of your users are working in the same document, you as the party who's primarily responsible for that finished report have probably also spent time removing formatting that had been applied by some of your colleagues, taking our their bold 18 point heading formatting to replace it with our 16 point Calibri Light blue bold.
Perhaps you've asked your colleagues not to do their own rogue formatting, but you just can't get them to stop. If you and your colleagues use styles, you won't ever need to remove their formatting again. Let me show you how this works. I have another document that I'm gonna show you real quickly. It's a combination of wind and solar installations. You'll notice the font here, Trebuchet. This is a Heading 1, but it's Trebuchet green. It doesn't matter. I'm gonna select this text and copy it. Now I'm gonna switch back to our report.
And this text actually belongs right here between Wind Installations and Other Installations. So I'm just gonna paste it. And notice what happens. No longer Trebuchet. No longer green. As this text is pasted into the document, it automatically conforms to the style that's already here. Now, if you're a power user, you may say, you know, I've been trying to get my other team members not to format forever. So telling them they have to use style simply means I'm gonna have to train them or I'll be ignored.
That's fine. You don't have to train anybody but yourself. In this course before we're done, I'm gonna show you how to restrict your users to styles that you want them to use and to disallow the kind of direct formatting that they're doing up here using the font and paragraph commands. One more thing before we go. There are other features that are actually enabled by styles. Let me show you two of them really quickly. One, I can choose View and say I'd like to be able to turn on Navigation.
This used to be called the document map in some earlier versions of Word. But what we get is we get a Navigation pane. And the Navigation pane is geared to work off of the Heading styles. So I can move through my document. But wait, there's more. What if I wanted Wind to be first? Just drag it and drop it. And I can rearrange my document sections here in the Navigation pane. But notice it depends on the Heading styles. I don't have to do anything magic. All I have to do is use Headings.
The second thing that I can do, and it's related, because when I'm choosing Heading styles, I'm not just dressing something up. I'm actually saying, well, you know, what I'd like to be able to do here is treat this as a Heading. That's a special kind of thing. It's not simply a series of formatting choices. It's a different type of a feature in my document. I'm going to put some of my information on the second page. And I'm going to go up to the top of my document and add another page at the top, just so you can see this feature that I'm going to show you.
We're going to choose References, Table of Contents, Automatic Table, and there's my automatic Table of Contents. That quickly. That easily. And notice that it reflects what you see in the Navigation pane. It's built on styles. Now, what if I delete this page break that we entered here? And now all of this is on the same page. You think, oh, I'd have to redo my Table of Contents. If you've manually typed this, you would sure have to.
But here all I really need to do is say that I want to update my table. That easy. Styles can do so much for you, whether you're working in a collaborative environment or working alone, I believe that starting with about Word 2007, the use of styles really separated super efficient Word users from the rest of us. I'm delighted to show you more about styles now that you know a little bit about what they can do for you.
- Understanding the different types of styles
- Creating styles
- Applying styles
- Basing new styles on existing styles
- Editing styles
- Formatting a document in one click with Quick Styles
- Copying, deleting, and renaming styles
- Creating a table of contents with styles
- Managing style options, such as keyboard shortcuts and template defaults