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Why use styles?


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Why use styles?

There are a lot of questions of "why?" out there today, and I'll be the first to admit that most of those whys I can't answer. But if you've ever wondered what a style is, or why in the world you would ever need to use one, then I've got you covered. First, I think it's important to answer why, and the answer is time, and lots of it. As a matter of fact, if you've use Word at all, this movie should be titled "How to save lots of time" instead of "Why use styles?" If you're the least bit skeptical, as I was before someone took the time to show me, watching the next couple of minutes may save you an enormous amount of time in your future.

So, let me stop taking up any more of that precious commodity, and let me show you how to save time, and in doing so, what a style is. So just sit back, relax, and watch for now. I'd be showing you how to build your own styles step by step shortly. As you can see, this document has absolutely no formatting applied, so I'll begin applying my formatting. I'll select the title, and it needs to be bold, centered. It needs space after.

The first paragraph needs to be indented. It needs space after. Witnesseth needs to be bold, needs to be centered, and needs space after. It also needs to be all caps. It also needs to be expanded by 7.5 points. And I'll click on OK. This Whereas paragraph needs an indent, and it needs space after.

What I'm doing here is known as direct formatting. Direct formatting means to manually apply formatting to the document, such as bold, indents, your alignment, and things like that, as opposed to using styles. Now if I go up here to the Undo button, I can see that I've done thirteen actions so far to this document--and I'm only halfway through. Previously, I directly formatted the entire document, and for the sake of time, I'll simply let you know my findings.

This particular document requires a total of sixty-six steps to manually format. Now let's see for ourselves the difference in time it takes to format this document if we use styles instead of direct formatting. I'll undo everything I've done so far, and I'll select the entire document. Now I'll open up the Style window and I'll apply Body Text First Indent. Next, I'll select the title and I'll apply the Title style; on Witnesseth, I'll apply the Witnesseth style; and at the bottom of the document where it says, "The remainder of this page," we'll have the Remainder style applied; and I'm done.

The whole document has been formatted with styles in one, two, three, four steps. So the bottom line is formatting this document took a total of sixty-six steps using direct formatting, as opposed to four steps using styles. In this document alone, that means that using styles would save you sixteen-and-a-half times the amount of time it would take you using direct formatting. Multiply that times the number of documents you work on daily, monthly, or even yearly, and you've probably saved a pretty good chunk of time that you could use doing something else.

What makes styles so much faster? Well, styles are a container for all kinds of formatting attributes, allowing you to apply all these attributes at the same time with just one click. Word was designed to use styles, and is based on styles. As a matter of fact, styles are the very foundation of Word. Styles also help to maintain consistency, are the building blocks for creating a table of contents, and make it a breeze to make global changes throughout your document.

I've shown you how using styles can be a huge timesaver, as opposed to formatting a document using direct formatting. In the next movie, let's see just how easy it is to create your own styles.

Why use styles?
Video duration: 4m 22s 3h 12m Intermediate

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Why use styles? provides you with in-depth training on Business. Taught by Mariann Siegert as part of the Word 2010: Styles in Depth

Subject:
Business
Software:
Word
Author:
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