The fundamentals of styles in Microsoft Word

 Feb 10, 2014

Styles in Microsoft Word are one of the most misunderstood features and yet, ironically it's one of the most important aspects of formatting for the end-user. Styles enable a user to format a document quickly, easily and accurately. Styles open up the possibility of using the advanced features of Word. However, to be the most effective, styles have to be well understood and used consistently.
When you create a new document, Word gives you a blank document and applies the default style called 'Normal.' If you don’t use any other style, by default, you'll be using the 'Normal' style. The 'Normal' style incorporates various formatting attributes, for example, default font set as Calibri with font size 11pt, left alignment, and 1.15pt line spacing. In addition to the Normal style, Word offers dozens of other styles, each with its own array of formats and uses that range from headings to footers to tables of contents, and also lists and tables. But how would I apply such styles to my text? Well, simply select the text in your document and then choose the style from the 'Style Gallery' on the 'Home'tab of the ribbon. If the style is modified or changed to a different style, all the text in the current document using the initial style will automatically update to reflect that change. A particular benefit of using the heading styles is being able to view and modify the structure of the document through the 'Navigation Pane.' This can be seen in the image below.

There are many other great features in Microsoft Word that are underused, and if you'd like to find out more about the basics of formatting, more about styles or advanced features in Microsoft Word, I recommend that you take a look at New Horizons' Microsoft Word training programs.

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About the Author:

Ben Kirk  

With over 16 years of experience working as a Desktop Applications specialist for a number of large education services providers, Ben is one of New Horizons most skilled and dynamic instructors. With his Advanced Diploma of Business Skills alongside his practical experience and expertise, Ben is able to provide insight and guidance to students at all skill levels across the entire Microsoft Office suite.

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