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Microsoft Word 2003/2004

Styles: An Overview

Styles define the appearance of various text elements in your document (e.g., headings, captions, body text). You can apply character or paragraph formatting or both in one simple operation. Templates allow you to apply preformatted styles. Word provides many templates in the Style Gallery.

return to topCharacter and Paragraph Styles

In Word, there are two main types of styles you can create and apply: character styles and paragraph styles.

Character styles
Includes any of the options available from the Font dialog box, such as bold, italic, and underline. Character styles store only character formatting and apply to selected text or to the entire word containing the insertion point.

Paragraph styles
Includes character and paragraph formatting, tab settings, paragraph positioning, borders, and shading. Paragraph styles store both character and paragraph formatting and apply to selected paragraphs or the paragraph containing the insertion point.

Formatting Paragraph Character
Font Size
Font Enhance
Line Spacing
Tab Setting

return to topWord Templates

Word automatically saves any styles that are being used by the active document. A template is a collection of styles, keyboard assignments, and toolbar assignments saved to a file. By storing styles in a template, the styles are available for use when you access that template. You can save time and effort by creating new documents based on templates designed for a frequently used type of document.

Word provides templates for many common types of documents. You can use these templates just as they are, you can modify them, or you can create your own templates. Word automatically bases new documents on the Normal template unless you specify another template. For more information, refer to Working with Templates.

Some useful templates include the following:

  • Agenda
  • Letter
  • Memo
  • Report
  • Calendar
  • Newsletter
  • Resume
  • Thesis

return to topStyle Gallery

Each document you create is based on a template. When you create a new document, the styles that belong to the selected template are copied into that document. Each template contains a set of standard styles, most of which are available with all Word templates. Styles in one template may differ from those in another. You can use the Style Gallery command to preview and then change the appearance of a document by switching the style definitions to those of another template. When you change the styles in the Style Gallery, you are copying the style formatting from the new template into the active document. You are not replacing the template; you are only replacing the style definitions.

Once you have applied styles to your document text, you can use the Style Gallery to preview and change the overall appearance of a document. When you preview a document, you can select different templates and see how the document would look if you used styles from those templates.

Using the Style Gallery

  1. From the Format menu, select Theme...
    The Theme dialog box appears.

  2. Click STYLE GALLERY...
    The Style Gallery dialog box appears.
    Style Gallery dialog box

  3. From the Template scroll box, select the desired template

  4. To preview the styles in different ways, select one of the following Preview options:

    Preview Option Function
    Document Displays the active document as it will look formatted with the styles from the selected template.
    Example Displays a sample document formatted with the styles from the selected template.
    Style samples Displays sample text formatted with the styles from the selected template.
  1. To update the styles in the active document, click OK
    To return to your document without making any changes, click CANCEL

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