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Microsoft Word 2007/2008

Styles: An Overview

Styles are an efficient way to define the appearance of various text elements in your document (e.g., headings, captions, body text). They help you keep your document consistent by applying the same style to various elements in a document. With styles, you can apply character or paragraph formatting or both in one simple operation.

Word 2007/2008 offers convenient one-click formatting options for styles. Additionally, templates allow you to apply preformatted styles to an entire document. The Style Gallery offers several common style options, such as different headings, quotes, or captions.

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.

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. In Word 2007, both are available on the Home command tab. In Word 2008, both are available on the Formatting Palette. A style is automatically created every time you apply unique formatting to text, and Word automatically saves any styles that are being used by the active document.

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

Paragraph styles
Store both character and paragraph formatting, as well as tab settings, paragraph positioning, borders, and shading, and apply them to selected paragraphs or the paragraph containing the insertion point.

Paragraph Styles
Character Styles
Font Size
Font Effects
Line Spacing
Tab Setting

return to topWord Templates

A template is a preset document layout with a collection of styles which are saved to a file and can be applied to other documents. 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 (Windows | Macintosh).

Some useful templates include the following:

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

return to topQuick Styles

Windows only:

Styles in one template may differ from those in another. On the Home tab, you can use the options in the Style group to preview and change the appearance of the active document by applying the style definitions of another template. When you modify the styles in the Style group, you are not replacing the template; you are only replacing the style definitions. The formatting of the active document will update to the most recent style you select. Once you have applied styles to your document text, you can use the Style group options to preview and change the overall appearance of a document.

Using Quick Styles

  1. To view the Style group, select the Home tab
    The Home tab options appear.
    The Style gallery appears on the Ribbon showing options for formatting styles in your document

  2. In the Style group, click CHANGE STYLESChange styles
    The Change Styles sub-menu appears.

  3. From the Change Styles sub-menu, select Style Set » select a new Quick Style
    EXAMPLE: Select Distinctive.
    The Quick Style is applied to the document.
    HINT: Hold your cursor over a Quick Style to preview changes before applying them.

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