Understanding Styles and the Style Task Pane

Word styles provide an excellent way to manage the character and paragraph formatting in a document. A style is a grouping of formatting attributes identified by a style name . You can create styles for text that contain character-formatting attributes such as bold, italic, or a particular font size; these types of styles are called character styles . You can also create styles for paragraphs that include paragraph attributes, such as alignment information, indents, and line spacing; this type of style is called a paragraph style .

You view the style names in the Styles and Formatting task pane (see Figure 10.1). To open the Styles and Formatting task pane, select the Format command, and then click Styles and Formatting .

Figure 10.1. The Styles and Formatting task pane is the starting place for creating, editing, and managing the styles and formatting in your documents.



Select Styles and Formatting at the Touch of a Button graphics/styleformatting.gif The easiest way to access the Styles and Formatting task pane is to use the Styles and Formatting button on the Formatting toolbar.

Word includes several built-in styles, such as the headings, that you can take advantage of in your documents. Styles are particularly useful because if you use them to format text or paragraphs in the document, you can change the attributes saved in the style at any time. These changes immediately take effect on all the text that has been assigned that style.

Updating the look of text or the layout of paragraphs by editing a style allows you to quickly edit the look of text in your document. Using styles also provides you with a way to make certain categories of text, such as headings or figure captions, look uniform throughout the document without having to assign character or paragraph attributes to each of them individually.


Paragraph Styles Versus Character Styles Paragraph styles (the more commonly used option) assign both character and paragraph attributes to the paragraph containing the insertion point. Character styles affect only the word or words you select before you apply the style.

Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Year: 2002
Pages: 660
Authors: Joe Habraken

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