Share this Page URL

Chapter 21. Using Styles, Templates, and... > Formatting Documents with Styles - Pg. 538

Using Styles, Templates, and Themes 538 Formatting Documents with Styles A style is nothing more or less than a shorthand for formatting: Put a bunch of formatting specifi- cations together, give it a name, and you have a style. If you find yourself applying the same for- matting to text throughout a document, styles can help ensure a consistent and professional ap- pearance that's easily modified. Use styles to control the formatting of the following: · Heading paragraphs--Whether the headings are chapter titles, section names, product num- bers, department names, contract division subtitles--it doesn't matter. If your document has a repeating kind of paragraph that's always formatted the same way, create a style for it. · Repeating body text--If your document includes repeating body text that requires formatting different from the norm, use a style to format it. For example, if your company name always appears in Arial 12 point, bold, create a style for it. If you have a contract in which party of the first part is always bold, use a style. Similarly, use a style to format italicized telephone numbers in a company phone directory, to highlight company names in a marketing report, or to call attention to negative numbers in a corporate balance sheet. Defining and using styles consistently provides two great benefits. First, it ensures that all similar items in a document are formatted similarly--say, all the department names will appear in Garamond 12 point, bold. Second, if you need to make a change to the appearance of a style--say, you decide that all the department names should appear in 14 point, instead of 12 point--changing the style (which requires just a few clicks) changes the appearance of everything formatted with that style, all the way through the document. Note To learn when you should use direct formatting from the Styles and Formatting task pane's list and when you should choose styles, see "Direct Formatting Versus Styles," p. 424. Paragraph Versus Character Styles Paragraph styles control all the characteristics of a paragraph. Settings available as part of a para- graph style include centering, spacing, orphans (i.e., whether a single line that begins a paragraph should be allowed to appear at the bottom of a page), widows (whether a single line that ends a paragraph should be allowed to appear alone at the top of a page), and other settings in the Para- graph dialog box that appears when you choose Format, Paragraph. Paragraph styles also dictate bullets and numbering, borders and shading, tab stops, and the language Word uses for proofing tasks such as checking spelling and grammar. TIP FROM One well-hidden check box in the settings for a paragraph style allows you to tell Word to skip over all text formatted with that style when using the spelling checker. This option is a time-saver in documents that contain lots of proper names and other words that normally trip up the spelling checker. In addition, paragraph styles define character formatting for all characters within the paragraph. When you establish a paragraph style, you must also specify the default character format for the paragraph. Unless you specifically override the default character format with direct formatting or a character style, all text within a paragraph will appear in the paragraph's default character format. Say you have a paragraph style called ProductName that specifies centered paragraphs, with Arial 18-point, italic blue characters. If you apply the ProductName style to a paragraph, all the characters turn Arial 18-point, italic blue. But if you then select the last word in the paragraph and make it red, the formatting you applied manually--the red--takes precedence over the default character for- matting specified in the ProductName style.