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Chapter 17. Word Essentials > Understanding Your Formatting Options

Understanding Your Formatting Options

Every Word document consists of components arranged in a strict hierarchy that is unrelated to the way you create a document. Inside a Word document, data is stored in a predictable hierarchy, consisting of one or more sections, which in turn contain one or more paragraphs, each of which consists of one or more characters. Although it's possible to select an entire document and apply formatting to it, Word doesn't actually format at the document level; instead, it applies your changes individually to characters, paragraphs, and sections within the document.

Word allows you to apply formatting directly, by making a selection and then using the Styles and Formatting task pane, the Format menu, or the Page Setup dialog box. You can also re-use formatting that appears elsewhere in your document via the task pane in an ad hoc fashion. Or you can define collections of character or paragraph formatting choices, save them as named styles, and then apply the style to selected characters or paragraphs.


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