In Windows: Basic Computing Skills, we learned how to change the font face, size, and style of text by using individual buttons on the toolbar. We would like to make the different sections of the report easy to identify, so we will format the title and section headings using styles. A style is a predefined combination of text and paragraph formatting attributes which includes basics such as font size and line spacing, as well as advanced settings such as indents, alignment, borders and shading. Using a style can speed up and simplify the job of formatting text. Using styles assures that a document has a consistent look and allows us to utilize more advanced functions of Word such as easily creating a table of contents, moving large sections of text, and altering the look of a document with little effort.
Styles are also important when considering document accessibility. Styles can add structure to a document, which is helpful for users who are utilizing a screen reader. Styles can also give readers a visual cue of section breaks.
Formatting Text vs. Using Styles
There is a significant difference between formatting and styles. Formatted text is simply text with one or more attributes applied to it. An attribute is an individual characteristic of the text. For example, making a passage of text bold is adding the attribute of boldness to the text. Font, italics, size, and weight are all formatting attributes. A style is a collective term for a group of attributes. A passage of text that is assigned the Heading 1 style, for example, has a collection of formatting attributes that control its size, font, and boldness. Styles can also contain information about spacing, bulleting or numbering, tabs, and other advanced formatting options.
Styles will be applied to an entire paragraph when a cursor is placed anywhere within that paragraph. Remember that a paragraph in word processing simply means any text between two hard returns. A paragraph can be as short as one line, or as long as a whole document.
We can apply styles using the Quick Styles gallery.
To see the styles that are available for our document, we will expand the Quick Styles gallery, which is part of the Home command tab.
Step 1. To switch to the Home command tab, on the Ribbon, if necessary,
Click the Home tab
Step 2. To expand the Quick Styles gallery, in the Styles group,
NOTE: This is not a complete list of all available styles. We can see the complete list by clicking the Styles dialog box launcher and then choosing Options.
Step 3. To collapse the Quick Styles gallery, press:
Using the Quick Styles Gallery to Apply Styles
Our document has a title, information about four state parks, and a list of northern state parks. The title and section headings can be formatted with styles. We will use the Title style on the title and the Heading 1 style on each park name. The Heading 1 style indicates that the information is important, usually the start of a shorter document, or a major section in a longer document.
In the following exercise, we will apply these styles to several paragraphs and then see how they can help us navigate through a document. Remember, a paragraph in Word is any amount of text between two hard returns.
We want to start at the beginning of the document.
Step 1. To move to the top of the document, press:
Control key+Home key
Step 2. To select the paragraph to be formatted, if necessary,
Click anywhere in the title "Indiana State Parks"
NOTE: Some versions of Word 2016 have a feature called Live Preview. When the cursor is positioned in a paragraph and the mouse is placed over a style name on the Quick Styles gallery, Live Preview shows users what the text will look like with the style applied. Live Preview is currently not available in Word 2016 via IUanyWare or Word 2016 for Mac.
Step 3. To apply the Title style to this paragraph, in the Styles group,
Step 4. To select the paragraph to be formatted,
Click anywhere in the heading
"Brown County State Park"
Step 5. To apply the Heading 1 style to this paragraph, in the Styles group,
Selecting Text with Similar Formatting
When working with several instances of text that all need to be formatted the same, it is often easier to select all of the text and then apply the formatting. This can cut down on the time it takes to format a document. It can also reduce the chance of error.
The process for selecting text with similar formatting is very different when working in Windows versus MacOS.
NOTE for MacOS Users: Skip forward to the heading, "Selecting Text with Similar Formatting on MacOS".
Selecting Text with Similar Formatting on Windows
We previously used the Select All feature to select our entire document. This feature can also be used to select similarly-formatted text.
Let's use this option to apply the Heading 1 style to the rest of the heading paragraphs in our document.
Step 1. To move the cursor to the second heading,
Click anywhere in the heading
"Fort Harrison State Park"
Step 2. To select all parts of a document with similar formatting, in the Editing group,
Click Select Text with Similar Formatting
Step 3. To see the selected text,
NOTE: Do not use the arrow or Page Down keys to move through the document. Using those keys will move the cursor, which will deselect the text. Instead, use the scroll bar, or the scroll wheel of your mouse.
Step 4. To apply the Heading 1 style to the selected text, in the Styles group,
NOTE: When using the Select All option to apply styles, be sure the text you are altering is, in fact, the only text you want to apply the style to.
Step 5. To deselect the headings,
Click outside the selection
Unfortunately for Mac users, there is no Select Text with Similar Formatting option available. Each paragraph heading will need to be selected individually.
Step 1. To select the next paragraph heading,
Press & Drag across the heading
"Fort Harrison State Park"
Step 2. To select the next paragraph heading, press:
Press & Drag across "Harmonie State Park"
Step 3. To move to the second page,
Step 4. To select the remaining headings, press:
Press & Drag across "Lincoln State Park," "Northern Indiana State Parks," "State Park Inns," and "Sources"
Step 5. To apply the Heading 1 style to the selected text, in the Styles group,