Repeat Key

Styles in Word 97 and 2000

Button Tricks


Alt and drag in Word

Beyond basic AutoFill

  Styles in Word 97 and 2000

I'll start with the obvious: what are styles and when do you use them?

In plain English, any format you can apply to a paragraph, i.e. making it bold or italic, adding borders, justification, tabs (all the stuff in the first 4 commands in the Format menu) can be "saved" in a style to use on other blocks of text.

Here's an example: you want all your titles to be 18-point Arial Black, all caps, blue, right justified, with a 1-point bottom border. You have two options: assign those 6 attributes to a paragraph, get a piece of paper and write them down, then do the same 6 steps to the other 30 titles in your long document, or, create a style. (Hmmm...tough choice!)

The Short Way to Style

Although you can create a style in a number of ways, I'll cut to the chase.

1. Format a paragraph or piece of text the way you want it, then select it.

2. Press Ctrl + Shift + S, or click in the Style drop-down list.

3. Type a unique name for the style, then press Enter.

Now that you've created it, you can apply your new style just as easily.

Click in another paragraph, then select the style from the Style drop-down list. And, as soon as you apply the style to one paragraph, if you immediately select another paragraph, just press F4 to repeat. (I hope you remembered that from the first tip in the series).

F4 doesn't work if you do something else between applying styles, though.

Want to take it a step further? Apply a keyboard shortcut to your style.

1. Select Format/Style, select your style, click the Modify button, then click the Shortcut Key button.

2. Enter the key combination you want (Ctrl + Alt + F3, for example), click Assign, then Close.

If it's a style I plan to apply often, I'll assign a key combination I can do with my left hand only (Alt + S, for example) so I can highlight with my mouse in my right, apply the style with my left - Rick Wakeman eat your heart out!

Style Applied

The beauty of styles is in the editing. Make a change to any paragraph with a style applied, select the paragraph, then click in the Style drop-down (don't click the down arrow). Press Enter twice. All paragraphs with that style applied will update.

Just so you know, this shortcut applies to paragraph styles only. Word does have character styles -- styles you apply to one or more characters, not an entire paragraph, but you must create these the long way using Format/Style.

That's enough for the moment. I'll return to the subject of styles in another article in the future.

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