Have you ever created a Word document and once you were finished had to go through and change all of the fonts, colors and sizes of the title, headings and sub headings? Changing all of the aspects of heading or title manually is very difficult to do because it requires deciding which font, size, color and format would work best, altering all of these things then remembering what you did and doing it to the rest of the headings individually. Most people, including myself, manually format all of their documents created in Word, going through and changing each aspect individually which takes so much time.
Fortunately, there are tools on available on Word that allow for documents to be formatted using various styles and themes but only requiring one or two tools. Using the Styles tool on Word, documents can be enhanced greatly with effective formatting of things such as headings and different themes. The style sets, color, font and paragraph spacing can all be used to create more effective formatting. A majority of people are familiar with Google Docs and the ability to change text into headings and apply a style formatting to the document. Word provides the same tools for people to use but in a word document using the styles tool.
As you know from our in class work with Google Docs, we have the ability to insert headings and titles into documents using style which is it very easy to do and improves the appearance greatly. For more information about using styles in Google Docs see Tabitha C.’s post about Working with Google Docs.
The image to the right shows the difference that simply using the QuickStyles tool in Word can make to the headings and overall format of the document. The top image is a document not using QuickStyle and the bottom is with QuickStyle, which is more interesting to look at. The style tools in Word are very simple to use and enhance the documents in a very effective way, so jump in and learn how to enhance formats using the tutorials below.
In the lynda.com course named Word Tutorials, Chapter 6 covers Using Styles for More Effective Formatting, which provides information on style tools in Word for Windows users. Although these tutorials are for Windows users, the skills can still be used for Macs. This chapter features nine brief videos, around 50 minutes overall. The first three videos are being focused on, totaling around 18 minutes. For those of you that use Macs instead of PCs, tutorials on the same formatting skills are provided at Word for Mac 2011 Essential Training in Chapter 8 covering Using Styles.
The first video, Power formatting with styles, shows you how to simplify the process of formatting a document using the styles tool, rather than the font or paragraph tools which are used to manually format a document. The image shows the Word home tab ribbon, beginning with the tools in the font and paragraph group and the tools in the style group. The font and paragraph tools change the font size, color, paragraph alignment and spacing for manual formatting.
The style tool allows a document to be formatted with a click of one button by allocating headings and titles, rather than manually formatting them. Once headings and a title are assigned the style sets can be used to create different looks for each heading. Themes can also be changed giving the documents headings a different color and font. Using the styles tool reduce the time that it takes to format a document, where manually formatting takes much longer to set the font, color and size of a heading then apply it to all of the headings in the document. Not only does a document formatted with heading styles look better and is easier to format, but it is also accessible to individuals who are using a screen reader so they will be able to extract all of the headings and titles from a document. Another positive is that a table of contents can be inserted easily because the style tool gives document headings (1,2,3), allowing the table of contents to simply create a list of all of the types of headings. Styles is an easier way to update documents and apply a theme consistently across several documents using formatted headings and style sets that change the appearance and feel of it.
The second video, Changing a document’s theme, shows how to apply themes: a combination of styles, colors and effects, to an entire document. The styles are based upon the theme that is selected. The video emphasizes that the theme must be changed before the styles can be changed. It shows you how the colors, style and fonts can be changed into a custom theme and saved for future use. Using the theme tool allows for documents to be enhanced, by colors and fonts, in the easiest way. Changing the theme and styles drastically changes the appearance of a document.
The third video, Changing style sets, color sets, fonts, and paragraph spacing, shows that themes provide a default color set and font for each one, which can be regulated using the style set tool. Word style sets allow for paragraph spacing, colors, fonts to be changed along with the theme. If headings have already been applied using the styles tool, the QuickStyle tool allows the font, color, style set and paragraph spacing of the headings to be changed to a personal preference. The Change Styles tool provides the chance to customize the color and font of a theme, without manually adjusting everything.
These tutorials are a great way to master skills in Word, as well as learning how to improve future document creation. I encourage you to start using the styles tool in document creation because of the wide range of possibilities that it provides. To learn more about styles in Word, check out this tutorial from Goodwill Community Foundation about Using Styles and Themes.
Please share your thoughts and comments on the effective formatting using styles in Word. Have you ever used styles or themes in documents, rather than manually formatting the document? What would be a benefit of using the styles tools and why is it better than manual formatting tools? How can using styles improve formatting of future documents? Are there any negatives to using the styles formatting tool? What are the skills associated with using the styles and theme formatting tools in Word?