Do It with Style(s) in Word

When you have a long Word document with many different elements — headings, subheads, pull quotes, etc. — it can be a painful process to change them all manually. Fortunately, Word’s style feature is a convenient way to make global changes all at once.

Making the most of styles in Word takes some upfront planning, but investing that time can save you tons down the road. Before starting on any lengthy document:

1. Decide how many header levels your document will need and format them via the Quick Style list or Styles Pane, both accessible through Word’s Home ribbon. Just right-click on the appropriate pre-programmed styles (e.g., “Header 1” for your document’s core section headers) and choose Modify.

2. Decide how the text in the body of your document should be formatted in terms of font, size, spacing between paragraphs, and so on. Then modify the “Normal” style via the Quick Style list or Styles Pane to match.

3. Apply your header styles consistently as you work through the document by highlighting the text and clicking on the appropriate style.

With these items covered, you can then quickly change the formatting for all your document’s headers, subheaders and body text by modifying any of the styles you’ve applied. If this doesn’t happen automatically, right-click the style in the Quick Style list or Styles Pane, choose “Select All X Instance(s)” and then click on the style again or choose another from the list.
Mastering this feature in Word can turn hour-long tasks into quick changes that take mere minutes to apply. Now that’s doing it with style!