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10 Microsoft Word Style secrets

Helen Bradley | Aug. 13, 2012
As with most things in life, there’s an easy way to do things in Microsoft Word, and a there’s hard way. Using styles might seem like too much effort when you're busy, but this feature can save you a great deal of time should you ever need to change a document's formatting later.

Word will warn you if you attempt to copy a style with the same name as a style in your current document, but it will give you the choice of overwriting that style with the new one. If you agree to this, any text in your document that's formatted with the previous style will update with the attributes of the newly copied style.

When you have copied all the styles you want, click Close. The newly copied styles will be available in your Style Gallery, so you can use them in your document and Word will save them with it.

6. Create a Custom Checkbox List Style

If you find yourself creating a lot of checklists, you can create a custom checklist style that will speed up the process. To begin, type a word or two and format the text using a checkbox bullet: Click the Home tab, click the Bullets drop-down list, and select a checkbox from the bullet library. If you see no checkboxes, click Define New Bullet > Symbol and locate a checkbox or another appropriate symbol in the Wingdings font. Select it and then click OK.

Once you have your bullet checklist working, make it a style by selecting the text, clicking the Home tab, and then opening the Style Gallery drop-down list. Choose Save Selection as New Quick Style, give the style a name, and click OK. If you add this item to your normal.dotm file, it will be available to all new documents based on this template, and youll be able to use it at any time.

7. Use a Workaround for Picture Styles

Microsoft Word 2010 provides no means of creating a style for a picture that you can use to quickly format all of your images in the future. However, you have a workaround involving Quick Parts. Add an image to your document by clicking Insert > Picture and then choosing a picture in the dialog box. Next, click the picture, select the Picture Tools tab, and choose Format. At this point you can adjust how the text should wrap around the picture, indicate whether the text appears on top of the picture, customize a border for the picture, or what have you.

Once you've applied formatting to your satisfaction, click the image to select it and choose Insert > Quick Parts > Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery. Type a name for the image, and choose to save it to the Quick Parts Gallery. Save it in your Building Blocks.dotx file, and click OK.

In the future, you can add this formatted image to a file by choosing Insert > Quick Parts and clicking the image. Then, to change it to the image you actually want in the document, right-click the image, choose Change Picture, and select the new image. The new image will appear in the existing border, thus saving you from having to reproduce the border (and other formatting) each and every time you add a picture to your document.


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