Using Styles in Word

Every Word document you create starts from a template. The purpose of the template format is to store styles for documents.

In Word, a style is a collection of formatting instructions you can apply to text, tables, and lists in your document.

When you apply a style - rather than use direct formatting - you apply a group of formats all at once.

Using styles makes your formatting more stable and consistent, which is particularly important when using certain features such as multi-populate, auto-numbering, and rich text fields in Woodpecker.

If you don’t use styles, when you insert variable text, you may experience variances in font styles and text formatting, as Word will revert to its default font styling and formatting options.

Normal style is Word’s default style for paragraphs

When you start Microsoft Word, the new blank document is based on the Normal template, and text that you type uses the Normal style. This means that when you start typing, Word uses the font name, font size, line spacing, indentation, text alignment, and other formats currently defined for the Normal style.


As you can see above, Word’s default font is Calibri 12. To avoid Word’s tendency to default to Calibri 12, you should change the default font in the Normal style.

To modify the default font for a style, right click on the style in the Home Ribbon. Select modify:

To identify the style being applied to any section of a document, look for the highlighted style box:


Things to note:

Hard carriage returns start a new paragraph by default, and will inherit the characteristics of the Normal paragraph styling.

To change spacing between the lines in the paragraph, use the spacing option for paragraphs in your whatever style you’re using (again, Word’s default it the Normal style, so if you haven’t applied a different style, this is the style you want to modify).



Sample Type of Styles

Title style is used for your titles
Body Text style is for body text
Caption style is for picture captions
Heading 1 for major headings

For more ways to use styles, watch this great video from ex-Microsoft employee, Kevin Stratvert:

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