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Format your document with styles

Examples of paragraph styles and a character style

Paragraph styles and a character style (the text is shown with end paragraph marks displayed):
Callout 1 A heading is a paragraph style.
Callout 2 The default body text style in a new document, Normal, is a paragraph style.
Callout 3 The word "many" is an example of what might be a typical character style—applying italic and underline formatting to a word. This style applies in addition to the paragraph style.

There are four style types in Word. Knowing about them will help you understand what you're looking at in the task pane, what your options are for creating new styles, and what impact a style will have on the text in your document.

Paragraph styles

Paragraph styles include not just font type and size but also formatting for a whole paragraph's text positioning and spacing. A paragraph style can be applied to one or more paragraphs.

In the task pane, a paragraph style has a paragraph icon Icon image next to it. A paragraph style's formatting will be applied to all the text within the end paragraph mark of where your pointer is positioned.

Character styles

These are applied at the character level—to blocks of words and letters—rather than the paragraph level. An example would be an "emphasis" style that applies, say, both an underline and italic type.

You can apply character styles along with the paragraph style. So, if the paragraph style is Normal, using Times New Roman as the font, and you applied the "emphasis" style to a word, you'd still have Times New Roman as the font, but it would also have italic and underline formatting.

Character styles have the character icon Icon image next to them in the task pane.

List styles and table styles

These two other types of styles provide a consistent look to tables and lists, and are indicated in the task pane by these icons, respectively: list icon Icon image and table icon Icon image. We won't work with them much in this course, but you'll see examples of them.

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