Create professional-looking documents using Word

Applies to
Microsoft Word 2002

Perhaps you've tweaked a heading in your document, and it looks just right. Now, you want to make the other headings match it, but you don't look forward to reapplying — or even remembering — all the settings. Hmm, was that 14-point Arial or 16-point Verdana?

Word can remember those formatting settings for you and then reapply them with just a click. This helps make your documents look consistent and can save you time.

As you work in your document, Word keeps track of, or saves, formatting information as a style in the Styles and Formatting task pane. If you don't want Word to keep track of formatting, however, you can turn this setting off.

You can easily reapply formatting to other text by selecting the text you want to format in your document and then clicking the style's description in the task pane.

Styles and Formatting task pane

Callout 1 Formatting information is displayed in the task pane

For example, if you apply blue, italic, 11-point formatting to quotations in your document, this formatting will appear in the task pane. To reapply the formatting to new text, select the text, and then just click the formatting description in the task pane.

Reapply formatting

This procedure applies formatting that you've used elsewhere in your document.

  1. If the Styles and Formatting task pane is not open, click Styles and Formatting on the Formatting toolbar.
  2. Select the text that you want to format.
  3. In the Styles and Formatting task pane, click the formatting that you want to apply.


  • To see details about a style, point to its formatting description in the Styles and Formatting task pane. The formatting details appear in a ScreenTip.
  • To select all text that's formatted with a specific style, click in text that contains the formatting, and then click Select All.

Turn format tracking on or off

By default, Word keeps track of, or stores, formatting information as you type, but you can turn this setting off.

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Edit tab.
  2. Under Editing options, select or clear the Keep track of formatting check box.

Modify a style

Perhaps you've reapplied a heading style to all the headings in your document, and then you decide you want the heading to be a bit larger. Instead of having to go back and locate each heading, you can just change the properties of the heading style, and then all the headings that contain that style will updated.

  1. If the Styles and Formatting task pane is not open, click Styles and Formatting on the Formatting toolbar.
  2. Right-click the style you want to modify, and then click Modify.
  3. Select any options you want.
  4. To see more options, click Format, and then click the attribute — such as Font or Numbering — you want to change.

Click OK after you've changed an attribute, and then repeat for any additional attributes you want to change.

ShowReusing formatting in other documents

By reusing formatting with the Styles and Formatting task pane, you can quickly create consistent and professional-looking documents.

Perhaps you're working on a document that you produce frequently, such as a status report, and you want to use the same formatting in your next status report.

Every Word document is based on a template, which can contain styles, AutoText entries, macros, toolbars, and default text. You can save the styles you want to reuse to your template, and then the next time you create a document based on that template, the styles will be available.

When you create a blank document, you use the normal template, but you can use specific templates to create letters, reports, agendas, and other types of documents. When you save a style to your template, it is saved to the template that you based your active document on.

To add a style to the template, follow the procedure for modifying a style. In the Modify Style dialog box, select the Add to template check box.