Use a style to format text in your Microsoft Word document

For beginners

For developers

4 ways to control page breaks within tables and table styles (for developers)

For developers: How to prevent a whole table, or just one or more rows, from breaking across a page. The Microsoft Word object model has 4 ways to manage, or prevent, tables from breaking across a page. Some of them work.

Background and foreground: Shading in paragraph styles

For developers: The background colour in a paragraph style is controlled through the Shading object. It manages background and foreground colour and texture. The Word object model is straight-forward, but you need to choose the right texture as well as the background and foreground colours.

Borders in character and paragraph styles

How to control borders in Character and Paragraph styles. Includes bugs, annoyances and limitations.

Borders in table styles

What borders are available for table styles, how to control them, and how to avoid the bugs and inconsistencies in the Word object model.

How to detect frames in paragraph styles

In the user interface, it is obvious if a paragraph style has a frame. It's not so obvious in the Word object model. There is no built-in method to determine whether a style has a Frame. This article identifies one possible way around this problem.

Shading (ie background colour) in table styles

For developers: how to set the background colour in a table style using the Microsoft Word object model. There are 7 ways to set shading (ie background or foreground colour) on elements of a table style in Microsoft Word. Most don't work. This article describes what does seem to work, and identifies the bugs and annoyances in setting shading in table styles.

For managers

The basic way to format text in Word is to apply a style: A Tip for managers

For managers: Word formats everything with styles. Controlling the format of Word documents using styles increases both productivity and consistency.

For users

How Paste Options works in Microsoft Word 2002 and 2003

In Word 2002 and 2003 you sometimes see a clipboard thingy with a drop down list every time you paste text. What is it? What does it do? How to use it.

How styles in Microsoft Word cascade

A Word style can be based on another style. A style inherits the format of its parent. This gives you powerful control over the format of your document.

How the Styles and Formatting pane works in Microsoft Word 2002 and 2003

All about the Word 2002 and Word 2003 Styles and Formatting pane. What it shows you (and what it doesn't). How to decipher its symbols strange text.

How to apply a style in Microsoft Word

15 ways to apply a style using the mouse or the keyboard in Microsoft Word.

How to reinstate the Styles combo box in Microsoft Word 2007 and Word 2010

Customize the Quick Access Toolbar to display the Styles combo box. It shows what style has been applied to the selected text as you move around your document.

Tips for Understanding Styles in Word

Using styles in Microsoft Word is the best way to create consistent, well-formatted documents. In Word, a style is a collection of formatting instructions. Typically, a style is associated with a structural element of the document. For example: Title, Caption, Body Text, Footnote.

Why does Word sometimes override bold and italics when I apply a paragraph style, but sometimes it does not?

If you apply a style to a paragraph, and less than half the text in the paragraph has direct formatting, then Word retains the direct formatting. If you apply a style to a paragraph, and more than half the text in the paragraph has direct formatting, then the style overrides the direct formatting.

Why I don’t use Custom Table Styles in Microsoft Word 2002 and 2003

In Microsoft Word 2002 and Word 2003, I've given up trying to use Table Styles for professional documentation. This page explains why.