Outlining Styles


This page is designed to help you develop a workable style, assemble documents, and master MS Word’s interface so that these methods become automatic and so free you to exploit powerful tools while concentrating on the content.

  • MS Word buries its outline feature under a complicated, confusing user interface and further confuses structure with style, and as I will digress in class this is because of the history of MS Word’s development since the 1980s and their business model of offering something for everyone I the firm but not just what one needs to solve these particular tasks.
  • On this page I’ll review how in MS Word, and on the web, styles are applied to the outline structure.

Implementation Quickstart: Styles

In the document template I share with you you will find “My Template”, a file set up as above, and from there you should learn about …

Creating a customized template

The default style in MS Word is ok, but it is not suited to any particular task, so for this course please start off with the style I recommend

  1. Working from a stable file. For this option, copy my sample document to your hard drive, delete all the text, and “save as” “MyBizApps Original” or something like that; then, every time you need a new file you duplicate this file and open it, or open this file and “save as,” so that later you can combine files without conflicting styles

Revising this template

Search for “office support YourVersion ms word modify style” and follow the directions to change each style individually as you might like; you can then save this to an “original file” as above

  • look up “ms office support YourVersion modify styles”

Creating templates for your Template Gallery

Faster than opening a file is to create new files from template. Presently, you are probably opening files quickly and so using the default “normal.dot” template. To open new, different templates quickly your options are to revise normal.dot as you might like or, using the Template Gallery, to save different templates for different purposes there to be opened as you might need them. You can also modify “normal.dot”

  • look up “ms office support YourVersion create a new template”

Working With Hidden Styles

MS Word hides style parameters so that you can work undistracted with the text

  • MS Word attaches style parameters to each object at the end, which you can reveal by clicking Nonprinting characters/All in the application Preferences dialog box
  • When you change an object’s style, you can choose to change ALL instances of that object by clicking the appropriate box, and by clicking “save to normal.dot template” you save for every new file you created
  • If you paste an object from one file to another, it will automatically carry the styles from that original file, so if you want the text you are copying to appear in the new file’s style, you will need to Edit/Paste Special/Unformatted Text.