How to Format Ordinary Text in Office 2011 for Mac

3 of 11 in Series: The Essentials of the Office 2011 for Mac Ribbon

In Office 2011 for Mac, the Home tab on the Ribbon displays the commands used most often when formatting text. Head to the Font group on the Ribbon’s Home tab when you want to format text that you have selected by highlighting. Although most of these controls may seem familiar, some of them work a little differently in Office 2011 for Mac.

You may enjoy working with text a bit more after you go through the explanations of the Ribbon's Font group:

  • Font name: Click to choose a font. Notice the first item in the list, Font Collections, which appears when you click this control:

    • Fixed Width: Lists fonts where every character is exactly the same width instead of using a proportional amount of space. This is quite like the old typewriters where the characters i and w took the same amount of space.

    • Fun: Fonts that may add some zest. You may not want to use any of these in a corporate document unless you’re in the entertainment business.

    • Modern: Modern from a 1960s perspective, perhaps. All fonts here though are clean and upright.

    • PDF: Fonts that look great when saving in PDF format.

    • Classic: Not boring Times New Roman as the label implies. There are plenty of classical fonts here.

    • Web: Fonts that play nicely with Web browsers. Use these if you're planning to use Save As Web Page.

    • Windows Office Compatible: Stick with these fonts if you plan to share with Windows users. You'll avoid most font substitution problems. Office 2010 for Windows has these fonts.

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  • Font Size: Type a size in the box, or click the arrow to select a size from the pop-up menu.

  • Larger: Each click bumps the size up a notch.

  • Smaller: Each click shrinks the size a notch.

  • Change Case: (Word and PowerPoint only) Offers five options, formatted exactly as they look: Sentence case, lowercase, UPPERCASE, Title Case, tOGGLE cASE.

  • Clear Formatting: Restores default properties to the selection.

  • Bold: Makes font bold.

  • Italic: Makes font italic.

  • Underline: Makes font underlined. In Word only, there’s a small downward arrow next to this button that reveals a pop-up menu with several underlining options.

  • Strikethrough: Places a horizontal line right through your text.

  • Superscript: Makes font go up and become smaller, like the 2 in 32=9.

  • Subscript: Makes font go down and become smaller, like the 2 in H2O.

  • Character spacing (PowerPoint only): Offers several options to manipulate spacing between individual characters.

  • Font Color: Displays font color palette.

  • Text highlight color (Word only, not illustrated): Click to add, change, or remove a highlight color.

  • Text effects: Click to display a submenu of assorted text effects in Word and PowerPoint.

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The Essentials of the Office 2011 for Mac Ribbon

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