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How to Format Text in Office 2013

In Office 2013 programs, you can apply each type of character formatting individually, or you can use style sets or themes to apply multiple types of formatting at once.

Text formatting can make a big difference in the readability of a document. By making certain text larger, boldface, or a different font, you can call attention to it and add interest for your readers.

The type of formatting covered in this lesson is commonly known as character formatting (formatting that can be applied to individual characters). Character formatting includes fonts, font sizes, text attributes (such as italics), character spacing (spacing between letters), and text color.

Choosing text font, size, and color

Each font is available in a wide variety of sizes. The sizes are measured in points, with each point being 1/72 of an inch on a printout. (The size it appears onscreen depends on the display zoom.) Text sizes vary from very small (6 points) to very large (100 points or more). An average document uses body text that’s between 10 and 12 points, and headings between 12 and 18 points.

The text in the document appears using a certain style of lettering, also called a font or a typeface. Office comes with dozens of typefaces, so you’re sure to find one that meets the needs of whatever project you create.

You can also color each font by using either a standard color, which doesn’t change when you change document themes, or a theme color, which does change. Later in the lesson, you learn how to change themes, and you see what happens to the text colors you’ve applied when the theme colors change.

You can apply fonts, sizes, and colors either from the Home tab of the Ribbon or from the Mini toolbar.

Applying text attributes and effects

This figure shows samples of some of these attributes. The table summarizes the keyboard shortcuts for them.

You can modify text with a variety of attributes, such as bold, italics, underlining, and so on. You can apply some of these attributes from the Mini toolbar and/or the Font group on the Home tab. Others are available in the Font dialog box. Some of them also have keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Applying Text Attributes
Attribute Keyboard Shortcut
Bold Ctrl+B
Italic Ctrl+I
Underline Ctrl+U
Subscript Ctrl+=
Superscript Ctrl+Shift++ (plus sign)
Underline words but not space Ctrl+Shift+W
Double underline text Ctrl+Shift+D
Small caps Ctrl+Shift+K
All caps Ctrl+Shift+A

You can also apply text effects, also called WordArt effects. The available text effects include Outline, Shadow, Reflection, and Glow. This figure shows some examples of these effects, accessed from the Text Effects and Typography button’s menu on the Home tab. The Text Effects button’s menu also includes a number of presets that combine color fills, outlines, and other effects in a single operation.

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