Format Styles with NaturallySpeaking - dummies

By Stephanie Diamond

Natural language commands allow you format styles in a document. Want a top-level heading? Say, “Change style to heading 1.” Want to redefine what Heading 1 is? Format a paragraph (by voice or by hand), then say, “Remember that as heading 1.”

If you aren’t familiar with styles, here’s the story in brief: Styles are combinations of font and paragraph formatting that go by a certain name, such as Heading 1. Word comes with certain predetermined styles. You, however, can change what font and paragraph formatting goes with any of the named styles.

You can’t use verbal commands for style names that you create. For example, if you create a style called Indented Quote, you can’t say, “Format that indented quote.” Instead, try using the Remember That As command to redefine the standard Word styles, like Block Text. Then use those redefined styles.

Your new definition applies only to the current document. To apply it to other documents, you use the Word Style Organizer, but that’s a whole other discussion!

To apply a style, first click in a paragraph or select some text. Then say, “Set that selection to,” followed immediately by any of the following phrases:

  • Normal Text (same as Normal)

  • Text (same as Body Text)

  • Body Text

  • Body Text 2

  • Body Text 3

  • Plain Text (Courier)

  • A Quote (same as Block Text)

  • Quoted Text (same as Block Text)

  • A Caption

  • A Heading (same as Heading 2)

  • Heading 1

  • Heading 2

  • Heading 3

  • A Heading 1

  • A Heading 2

  • A Heading 3

  • A Major Heading (same as Heading 1)

  • A Minor Heading (same as Heading 3)

  • A List

  • List 2

  • List 3

  • Bulleted List 2

  • Bulleted List 3

  • A Title

  • A Subtitle

  • Numbered List 2

  • Numbered List 3

Natural Language Commands don’t perform all the Word styles, just the ones I list.

To see what these styles are like, choose Format→Style, and the Style dialog box appears (Home→Styles). In that dialog box, click in the box marked List, and then choose All Styles. The area marked Paragraph Preview shows you what the current paragraph formatting for that style looks like; the Character Preview area shows you the font currently in use.

The Description section lists exactly what font and paragraph formatting the style contains. Many style descriptions begin with “Normal+,” which means the style is based on (uses the same settings as) Normal style, then the settings are modified from there. If you change the Normal style, all the styles based on Normal will change.

Some of the style commands, like the ones for numbered and bulleted styles, sound very much like the paragraph formatting commands, but they really refer to named styles. The number 2 or 3 at the end of certain commands refers to how much the line is indented. A 3 is more indented than a 2.

As with paragraph and font commands, Natural Language Commands let you say it your way. Here are three ways you can say things:

  • If the term Format doesn’t seem natural to you, you can use Make or Set. For instance you can say, “Make that a quote.”

  • You can use the term Selection or It instead of the word That.

  • You can use the term Paragraph in place of That. You can also substitute phrases like Next Three Paragraphs or Previous Two Pages to avoid having to select the text first. You can apply your style commands to up to 20 of the previous or next Paragraphs, Pages, Sections, Columns, Tables, Rows, or Cells, or to the Document.