How to Apply Styles and Style Sets in Word 2019

By Faithe Wempen

Word 2019 provides styles and style sets to help you customize your content. Using a style — a named set of formatting specifications — makes it easy to apply consistent formatting throughout a Word 2019 document. For example, you might apply the style named Heading 1 to all headings in the document and the style named Normal to all the regular body text. Here are the advantages of this approach:

  • Ease: Applying a style is easier than manually applying formatting. And changing the formatting is a snap. If you want the headings to look different, for example, you can modify the Heading 1 style to change them all at once.
  • Consistency: You don’t have to worry about all the headings being formatted consistently; because they’re all using the same style, they’re automatically all the same.

Of the several types of styles in Word 2019, the most common type (by far) is a paragraph style. A paragraph style can contain formatting specifications, such as font, font size and color, indentation, alignment, and line spacing.

Unless you specify otherwise, each paragraph is assigned a style called Normal. In Word 2019, this default uses a Calibri 11 point (pt) font and left-aligns your text. (Calibri is a font that comes with Office.)

Points (pt) measure how large the text is.

In the Styles group on the Home tab, you can find samples of several different styles. This is the Styles gallery. Not all available styles appear in the Styles gallery; each individual style’s definition specifies whether or not it appears there.

Word 2019 styles gallery

To assign a different style to a paragraph in Word 2019, follow these steps:

  1. Click your mouse anywhere in the paragraph you want to change.

    If you want to apply the style to multiple paragraphs, select them first.

  2. Click the Home tab.
  3. Click the More arrow (the down arrow with the horizontal line above it) to the right of the Styles gallery, opening the full list of the Styles gallery styles.

    Word 2019 full styles gallery

    A few of the Styles gallery styles are visible without clicking More. If the one you want to apply appears, you can skip Step 3.

  4. Click the style you want.

Other styles are available besides the ones in the Styles gallery. To see them, click the dialog box launcher in the Styles group to open a Styles pane that contains a larger list. You can select any style by clicking the style in the Styles pane.

Word 2019 Styles pane

Select the Show Preview check box in the Styles pane if you want to show each style’s name with the formatting the style contains.

If the Styles pane floats (that is, it’s not anchored to the right side of the screen), you can anchor it there by dragging it to the far right until it snaps into place. You can make it float again by dragging it by its title (Styles) back out toward the center of the Word window.

The definitions of the styles are determined by the style set in use. Different style sets can quickly change the look of an entire document by redefining each built-in style (fonts, sizes, colors, line spacing, and so on).

To change to a different style set in Word 2019, follow these steps:

  1. On the Design tab, point to one of the style sets in the Style Sets gallery in the Document Formatting group.

    The new style set is previewed in your document’s existing text.

    Word 2019 Design tab

  2. Click the style set you want.

    If you don’t like any of the choices displayed, click the More button for the gallery to open the full gallery of choices. Notice that you can reset to the default style set from this gallery menu, or save the current settings as a new style set.

Word 2019 Style sets fgallery

You can also manually modify any style’s definition. Suppose that you want the body text in a document to be a little larger. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Styles pane by clicking the dialog box launcher for the Styles group (on the Home tab).
  2. In the Styles pane, point to the style you want to modify so that a down arrow appears to its right.
  3. Click the down arrow to open a menu.
  4. Click Modify.
  5. In the Modify Style dialog box that appears, make any formatting changes as desired.

    This dialog box contains a variety of text and paragraph formatting settings.

    modify style dialog box Word 2019

  6. Click OK.

Check out these other cool Word 2019 tricks.