How to Create a New Style in Word 2013

By Lois Lowe

The built-in Word 2013 styles are a nice start, but creating your own styles is where the magic happens. Creating styles is especially useful if you want to build a template that you can give to other people to make sure that everyone formats documents the same way, such as in a group in which each person assembles a different section of a report.

When you create your own styles, you can name them anything you like. Most people like to name styles based on their purposes, to make it easier to choose which style to apply. For example, Figure Caption would be a good name — Style13 would not.

Just like when modifying a style, you can create a new style either by example or by manually specifying a style definition.

If you go with the definition method, you can specify some additional options that aren’t available with the by-example method, such as defining which style follows this style.

In other words, if someone types a paragraph using this style and then presses Enter, what style will the next new paragraph be? The paragraph that follows a heading style is usually a body paragraph style. The paragraph that follows a body paragraph is usually another body paragraph.

Each new style is based on an existing style (usually the Normal style) so that if there’s a particular formatting aspect you don’t specify, it trickles down from the parent style. For example, suppose you create a new style dubbed Important, and you base it on the Normal style.

The Important style starts out with identical formatting to the Normal style, which is Calibri 11-point font. You might then modify it to have bold, red text. The definition of Important is Normal+bold+red. That’s significant if you later change the definition of Normal to 12-point font. That font size change trickles down to Important automatically, and all text formatted with the Important style becomes 12 points in size.

  1. In your document with a bulleted item list, triple-click the first bulleted item (in this example, CPUs and Assembly language) to select it.

  2. At the bottom of the Styles pane, click the New Style button.

    The Create New Style from Formatting dialog box opens.

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  3. In the Name box, type Bulleted List, and then click the Format button in the lower-left corner of the dialog box and choose Numbering.

    The Numbering and Bullets dialog box appears.

  4. Click the Bullets tab, click the white circle bullet character, and then click OK.

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  5. Click the Format button again and choose Shortcut Key.

    The Customize Keyboard dialog box opens.

  6. Press Ctrl+Q.

    That key combination appears in the Press New Shortcut Key box.

  7. Open the Save Changes In drop-down list and choose to rename your file with the word Formatted added to the end.

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  8. Click the Assign button to assign the keyboard shortcut to the style, click Close to close the Customize Keyboard dialog box, and then click OK to accept the new style definition.

  9. Using any method (for example, the Ctrl+Q shortcut), apply the new style, Bulleted List, to all the remaining bulleted paragraphs in the document.

  10. Save the changes to the document and close it.