How to Format Characters in Word 2010 - dummies

How to Format Characters in Word 2010

By Dan Gookin

The most basic element you can format in a Word 2010 document is text — the letters, numbers, and characters you type. You can format your Word document’s text to be bold, underlined, italicized, little, or big or in different fonts or colors. Word gives you a magnificent amount of control over the appearance of your text.

Word stores some of the most common text-formatting commands on the Home tab, in the Font group. The command buttons in that group carry out most of the basic text formatting you use in Word. Text can also be formatted by using the Mini toolbar, which appears whenever you select text.


Changing the font

The most basic attribute of text is its typeface, or font. The font sets up the way your text looks — its overall text style. Although deciding on a proper font may be agonizing, the task of selecting a font in Word is quite easy:

  1. On the Home tab, in the Font group, click the down arrow to display the Font Face list.


    A menu of font options appears. The top part of the menu shows fonts associated with the document theme. The next section contains fonts you’ve chosen recently, which is handy for reusing fonts. The rest of the list, which can be quite long, shows all fonts in Windows that are available to Word.

  2. Scroll to the font you want.

    The fonts in the All Fonts part of the list are displayed in alphabetical order, as well as in context (how they appear when printed).

  3. Click to select a font.

You can also use the Font menu to preview the look of fonts. Scroll through the list to see which fonts are available and how they may look. As you move the mouse over a font, any selected text in your document is visually updated to show how that text would look in that font. (No changes are made until you select the new font.)

Applying character formats

The Font group lists some of the most common character formats. They’re applied in addition to the font. In fact, they enhance the font:

  • Bold: Press Ctrl+B or click the Bold command button.

  • Italic: Press Ctrl+I or click the Italic command button.

  • Underline: Press Ctrl+U or click the Underline command button. You can click the down arrow next to the Underline command button to choose from a variety of underline styles or set an underline color.

    To underline just words, and not the spaces between words, press Ctrl+Shift+W. Word underline looks like this.

  • Strike through: Click the Strikethrough command button. (There’s no keyboard shortcut for this one.)

  • Subscript: Press Ctrl+= (equal sign) or click the Subscript command button. Subscript text appears below the baseline, such as the 2 in H2O.

  • Superscript: Press Ctrl+Shift+= (equal sign) or click the Superscript command button. Superscript text appears above the line, such as the 10 in 210.

  • All caps: Press Ctrl+Shift+A. This is a text format, not applied by pressing the Shift or Caps Lock key.

  • Double-underline: Press Ctrl+Shift+D. This text is double-underlined.

  • Hidden text: Press Ctrl+Shift+H. To show hidden text, click the Show/Hide command button (in the Paragraph Group on the Write tab). The hidden text shows up in the document with a dotted underline.

  • Small caps: Press Ctrl+Shift+K. Small caps is ideal for headings.

To turn off a text attribute, use the command again. For example, press Ctrl+I to type in italic. Then press Ctrl+I again to return to normal text.