The Types of Word 2010 Formatting Styles - dummies

The Types of Word 2010 Formatting Styles

By Dan Gookin

Formatting styles are a traditional ingredient of the word processing stew, designed to save you formatting toil, and Word 2010 keeps the tradition alive. A style in Word is nothing more than a clutch of text and paragraph formats. You give the style a name, and then you use it to format your text. Or you can format your text first and then make a style to match.

You find styles located on the Home tab, in the aptly named Styles group. Word sports five different types of styles, each customized to format a different document element in Word:


  • Paragraph: The paragraph style contains both paragraph and text formatting attributes: indents, tabs, font, text size — you name it. It’s the most common type of style.

  • Character: The character style formats only characters, not paragraphs.

  • Linked: The linked style is a combination style that can be applied to both paragraphs and individual characters. The difference depends on which text is selected when you apply the style.

  • Table: The table style is applied to tables, to add lines and shading to the table cells’ contents.

  • List: The list style is customized for presenting lists of information. The styles can include bullets, numbers, indentation, and other formats typical for the parts of a document that present lists of information.

These style types come into play when you create your own style, as well as when you’re perusing styles to apply to your text. For example, if you want to create a new look for tables in your document, you make a Table style. Or when you want a style to affect only text and not paragraphs, you create a Character style.