Exploring Office 2007: Taming Word 2007 Styles - Page 2

By Helen Bradley | Posted October 15, 2007

» Style Sets?

When you're working with styles in Word 2007, it helps to understand the interrelationship between Styles, Style Sets and Themes. On the Ribbon on the Home tab the styles you see and can choose from are individual styles, you might use one for a heading, another for a list and another for a title, for example.

These are then grouped into Style Sets and you can change the look of all the styles in the Quick Style area and your document by choosing another style set. To do this, on the Home tab choose Change Styles, Style Set and then roll your mouse over the various style sets in the list including Formal, Manuscript, Modern, Simple, Traditional, etc.

When you select one of these options you will notice that not only do the styles on the ribbon change but also all styles in use in the document are updated as well.

You can further adjust the formatting of the document by changing the theme. Select the Page Layout tab on the ribbon and select a different Theme. When you do this the colors and fonts applied to the document via the Styles will change accordingly.

It can be a little confusing working out what option (style, style set, or theme) is responsible for a specific piece of formatting in your document as there are just so many options available. As a result, it's advisable when you find a combination you like to make a note of not only the Style and Style Set in use but also the Theme.

» Working with Older Documents

If you're using documents that have been created in an earlier version of Word you may find some Word 2007 options are not available or look different to how you have come to expect them to look. You can tell if you're looking at an older document from the title bar — if it says [Compatibility Mode] you're working on a pre-Word 2007 document. So, for example, if you try to apply a Theme to this document using the Page Layout tab you'll see that Themes are disabled.

To make these options available, upgrade the document by clicking the Microsoft Office button then click the Convert command. The document is converted to the new Microsoft Word 2007 format, and its filename will now have a .docx as its extension and you can use Themes with it.

» Revert to Word 2003

One of the new changes in Word 2007 is, of course, the new styles and the most obvious part of this is the new default font called Calibri. Calibri is a clean and attractive font and its default size for new Word documents is 11 points. Other style changes include a little extra space between lines (line spacing is set to 1.15 lines) and Word 2007 adds an extra 10 points of space after each paragraph so you only need to press Enter once. Other changes affect the way styles like Heading1, Heading2 are formatted.

While you won't want to go back to using Word 2003, there are situations where you might want to revert to the styles you used in Word 2003, for example, if you're working on documents that you will be sharing with other Word 2003 users.

One simple way to bring your favorite Word 2003 styles into Word 2007 is to locate a file that contains the range of styles that you typically use such as Heading1, Heading2, Title etc. Open this document in Word 2007 and from the Change Styles dropdown list, choose Styles Set and then Save as Quick Style Set and give the style set a name and click Save. You can now use this style set with any new Word 2007 document by clicking the Change Styles button and choosing your Style Set from the list.

To make this new set of styles your default style set, on the Home tab click Change Styles yet again and click Set as Default.

The new features in Word 2007 at one level make styles easier to use than before and at another level add many more layers of depth and options to what has been available in the past. Spending a little time familiarizing yourself with the new Style options will help you work more efficiently and effectively in Word.


Helen Bradley is a respected international journalist writing regularly for small business and computer publications in the USA, Canada, South Africa, UK and Australia. She blogs at http://www.projectwoman.com/blogger.html.



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