Project 1: Word Basics
Formatting Bar

Title: Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101
Did you want: Working with Words: Word 2007,2010,2013,2016 or españolIcon: Change web

One of the greatest advantages of computer word processing is the ability to change the format of your text and document at any time. The Formatting Bar contains buttons and drop lists for the things people change the most about the look of their text, like its color, size, and font. There are so many choices! 

Formatting toolbar - floating

Formatting Bar- floating

Word gives you some more help with styles and templates . It is much easier to keep the look of a long document or a set of documents the same if you use the same styles or template. You can also change the look easily by changing the underlying style or template.

Where you are:
JegsWorks > Lessons > Word97-2003

Before you start...

Project 1: Word Basics
   Interface To subtopics
       Standard Bar
       Formatting Bar
       Status Bar
       Task Pane Icon: Word 2002Icon: Word 2003
       Smart Tags Icon: Word 2002Icon: Word 2003
    Getting StartedTo subtopics
    FormatTo subtopics
    ImagesTo subtopics
    Pre-PrintTo subtopics
    Manage Printing
    ExercisesTo subtopics

Project 2: Auto ToolsTo subtopics

Project 3: BrochureTo subtopics

Project 4: ReportTo subtopics


Style list - droppedStyle

A style is a way to easily apply a whole set of characteristics at once to selected text or to a whole paragraph. The illustration shows the default styles available in a new blank document. Not very exciting, but it's a start!

There are two kinds of style in the list. Look at the right side of each entry for the symbol.

Character style A character style is a particular combination of font, font size, font styles, and color that will be applied only to the selected characters.

Icon for paragraph style A paragraph style includes those settings plus settings for such things as indention, numbering, line spacing, and alignment. These settings are applied to the whole paragraph.


A template contains a collection of styles and other characteristics for the document itself. Every document has an attached template of styles. The default template is named (from document t emplate) and contains the styles shown in the image of the styles drop list above.

The template also contains any customization you have done to things like toolbars, menus, and shortcut keys. It can even contain text and graphics, like for a letterhead. So it is a pattern for your new document. You can modify if you want your new styles to be available for all of your new documents, or you can create your own templates for special purposes.

The Formatting Bar

Formatting bar - labeled

Icon: Word 2002 Icon: Word 2003 Word 2002/2003 adds two buttons to the default Formatting toolbar, Button: Styles and FormattingStyles and Formatting and Button: Line Spacing Line Spacing.

  Task Pane: Styles and FormattingButton: Styles and Formatting Styles and Formatting

Icon: Word 2002Icon: Word 2003 New for 2002Opens the Task Pane at the right of the document to display the styles and formatting that the current text has and those that are available for use.

Button - Style  Style

Displays the styles available in the current template. (See the illustration above under topic Style of the list of default styles.)

A style is applied by first selecting the text, or being in the particular paragraph, and then selecting the style desired from the drop list. You can also create your own styles. The longer the document, the more useful styles become. Change a style's definition and everything in the document that used that style changes also. Super cool!

 Font  Font

Fonts listDisplays a list of all the fonts installed on your computer. (A font is installed when it is in the Fonts folder inside the Windows folder). At the top of the list are the most recently used fonts.

Font list- droppedNew for 2000 Starting in Word 2000, you can see how the font looks right in the list. A symbol fonts shows its name and some of the symbols included. It is certainly easier to see what you are choosing this way, but the list takes longer to display.

To apply a font to text, you select the text and then select the font you want from the list. The default font is Times New Roman. The symbol TrueType font that appears to the left of a font name in the list indicates that the font is a TrueType font. Such fonts include both screen and printer versions of the characters and can be scaled to any size. Using a TrueType font is the best way to ensure that what you see on the screen is what will appear in the printed copy. Before the invention of TrueType fonts, you had to be sure that your screen font had a matching printer font. Otherwise you might get a very unhappy surprise at the printer!

 Font size  Font Size

Displays a list of font sizes from 8 to 72 points. You can type in the box for other sizes. The default size is 10 pt. Maximum size is 1637 pt. (Think you'll need to get bigger than that?!)

To change the font size of text you select the text and then select, or type in, the desired font size. (If you type, press enter to apply the size.) If you change the size or font first and then type, only new text is affected.

 Bold, Italics, Underline  Bold, Italics, Underline

Set font styles. (Yes, there are lots of different "styles" involved in word processing, and, yes, it would be nice to have different words for some of them!) These buttons toggle their styles on and off. You can even have all of them on at the same time.

Buttons - Bold Italics Underlined To apply a font style, select the text and click the button for the style you want. The button remains depressed. To remove the styling, select the text and click the depressed button. The style is removed and the button returns to the original position.
Keyboard tip You can also use shortcut keys: CTRL + B, CTRL + I, CTRL + U to apply font styles.

 Alignment buttons  Alignment

Sets the way your paragraphs line up on the page, that is, the way they are justified. Your choices are Align Left, Center, Align Right, and Justify . The lines on each button shows what the effect of that button is. For Justify, spacing between words must change to get both the left and right margins even. This can be unattractive unless you have long paragraphs.

Tip Justified text will hop around while you edit a line. Shocking when unexpected!

 Buttons - Numbering and Bullets  Numbering & Bullets

Create lists that are automatically numbered or bulleted. These buttons apply the default styles, as shown on the buttons themselves, only until you have used a different style of numbering or of bullets. Then they apply the most recently used style.

To use a style besides the default, use the menu  Format  |  Bullets and Numbering . Several standard formats are available from the dialog box, or you can create one of your own.

TipTo turn off the numbering or bullets after the last item in your list, press ENTER to get a new line, then BACKSPACE to remove the bullet or number.

Button: Line Spacing - list dropped - Word 2002Button: Line Spacing Line Spacing

Icon: Word 2002Icon: Word 2003 New for 2002The arrow at the right of the button opens a list of line spacing choices. Clicking the button itself applies whatever spacing you used last.

 Indent buttons  Indent

Decrease or increase the indention of the selected paragraph(s) by one tab stop per click. (Tab stops are explained under Ruler.)  These buttons use the default tab stops as well as the ones you create. A bit confusing when you don't expect this behavior.

 Borders button  Borders

Borders button -droppedToggles the displayed border type on and off for the selected item. The arrow opens a drop list of edges to choose from.

[In Word 95 a similar button opened a Borders toolbar.]

 Highlight button   Highlight

Highlight button-droppedDoes what any good highlighter does. It applies a color over your text. This is often used when marking up documents for others to review or to show where you made changes. Dark colors are good only if the text is a light color. The arrow drops a palette of colors to choose from, including None. A tool tip for each colored square shows the color's name.

[In Word 95 a similar button requires that you drag to see all the color choices.]

 Button - Font Color  Font Color

Font color - droppedSets the color of the selected text to the color of the bar under the A. The arrow drops a palette of colors to choose from. This palette can be dragged to float. A tool tip for each colored square shows the color's name.

Removing All Formatting

Tip  Keyboard tip Want to get rid of all the formatting and go back to the underlying paragraph style? Select your text and use CTRL + SHIFT + Z. I use this one a lot!