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How to Ensure Professional Consistency in Your Documents Using Word’s Quick Styles

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Word HelpWhen a document has been modified by multiple people, whether it’s a statement of work, contract, or fifteen page proposal; it can be difficult to clean it up. There are so many different fonts and font sizes, and you can’t figure out where sections begin and end.

Instead of using direct formatting, use styles to format your document! Using styles, you’re able to quickly apply a set of formatting choices consistently throughout your document. A style refers to a set of formatting characteristics; including font size, name, color, paragraph spacing and alignment. Some styles can even include shading, or a nice border.

For example, let’s say that your business’s style guide states that all level one headings must be century gothic, bolded, 18pt, and black in color. Someone hands you a document that’s in Arial, 14pt, and dark gray color; asking you to correct the multiple headings and subheadings.

In order to correctly update the headings, you’re required to find each specific one, highlight it, change the font and size, change the color, and repeat. This process can be extremely tedious and boring.

Instead of spending your valuable time on such a process, take advantage of Quick Styles. Here’s a quick tutorial of how to set up a Quick Style for Word 2010, which applies to 2003, 2007, and 2013 versions as well. First, you’ll need to locate Quick Styles. In Word 2010, Quick Styles are on the Home tab on the Ribbon. Add a new one from scratch, or modify an existing quick style.

How to Add a New Quick Style

With Quick Styles, add a new one based off of text you’ve already modified to ensure the look you want. Here are four simple steps to add a new Quick Style:

  1. Select the text.
  2. Go to the Styles group on the Ribbon.
  3. Click the down arrow next to the Styles box.
  4. Select Save Selection as a New Quick Style.
  5. Give the Style a name and click OK.

The style you’ve created will appear in the Quick Styles gallery with the name you’ve given it, ready for you to use whenever you want.

How to Modify an Existing Quick Style

Modifying a Quick Style is very simple. Right click on it on the Ribbon and select Modify from the menu. A window will appear, with a main screen full of options for changing the font, size, color, and alignment.

If you’d like to make advanced changes, such as spacing before and after a paragraph, click on Format in the bottom left corner. Once you’ve completed the changes, click OK. All text with this style applied will be updated automatically.

How to Apply a Quick Style

Applying a Quick Style is as simple as creating or modifying a Quick Style. In addition, it will save you a lot of time when modifying a long document. Start by placing your cursor on the line of text, or highlight the entire section, then click the Quick Style on the Ribbon that you want to apply.

Quick Styles: Saving Time and Ensuring Consistency

It’s simple to create a set of customized Quick Styles that can be used in multiple documents, saving a ton of time and repetitive clicks. Furthermore, using Quick Styles ensures maximum consistency.

For example, by using Quick Styles, you can be assured that all of your headings have the same amount of space before them and all of your text has the same font and font size. You won’t need to waste time double checking these aspects of your document.

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