10 Microsoft Word style secrets

Harness the power of styles to format and edit your Word documents quickly.

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5. Borrow Styles From Other Documents

As I mentioned earlier, Word saves styles with a document. On top of that, you can copy styles from one document to another; all you need to do is launch the Document Template Organizer. To do that, however, you need the Developer tab to be visible on the Ribbon. (If it isn'tit should be the last tab on the right end of the Ribbonadd it by choosing File > Options > Customize Ribbon. Look over in the right panel, place a check next to Developer, and click OK.)

Open the document into which you want to copy the styles, click the Developer tab, and then click Document Template > Organizer. When the Organizer dialog box appears, click the Styles tab. On the left side, youll see the styles in the currently open document. On the right side, youll see those styles in the current template (typically normal.dotm). Click the Close File button below the right pane, so that you can open another document in this pane. Click Open File, and open the document that contains the styles you want to copy. When its styles appear in the right pane, select any style and then click the Copy button to copy it to your current document.

Word will warn you if you attempt to copy a style with the same name as a style in your current document, but it will give you the choice of overwriting that style with the new one. If you agree to this, any text in your document that's formatted with the previous style will update with the attributes of the newly copied style.

When you have copied all the styles you want, click Close. The newly copied styles will be available in your Style Gallery, so you can use them in your document and Word will save them with it.

6. Create a Custom Checkbox List Style

If you find yourself creating a lot of checklists, you can create a custom checklist style that will speed up the process. To begin, type a word or two and format the text using a checkbox bullet: Click the Home tab, click the Bullets drop-down list, and select a checkbox from the bullet library. If you see no checkboxes, click Define New Bullet > Symbol and locate a checkbox or another appropriate symbol in the Wingdings font. Select it and then click OK.

Once you have your bullet checklist working, make it a style by selecting the text, clicking the Home tab, and then opening the Style Gallery drop-down list. Choose Save Selection as New Quick Style, give the style a name, and click OK. If you add this item to your normal.dotm file, it will be available to all new documents based on this template, and youll be able to use it at any time.

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