Styles are pre-set combinations of formatting that enable these to be applied quickly, accurately and consistently.  They are available, in different ways, across all the standard Microsoft products.  If used correctly they are amazingly useful.

Styles in Word

When styles are considered it is normally with regards to Microsoft Word.  They are perfect for headings or other types of text that are used regularly.

The heading styles are vital to use for long documents.  They pull information through to the Table of Contents, show up in the navigation pane to help you to quickly jump to certain points in the document and view different levels of detail in the outline view.  Heading styles also allow each section to be collapsed and expanded by clicking on the toggle button to the left of any heading.

On the Home tab some of the most commonly used styles available are shown.  To apply just select the text and click on the style.  The pre-set styles can be altered by right clicking on the style and selecting modify.  If the style has been used already then right-click the style, select all instances before doing this to ensure headings already assigned are also altered.  A new style can be created by clicking on the more button for the styles then selecting create a style.

Image of Word Styles

Styles in Excel

In Excel there are a lot of pre-created styles that can be used immediately.  They are accessed from the Cell Styles icon on the Home Tab.  The text that is displayed on each style indicates where you might want to use it but in reality these can be used for whatever you want.

New cell styles can be created from the New Cell Style option in the Cell Styles drop down.  All options that are available in the Format Cells dialog box can be used here.  Once created the new style can be found at the top of the Cell Styles list in the custom section.

Cell styles are only available for the current document unless they are merged with another open document using merge styles.  Any style can be modified, duplicated or deleted by right-clicking on the style.  This creates a highly customised style list for use on a particular spreadsheet.

Image of Excel Styles

Shape Styles

These are called Quick styles on the home tab in PowerPoint but can also be accessed from the Drawing tools Format tab when selected on any shape in most other Microsoft Products.  The styles provide a combination of shape fill, shape outline and shape effects such as glows and reflections.  These cannot be modified.  However, if one of these is preferred then if the style is right clicked it can be set as default.  Any specific modifications can then be made on a shape by shape basis using the icons for shape fill, outline and effects.

Image of Shape Styles

WordArt Styles

This is available on the Format tab and works in a similar way to shape styles but this time for text.  There is no option to set as default and the options to make further changes are text fill, text outline and text effects.  These options tend to work best when the text size is relatively large.  Otherwise, it can become difficult to read.  The options can also be accessed from the Insert tab from the Word art icon in Word and PowerPoint.

Image of WordArt Styles dialog

Format Painter

Although the format painter is not a style it is another useful tool to support consistency within files.  Once a format has been applied in one place the format painter can be used to pick this up and reuse it elsewhere.

Image of Format Painter


Want to learn more about Styles to improve your productivity then email to discuss how I can help or have a look at the courses that cover Word Styles and Excel Styles.