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Note: This post is an extended reply to Ilya's comment on my last post
If you've ever worked document with more than one person, then you've likely had to deal with this type of nonsense: Sally likes to emphasize text by making it 13 point and bold, Sam prefers to change the font and italicize it, Billy used Emphasis Style, and on, and on. Because of this, not only do you have to work to make the language in your co-authored document consistent, but you've got to deal with formatting inconsistencies as well.
If you've experienced this, you know it's painful. What you may not know is that Word:
This goodness is exposed via the Styles Pane…which is the focus of the rest of this post.
By default, when you show the Styles Pane in Word 2007, we show a set of Recommended Styles (you can change which Styles are Recommended by click on the Mange Styles button and then on the Recommended tab). Using the Styles Pane Options dialog (surface this by clicking the Options link at the bottom right of the Styles Pane) you can show every Style used in the document (first drop down) as well as every type of direct formatting used in your document (first three checkboxes).
Let's talk about showing and working with direct formatting since this is the most common source for formatting inconsistency.
Note: These boxes were checked by default in previous versions of Word. That's why the Styles Pane may look simpler in Word 2007 by default.
Once they are checked, the Styles Pane will show you every type of direct formatting in your document. For example let's say you have a document that contains the following content:
Styles Pane without the Boxes Checked
Styles Pane with the Boxes Checked
If you look at the top of the panes, you'll note that showing paragraph and font formatting added new entries correspond with the direct formatting in the document (you can tell they are direct formatting because they do not have an icon on the far right of the pane like the Styles do).
Now for the glorious part. If you right click on any of the direct formatting, you can select all instances of that type of formatting…and…wait for it…change them all at once. This is really handy if you have something like the document above that has three very similar types of formatting—Italic Calibri, Italic Arial, Italic Verdana—that need to be made consistent.
To do this you just the following in the Styles Pane:
With this you can make all Italic Arial text into Italic Verdana text…and then all the Italic Verdana text into Italic Calibri text…and have fixed that formatting inconsistency throughout your document.
Note: When you change all instances of a type of direct formatting to another type of direct formatting, the former will disappear from the Styles Pane because it is not in the document anymore.
Now if you really want to flex your Word muscles and use Styles instead of direct formatting, you have a couple of options:
Let's go bottom up…
To convert direct formatting into an existing Style, right click on it in the Styles Pane, click on Select All Instances, and choose a Style.
To turn direct formatting into a new Style, right click on it in the Styles Pane, click on Select All Instances, and define a new Quick Style.
To proactively try to prevent the use of direct formatting instead of Styles, check the checkbox next to "Mark formatting inconsistencies" in "Advanced" under "Word Options".
Now you will see a blue squiggle under any direct formatting that looks enough like a Style. If you right click it, you can convert it to the similar Style. For example, here's the previously mentioned document with the option on and me right clicking on squiggled content:
The Italic Arial and Italic Calibri directly formatted text was squiggled because it is a lot like the Quote Style. The Italic, Calibri, Accent 1, and the Italic, Calibri, Bold, and Expanded by 0.45 pt directly formatted text got squiggled was squiggled because it looks a lot like the Subtitle Emphasis Style and Book Title Styles, respectively.
While this post certainly won't take away the pain caused formatting inconsistencies, I hope that it does provide some relief.
Many thanks for the great reply. We will have to explore forcing the use of the Mark inconsitencies feature. Now, one thing I am still hazy on is what would have to be done to replace (change, rename, modify, delete - don't really know which) a defined "recommended" style. In other words, if we start out in the template file with a set of styles with, say, DocDefault style, and then something happens that it is displayed in the Style pane / list as DocDefault 10 pt 10pt, Char Char Char, 10 pt... (this is actually a real world example...). It's a paragraph style. But once again, thanks for the great and thorough reply. Ilya
When linked styles split and show the "Char" entry (or more rarely the "Para" entry), it is a sign that the document was edited with an older version of the product that was not current on service packs or that it was edited using another product. Once they appear, the only way to elminated them is to select the text with that formatting and apply another style to replace the "bad" one. --Stuart
This is great info! I've lived by the rules of using Styles through many versions of Word. Learn how to use them and you will enjoy Word so much more.
how do you get Microsoft word for free and i would like to get itt !!!
how do you get Microsoft word for free and i would like to get it !!!
Hi Aleesha - us1.trymicrosoftoffice.com/default.aspx
I'm having a consistency problem with the formatting of headings in a research paper/dissertation document. When defining the paragraph features for a heading in a dissertation I set the space before the paragraph to, for example, 24 pt so that I have the required spacing per our school's style manual. However, when the heading appears at the top of a page, there should be no spacing between the top margin and the header. In software that is more research paper oriented there is a setting that allows the user to suppress the spacing before a paragraph when the paragraph (in this case a header) appears at the top of a page. I can't find this feature in Word. Is it there? This is an important feature because if it doesn't exist, then the user must go through the document page by page (or heading by heading) to find headings that appear at the top of the page and change the formatting to eliminate the space. That of course, divorces it from the predefined style which means if the document changes (i.e. the heading is no longer at the top of the page) then you have to go through the document once again to change it back and also change other headers that may now appear at the top of the page. You can imagine this might be a painful process for long documents (dissertations) that my first reader is constantly requesting changes to.
By default modern versions of Word on the Windows platforms do suppress the space before paragraphs when that paragraph appears at the top of the page. No additional setting is required. --Stuart
I wish Word whould suppress any "space before" at the top of a page or column, but it doesn't. Start with a blank document from the default Normal.dotm. Change the "Spacing|Before" of the initial paragraph to a positive value. The paragraph moves down on the page. If the "space before" was being suppressed at the top of a page/column then the paragraph would stay in place.
jw113--You are correct that we don't suppress on the first page. That's to allow the proper formatting of titles. Sorry I gave a partial answer focused on the portion of tadoslav's concerns about reformatting other pages in the document.
wrdblog: Thanks for clarifying. I see the reasoning now, but I do wish this suppression was a paragraph attribute (along with the other Line/Page Break attributes) so the behavior was both clear and controllable.
I havenot been through this info yet, so please forgive me if this is redundent. Sometimes when working on a document, all of a sudden my font turns to something I don't use, and will redo the margins and bullets. (seems to take on a life of it's own!) This makes it extremely difficult for my boss and I to work on a document together! I do a lot of cut and paste from other documents, but always want it to go into Arial 10 with specified (default?) margins and bullets. Do I look at making changes in the normal file, is it a particular seting I can turn off/on, or am I doomed?