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Formatting Text


Formatting is simply all about customizing the appearance of text to enhance or improve the readability of document text or to emphasize a particular point in a document. This post introduces you to the concept of Text Formatting. You will learn what character formats and paragraph formats are, and involve. It also shows you how to see which formats are applied to text, using the Reveal Formatting command. For detailed instructions on how to apply character or paragraph formats to text in Word, please follow the post titles Character Formatting and Paragraph Formatting later in this blog.
Word is loaded with a bunch of cool formatting tools that can be used to customize and enhance the appearance and also improve the readability of document text. The document text can be formatted either before or after you enter the text. When you start typing a new document, the text appears in the font, style, font size, etc, preset for Word. You can change the font, or apply attributes such as boldface, italic, underline, color, etc for document text at any time. You can also insert special characters or symbols. Once you determine the formatting that you want to use, you can: (i) select and apply the desired formatting attributes before you begin typing, (ii) or create and apply styles to existing text or (iii) type the text first, and come back later to select and apply desirable formatting to the typed text. Many of the formats you will use most often are accessible on the Formatting toolbar. Additional formatting options are available on the Format menu.

Generally, formatting attributes you apply to text in Word can be broadly grouped into two: character formatting and paragraph formatting.


Character formats in Word are text enhancement attributes that can be used to improve the appearance of text characters which can be a single character, word, sentence or a line of text. Characters are letters, numerals, spaces, punctuation marks and symbols entered from the keyboard/onscreen keyboard (such as @, #, %, & and *) or symbols inserted into the document from the Symbol dialog box or the Windows Character Map (such as ®,♥, ♫, ♪, ۞, ☺, №,  §, ß, ¤, Æ, etc).


Examples of character formats that can be applied to text characters in Word include those you find in the Font dialog box (such as bold, italic, underline, font, size, color, superscript, subscript, scaling, animation effects, etc), highlight, change case, etc. To apply a character format to a character or a set of characters, you need to specifically select the desired amount of characters and then apply the formatting you want.

Paragraph Formats refer to text enhancement/formatting  features that affect the appearance of an entire (selected) paragraph, rather than the specifically selected character, word, sentence or line within a paragraph. A paragraph in Word, refers to any amount of text, graphics, objects, or other items that are followed by a paragraph mark, ¶. The paragraph mark is inserted at the point where you press the ENTER key on the keyboard while typing, marking the end of the paragraph. In other words, when you press the ENTER key while typing in Word, you have successfully ended a paragraph  and then begun a new paragraph.  You can show or hide the paragraph mark by clicking the Show/Hide button on the Standard toolbar.

Examples of paragraph formats you can apply to paragraphs in Word include those formats you find in the Paragraph dialog box ( such as alignment, line spacing, paragraph spacing, indentation, etc) and others such as bullets and numbering, drop cap, etc. To apply a paragraph format to a single paragraph, you need not necessarily select any text in the paragraph: simply positioning the insertion point anywhere in the paragraph is enough before applying the desired paragraph format.

NOTE
  • To format already typed text in Word, select the text  first and then apply the formats you want.
  • If you choose a command without first selecting text, Word applies the formats at the insertion point so that any text  you type from that point forward takes on the new formatting until you change the format again.
  • Text that you type takes on the formatting of the immediately preceding text. For example, if you position the insertion point after a text that has 16-point Arial bold italic, the new text you type will also be formatted 16-point Arial bold italic (inheriting the formatting of the  text immediately preceding the insertion point before you started typing).






How to see which Formats Are Applied to Text Or A Particular Section of Text in Word
Word makes it pretty easy to see which formats are applied to a particular text in a document by selecting the desired text (or positioning the cursor in the desired text) and then looking at the settings on the Formatting toolbar. You can see which formatting attributes are applied to a particular section of text in a document by using the Reveal Formatting command in the Format menu or in the Task pane.

To see which formats are applied to text 
  1. Select or position the insertion point in the desired text.
  2. Look at which buttons are selected ( depressed or pushed down) and which items appear in the text boxes on the Formatting toolbar. The settings you see on the Formatting toolbar indicate the formatting attributes that are applied to the selected text. See example in the image below:

 The image above indicates that the formatting settings for the selected text, "Insert Image", are 
  • Font: Cosmic Sans MS 
  • Size: 20 points
  • Font Style: Bold
  • Effect: Underline
  • Alignment: Centered
  • Color: Red

To see which formats are applied to a particular section of text
  1. On the Format menu, click Reveal Formatting.
  2. Select the text whose formatting you want to see/review. The formatting information will appear in the Reveal Formatting task pane.
  3. From here, you can do any of the following:
  • To change any formatting properties using the Reveal Formatting task pane, click the blue text with a blue underline (in the Reveal Formatting task pane), and then change any options you want in the dialog box that appears.
  • To determine the formatting source, such as whether the formatting comes from a style, select the Distinguish style source check box.
  • To show formatting marks, such as paragraph marks and tabs, select the Show all formatting marks check box.
  • To format a text selection like the text that surrounds it, select the text. In the Selected text box, click the arrow, and then click Apply Formatting of Surrounding Text.
Tips
  • Click expand  or collapse  in the Reveal Formatting task pane to display or hide information about different types of formatting, such as paragraph, section, and table formatting.
  • You can clear the formatting of the selected text by clicking the arrow in the Selected text box, and then clicking Clear Formatting.












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