I know, it's already next year relative to the last time I blogged. Tempus fugit muy rapido! (Latinol??)
Having been teaching several Word Level 1 classes recently, I have been reminded of some of the great features (in my opinion) that have to do with working with Styles. Hopefully you saw my blog in March 2011 which explains concepts of formatting including a Style. Check out the blog to get the big picture..(http://pcapplicationsblog.blogspot.com/2011_03_01_archive.html).
What I teach in a Level 1 Word class (and much more!) is how to work with Styles using the Style "Task Pane". In Word 2007/2010, there is a Styles Command Group in the Home Ribbon. As with many Command Groups, there is what is called a "Dialog Box Launcher", the small square button in the lower right hand corner of the Command Group with an arrow pointing to the lower right. You may notice that many Command Groups have Dialog Box Launchers but not all. Upon clicking the Dialog Box Launcher, a Dialog Box relative to the Command Group options will appear on the screen. These Dialog Boxes are the same dialog boxes that have been used in many prior versions and what many people have seen before if they have worked with Word particularly 97-2003.
In the case of the Styles Dialog Box Launcher, it opens the Styles Task Pane (a window pane that "docks" on the right side of the Word window), not a dialog box per se. It's this Styles Task Pane that can be very useful when working with Styles.
The list of Styles you see in the Styles Task Pane by is controlled by the Style Pane Options accessible through the link in the lower right of the Styles Task Pane, "Options..."; the default list is "Recommend" but consider the other options such as "In Use" or "All Styles". The order of the list can be controlled as well, the default "Recommended" is set by Microsoft but notice you can choose "Alphabetical" as well as others.
Another significant option is the "Show Preview" check box near the bottom of the Styles Task Pane. With it "on" the Styles in the list are shown with the actual formatting inherent with the Style name.
Now for some of the functionality. I you simply click in text of your document or select text (of the same style) there will be an outline around the Style in the Styles Task Pane so you immediately know what the specific style for the select text is. Furthermore, if you move over the selected style in the Styles Task Pane and click the down arrow button that appears, you have a list of options. Notice you can see how many times the Style occurs in the document as well as select all of them if desired. I use this a lot to change one format to another. For example, let's say I have typed in several paragraphs in a document that are all "Normal" style (the defult style for all documents). I decided to change all "Normal" styles to "Heading 1" style. Using the concepts above, I could click on text that is "Normal" and see the "Normal" style selected in the Styles Task Pane. I click the down arrow and choose "Select All # Instances" where # is the number in my document. Then I click "Heading 1" Style in the Styles Task Pane to apply the new Style to my selected text. There are actually other ways to find and replace text formatting but this is a very straight forward method. Of course there are several other options as what can be done with the Styles Task Pane such as select and clear specific Styles, modify Styles and even create your own custom style and I encourge you to have a look at this.
So what's your Style??
Have fun in the meantime until next time, Joel