Microsoft KB Archive/37803

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Functionality of Style Sheets in Word for Windows


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Word for Windows, versions 1.0, 1.1, 1.1a, 2.0, 2.0a, 2.0a-CD, 2.0b, 2.0c, 6.0, 6.0a, 6.0c


The Styles feature in Microsoft Word for Windows provides a higher level of format control in addition to normal formatting procedures. Essentially, the style that you apply to the current paragraph defines the base paragraph settings.

There are two levels of format control: style formatting and manual formatting. Style formatting is the formatting that remains if all other formatting is removed. Manual formatting is formatting that is in addition to or on top of the style formatting. Changing one level of formatting does not change the other level.

If you apply formatting only through Styles, the formatting is completely replaced when another style is applied to that paragraph. However, if you apply manual formatting in addition to the style, the manual formatting carries over when the style is redefined with the new style.


Manual formatting commands do not turn off the current style, but add to that style. For example, if you define a style containing Italic formatting and apply it to a paragraph and you manually format some of the text in this paragraph as Bold, that text becomes Italic and Bold. If you apply a new style containing Underline rather than Italic to that paragraph, the text in the paragraph becomes Underline and Bold.

Like character formatting, paragraph settings in a style determine the default paragraph formatting. you can define styles that contain settings for tab stops, indents, line spacing, and justification. If a paragraph has a style applied containing paragraph settings and you apply a different style, the paragraph settings defined in the first style are completely replaced by the settings in the second style. However, if there is additional paragraph formatting applied in addition to the style, that formatting remains even after you apply a different style.

For example, you define a style containing the settings for tab stops at 1 inch and 4 inches. You type a paragraph and the text is arranged in columns lined up at 1 and 4 inches. You define another style with tab stops at 1.5 inches and 5 inches and apply this style to the paragraph; the columns in the paragraph now line up at 1.5 and 5 inches. You manually place a tab stop on the ruler at 3.5 inches; now the columns line up at 1.5 and 3.5 inches. If you reapply the original style, with tab stops at 1 and 4 inches, to the paragraph, the columns line up at 1 and 3.5 inches because the manually applied tab remains on the ruler.

Additional query words: winword 6.0 winword2 word6 1.x 2.x

Keywords : kblayout
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Last Reviewed: November 4, 2000
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