Use and adapt format templates

Format templates can be used to format certain categories of text, such as body text and headings, in a uniform way – without a great deal of effort. Word beginners in particular disregard format templates. But this much can be said: anyone who has manually adjusted all the headings in a 100-page text will never do so again and will use the format templates as a useful aid.

Transfer format template for already existing text passages

Suppose we have written a text in our zeal without formatting it. Now we want to use the style sheets to format individual text elements in a meaningful way.

To do this, we highlight the title in the text.

Then, under the Start tab in the Styles group, we click on the button of the style that is to be assigned to the text passage. In our example, this is Title.

The previously marked text is now transferred into the format of the previously defined format title.

Note: If the style sheet is adjusted while text passages have already been assigned a certain format, they will change automatically.

Next we select the subtitle.

And then click on the Subtitles option in the format templates.

All text is formatted with the following styles:

1) Titel
2) Untertitel
3) Überschrift 1
4) Zitat
3) Uberschrift 1

Important note: When we apply the style sheets to certain parts of the text or paragraphs, it is not only the visual appearance of the text that changes. Word is able to interpret the content of the text through the assignments. This is a prerequisite for automatically creating a table of contents.

What is the advantage of format templates?

If we determine all text elements precisely, we can change the colour of the headings in the style sheet afterwards and apply this setting to all corresponding headings (such as heading 1). This is very quick and avoids unnecessary formatting errors. How to adjust the style sheets follows in the next chapter.

Changing the style sheet

To change the formatting of the styles for different categories, click under the Home tab in the Styles group and right-click on the style you want to change, e.g. Heading 1.

Here we click on Change.

Another window opens in which the formatting such as size, colour, font, line and paragraph spacing can be set.

1) The Name property defines the name of the style sheet. It should be short and unambiguous.
2) Under Formatting we define the appearance of the style. This includes the font, font size and highlighting such as bold or italics.
3) In addition, the colour can be changed.
4) Further settings such as line spacing, alignment and indentation can be determined here.

It goes even further: In Word, even the smallest details of a format template can be determined. To do this, we click on the Format button (red arrow).

Here we select a category that we want to specify precisely for the style sheet. Just try it out!

Click OK to apply the new format to the style sheet.

Note: Word offers numerous formatting templates, but not all of them are important or useful for you. Therefore, it is advisable to delete formatting templates that are not needed in order to get a better overview. Don’t worry, when you create a new document, the formatting templates will be there again. To delete a formatting template, we right-click on the formatting template and select the option Remove from Quick Template Catalogue.

Create a style sheet

Styles can also be created in reverse by first formatting the text in the document appropriately and then saving it as a template.

We mark a paragraph.

We click on the Start tab in the Font group and select several options there so that the text becomes very striking. In our example we click on the button Font colour with red, then on the yellow text highlight colour and make the text italic – why not.

Admittedly, you quickly get eye cancer with such a format, but this is just about how it works.

We highlight our coloured section and move the mouse slightly so that the quick format options appear next to the mouse pointer. Here we select the Format Templates button.

Note: in older Word versions, this works a little differently: we highlight our coloured section and right-click on it and choose Styles from the menu and then Save Selection as New Quick Style Sheet.

Then we select the option Create style sheet.

In the dialogue box Create new style, we determine an appropriate name such as “Extreme Highlighting” in the Name field. Confirm with OK.

Done! Our Extreme Highlight style sheet is now under the other quick style sheets.