Creating paragraph styles in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word comes with a set of basic paragraph styles. These styles can only take us so far when creating documents. Complex documents may need specialized styles to handles sections of text that are not part of the normal body text. These special formatting styles can include pull quotes, sidebars, and outlines.

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Styles for more than formatting text in Microsoft Word

Paragraph styles can be used for much more than formatting text. With paragraph styles we can format line spacing, paragraph indents, and text alignment, to list a few. In this example, we’ll change the formatting of the paragraph to include a first line indent and additional spacing after each paragraph.

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Updating default Microsoft Word styles

The default paragraph styles that come with Word are very simple and are there to get us started. We can modify these styles so they can be applied to our writing needs. For example, if we need the normal style to use Times New Roman instead of Calibri, we can modify the style.

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New Word document default styles

Start Word and create a new blank document. When we create a blank document, Word automatically applies basic paragraph styles. These styles have information about the font, font size, text alignment and even the font color. We can see this information on the Home tab. In this example, the paragraph font is set to Calibri 12 point, and the text is left aligned. This is just some of the information provided by paragraph styles.

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