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.

In this example, we’ll work on a pull quote.

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I want my pull quote to stand out from the rest of the text. To accomplish this we will be going to the line spacing options. Click on the line space button and select line spacing options.

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We’ll adjust the indent to one inch on either side of the document to make sure the quote remains centered. We’ll also adjust the spacing before and after so the pull quote is separate and distinguishable from the rest of the text. Click OK to save the changes.

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Now we’ll change the font by making it larger and italic. We’ll increase the font size to 18 points and select the italic style option.

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That’s all we need for this paragraph style. To create the new paragraph style we need to open the styles pane. The style pane button is on the right side of the styles preview section.

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The styles page will show us that the current style at the cursor’s location is the normal style plus 18 point italics. To create a new style with these options, click the new style button.

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A new style panel will open so we can provide a name for this style and make any additional adjustments.

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Call this style pull quote and click the OK button.

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The pull quote won’t automatically be applied to the text. We need to apply it manually.

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The pull-quote style is automatically added to quick styles. Click on the pull-quote style to apply it to the quote.

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Let’s add one more style to get the hang of it. We need a separate style for the attribution of the quote. We’ll click once on Albert Einstein. Don’t worry Albert, this won’t hurt.

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In the line spacing options panel, we will use the same indention used for the quote but modify the spacing slightly. We won’t add any additional space before but we will add 12 points after.

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Next, we’ll align the text to the right. Click OK to save the formatting.

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We’ll update the font to closely match that of the quote. To demonstrate the versatility of paragraph styles, we’ll also change the color of the font to a dark gray.

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Our styles panel should still be open. Create a new style by clicking the new style button.

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Name this style “pull quote attribute”. Click the OK button.

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Apply the style to Albert Einstein.

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