Using Style

Before we get started on the actual business of this MS Word Lesson, here is the best advice you will ever get about producing documents using Microsoft Word:

  • Type in your first Heading, the first words of your new document. Hit "Enter."
  • Type in the following text. Type in another Heading. Hit "Enter" and
  • then type in more text. 
  • Do this until all the words in your document have been keyed in. 
  • Do your revising.
  • Do your editing.
  • Run your Grammar Check if you want to.
  • Run your "Spell Check" whether you want to or not. But,
  • DO NOT format your text (putting in "Heading 1, 2, 3, 8, or whatever."
  • Do not Center anything.
  • Do not change your fonts or point size.
  • Don't do ANY formatting until the very, very end. 

I know you won't like this. I know you won't even do it, but try it — for one semester, just try it. There is no "Reveal Codes" ( a feature of Word Perfect) in Word. If you have to try to "un-do" print commands when you're using Word, it will, I promise, make you go nuts. So, compose and key in all your text. Have notes to yourself so you will know which words will be what level headings. Do you formatting last. Let's get started on learning how to use Word's Style feature. Remember, Word DOES have its own "Help" feature. Use it to supplement what I am telling you here.

Getting to Know the Word Screen

Get in the habit of always having your Standard Tool Bar and your Formatting Tool Bar display on separate lines. You can move any of your tool bars in Word by placing your cursor at the front of the tool bar. Your cursor will change to something that looks like compass points with arrows point N, S, E and W. Just drag your tool bars around You can't hurt them.

Here is a run-down of the toolbars that are displayed in this "Betting to Know the Word Screen" picture above:

  • the blue bar at the very top is call the document Title bar
  • next, beginning with the word "File," is the Menu bar
  • below that, beginning with an icon that looks like a blank sheet of paper, is the Standard Tool bar
  • below that in this illustration is the Comments bar.
    I use it to respond to your work, but you will not use it for formatting your documents. It probably is not even showing at all when you use MS Word.
  • Below the Comments bar in this illustration is a tool bar that you will need. It is the Formatting toolbar.
  • Finally, the last tool bar showing in this illustration is the Tables and Borders toolbar.
    You will not need it for this lesson, but we will be using it later this semester.

You may not see all of these toolbars when you look at your Word screen, and there are MANY other toolbars available in Word. To see the toolbars that you may choose to use, on the Menu bar, to to View, then pull down to Toolbars. All Word's available toolbars will then expand for you to see.

In the illustration above on this page, you see the word "Times New Roman" displayed in the font window on the Formatting tool bar. If you don't know what everything is on your Word screen, just hold your cursor over any area. A pop-up screen tip will appear telling you what you are examining. Just to the left of the font window, there is another window. In this example, the word "Normal" is showing in the first opening on the Formatting toolbar. This is your "Style" window, or Style Shortcut Bar. If you put your cursor over it, the word "style" will appear. If you put your cursor in the Style window and click on the caret (triangle) pointing down, a menu will expand downward showing choices such as "Heading 1," "Heading 2," and "Normal." 

Do you know where this window is now? If not, let me know. I guess the choices that Word's programmers came up with for the physical presentation of headings are okay, but they're not very striking, and why would you want to let Bill Gates make decisions about how your documents look anyway?  If your mothers don't dress you anymore, why should someone else decide how we "clothe" our documents? For your Interview Report Assignment, you can use the default setting that MS Word has established for presenting headings, but later in the semester, I will want you to always may your presentation decisions for yourselves. That means that later we will learn how to modify Style. Even when we do use Word's default heading settings in this first assignment, you can still be making conscious decisions about where you want your text to fall on the page and how much space should be left before headings, after headings, and between sections of your Interview Report.

When you have decided where your text will fall on  the page, what internal headings you are going to use, and how you are going to deliberately use white space to organize your information, then you've determined the physical arrangement  (Visual Rhetoric) of your document.  Remember, you need MS Word to follow my directions. If you have to get to one of the labs on either campus to get to Word, then allow yourselves this time. To me competitive in today's work world, you have to learn to use your word processor as a word processor, not as a typewriter, and the most ubiquitous word processing package around is MS Word.

Now, follow the following "Using Style" link to learn more about using headings and using Style to present your headings in this assignment:

Using Style