Display the Style Area in MS Word

Dennis Faas's picture

When you uses Styles in Microsoft Word, you can see the style of the currently selected paragraph in the Style dropdown list on the Formatting toolbar. To see what style is applied to a paragraph, you may click the paragraph and look at the list on the toolbar.

When you receive a document from someone else, whether it be someone in your office or someone from a remote location, wouldn't it be nice if you could instantly see what styles used for each paragraph in the document? Well you can, and I am going to tell you just how to accomplish that. I have been told by folks who work on Help Desks, that this trick has helped them out many times when they are tasked with resolving a problematic document.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Open a document.
  2. Make sure your document is displayed in Normal view. The Style Area isn't accessible in Print Layout view, but it is available in Outline view.
  3. Click on Tools | Options.
  4. Click the View tab.
  5. Under Outline and Normal Options, in the Style area width, enter at least .05.
  6. Click the OK button.
  7. You will now see the Style Area displayed on the left of your screen.

In the Style Area, to the left of the first line of each paragraph, the name of each paragraph's style is displayed for you.

To change the size of the Style Area, follow the steps below:

  • Click on Tools | Options.
  • Click on View.
  • Under Outline and Normal Options, in the Style area width, change the size.
  • You can also change the size of the Style Area by using your mouse to drag the vertical line between the Style Area and the body of your document.

If you find that you need to modify one of the styles, simply double-click it to open the Style dialog.

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