Tag: MS Word

Did you know … you can change Word’s built-in Styles?

Using Styles in Word has some advantages – one-click to apply a variety of format options, the “Navigation” tool provides quick access to “heading” items, the automatic table of contents uses “heading” items too (and you can instantly update automatic table of contents data as new content is added and page numbers change) – but what can you do if the predefined text format doesn’t fit your document?


Under the “Design” ribbon bar, you will find an array of themes.

Selecting a different one changes the colors, font faces, font weight, and font sizes used throughout the document. You can change your document to look like this

Or this

Customize Styles

What if the styles still don’t fit your document? I, as an example, prefer my headings bolded and sub-headings both bolded and italicized. You can customize a theme to match your specific preferences.

On the ribbon bar, select “Home”. In the “Styles” section, right-click on the style component you want to change and select “Modify”.

Modify the style component as desired – change the font face, make it bolder, change the size, change the color, add a little more space between lines, whatever you want. Click the box to ‘Update Automatically’ and, if you want to use this customization in other documents, select the radio button that says ‘new documents based on this template’. Click “OK”.

Sections of your document using that style component will be updated. I have customized all of the style components – normal, headings, title and subtitles, quotes, etc.

On the ribbon bar, select “Design”. Click the “Themes” drop-down and select “save current theme”.

If you want to use your theme on every document you create, click “Set as Default”.

Click ‘Yes’ to confirm the change.

Did you know … Microsoft Word can generate random text for you?

As I’ve been writing these “Did you know” blog posts, I’ve needed sample data to demonstrate how a function works. In Excel, that’s easy enough as there are RAND() and RANDBETWEEN(iLow,iHigh) functions. But how do you get sample text in Word? I used to just paste in part of a public domain work (as a cultural aside – the twenty years of copyright protection added under the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act are up this year, so the list of public domain works is expanding again). But what if you don’t have the original Anglo-Saxon Beowulf laying around?

Microsoft Word has a rand() function too – type =rand(#Paragraphs,#Sentences)

The example here generates two paragraphs that are five sentences each.

Hit enter – the formula is replaced with random text.

(This works in PowerPoint too). If you want some different text, try the lorem(#) function — the number in the parenthesis is the number of paragraphs — that uses the lorem ipsum paragraph as the content source.