Styles and themes are powerful tools in Word that can help you easily create professional-looking documents. A style is a pre-defined combination of font style, color, and size of text that can be applied to selected text. A theme is a set of formatting choices that can be applied to an entire document and includes theme colors, fonts, and effects.
In this lesson, you will learn how to apply, modify, and create a style; use style sets; apply a document theme; and create a custom theme.
Using styles and themes
Word's large selection of styles and themes allows you to quickly improve the appearance of your document. Styles can give your document a more sophisticated look, while themes are a great way to change the tone of your entire document quickly and easily. To use styles and themes effectively, you'll need to know how to apply, modify, and create a style; use style sets; apply a document theme; and create a custom theme.
To select a style:
- Select the text you want to format.
- In the Style group on the Home tab, hover over each style to see a live preview in the document. Click the More drop-down arrow to see additional styles.
Viewing the Text Styles
- Select the style you desire. Now the selected text appears formatted in the style.
Selecting a Style
You can also use styles to create a table of contents for your document. To learn how, review our article on How to Create a Table of Contents in Microsoft Word.
To apply a style set:
Style sets include a combination of title, heading, and paragraph styles. Style sets allow you to format all of the elements of your document at once, rather than formatting your title and headings separately.
- Click the Change Styles command on the Ribbon. A drop-down menu will appear.
- From the drop-down menu, select Style Set.
Selecting a Style Set
- Select the Style Set you desire, and the change will be reflected in the entire document.
Elegant Style SetFormal Style Set
To modify a style:
- Locate the style you wish to change in the Styles group.
- Right-click the style. A drop-down menu will appear.
- Click Modify, and the Modify Style dialog box appears.
Modifying a Style
- Make the desired changes to the formatting. If you want, you can also change the name of the style.
The Formatting options for the Style
- Click OK to apply the modifications to the style.
To create a new style:
- Click the arrow in the bottom-right corner of the Styles group. This opens the Styles task pane.
The Styles task pane
- Select the New Style button at the bottom. A dialog box will appear.
- Enter a name for the style, and set the text formatting the way you want.
Formatting options for the new Style
- Click OK, and the new style will appear in the task pane.
A theme is a set of colors, fonts, and effects that determines the overall look of your document. Themes are a great way to change the tone of your entire document quickly and easily.
What is a theme?
All documents in Word 2010 use a theme. You've already been using a theme, even if you didn't know it: the default Office theme. Every theme, including the Office theme, has its own theme elements:
- Theme colors (available from every Color menu)
- Theme fonts (available from the Font menu)
- Shape styles (available in the Format tab when you click on a shape)
Why should you use theme elements?
If you're using theme elements, you'll probably find that your document looks pretty good and that all of the colors work well together, which means you don't have to spend as much time tweaking the document. But there's another great reason to use theme elements: When you switch to a different theme, all of those elements will update to reflect the new theme. You can drastically change the look of the document in a few clicks, and it will usually still look good.
Remember, the colors and fonts will only update if you're using Theme Fonts or Theme Colors. If you choose one of the Standard Colors or any of the Fonts that are not Theme Fonts, then your text will not change when you change the theme. This can be useful if you're creating a logo or title that always needs to look the same.
If you're using built-in styles, you may notice that the fonts for those styles change when you select a different theme. This is because all of the built-in styles are based on the Theme Fonts. If you don't want the styles to change, you'll need to create custom styles.
To change the theme:
- Select the Page Layout tab.
- Click the Themes command. A drop-down menu will appear.
Selecting a Theme
- Hover the mouse over a theme to see a live preview of it.
- Select the desired theme.
Customizing a theme
Suppose you really like the fonts from one theme, but you'd like to experiment with different color schemes. That's not a problem: You can mix and match the colors, fonts, and effects from different themes to create a unique look for your document. If it still doesn't look exactly right, you can customize the Theme Colors and Theme Fonts.
To change the theme colors:
- From the Page Layout tab, click the Theme Colors command. A drop-down menu will appear.
Changing the Theme Colors
- Hover your mouse over the different sets of Theme Colors to see a live preview.
- Select the set of Theme Colors you desire, or select Create New Theme Colors to customize each color individually.
When setting Theme Colors, try to find a part of your document that uses several colors so you get the best idea of what the color scheme looks like.
To change the theme fonts:
- From the Page Layout tab, click the Theme Fonts command. A drop-down menu will appear.
Changing the Theme Fonts
- Hover your mouse over the different sets of Theme Fonts to see a live preview.
- Select the set of Theme Fonts you desire, or select Create New Theme Fonts to customize each font individually.
To change the theme effects:
- From the Page Layout tab, click the Theme Effects command. A drop-down menu will appear.
Changing the Theme Effects
- Hover your mouse over the different sets of Theme Effects to see a live preview.
- Select the set of Theme Effects you desire.
Some themes can add a Picture Fill to shapes, depending on which Shape Styles are used. For example, the Paper theme can add a paper-like texture to shapes. Try exploring some of the different shape styles after changing the theme.
To save your theme:
Once you've found settings you like, you may want to save the theme so you can use it in other documents.
- From the Page Layout tab, click the Themes command. A drop-down menu will appear.
Saving the current Theme
- Select Save Current Theme.
The Save dialog box
- Type a file name for your theme, then click Save.
- Open an existing Word document. If you want, you can use this example.
- Apply several different styles to different parts of your document.
- Apply a style set to your entire document.
- Modify an existing style.
- Apply a theme.