Formatting Text

Format text to improve Word documents. Learn how to change the font, change font size, change font color, and change text alignment.

Introduction

Video: Formatting Text

Launch "Formatting Text" video!Watch the video (3:02).

Formatted text can draw the reader's attention to specific parts of a document and emphasize important information. In Word, you have several options for adjusting the font of your text, including size, color, and inserting special symbols. You can also adjust the alignment of the text to change how it is displayed on the page.

Optional: Download our practice document.

To change the font:

By default, the font of each new document is set to Calibri. However, Word provides many other fonts you can use to customize text and titles.

  1. Select the text you want to modify.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting text to modify
  2. On the Home tab, click the drop-down arrow next to the Font box. A menu of font styles will appear.
  3. Move the mouse over the various font styles. A live preview of the font will appear in the document. Select the font style you want to use.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Changing the font style
  4. The font will change in the document.


    Screenshot of Word 2013The new font style

When creating a professional document or a document that contains multiple paragraphs, you'll want to select a font that's easy to read. Along with Calibri, standard reading fonts include Cambria, Times New Roman, and Arial.

To change the font size:

  1. Select the text you want to modify.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting text to modify
  2. Select the desired font size formatting option:
    • Font size drop-down arrow: On the Home tab, click the Font size drop-down arrow. A menu of font sizes will appear. When you move the mouse over the various font sizes, a live preview of the font size will appear in the document.


      Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting a font size
    • Font size box: When the font size you need is not available in the Font size drop-down arrow, you can click the Font size box and type the desired font size, then press Enter.


      Screenshot of Word 2013Entering a font size in the Font box
    • Grow and shrink font commands: Click the Grow Font or Shrink Font commands to change the font size.


      Screenshot of Word 2013The Grow Font and Shrink Font commands
  3. The font size will change in the document.


    Screenshot of Word 2013The new font size

To change the font color:

  1. Select the text you want to modify.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting text to modify
  2. On the Home tab, click the Font Color drop-down arrow. The Font Color menu appears.
  3. Move the mouse over the various font colors. A live preview of the color will appear in the document.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Changing the font color
  4. Select the font color you want to use. The font color will change in the document.


    Screenshot of Word 2013The new font color

Your color choices aren't limited to the drop-down menu that appears. Select More Colors... at the bottom of the menu to access the Colors dialog box. Choose the color you want, then click OK.

Screenshot of Word 2013The Colors dialog box

To highlight text:

Highlighting can be a useful tool for marking important text in your document.

  1. Select the text you want to highlight.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting text to highlight
  2. From the Home tab, click the Text Highlight Color drop-down arrow. The Highlight Color menu appears.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Choosing a highlight color
  3. Select the desired highlight color. The selected text will then be highlighted in the document.
    Screenshot of Word 2013The highlighted text

To remove highlighting, select the highlighted text, then click the Text Highlight Color drop-down arrow. Select No Color from the drop-down menu.

Screenshot of Word 2013Removing highlighting

If you need to highlight several lines of text, changing the mouse into a highlighter may be a helpful alternative to selecting and highlighting individual lines. Click the Text Highlight Color command, and the cursor changes into a highlighter . You can then click, hold, and drag the highlighter over the lines you want to highlight.

To use the Bold, Italic, and Underline commands:

The Bold, Italic, and Underline commands can be used to help draw attention to important words or phrases.

  1. Select the text you want to modify.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting text to modify
  2. On the Home tab, click the Bold (B), Italic (I), or Underline (U) command in the Font group. In our example, we'll click Bold.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Making text bold
  3. The selected text will be modified in the document.


    Screenshot of Word 2013The bolded text

To change the text case:

When you need to quickly change text case, you can use the Change Case command instead of deleting and retyping text.

  1. Select the text you want to modify.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting text to modify
  2. On the Home tab, click the Change Case command in the Font group.
  3. A drop-down menu will appear. Select the desired case option from the menu.
    Screenshot of Word 2013Changing the text case
  4. The text case will be changed in the document.


    Screenshot of Word 2013The new text case

To change text alignment:

By default, Word aligns text to the left margin in new documents. However, there may be times when you want to adjust text alignment to the center or right.

  1. Select the text you want to modify.
  2. On the Home tab, select one of the four alignment options from the Paragraph group.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Paragraph alignment commands

Click the arrows in the slideshow below to learn more about the four text alignment options.

You can use Word's convenient Set as Default feature to save all of the formatting changes you've made and automatically apply them to new documents. To learn how to do this, read our article on Changing Your Default Settings in Word.

Symbols

Sometimes you may find that you need to add a symbol to your text, such as the Copyright symbol ©. Word offers a collection of symbols for currency, languages, mathematics, and more.

Screenshot of Word 2013Symbols collection

To insert a symbol:

  1. Place the insertion point in the location where you want to insert a symbol.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Placing the insertion point
  2. On the Insert tab, click the Symbol drop-down arrow. A menu of symbols will appear.
  3. Select the desired symbol.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting a symbol
  4. The symbol will appear in your document.


    Screenshot of Word 2013The inserted symbol

If you don't see the symbol you're looking for, click More Symbols... to open the Symbol dialog box. Locate and select the desired symbol, then click Insert.

Screenshot of Word 2013Symbol dialog box

Challenge!

  1. Open an existing Word 2013 document. If you want, you can use our practice document.
  2. Change the font style of some text.
  3. Change the font size of some text. If you are using the example, try changing the font size of the title.
  4. Change the font color of some text. If you are using the example, change the color of the park's name.
  5. Highlight some text.
  6. Try bolding, italicizing, or underlining some text.
  7. Change the case of some text. If you are using the example, change the case of the title.
  8. Center align some text.
  9. Insert a symbol in the text. If you are using the example, insert the registered trademark symbol ® after Sullie's Subs.