Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Finding Paragraph Formatting Tools
Generally speaking, paragraph styles can save a lot of time, because you can apply several
new formatting settings to a paragraph in only a couple of mouse clicks. And when you
update any style, either character or paragraph, Word updates all the text in the document
with the new style settings.
Despite the obvious advantages of using paragraph styles, such as the ability to fi nd and
replace styles, you may not fi nd a style that includes all the formatting that you want
to apply to a given paragraph. In such a case, you will need to apply direct formatting.
That’s the reason why this chapter takes the time to highlight the various direct paragraph
formatting settings.
For a one time ad hoc need, direct paragraph formatting is entirely appropriate. For
example, if you’re creating a centered title on a one-page fl yer you’re going to tack to a
bulletin board, feel free to simply press Ctrl+E or click the Center button in the Paragraph
group to align the text.
On the other hand, if it’s formatting that you’re going to need again and again, then use a
paragraph style, even if you have to modify an existing style or create a brand-new style.
For example, if you are formatting a number of headings in a newsletter you will be writing
monthly for the next fi ve years, either adapt and start applying the built-in heading styles
(Heading 1, Heading 2, and so on), or create and use your own custom heading styles. The
more work styles can do for you, the less time you’re going to have to spend applying and
reapplying direct paragraph formatting.
Finding Paragraph Formatting Tools
Word stores each paragraph’s formatting in its paragraph mark. Say you have two
paragraphs with different line spacing settings applied. If you click at the beginning of the
second paragraph and press Backspace to combine the paragraphs, suddenly the combined
paragraphs use the same line spacing. (They use the spacing of the top paragraph, which is
a little counterintuitive.)
Similarly, say you create a double-spaced paragraph and then press Enter to start a new
paragraph, creating a paragraph mark on a line by itself. Then, you cut a few sentences
from a single-spaced paragraph elsewhere in the document and paste them just to the left
of the new paragraph mark. Word reformats the pasted single space text with the
doublespaced formatting setting stored in the paragraph mark.
That’s just two examples of why you may need to see the paragraph marks when formatting
and editing a document, especially when you’re cutting or copying and pasting text.
Pressing Ctrl+Shift+8 (Ctrl + *) or clicking the Show/Hide button in the Paragraph group of
the Home tab toggles the paragraph marks and other nonprinting characters on and off as
needed.
 
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