MS-Word 2007/10/13

This article defines direct formatting and describes the many problems associated with using it as opposed to formatting using Styles.

Direct Formatting

Direct formatting refers to selecting text and choosing a format for it. When more than one format is required, each must be chosen individually for the selected text.

Direct formatting has its place, but to using it exclusively ignores one of word processing's very best features: Styles.

Problems using direct formatting:

  • Applying multiple formats is tedious
  • Changes to direct formatting must be effected instance by instance
  • Consistency within a document can be difficult to achieve
  • Achieving standardization between documents is even more difficult
  • Headings created using direct formatting provide the right appearance, but unlike built-in heading styles, don't tap into the tremendous power of Outline view or the Search pane

Styles overcome all these shortcomings and also save time and effort spent formatting.

See Formatting with Styles.


Bruce Miller, 2000, 2005, 2014

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