Direct vs. Style Formatting in Microsoft Word

Q

What is the difference between Direct Formatting and Style Formatting in Microsoft Word?

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A

If you are occasional user of Microsoft Word for write a letter once a while, "Direct Formatting" or "Style Formatting" does not really matter to you.

But if your job requires you to frequently write documents, especially long documents, "Direct Formatting" or "Style Formatting" can have a major impact on your productivity. You should do "Style Formatting" only, and avoid "Direct Formatting" as much as possible.

Here are major differences between "Direct Formatting" and "Style Formatting".

  • When you use "Direct Formatting" to change a format property in one location in a document, the change only applies to that instance in that location.
  • When you use "Style Formatting" to change a format property in one location in a document, the change will be applied all instances in the document where the style is used.

For example, you have completed a document draft with 20 tables, your boss asks you to make the column header to be bolded with light blue background. Now, let’s compare two possible scenarios to get it done:

1. Direct Formatting - You select column headers, change them to bold and light blue background in all 20 tables.

2. Style Formatting - You apply a table style to all 20 tables, modify the style to have column headers in bold and light blue background.

So far, both scenarios may take more or less the same amount of time. No real winner yet. But when your boss says, "Mmm… , Can you change the background to light gray? It may look better." Now, there is big difference between two scenarios:

1. Direct Formatting - You select column headers, change them to light gray background in all 20 tables.

2. Style Formatting - You modify the style to have column headers in light gray background.

"Style Formatting" is clearly the winner. So remember to do "Style Formatting" as much as your can.

 

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2016-06-15, 1369👍, 0💬