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Microsoft Word for Dissertations

Describes many of the special features of Microsoft Word you can use to make formatting your dissertation easier. While it's focused on dissertations, this information is useful for any long document.

Modifying a Style

The default formatting for many of the Styles in Word are, to be polite, less than useful. In a blank Word document the Heading 1 style is set to be Calibri Light, 16 point, and blue. Blue? Why did they choose that?  Unfortunately, many people don't realize you can modify the Styles to look the way YOU want them to look.

You can change the appearance of a style, including its line spacing, font, color, alignment… just about anything!  If you change a style, that change will affect all text in your document using that style. But those changes stay in just this document -- any new Word documents you create will have the default Word styles.

  1. In the Home tab, in the Styles Gallery, right-click on the style you want to change, and select Modify.  If you don’t see the style you want to change, click on the Expand icon to see a more complete list.
  2. In the Modify Style dialog box, you can make any change you want to the style.
  3. Click on the Format button in the bottom-left corner of the dialog box for even more options such as font, paragraph, numbering, etc.