I thought I’d already written a post on how Microsoft Word styles are used in every document imaginable, but apparently not. I created a YouTube video a while back for it, but I can’t locate the post it was intended for…maybe it was on the old Word Words site and didn’t migrate across. I thought I’d got them all, but apparently not. In this post and video, I’m going to talk a little about the importance of Microsoft Word’s styles
Anyway, Word styles…here we go [again]. 😀
You read, heard, and seen me talk about 1 style – 1 purpose, right? Many times, no doubt.
And this also applies to your documents, templates, etc. Pretty much anything you create using Word which isn’t a one-off. So, if you (or a group of you) need to create more than one document, then you create a template and you all use that same template: it’s great for consistency, standardisation, and all the rest of it. That’s the beauty of templates and, of course, the styles that go with it.
As long as your fellow team members don’t change the design, and they shouldn’t (tsk! if they do), it’ll all look consistent and the boss and the standards department will be happy.
But what about if you’re writing a simple document? One that doesn’t need all the bold and large Heading 1 text; or the smaller Heading 2, and even smaller Headings 3, 4 right through to 9? (Yes, Word has 9 heading levels built-in – you can add your own, but they’re not as ‘powerful’, i.e. they don’t ‘hook’ into the Word system in the same way that the built-in ones do).  I’ll elaborate on that and explain further in a later post.
Well, you have to use Word’s styles anyway (you can never not use a style in Word, you have no choice – more on that here), so you might as well learn about them and then use them to your advantage.
Though the image below is a little cropped, we have 2 identical looking documents: the one on the left uses a single style (the Normal style); the one on the right has a title, has multiple heading levels and, from the navigation pane, we can see that we have 4 chapters (even the Chapter 4 comes before Chapter 1 in this document (that’s explained in the video)).
So you can see the importance of Microsoft Word’s styles (as well as some immediate benefits).

The importance of Microsoft Word's styles

Figure 1 – Showing the importance of Microsoft Word’s styles

So, how does this work and how beneficial is it?
Well, let’s

Watch The importance of Microsoft Word’s styles video

It’s just over 11 minutes long (and apologies for the sound being a little tinny), but I hope it helps to fully illustrate not only the importance of Microsoft Word’s styles, but also how you can use them to your advantage in pretty much and document or template, whatever the design.