There are numerous ways to specify the style of a paragraph, for instance by using the Styles and Formatting dialog, the Help Producer Formatting toolbar, or keyboard shortcuts. You can speed up the process of applying styles significantly, if you use the keyboard shortcuts defined by Microsoft Word in combination with short style abbreviations. Some of the most frequently used styles have dedicated shortcuts. See the topic Using Shortcuts in Word for details.

Create a style abbreviation

  1. On the Format menu, click Style (Word 2000) or Styles and Formatting (Word 2002 and higher).
  2. Select the style and click Modify.
  3. In the Name field, append a short name to the style name, separated by a comma. For instance, if the style name is Heading 1, change the name to Heading 1, h1. Then, you can reference the style by the short name h1, in addition to the long name Heading 1.

Set the style using a style abbreviation

  1. Select the text you want to apply a style to.
  2. Press CTRL+SHIFT+S to select the Style combo‑box in the Formatting toolbar.
  3. Type the short form of the style name (the text right of the comma of the full style name). For instance, to apply the style "Text, t", enter "t".
  4. Press Enter to apply the style.
  5. If you more sections of text that should be formatted with the same style, you can use the Repeat command (short-key CTRL+Y).

Tips & Tricks

There are many small tricks that can help you working efficiently with styles:

  1. If you have styles that you use frequently, you can assign keyboard shortcuts to certain styles. To create keyboard shortcuts, select Customize from the Tools menu, and click the button Keyboard.
  2. You can create short style name synonyms for styles that you use frequently. For instance, if you have a style named ‘Alert Text’, change the name to ‘Alert Text, at’ to create the synonym ‘at’. To apply the style ‘Alert Text’, press CTRL+SHIFT+S and type ‘at’ in the style field, followed by the ENTER key.
  3. If you need to create a new style that is similar to another style, you can base the new style on your existing one. The new style will automatically inherit all styles from the base style.
  4. For paragraph styles, you can assign a style for the following paragraph. For instance, if you have a paragraph style called ‘Heading 1’, you can set the following style to ‘Text’.
  5. Word 2000 allows you to define styles for paragraphs (paragraph styles) and for ranges of text (character styles). In addition to paragraph and character styles, Word 2002 (XP) and Word 2003 allow you to define styles for tables (table styles) and lists (list styles).

See Also

Working with Styles | Tips and Tricks