Formatting Tip: Creating Styles

I had planned on creating a video for today’s post, but my voice doesn’t get much use now I work from home (unless talking to the dog) so my attempt failed – but I will get one done soon I promise.

I have decided to show you some screenshots on how to create a style in Microsoft Word. I use Word 2011 for the Mac, so bear in mind this might look different to your version, but I will provide some links at the end for other versions so you can still make use of this post.

To start with you need to be in a new Word document.

Find the button/menu item which says New Style:

New Style

Click on this button/menu item and you’ll be faced with a new dialogue box, similar to this one:

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 2.47.39 PM

From here you need to make some selections. Choose a name for your style, and choose a style you want to base this new style on. Choosing Normal would be my suggestion, as you know that this is the basic style of text in a document.

In this dialogue box you can change other things such as font, font size, alignment, line spacing and other basic styling. If you want to play around with first line indents, left and right indents, spaces after returns then you need to click on Format in the bottom left hand corner and open the Paragraph dialogue box.

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 2.47.50 PM

As you can see, these are the settings I use for Normal and are set-up in my new eBook formatting template. The 0.1cm first line indent I mentioned in another post, it stops Amazon forcing your text into indents, it’s so small you can’t see it when viewing on the Kindle (or even in the Word document).

You can obviously change any of these settings to suit you, but I strongly urge you to keep things as simple as possible!

Once you have created your new style, you can then choose whether to add it just to the particular document you are working on, or add it to the template file.

Now for those links for those of you with different Word versions:

How to Make Your Own Formatting Style in Word 2010

The Essentials of Creating and Using Styles in Word 2007

How to Create New Styles in Word 2003


  1. It looks a little different from my Windows version alright. But I got the idea. Thanks!

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