Microsoft Word 2010 Modify Styles

Did you know...

You can modify the styles to match APA formatting (or any formatting you want for that matter).

If you are marking your headings with styles and the styles provided by Microsoft are not what you want, you can modify those styles for just that document or make the changes default for all future documents.

Once you change a style in one place in the document it will update all instances of that style to match the changes you made.

To change a style format there are a few ways to do it.  I will show you the two most common:

Format the text then update the style

Using Heading 1 and APA styles as my example...
  1. Apply Heading 1 to the text (don't worry about how it looks)
  2. Select the text
  3. Make the text black, 12 point, bold, centered, double spaced
  4. Right click on the Heading 1 style in the style group on the Home Ribbon
  5. Select Update Style to match Selection

Once you update the style all text that you have applied the Heading 1 style to will be updated to match the formatting you just created for Heading 1.  You can repeat the same process for any style by applying the style to text, formatting the text to match what you need and then updating the style to match the selected text.

Format the style then apply to text

  • Right click on the style you want to modify
  • Select Modify
  •  You will get this window.  There are several changes you can make on this window, the font name, font size, font color, bold, alignment, and spacing. 
  • At the bottom notice "New documents based on this template."  If you check that circle, all new document will have this style automatically.  If you do not check it the changes are for this document only and future documents will have to be formatted again.

  • While most of the changes can be made on this window, there is one that requires a bit more effort on your part.  That is to get rid of annoying extra space that you cannot delete between headings and text as shown below...

  • To fix those extra spaces, click on the format button at the bottom of the Modify Style window.  Then click on Paragraph.
  • The Paragraph window will come up.  It looks like this...
  • You will find two things to fix here.  The first line is indented .5" which makes the heading not really centered.  It will be off by .5".  So change the box that says First line to (none)
  • The second thing is the Spacing Before and Spacing After.  If either of those have anything other than 0 in them you will have extra spacing you can't delete.  Change both of those settings to 0.
  • Click OK and apply the heading style to the text you want. Below is a sample of how my styles look after adding the APA style format to the Heading 1 and Heading 2 styles.

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