Chapter 5. Formatting 101: Font/Character Formatting

One of the more difficult conceptual hurdles in understanding Word is the way formatting is conceived. Some people think about formatting as a stream. You turn it on here, and it remains on until you turn it off later.

However, Word's formatting mindset is not stream-oriented—it's object-oriented. Rather than turn formatting on in one place and off in another in order to format a block of text, you format objects such as letters, words, paragraphs, tables, pictures, and so on. However, saying the O word (object) causes some people's eyes to glaze over.

Another way to think about formatting is in units. Formatting can be applied to any unit you can select. The smallest unit that can be formatted is a single character. Discrete units larger than characters are words, sentences, paragraphs, document sections, and the whole document.

The Big Picture

Word has four levels of formatting: character, paragraph, section, and document. Things such as bold, italic, points, and superscript are called character or font formatting and can be applied to as little as a single character. I'll talk about the other levels of formatting in later chapters.

Personally, I don't like the adjective "font" formatting, because most people—including me—think of fonts as things like ...

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