Format → Font
In Word, characters are the letters, numbers, and symbols typed on a keyboard. Every character typed in Word is actually represented by a numeric code. Hit Shift-Z to put in a capital letter Z, for example, and you’re really inserting the keyboard code 90 into a document.
A font is a routine that tells Word how to draw each of the codes onscreen and how to print them. So a font is really just a facade applied to the numeric code. To see that this is true, type a capital Z into a document in the Arial font. Now, switch to the Wingdings 3 font. The Z you typed should now look like a left arrow. It’s still the same keyboard code; it just has a different font applied to it.
Characters can have other formatting applied to them as well, specifying everything from italic to size to color. Though many of these formatting features are available on the Formatting toolbar, the Format → Font command offers greater variety and more precise control.
Unless you are only making simple, one-time changes to character formatting, it is probably better to create a style. Styles are collections of character or paragraph formats that you can apply all at once. For more on using styles, see the Format section later in this chapter.
To apply formatting to existing text, be sure the text is selected and then use Format → Font to open the Font dialog box. Ctrl-D also opens the dialog. Opening the dialog without selecting text first causes ...