Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Styles for Many Reasons...Styles with Numbers

When you see a style with a trailing number in the Styles pane, the number frequently refers to an indention hierarchy. For example, consider the List style.
  • List is flush with the left margin.
  • List 2 is indented .25 inches from the left margin.
  • List 3 is indented .50 inches from the left margin.
  • List 4 is indented .75 inches from the left margin.
  • List 5 is indented one inch from the left margin.
If you want a list that is indented .50 inches from the left margin, apply the List 3 style to your text.

Any style with a trailing number may have many other attributes (like bold or italic) applied to it; however, the number almost always implies that the style is progressively indented.

Notable exceptions exist. Heading, TOC, and Index styles are not usually grouped with the type of styles being discussed in this post.

When you're considering using one of the trailing numbered styles, you can pick any style to get the desired results. No rule says that you have to use List 3 before List 4 or vice versa. You pick the style that gives you the text position you want. Again...the word processor doesn't care which style you pick to present text. You are free to pick the style that gives you the desired result.

Being able to pick styles gives you the freedom to create nested lists.

In this example, I've turn on the hidden codes so that you see the paragraph marks, spaces, tabs, etc. In addition, I've added the style names (in blue text) I picked to get the presentation of the information. Be sure to note that the paragraph mark at the end of the paragraph includes all of the formatting for the text that appears before it. So the paragraph mark behind Jones, the last entry on the list, has the characteristics of a List Bullet 2 style because those characteristics are embedded in the paragraph mark behind Jones.

The following example shows how the same text looks with the hidden codes turned off.

This view is what you would normally see. Again, you need to know about the hidden codes when something goes wrong and you're trying to fix a document.

More about styles later. Right now you need to play with the styles that have numbers behind them to see what they do. Depending on what you are doing, you may have no use for this type of style or lots of use for this type of style. Again...the word process couldn't care less which styles you use or the order in which you use them.

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