How to alter formats utilizing Replace or by modifying a design in Microsoft Word


Notebook with Microsoft Word logo. Word processor developed by Microsoft. Image: PhotoGranary/Adobe Stock If you’re dealing with a Microsoft Word file that doesn’t fit your organization’s conventions, you have two options. A fast one-time service is to use Word’s Replace feature to find and modify formats. Or, you can alter the style. Your option might depend on your own capability. You might know how to do one or the other but not both. Nevertheless, neither option is superior, however one might do the job while the

other doesn’t. In this tutorial, I’ll reveal you two methods to make fast work of a formatting task by utilizing Replace or modifying a design. Specifically, we’ll include more area above all headings styled with the built-in Heading 2 style. This is a simple example, and both techniques will work with more complex formatting requirements.

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I’m utilizing Microsoft 365 on a Windows 10 64-bit system, however you can use earlier variations of Word. Word for the web doesn’t support either of these options. Do not hesitate to follow along in this demonstration file.

How to utilize change to reformat in Word

Now let’s expect that you have actually gotten a Word file consisted of lots of pages. Throughout the file, someone has used the built-in designs, Heading 2 and Heading 3. You wish to increase the area above each incident of Heading 2 text. If this is a one-time repair, Word’s change feature can finish the job rapidly.

Prior to we do anything, let’s inspect a heading to see what the current setting is for the area above the text:

1. Select any occurrence of Heading 2 text (Figure A) in the presentation file.

Figure A

The space above the heading is 2 pt. The space above the heading is 2 pt. 2. Click the Paragraph group’s

dialog launcher. 3. The Prior to setting is 2 pt. 4. You might change this today for this specific occurrence, however click Cancel rather

. In file format, there are 72 points in an inch, so 2 points is hardly noticeable. You must recognize how much space you want to include. Let’s take the simple path and include one line rather of trying to work with points. Particularly, let’s include one paragraph mark before every Heading 2 heading as follows:

1. Press Ctrl + H or pick Change in the Modifying group on the Home tab, and click the Replace tab if necessary.

2. In the resulting dialog, click inside the Discover What control, and eliminate any text if any.

3. Click the More button to open more choices.

4. Click the No Format option to eliminate any formatting from a previous change task.

5. Click the Format button at the bottom of the dialog and choose Design from the resulting list.

6. In the resulting dialog, browse down until you see Heading 2, and pick it.

7. Click OK. Listed below the Discover What control, you ought to see Heading 2 listed.

8. Click inside the Replace With control, and remove any previous text.

9. Get in ^ p ^ & into the Replace With control, as displayed in Figure B.

Figure B

Add a paragraph mark before Heading 2 text. Add a paragraph

mark before Heading 2 text. 10. Click Replace All, and after that, close the dialog. As you can see in Figure C, the change is dramatic– possibly too significant. Nevertheless, this is an easy fix, and you don’t have to stop with this basic example. Normally, you get in text in the Discover What control, but this time you specified a style, Heading 2. The ^ p code inserts a paragraph return and ^ & inserts the found text. In this case, that’s the Heading 2 text. Replace can deal with more than text.

Figure C

The paragraph mark adds a great deal of space before the headings. The paragraph mark includes a lot of area prior to the headings. If replace does not work for you, use the Unique button at the bottom of the dialog to enter the paragraph mark, ^ p, code for you. Sometimes, Word doesn’t analyze codes typed from the keyboard. In addition, make sure there’s no area character prior to the first code, between the two codes or after the last code.

When utilizing replace, it’s a good concept to examine both controls first due to the fact that Word remembers the last replace job. Clear both controls, and use the No Formatting choice to clear any formatting.

Before you continue to the next section, press Ctrl + Z or the Undo button to get rid of the paragraph marks inserted by change. Now, let’s take a look at changing the Heading 2 design for the present document.

How to modify the design to reformat in Word

The replace method works rapidly, if you understand how to represent the design and the Replace With codes. Besides, you might now want to insert an entire paragraph mark, and you might choose a bit less spacing. Modifying the style is probably best in this circumstance.

Let’s customize the Before setting for the Heading 2 design as follows:

1. Right-click Heading 2 in the Designs gallery and pick Modify.

2. In the resulting dialog, click Format at the bottom, and pick Paragraph.

3. Click the Indents and Spacing tab.

4. Modification the Prior to setting from 2 to 15 (Figure D).

Figure D

Increase the Before setting to 15. Increase the Prior to setting to 15. 5. Click OK two times. As you can see in Figure E, there’s more spacing before the Heading 2 text, however it’s not as much as a complete paragraph mark inserts. If you make the same change typically, consider producing a template. Doing so will assist you make this modification even quicker.

Figure E

The spacing above the Heading 2 text is greater than it was, but it's a subtle change. The spacing above the Heading 2 text is higher than it was, but it’s a subtle modification. Use either of these techniques to alter format for any file. Both functions are versatile, and you can change a fair bit, very rapidly.


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