Font Characteristics

MS Word for Writers Basic MS Word Skills Every Writer Needs
14 minutes
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As we begin looking at various font characteristics, or ways you can dress up your text, you'll find those on the Home ribbon toolbar in the area on the left hand side of the menu, but not quite all the way at the left, you'll notice at the very bottom of that toolbar, the word font, everything within the long lines here are font characteristics areas, and we'll go through them one at a time. So beginning I'm going to highlight some text so that you can see it update in lifetime response. I believe this feature became available in the 2007 edition. If you highlight some text on your screen, and then come to the area where you see words written out here, in this case, Times New Roman, there's a drop down arrow that will allow you to choose a myriad of fonts from your computer, and as you drop down and begin hovering over Those items in the text.

Depending on the fonts you have installed in your computer, you'll be able to see those updates live in your highlighted text so that you can choose which font you may want to incorporate. I'll show you later in the styles area, how to make these selections even more powerful and apply them throughout your document with the ease of one click, but for now, I think it's important to know that if you want to preview what your text would look like, highlight some of your text first, and then find the font that you want to use. Next up our font sizing options and this is available on the button right next door to the name of the font. There are large numbers and small numbers and the higher the number, the larger the font. You may be familiar with such features as bold, italics, and underline for these users.

Hover over the button and then click it to enact. Notice when the feature is turned on for the text that you're looking at the button behind it will turn a darker gray. If we italicize it, that button will also turn on now you'll notice that it's both bold and italics text and the underline they all feed function the exact same way, you can turn them off independent of one another and leave only the features that you need. You may also notice that there's a drop down arrow on the underline and this would allow you choices of different styles of underlines there or to define your own based on the more underlined feature, that would it give you choices to add color to this as well. And I'll just cancel back out of there but know that all of those options are available from that drop down arrow next to the underline.

Now, looking ahead, you may also be interested in knowing how to strike through to Perhaps you're writing a how to manual. And it might be valuable to you to show people what it looks like when text is struck out. Or you may be writing something that includes some formulas, chemical formulas, or whatnot. So let's say we were making h2 Oh, and we wanted to make the to be what's known as sub text, type out your text and then highlight the number, you can turn on the sub, sub script button here sub text. Look at me, I'm editing already. Sub script, excuse me, and that will convert your numbers or letters to ride a little bit lower on the line.

Back in our typewriter days, we used to actually earn the carriage African lick, but now it's used with subscripts. Or if you need to superscript something, let's say you're writing math equation, and you want to have a polynomial. I'm really Reach here, you can use the superscript feature to say x squared y squared. Make sense? These are called subscript and superscript. All right, now as I move my mouse to a different area, do you notice how those buttons stopped being highlighted?

If I want to determine if a number or feature is superscript, I can highlight it and then the buttons that are appropriate will be lit up to let me know which features are turned on at any given point in time. Now, if you happen to be writing for a blog, or even just creating a flyer for something like a yard sale, or a book signing, note, these next two buttons that I'll show you these both either increase or decrease the size of the font. You may be familiar with using this for a single set of words or phrases. Let's say for example, I want my chapter name to be larger than the rest of the text around it. But were you aware that you can select areas that have differing font size To start with, if you were to select a font size using the drop down menu here, you would be stuck making all of your text uniform size again.

But if instead you use the increase font size, notice how it takes each independent segment up one font size higher from that list, or down one font size level, while we're allowing them to remain independently functioning of one another. These are super fun, especially if you're creating flyers and you need to fill space and you're not exactly sure how much room it would take up, you can still keep the important elements important. Next up is a nice feature for changing the characteristics of your text. Let's say for example, that you wanted to make your chapter titles, all uppercase. Without retyping you can simply turn on the uppercase feature or per Perhaps you'd want to capitalize each word. I can't imagine a situation when we'd want to lowercase a chapter title, but maybe e Cummings might in the poetry.

These are all totally options available to on the button that has the upper and lowercase A's together from your drop down menu. This toggle case feature is unique and hopefully no longer that valuable. But perhaps those of you who have the 2003 or older additions, may remember if you ever put on your caps lock and forgot that you had it on when you began to type and you typed a capital letter, it would actually come out lowercase and then everything else would be uppercase. The toggle case allows you to swap it back if you've made that error. So I don't know why they still have that available, but perhaps in some dos platforms, rather than Windows or Mac. That may still be an option that people use I'm not sure.

Anyway, these are all available to you on the upper and lowercase a here which is called the change case button. The next thing I want to introduce you to is the power of hovering over one of the buttons. I want as I move from button to button, I want you to notice how after a moment's pause, the box lights up that says increase font size, it tells you what the button does. So if you ever forget which which function a certain tool performs, simply hover your mouse over top of it and wait. And if like me, you are a keyboard shortcut fiend. When you hover above that button, notice that right after the name of the tool, it will tell you the keyboard shortcut.

So for superscript you are going to highlight your text and then press and hold the Ctrl key or the Command key down while you type up hold the shift key and the plus symbol. Okay. Or if you want to turn on underline, hold down the Ctrl or Command ASCII and type the letter you control I for italics. Ctrl B for bold. Okay, on to some more features here available also in the font characteristics. This one doesn't come up too often in the regular manuscript preparation, but perhaps in blogs, it might be something that you have a possibility, or more likely you're going to do this on your online platform, but it is possible here in word as well to turn on effects and type graphy.

And so for the text that you've highlighted, you can apply something that are automated features. Some of these have colors and drop shadows automatically applied. Some of them have outlines, some of them have shadow and outline, some of them have reflections already in there. You can access each of these tools independently choosing the color of the outline, the depth and direction of the shadow. The depth and direction of the reflection, and the extent of and color of the glow you might apply or styles for the numbers. If you've ever been disturbed that the numbers three and eight are smaller in a specific font, you may be able to change that here in the text characteristics aspect in your number styles feature.

Or if you are, let's say a historical fiction writer, he may love to use fancy fonts and some of your ligature options here the ways that the letters connect to one another may be amenable to you here in the ligature feature of this tool which again is on your font characteristics, and it's called type text effects and type autography. Now, you may want to highlight some text so that you can see it at a glance later. This is available on your highlighter highlighting function, you can highlight your text and then choose the color that you want to make it You can change colors by highlighting again or if you want to turn on the pen, notice how the shape of my mouse changed. Now it's an active pen, everything that I click and drag will become highlighted in that feature. However, if you don't want that, if you've accidentally done too much, remember that Undo button that we discovered in the previous lecture, you can undo each of your steps one at a time backwards, backwards, backwards until you're back where you started or where you're comfortable and confident for moving forward.

Okay, also, on this same area is the option to change the color of your text. So notice the background has a pen, that's your highlighter tool, but the text color change button has the letter capital A, with a swipe of color underneath and that will allow you to choose the color of your text and notice if you have it highlighted first, you can preview by hovering above theme colors, they're the standard colors on that palette. Or if you're a designer, you may want to select more colors. And then choose you can use RGB color models HSL color models, or in some of the features, you can choose Pantone colors, and I'll show you that area later as well. Then if you've loaded up your fonts and here's a fun way, let's say you aren't even sure what you have on anymore on all your features, but you want to just set it back to default.

The capital A with the eraser next door is the clear all formatting, highlight your text and then click this button and it will set it back to default. And notice that it also indented it because in this document that I set up Originally, I had first line indent setup and we'll talk about that in our paragraph section later. But for now, know that you can can change your font. That's the way that the text looks on the page the writing, you can change the size of the font, you can change increasing or decreasing the size of multiple sizes of text at the same time. You can Bold Italic, Underline, strikethrough. Use subscript or superscript.

Apply various kinds of cool effects to your type though I encourage you to be calm and not use too many because it can be a visual overload. You can add highlighting color behind your text, you can change the color of the text itself. But then finally, as a bonus, I want to introduce you to the More button in this font characteristics area where you'll find additional features like Double Strike through and small caps. I personally love small caps for titles for chapter titles and sometimes for book titles as well. Let me Turn, let me highlight some text here for chapter one, and go back to our more button again, which is accessed by that little drop down arrow in the corner. And as I select small caps, you'll notice nothing changes here because we had the all caps feature turned on in another portion of the document.

So let me slip out of that, and put this back to a case that's going to show us capitalizing each word. Now we see our small caps and acted. Notice that the first letter of each word is a larger capital letter, but each one of the letters inside that text is still the capital version. Some are just smaller than others. Other things you might be interested in in this area of the feature or the advanced features, and if you're a designer in the end phase, and perhaps you've run across some text, that when you've justify the text so that it doesn't have ragged right or left edges of your text. Maybe you see lots of wide spaces between the words, the place in this where you'll be able to adjust that is on the spacing.

So this is character spacing, and we're going to be able to affect, condense or expand that distance between words within each line. So if you want to change it there, you can make the words tighter or looser, using the character spacing. Okay, make sense. These are available all in the font area of your home ribbon toolbar. We'll talk more about how to affect the distance and the line spacing in our next section.

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