In a previous article, we looked at how to create custom styling for your documents, so that your fonts, formatting, headings and styles are consistent. You can create a custom style that is consistent with your branding and then set this as the default so that any documents you create for your company are the same.That’s all well and good for when you only have one business to deal with, but what about when you are creating documents on behalf of your customers, when they all have their own branding and styles?
Traditionally, styles are only available in the workbook in which they are created. There aren’t many options to ‘copy styles’ or to choose styles from pre-formatted options. Whilst you can set a style to be available in any document created from the template you are working on, you can’t set it to be always available as standard.
What you can do though, is create a Custom Style Set – a collection of styles, fonts, formats and colours that is stored within your Microsoft Word application and can be applied to any document that you create.
How to create your style set
First of all you need to start with a blank document, and set up your individual styles as you want them to look. If you aren’t sure what I mean by individual styles, or don’t know how to do this, check out this article on easy styling. If you are lucky, you’ll already have a previous document that you, or your client, have already set up styles in, in which case, you can use this!
You can see below, I have a document here that I have already set up custom styles for the main headings and elements of my document. I now want to use these in another document for the same client.
Your styles are added and modified on the ‘home‘ tab under the ‘styles‘ group, however, your style sets are selected and modified under the ‘design‘ tab
Select ‘design‘ tab then under the list of existing style sets click the ‘more…‘ drop down
Select ‘save as style set‘ – this will save the current document’s styles as a new style set available in all of your Word Document. You’ll see that by default, this file is saved as a template within your ‘Microsoft Word’ folder under the ‘Quick Styles’ section.
Give the template a title you will remember and click ‘Save‘
You can then save and close your document.
Applying your style set to other documents
Open up a new blank document, or even an existing document
Select ‘Design‘ tab > ‘Style Sets‘ group and click the ‘More…‘ dropdown
You will see a new section available for ‘Custom‘ style sets. Simply click on the style set you want to apply and it’s done! If you flick back to the home tab, you will see that your styles have now changed to the ones you have previously customised and are available for you to apply in this document.
Note: if at any point you decide that you’d prefer to switch back to the default style set, or change to a new one, you can do so by going back to the ‘design’ tab > more dropdown and selecting ‘reset to default style set’ or select ‘this document’s style set’