I would like to make a template file in Word in which all words in bold are not just in bold, but also have a different color. For example in the text below, I want the word important not just to be bold, but also in blue as this fits the color scheme in my document.

This is very important

I would like to include this in my template file, so I can use it for all my documents. Ideally, this would work by just selecting a word an pressing the [bold] icon on my toolbar.

Here is a screenshot to show you want I want...

enter image description here

2 Answers 2


Your idea isn't something that Word supports. You might be able to code it in VBA, but it'd be a load on your system.

As a workaround, you can create a character format that can apply bold and a color.


Word support Paragraph, Character, and Linked Paragraph/Character formats, denoted by the Paragraph Mark, lower case a, and both, respectively:

Word Styles Dialog excerpt

In the above, Strong is a Character style and List Paragraph is a Paragraph style. Quote and Intense Quote a Linked styles, meaning you can apply either of them as a Character style when you use them on selected text. Word applies it as a Paragraph format when you don't have any selected text, so wherever the text cursor resides is the paragraph where Word applied that format.

To make a Character style:

For example, enter a word that you want bold and blue and apply that formatting:

Bold and Blue applied to a word

Next, click the Create New Style Button on the Styles dialog:

Create New Style

On the Create New Styles from Formatting dialog, give your new style a name, select Character as the Style Type, and if you wish, select "New documents based on this template" if you will need this in your document template (probably normal.dotm):

enter image description here

Now your character style will appear on the Styles dialog and you can apply it to any selected text.

  • That happens more often... that I want something that is not supported. What do you mean by character format?
    – MWB
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 12:56
  • Yeah, Word has habit of not permitting powerful or very useful editing functions, but goes all out to give you eyecandy and mail merge. Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 14:11
  • 1
    Thanks for you help. I guess it is not possible to use that font automatically when you press the [bold] icon or when you use the default [ctrl]-b shortcut...
    – MWB
    Commented Dec 23, 2018 at 9:24
  • Sure, thing. I'm happy I could help. I use Word when that's all my employ thinks they need. Otherwise, FrameMaker is my go to tool. Word is okay and you can get by with it as long as you don't need complex formatting and don't need to construct a large, inter-linked document set. Take care. Commented Dec 23, 2018 at 17:07

For anyone else fiddling with Word like this 3 years on:

Create your custom style or edit the existing 'Strong' style with your desired formatting, then just assign the style the ctl+b keyboard shortcut. It will override the existing normal bold option and use your preferred style instead. Slight downside is it's no longer a toggle, so to undo the bold either ctl+z or set up another keyboard shortcut for the 'Normal' style to un-bold.

To update all the existing bold formatting to your new style, use the find and replace function to search by format and replace with a style.

find and replace -> 'More >>>' -> Format -> Font -> bold

Repeat for the 'Replace with' field but select Style instead of Font.

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