is there any documentation from the MS regarding the usage of individual built-in styles that I can incorporate into SOP?

Word has a real abundance of built-in styles. I guess a lot of them is there for some arcane and compatibility reasons. But many of them must be there for immediate usage by the end user: like the Heading 1 style.

Of course, one can always create a new style whenever one needs to, and never caring about the build-in styles. But then one forgoes the nice magic behind changing the style set, and maintainability of the formatting, when someone else will try to use it.

All Word tutorials I can find, clearly state the purpose of the Heading X family of styles. And this is the end of what I can learn on this matter. I can't even see a consensus about what style to use for "normal" paragraph.

  • What is the use of the styles List Continue X? They don't contain any numbering scheme, and by default a list continues the previous list based on the same numbering scheme (at least in Word 2007).

  • What is the intended use of the Caption style? The font size is rather small. Is it intended as a manual footnote text?

  • What is the use of the List Paragraph style? (Note: it doesn't contain any numbering scheme attached to it). Is it intended to use as in the description environment in LaTeX)?

  • What is the difference in usage between those paragraph styles: Normal, Normal (applied to an object), Normal (applied within a table), Plain Text, Body Text, Body Text 2, Body Text 3? I've made it a separate question Which style to use for simple paragraph text in Word?

To narrow down the hunt, I've assumed, that the only styles that are intended for direct use are those, that are included in the default Style set. But still, the default style set on Word 2007 contains 136 styles... To further narrow down the list, I've cross-referenced them with the list of 132 styles mentioned by the WdBuiltinStyle enumeration. This way I've come to this list of 52 distinct styles:

<Style name>              <Type>    <WdBuiltinStyle>
Heading 1                 Paragraph wdStyleHeading1
Heading 2                 Paragraph wdStyleHeading2
Heading 3                 Paragraph wdStyleHeading3
Heading 4                 Paragraph wdStyleHeading4
Heading 5                 Paragraph wdStyleHeading5
Heading 6                 Paragraph wdStyleHeading6
Heading 7                 Paragraph wdStyleHeading7
Heading 8                 Paragraph wdStyleHeading8
Heading 9                 Paragraph wdStyleHeading9
TOC 1                     Paragraph wdStyleTOC1
TOC 2                     Paragraph wdStyleTOC2
TOC 3                     Paragraph wdStyleTOC3
TOC 4                     Paragraph wdStyleTOC4
TOC 5                     Paragraph wdStyleTOC5
TOC 6                     Paragraph wdStyleTOC6
TOC 7                     Paragraph wdStyleTOC7
TOC 8                     Paragraph wdStyleTOC8
TOC 9                     Paragraph wdStyleTOC9
Caption                   Paragraph wdStyleCaption
Title                     Paragraph wdStyleTitle
Default Paragraph Font    Character wdStyleDefaultParagraphFont
Subtitle                  Paragraph wdStyleSubtitle
Strong                    Character wdStyleStrong
Emphasis                  Character wdStyleEmphasis
Light Shading             Table     wdStyleTableLightShading
Light List                Table     wdStyleTableLightList
Light Grid                Table     wdStyleTableLightGrid
Medium Shading 1          Table     wdStyleTableMediumShading1
Medium Shading 2          Table     wdStyleTableMediumShading2
Medium List 1             Table     wdStyleTableMediumList1
Medium List 2             Table     wdStyleTableMediumList2
Medium Grid 1             Table     wdStyleTableMediumGrid1
Medium Grid 2             Table     wdStyleTableMediumGrid2
Medium Grid 3             Table     wdStyleTableMediumGrid3
Dark List                 Table     wdStyleTableDarkList
Colorful Shading          Table     wdStyleTableColorfulShading
Colorful List             Table     wdStyleTableColorfulList
Colorful Grid             Table     wdStyleTableColorfulGrid
Light Shading Accent 1    Table     wdStyleTableLightShadingAccent1
Light List Accent 1       Table     wdStyleTableLightListAccent1
Light Grid Accent 1       Table     wdStyleTableLightGridAccent1
Medium Shading 1 Accent 1 Table     wdStyleTableMediumShading1Accent1
Medium Shading 2 Accent 1 Table     wdStyleTableMediumShading2Accent1
Medium List 1 Accent 1    Table     wdStyleTableMediumList1Accent1
List Paragraph            Paragraph wdStyleListParagraph
Quote                     Paragraph wdStyleQuote
Intense Quote             Paragraph wdStyleIntenseQuote
Subtle Emphasis           Character wdStyleSubtleEmphasis
Intense Emphasis          Character wdStyleIntenseEmphasis
Subtle Reference          Character wdStyleSubtleReference
Intense Reference         Character wdStyleIntenseReference
Book Title                Character wdStyleBookTitle

So when you limit your document to the build-in styles, changing the style set affects only those 52 styles.

I would append to this list the following built-in styles, which are absent in the Scheme, so the formatting is (regrettably) unchanged when you apply the scheme (that is the part that is unique to those styles and is independent from any possible base styles):

Endnote Reference         Character wdStyleEndnoteReference
Endnote Text              Paragraph wdStyleEndnoteText
Footer                    Paragraph wdStyleFooter
Footnote Reference        Character wdStyleFootnoteReference
Footnote Text             Paragraph wdStyleFootnoteText
Hyperlink                 Character wdStyleHyperlink
Macro Text                Paragraph wdStyleMacroText
  • I'm not entirely clear on what the question is here. Use them when you think they would be appropriate for your document. – Raystafarian Dec 30 '13 at 17:54
  • @Raystafarian Of course; and this is what most people do. And then someone has a numbering style called "Numbered List", other "Enumeration" and yet another "MyNumberedList". And when you want to copy & paste all three documents into your own you end up re-assigning styles for all the documents because it is easier to copy them as plain text, rather than learn the style hierarchies and deduce their intended use. Especially if the styles are named in a language you don't know... – Adam Ryczkowski Dec 30 '13 at 18:05
  • @Raystafarian if people would adhere to some standard set of styles, copying & pasting parts of other people documents can automatically retain the formatting scheme of the master document I'm copying into. – Adam Ryczkowski Dec 30 '13 at 18:07
  • Problem exists between keyboard chair? Is the question "How to inform the world's population on how to use Styles? I know this comes across as pretty snarky, but that's not my intention. – Raystafarian Dec 30 '13 at 18:07
  • @Raystafarian I want to write some standard procedures in my organization for writing the Word documents. I'd like these procedures to be as "standard" as possible; I'd like not to reinvent the style for something, when the Uncle Microsoft had already made one build-in. And as a bonus, if I do that, I will have a nice way to change the layout of the document using the built-in style sets. – Adam Ryczkowski Dec 30 '13 at 18:12

For a detailed explanation of styles, including the various types, please read: Style basics in Word from the Microsoft Office web site.


Ad List Paragraph

The List Paragraph style gets applied automatically, when you do apply any standard numbering scheme - be it with auto format, or by clicking the paragraph properties.

The style is a paragraph style and it does not include the actual numbering scheme, it makes sure, that all the list items are kept with the single vertical space between, and to keep a horizontal left indent (removing it wouldn't change list formatting, so I guess it is superfluous)

Anyway, one should not use it.

The numbered lists can use the wdStyleListNumber (List Number) style, as suggested in this VBA macro written by MVP. It is important to note, that the professional treatment of word numbering is quite complicated matter; it boils out to using only lists that are defined with the Style, and use one of these two techniques to restart the numbering upon each list.

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