What is a Style?

Styles are one of the single most important elements to understand the use of. Let us begin with one very simple example.

Headings: Many documents, especially books, have Chapter headings. Let us look at how you might deal with the following:

Chapter One – Introduction.

My story begins in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland.

Chapter Two - Education.

The Royal High School sat on Calton Hill with the facade of a Greek Temple overlooking Arthur's Seat.

Many users highlight the chapter headings, change the Font size to a larger one, and perhaps make the text Bold. Quite a few keystrokes and/or mouse clicks, especially when you have many chapters to apply this to.

And that is exactly what DBT sees when the file is opened in DBT. It ignores the font size, but recognizes Bold, and therefore may show the Bold on - Bold off indicators in braille. Text will also begin in cell 3.

On the other hand, you could place your cursor on the chapter heading line, and either hold down the Control and Alt keys together and press the number 1 - or - Click on Heading 1 in Word's Quick Style Ribbon. Your Heading will now look something like this:

Chapter One – Introduction.

Now when opened in DBT, this heading will have DBT's "h1." style automatically applied, and will now correctly place the heading in the center of the braille line, followed by a blank line.

Even if the author is not aware of what alternative outputs may be created afterwords, there are three good reasons for using Word styles properly.

  1. Fewer steps are required to create the Heading.
  2. Styles, such as Heading 1 here, can be modified in appearance in the entire document in one simple dialog. (And indeed can be changed for all new documents if wished.)
  3. A Table of Contents can be created in quite literally seconds.

We will cover these in more detail in separate Help topics.