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Reveal Formatting in Word – Instructions and Video Lesson

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Reveal Formatting in Word - Instructions and Video Lesson: A picture of a user comparing text formatting differences within the “Reveal Formatting” pane in Word.

Reveal Formatting in Word: Overview

            When working with styles in Word, you may need to reveal formatting in Word document text. The “Reveal Formatting” pane lets you reveal formatting in Word documents. This pane lets you see the details of text formatting in Word. You can also use it to compare formatting in Word.

How to Open the Reveal Formatting Pane in Word

            To open the “Reveal Formatting” pane in Word, first select the text for which to see the formatting. Then open the “Styles” pane. To open the “Styles” pane in Word, click the “Home” tab in the Ribbon. Then click the “Styles” task pane launcher button in the lower-right corner of the “Styles” button group. Then open the “Style Inspector” pane. To open the “Style Inspector” pane in Word, click the “Style Inspector” button at the bottom of the “Styles” pane. In the “Style Inspector” pane, click the “Reveal Formatting” button to open the “Reveal Formatting” pane.

            Alternatively, to more quickly open the “Reveal Formatting” pane in Word, select the text to inspect. Then press the “Shift” + “F1” keys on your keyboard.

How to Use the Reveal Formatting Pane in Word

            In the “Reveal Formatting” pane, the “Selected text” appears at the top of the pane in a text box. The text’s formatting appears in the “Formatting of selected text” box in the center of the pane. Note that the specific formatting is contained within expandable and collapsible groupings for “Font,” Paragraph,” and “Section.” You may also see additional formatting groups, like “Bullets and Numbering,” “Table,” or “Cell” appear for selected text that contains bullets or numbering or exists within a table, too. You can click the arrows next to each group’s label to expand or collapse the formatting within each.

How to Compare Formatting in Word

            To compare the formatting of the selected text with another selection, check the “Compare to another selection” checkbox. Another text field then opens, and you can then click and drag to select the text within the document to which to compare the initially selected text. The newly selected text then appears in the second text field. The formatting differences between the two selections then appear in the “Formatting differences” box in the center of the pane.

Reveal Formatting in Word - Instructions and Video Lesson: A picture of a user comparing text formatting differences within the “Reveal Formatting” pane in Word.

Reveal Formatting in Word – Instructions and Video Lesson: A picture of a user comparing text formatting differences within the “Reveal Formatting” pane in Word.

How to View the Style Source and Show or Hide Formatting in Word

            If viewing a single, selected section of text within the “Reveal Formatting” pane, then you can view the style source of the selected text by checking the “Distinguish style source” checkbox in the “Options” section. To hide or show all formatting marks, regardless of the number of text selections, check or uncheck the “Show all formatting marks” checkbox. To close the “Reveal Formatting” pane, click the “X” button in the upper-right corner of the pane.

Reveal Formatting in Word: Instructions

Instructions on How to Open the Reveal Formatting Pane in Word

  1. To open the “Reveal Formatting” pane in Word, first select the document text whose formatting you wish to inspect.
  2. Then open the “Styles” pane by clicking the “Home” tab in the Ribbon and then clicking the “Styles” task pane launcher button in the lower-right corner of the “Styles” button group.
  3. Then click the “Style Inspector” button at the bottom of the “Styles” pane.
  4. In the “Style Inspector” pane, then click the “Reveal Formatting” button to open the “Reveal Formatting” pane.
  5. Alternatively, to more quickly open the “Reveal Formatting” pane in Word, select the text to inspect and then press the “Shift” + “F1” keys on your keyboard.

Instructions on How to Use the Reveal Formatting Pane in Word

  1. In the “Reveal Formatting” pane, the text field at the top of the pane shows the “Selected text” in the document.
  2. The text’s formatting appears in the “Formatting of selected text” box in the center of the pane.
  3. Note that the specific formatting is contained within expandable and collapsible groupings for “Font,” Paragraph,” and “Section.”
  4. You may also see additional formatting groups, like “Bullets and Numbering,” “Table,” or “Cell” appear for selected text that contains bullets or numbering or exists within a table, too.
  5. You can click the arrows next to each group’s label to expand or collapse the formatting within each.

Instructions on How to Compare Formatting in Word

  1. To compare the formatting of the selected text with another text selection, check the “Compare to another selection” checkbox.
  2. Another text field then opens, and you can then click and drag to select the text within the document to which to compare the initially selected text.
  3. The newly selected text then appears in the second text field.
  4. The formatting differences between the two selections then appear in the “Formatting differences” box in the center of the pane.

How to View the Style Source and Show or Hide Formatting in Word

  1. To view the style source of the selected text if viewing a single, selected section of text in the “Reveal Formatting” pane, check the “Distinguish style source” checkbox in the “Options” section.
  2. To hide or show all formatting marks, regardless of the number of text selections, check or uncheck the “Show all formatting marks” checkbox.
  3. To close the “Reveal Formatting” pane, click the “X” button in the upper-right corner of the pane.

Reveal Formatting in Word: Video Lesson

            The following video lesson, titled “Using the Reveal Formatting Pane,” shows how to reveal formatting in Word documents. This lesson is from our complete Word tutorial, titled “Mastering Word Made Easy v.2019 and 365.”

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