The Style separator – a hidden gem in MS Word!

Hilary Cadman Tips 2 Comments

When working in MS Word, have you ever wanted to include a heading as part of a paragraph, rather than on a separate line? Well, MS Word’s Style Separator lets you do exactly that!

Read this post or watch the video below to find out what the Style Separator does and how to use it.

What does the Style Separator do?

The Style Separator allows you to have different styles within a paragraph. In this example, I have used the Style Separator to put my heading, ‘Stage fright’, at the start of a paragraph of text (which is in Normal style):

two styles in one paragraph

Where is the Style Separator in MS Word?

You will not find the Style Separator on any of the tabs on the Word ribbon. However, there are two easy ways to insert the Style Separator into your document:

  • use the keyboard shortcut (CTRL + ALT + Enter)
  • add the Style Separator to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) – this blog post explains how to add items to the QAT.

If you add the Style Separator to the QAT, the icon will look like this:

How do I use the Style Separator?

Here are the steps for using the Style Separator (e.g. to create the example shown above):

  1. Type your heading (in this case ‘Stage fright’) on one line, then select it and apply the style ‘Heading 1’.
  2. Insert a paragraph return, then add your paragraph of text in Normal style. Now, you should have your heading is on one line and your paragraph starting on the next line.
  3. Put your cursor at the end of ‘Stage fright’ and insert the Style Separator (using either the shortcut or the icon on the QAT).
  4. As you add the Style Separator, the text of your paragraph should jump up to be on the same line as your heading.

This video explains what the Style Separator is and how to use it

The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed that, in the video, once I have inserted the Style Separator there is a caret symbol showing after my heading, ‘Chapter 1’. The symbol is there because I have ‘Hidden text’ turned on in Word.

When you try using the Style Separator in Word, if you see that caret symbol and want to remove it, just click on File > Options > Display. Then, under ‘Always show these formatting marks on the screen’, untick the box next to ‘Hidden text’ and the caret will disappear.



If you’re keen to learn more about tools to help you save time and improve the quality of your editing, you might like to take a look at my courses in PerfectItEndNote and a variety of editing tools. You can also book a coaching call with me to hone your skills in MS Word or EndNote.


Hilary CadmanThe Style separator – a hidden gem in MS Word!

Comments 2

  1. Tami

    This post was so helpful! But, I’m still stuck. I’m using APA (7th ed.) and need a Level 4 heading where the text starts on the same line as the indented heading. All of my text is now indented and I don’t know how to make it look like a normal paragraph. Suggestions? TIA.

    1. Post
      Hilary Cadman

      Hi Tami
      I’ve tried that myself and it worked fine (i.e. I had an indented Level 4 heading and then added a paragraph of Normal text to it and the paragraph did not indent). Have you tried creating a Heading 4 that is only indented on the first line, that may be the issue.

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