The Style separator – a hidden gem in MS Word!

Hilary Cadman Tips Leave a Comment

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.

If you’re on a PC and would like to know more about styles and templates in Word, do sign up for Getting started with Word styles and templates, which launches 1 July.

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.

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

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