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Emphasizing Important Text

When you speak, you use inflection for emphasis. To get an important point across, you might raise your voice and enunciate each word slowly and clearly. This gets the audience's attention and it gives a point of reference.

You can do the same thing with your printed document. Judicious use of bold, italic, underline, and other effects can guide a reader through the text and draw attention to key points. You have to be careful not to use these elements too much or you risk distracting the reader.


Don't get carried away with all the different fonts and font effects that you can choose from! A light touch is all you need. Too many fonts, too many effects, or too much color only frustrates the reader.

Try to keep things simple: Don't use more than three or four fonts on a page, don't apply bold and italic and underline (all at once), don't apply color to long passages of text, don't use a bunch of different font sizes, and choose a font that suits the subject matter.

Using Bold, Italic, and Underline

Before there were gazillions of fonts to play with, the only way you could vary the look of the text was with bold, italic, and underline. These old standbys still have their place. The designers for the Special Edition Using books decided to use italic to point out important terms and to emphasize words. Titles and headings are bold so they really stand out. Screen shots illustrate WordPerfect's use of underlines for hotkeys. All of these things make it easier for you to understand the information being presented.

To apply bold, italic, or underline, select the text, and then click the Bold, Italic, or Underline button (or any combination of the three).

If you can't figure out why your bold, italic, and underline disappear after you change the font, see "Disappearing Act" in the Troubleshooting section at the end of this chapter.

Adding Color

I can't remember the last time I printed a document for someone to read. Like many others, I use e-mail most of the time. I just attach the file to an e-mail message. The recipient opens it in his word processing program and reads it onscreen.

This method of reviewing documents gave me the excuse I needed to start adding color to my documents. I began using it to draw attention to titles and headings, and progressed to using it for key terms, statistics, quotes, references, headers and footers, and so on.

I'm not too ashamed to admit that I really get a kick out of it. It's fun! I also like to think that if the finished product gets your attention, you're more likely to read it, rather than skim it.


By the time you read this chapter, no fewer than six people have reviewed and edited the electronic text. Proofreaders, tech editors, development editors, and production staff have all added their two cents. We would all go crazy if we didn't have a good method for keeping everyone's comments separate. Our solution? We let everyone use a different color (hopefully one that's easy to read).

To add color to your text, follow these steps:

  1. If you've already typed some text to which you want to add color, select the text you want to add color to. Otherwise, position the insertion point where you want to start typing the colored text.


    When you finish typing the colored text, you'll have to switch the color back to black. For this reason, it's easier to type the text, select it, and then choose the color.

  3. Click the Font Color button on the property bar (see Figure 3.3).

  4. Click one of the color boxes to choose one of the standard colors.

Figure 3.3Figure 3.3 Clicking the Font Color button on the property bar is the fastest way to open the color palette. This palette is also available in the Font Properties dialog box.


So, 42 colors aren't enough for you? When you've got to have just the right shade of blue/green (and you have a few minutes to play), choose More from the color palette to open the Select Color dialog box. Click anywhere on the color wheel to move the little selection box and display the color you've created in the New Color section. Now, click and drag the selection box on the vertical luminosity bar to the desired color intensity. You can then make minor adjustments by tweaking the numbers in the Color Values section.


If you use the same colors over and over, you'll love this! WordPerfect places the last seven colors you've selected on the top row of the palette. I really appreciate this with the custom colors because I don't have to reselect them each time.

To learn how to use the highlighter to accentuate sections of text, see "Using the Highlight Tool."

Using Other Font Effects

Bold, italic, underline, and color all have buttons on the property bar, so they are the easiest font effects to add. The other effects, also called attributes, are found in the Font Properties dialog box. First, position the insertion point where you want the effects to start (or select some existing text). Choose Format, Font or press F9 to open the Font Properties dialog box (see Figure 3.4).

Figure 3.4Figure 3.4 You can use the Font Properties dialog box if you need to set multiple font options or if you want to preview your changes first.

The font attributes are listed in the Appearance section. As you select attributes, the sample text in the lower-left corner shows you how the attributes will look when applied to the text. The Real Time Preview feature pops up again here—WordPerfect pulls in a short section of text from your document and uses it as the sample text. (If you're working in a blank document, the sample text is the name of the currently selected font.) Click OK when you're done choosing effects.

You should use the Font Properties dialog box any time you need to set more than a couple of font options at once. For example, if you need to choose a different font and size, and apply bold and italic, it's faster to do it all at once in the Font Properties dialog box than to choose each one separately from the property bar.


If you skipped WordPerfect 9 and 10, you haven't seen Real Time Preview yet. How many times have you changed a format only to discover that it wasn't exactly what you wanted? You might reselect three or four times before finding just the right one. No more—now you can preview a formatting change before you ever apply it to the text! Real Time Preview works on borders, columns, color fills, fonts, font attributes, frames, justification, outlines, and zoom. In many cases, the change is reflected in the text in the document window. In other situations, the preview text in the dialog box is a portion of text from your document.


If you use font attributes a lot, consider adding buttons for them to the toolbar. Or, create a new toolbar and add all your favorite buttons to it. Choose Tools, Settings, Customize. You can add to an existing toolbar, or you can create a new toolbar. To add a button to an existing toolbar, select the toolbar, and then choose Edit. Open the Feature Categories drop-down list and choose Format. Select the feature in the list, and then choose Add Button. When you are finished adding buttons, click OK to save your changes. To create a new toolbar, choose Create, type a name for the toolbar, and then click OK. Add buttons as previously described.

If you received an error message during setup saying that you had too many fonts selected, see "Too Many Fonts" in the Troubleshooting section at the end of this chapter.

If you're selecting options in the Appearance section of the Font Properties dialog box and the sample text isn't changing to reflect your changes, see "Disappearing Act" in the Troubleshooting section at the end of this chapter.

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