Format email messages with Styles

Style Sets are groups of formatting options designed to help you quickly create personalized, professional-looking email messages in Microsoft Outlook. Style Sets can also be used in Calendar appointments, meeting requests, task and Journal items, and notes in contact forms.

You can choose from a list of Style Sets and then format your messages with the styles available in the set you chose. You can also customize the Style Sets by modifying existing styles.

What do you want to do?

Apply a new Built-In set to an email message

Customize a style in a Style Set

Save a custom Style Set

Apply a new Built-In set to an email message

As you compose a new message, you can choose from several predesigned Style Sets, such as Modern or Elegant. Each Style Set can include styles for several text elements, such as heading levels, body text, quotes, emphasized text, and titles.

  1. Click in the body of a new message, and then click the Format Text tab.

  2. In the Styles group, click Change Styles.

  3. Point to Style Set, and then click a Built-In set, such as Modern.

    After you select a Style Set, you can see a list of the styles available within the set. In the Styles group, click the Styles Dialog Box Launcher Dialog Box Launcher .

Tip:  You can see how a Quick Style set will look in a message by pointing to a Style Set without clicking it.

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Customize a style in a Style Set

In most cases, there is no need to change styles in a Style Set because the styles were designed to complement one another, and it’s easier to use a different Style Set than to customize one yourself. But, under certain circumstances, you might want to change the attributes (such as line spacing, font size, or bolding, for example) of a style in a Style Set.

  1. In a message that you are composing, select the text that is styled with the style attributes that you want to change.

    For example, to change the attributes of the Heading 1 style, select text that has the Heading 1 style applied.

    Tip:  To view the attributes of a particular style, select the text that you want style information about, and then in the Styles group, click the Styles Dialog Box Launcher Dialog Box Launcher . Point to the style name. As the pointer hovers over the style name, attribute information appears.

  2. In the message, format the selected text with the new attributes that you want.

    For example, you might decide that you want to change the font point size for the Heading 1 style from 16 points to 14 points.

  3. On the Format Text tab, in the Styles group, in the Styles gallery, right-click the style that you want to change.

  4. Click Update to Match Selection.

    Note:  All the text in your message with that style will automatically change to match the new style that you defined. This change remains available only in the current message, unless you save this style change as part of the currently selected Style Set with a new name. See the later section for more information on saving a custom Style Set.

Note:  If you changed the styles in a message and the styles are not updating the way you expected, click the Styles Dialog Box Launcher Dialog Box Launcher , and then click the Style Inspector button (located at the bottom of the pane) to find out whether text was manually formatted instead of formatted by using styles.

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Save a custom Style Set

After you change a Style Set, you can save the new Style Set to the list of style sets from which you can choose.

  1. Change the styles in a Style Set.

    Note:  You can also change the colors or fonts that are used in a Style Set by clicking Change Styles in the Styles group, and then clicking Colors or Fonts.

  2. On the Format Text tab, in the Styles group, click Change Styles.

  3. Point to Style Set, and then click Save as a New Style Set.

  4. In the Save as a New Style Set dialog box, type a file name for your new Style Set, and then click Save.

    To view the new Style Set, click Change Styles in the Styles group, and then point to Style Set. The new Style Set appears in the list so that you can apply it to a message at any time.

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