Tech Tip: Word formatting styles/Create a custom Excel chart type/Apply Access conditional formatting

Learn how to uncover formatting styles and hidden characters, create a custom chart type, and apply conditional formatting to a report control.

Uncover formatting styles and hidden characters

Have you ever wanted to develop a document or template around a design you've seen, but you weren't quite sure how to replicate the formatting? You can obtain formatting information by pressing [Shift][F1].

This combination attaches a question mark to your mouse pointer. When you click a section of text, Word 2000 opens a bubble that displays both the paragraph and font formatting applied to the text. To turn off this feature, press [Esc]. (In Word XP, this combination opens the Reveal Formatting task pane.)

In addition to the applied font and paragraph formatting, there may still be some hidden characters that affect the look of a document. To display hidden characters such as extra line spaces, click the Show/Hide button on the Standard Toolbar.

Or you can go to Tools | Options and select the View tab. In the Nonprinting Characters section, select the check boxes of the characters you want to see. (In Word XP, you'll find this under the Formatting Marks section.)

Create a custom chart type

When you want to use an existing chart format in a new chart, you can copy the existing chart and change the data source by going to Chart | Source Data. But if you need to create a number of charts based on the existing format, creating a user-defined chart type is more efficient.

Follow these steps:

  1. Select the existing chart whose format you want to use.
  2. Go to Chart | Chart Type.
  3. On the Custom Types tab, select User-defined.
  4. Click the Add button, and enter a name for your new chart type.

The next time you use the Chart Wizard to create a chart, you'll be able to select your new custom chart type from the list of user-defined chart types on the Custom Types tab.

Apply conditional formatting to a report control

You can configure conditional formatting to automatically highlight areas of your report when it meets certain conditions. For example, let's say you want Access to display all donations $100 and above in white letters on a red background in your Annual Appeal Donation Report.

Follow these steps:

  1. Create a report that includes the Donation Amount field.
  2. In Design view, select the text box control for the field.
  3. Go to Format | Conditional Formatting.
  4. Under Condition 1, select Greater Than Or Equal To from the second drop-down list.
  5. Enter 100 in the text box.
  6. Select red from the Fill/Back Color drop-down box.
  7. Select white from the Font/Fore Color drop-down box.
  8. Click OK.

When you run the report, Access will format all donation amounts $100 or above as you've indicated.