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Enhance Message Content in Microsoft Outlook 2016

Apply thematic elements to individual messages

If you prefer to apply thematic elements on an individual message basis, you can apply global formatting options—by using themes and style sets—with only a couple of clicks.

Apply and change themes

Nine of the standard Microsoft Office 2016 themes (which are not the same as the email message themes you can select in the Theme Or Stationery dialog box) are available from the Themes gallery on the Options tab in a message composition window. Each theme controls the colors, fonts, and graphic effects used in the message.

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Office themes control fonts, colors, and graphic effects

The default theme for all email messages, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, Microsoft Excel workbooks, and other Office 2016 documents is the Office theme. If you don’t apply another theme to your message, the colors, fonts, and effects in your message are controlled by the Office theme.

You can modify the formatting applied by the current theme by changing the color scheme, font set, or effect style.

To change the theme of a message

  1. On the Options tab of the message composition window, in the Themes group, click the Themes button, and then click the theme you want to apply.

To change the color scheme used in a message

  1. Do either of the following:

    • On the Options tab of the message composition window, in the Themes group, click the Colors button (the ScreenTip says Theme Colors), and then click the color scheme you want to apply.
    • On the Format Text tab of the message composition window, in the Styles group, click the Change Styles button, click Colors, and then click the color scheme you want to apply.

To change the font set used in a message

  1. Do either of the following:

    • On the Options tab of the message composition window, in the Themes group, click the Fonts button (the ScreenTip says Theme Fonts), and then click the font set you want to apply.
    • On the Format Text tab of the message composition window, in the Styles group, click the Change Styles button, click Fonts, and then click the font set you want to apply.

To change the effect style used in a message

  1. On the Options tab of the message composition window, in the Themes group, click the Effects button (the ScreenTip says Theme Effects), and then click the effect you want to apply.

Apply and change styles

You can use styles to format text in email messages in the same way that you do in Word documents; however, most people won’t compose email messages of the length and outline detail that would require those, so we’ll discuss them only briefly in this book.

You can apply character and paragraph styles from the Styles gallery on the Format Text tab, or from the independent Styles pane. The benefit of the Styles pane is that it stays open and available while you work. You can dock the pane at the right side of the window or leave it floating anywhere on the screen.

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You can specify the styles that you want to appear in the Styles gallery and in the Styles pane

A style set changes the colors, fonts, and paragraph formatting of individual styles. You can change the appearance of all the styles in a message by selecting any of the 17 available style sets (or by creating your own). Selecting a style set changes the appearance of all the text in the current message, and of the icons in the Styles gallery.

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Effects of changing the style set

To display the full Styles gallery

  1. On the Format Text tab, in the Styles group, click the More button to expand the Styles gallery.

To open the Styles pane

  1. On the Format Text tab, click the Styles dialog box launcher.

To move the Styles pane

  1. Point to the Styles pane header. When the pointer changes to a four-headed arrow, drag the pane.
  2. Do any of the following:

    • Drag the pane to any location on the screen.
    • Drag the pane to the inside edge of the message composition window to dock it to the window.
    • Drag the pane away from the docking location to undock it.

To apply a style

  1. Click anywhere in the word or paragraph you want to format, or select the specific text you want to format.
  2. In the Styles gallery or Styles pane, click the style you want to apply.

To change the style set of a message

  1. On the Format Text tab, in the Styles group, click the Change Styles button.
  2. On the Change Styles menu, click Style Set, and then click the style set you want.