Microsoft Word Dialogue Tweak

I just found out how to apply Styles to Word to highlight your dialogue speech. I wanted to easily see the dialogue portions of my WIPs at a glance. I found this after some searching, and it works!

I use O365, but this should work on all Word versions (I think).

  • In the document, use the colour button in the Font section of the Home ribbon to format any word with the colour you want the speech text to become. Leave that word selected.
  • Also on the Home ribbon, click the lower of the two down arrows on the Styles gallery and choose “Create a Style”.
  • In the box that appears, change the name of the style from “Style1” to “Speech”. Then click the Modify button.
  • In the Modify dialog, change the Style Type dropdown to “Character”. Verify that the colour dropdown in the Formatting section of the dialog and the preview below it show the colour you want. Click the OK button.
  • Back in the document, open the Replace dialog and click the More button to expand the bottom half.
  • Check the box for “Use wildcards”.
  • Copy/paste the following expression into the Find What box. The first pair of square brackets contains a straight double quote and a “curly” opening quote, and the last pair of square brackets contains a straight double quote and a “curly” closing quote.

([““][!^13]@[“”])

  • Type this into the Replace With box:

\1

  • While the cursor is still in the Replace With box, click the Format button at the bottom of the dialog and choose Style in the menu.
  • Select Speech in the list of style names and click OK. Verify that “Style: Speech appears below the Replace With box.
  • Click the Replace All button.

Here is before:


Here is after:

I created another “Style” called “Speech Off” where I apply the original black font colour following the same instructions. I keep the “Find What” text in a separate file. Alternatively, so just need to select your text and change the font colour back to black.

There’s a little work involved in this, but as you can see, the results are spectacular.

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