What Is the Function of the Formatting Toolbar?

The formatting toolbar found in most applications with text editing features is used to change the format of selected text. It contains a series of icons that act as shortcuts to frequently used formatting commands. Each shortcut applies specific formatting to highlighted text or inserts objects and files into the document.

In some applications, the formatting toolbar is only active when text has been highlighted in the document. In Microsoft Office applications like Excel and Word, the formatting toolbar is set by default to appear whenever the application is opened. It is typically found below the menu bar.

Some of the most common options found in the formatting toolbar include:

  • Changing the font, for example from Times New Roman to Calibri
  • Increasing or decreasing the font size
  • Making text bold, italics or underlining it
  • Increasing or decreasing the indent of a paragraph
  • Realigning text, such as left, right or center justification
  • Adjusting the page borders of the document
  • Changing the font color
  • Changing the fill or highlight color of text

Some of the formatting commands can be invoked using the keyboard. For example, holding down the Ctrl key while pressing B makes the selected text bold. Most text editing applications allow users to enable, disable or edit the formatting toolbar.