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One of the best ways to convey mood or grab the attention of your reader is through color. If your chosen communication method is through written documents, changing text color is probably the easiest way to have a word or section stand out.

Change text color in Microsoft Word

As with most formatting features in MS Word, you can either change a setting prior to typing your text or you can type it then change the color, size, font, etc..

change text color in word

Font settings panel in Microsoft Word

Let’s say you’ve already typed your document and you want to change the color of a single word from the default black to red. Click your mouse just before the first letter of the word or words that you wish the alter the color, then drag your mouse or your finger on a trackpad across until your target text is selected. Once you’ve selected the text, use one of the following methods to change the color.

  1. Leave it selected then go to the top of the page and select the Home tab. The second section from the left is the text section. Look for a capital A icon with a colored underline. Click that A icon to change your text to the color of the underline under than icon. If you want a different color, click the small arrow just on the right of that A icon. That should open an option panel where you can select from a number of colors. If you don’t see the color you’re looking for, click More Colors… to open a color wheel that will allow you to choose practically any color you could want.
  2. With the text still selected, right-click on the text and choose “Font….” Be sure the Font tab is selected, then in the second section down (Font and Underline), click in the drop-down box below Font Color….

Changing font colors in LibreOffice Writer

If you are writing in LibreOffice Writer instead of Microsoft Word, the instructions are exactly the same as option number one above if you have turned on the tabbed interface (View > User Interface > Tabbed) to emulate the Microsoft Word ribbon. You’ll look for a very similar A icon with a colored underline.

If you are using the standard toolbar, just look about halfway across the standard toolbar for the same uppercase A icon with a colored underline. It is the same icon you would see in the ribbon in MS Word or the tabbed interface in LibreOffice Writer.

In the LibreOffice Writer text color options panel, the button at the bottom labeled Custom Colors… will open a panel similar to the MS Word color wheel that allows you almost any color you could wish for.

Option 2 to change font color in LibreOffice Writer

change text color in LibreOffice Writer

The Character settings panel in LibreOffice Writer

The right-click menu in LibreOffice Writer includes the same font color possibilities as MS Word, but uses different wording.

  1. Select your text as instructed earlier in this article, then right-click.
  2. Select Character…, then Character again from the next menu.
  3. From the Character settings box, choose the Font Effects tab at the top, then in the first section, click the drop-down menu under Font Color to select your font color.

Set your font color before typing text in Microsoft Word and LibreOffice Writer

You can also set the font color prior to typing the words in MS Word and in LibreOffice Writer. To do that, just follow the previous instructions except that you will not select your text before you choose the color. Instead, when you come to the place in your document where you want the different colored word, stop just prior to the different colored word. Use the instructions above to set the font color. The menu/ribbon and right-click options will work.

When you’re ready to return to black or whatever your basic document text color is, follow the instructions again and choose black. Continue typing. You should see your colored word in line with your black text.

Personally, if I know ahead of time that I want one or more upcoming words to be a different color, I find it easier to just do it as I type than to return and change it later.

You’ll find more tips for styling your text in Microsoft Word and LibreOffice Writer here.

You can download LibreOffice here.