What is the difference between the Normal and Body Text styles?
Normal is the style on which almost all other styles (unless you change this) are based. If you change the font or paragraph formatting of Normal style, it will have a ripple effect throughout most of the other document styles.
That’s why it's more satisfactory, when creating a document of a structured, permanent nature (as opposed to a quickie to be printed and discarded), to use other styles intended for specific purposes.
Body Text is just that, a style intended for the ordinary text of the body of a document. By default it is identical to Normal except for having 6 pts Spacing After. This means that if you use it, you'll get half a line space between paragraphs, which you will often want. If you don't—if you want more or less space, a first-line indent, a different font, or any other change—then you can customize the Body Text style without affecting other styles except for those in the “Body Text family” (such as Body Text Indent, Body Text First Indent, and so on) that are based on Body Text. And you may want to use those styles as well.
Also note that you can break any style's linkage to the Normal style when you define it; in the Modify Style dialog, for “Style based on,” select “(no style).”
For more detailed information, see the section on Styles in Creating a Template (Part II), and also see Typographical Tips from Microsoft Publisher.
This article copyright © 2001, 2016 by Suzanne S. Barnhill.