Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Using the Style Area.

Using the Style Area

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 11, 2018)


Word can show you what the style names are for all paragraphs in your document. This is useful if you are editing a document and need to see if the appropriate styles have been applied. To reveal styles on the left side of the screen, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and Word 2013 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box click Advanced.
  3. Scroll through the available options until you see the Display area. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The advanced options of the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Set the Style Area Pane Width in Draft and Outline Views field to a value other than 0. (A good starting point is .5, which represents one-half inch.)
  6. Click on OK to close the dialog box.

Now, whenever you switch to either Draft or Outline views (using the controls on the status bar is a good way to do this) you'll notice the style area at the left side of the screen. The style area is not visible in any other view you might use.

Notice that the style assigned to each paragraph is now visible within the style area. If you want to change the width of the style area at this point, you can do so by using the mouse. Simply click on the vertical line that sets off the style area and drag it left or right.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8024) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Using the Style Area.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is six more than 8?

2017-09-28 20:29:59


The Word 2016 styles panel used to show styles in multiple columns if the right hand border is dragged outwards. Now my styles panel only shows one column, no matter what. Is there any setting to manage this?

2016-09-12 12:29:22

Suzette Thompson

Note: If you have the Styles section automatically set up in your ribbon, there should be a tiny arrow in the bottom right corner of the section and clicking it wil bring up a free floating style window. (Alt+Ctrl+Shift+S)will also show the Style window. This is handy if you only need the style section occassionally and don't want to actually anchor it to your pane. You can also activate this in any view.

2016-05-20 18:42:56

Donna Brown

I have noticed that when I old open documents (specifically WordPerfect documents I am converting to Word) I have to turn this on in each document. Is there a way to always keep this on or a macro I can run to turn it on in a document if it is not on?

2014-01-10 04:47:56

Vincent Bevort

Doesn't work for styles used in Tables

2013-07-29 08:30:28

Steve Dunham

I tried this, but it showed only Heading 1. Two other styles in use in the document, "table text" and "table column head," did not appear in the style viewing pane. Does it show only built-in styles and not user-defined styles?

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