Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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: Renaming a Style.

Renaming a Style

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 4, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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Word allows you to rename styles you have defined. You cannot, however, rename any of the predefined styles supplied with Word. To rename a style, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Home tab of the ribbon and then click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Styles group. Word displays the Styles task pane.
  2. Scroll through the styles in the Styles task pane until you see the style you want to rename.
  3. Hover your mouse pointer over the style name. You should see a drop-down arrow appear at the right side of the style name.
  4. Click the drop-down arrow and choose Modify. Word displays the Modify Style dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Modify Style dialog box.

  6. In the Name box, enter a new name for the style.
  7. Click on OK.
  8. To rename other styles, repeat steps 2 through 6.
  9. When you are done renaming styles, dismiss the Styles task pane.

There is one thing to note when renaming styles—Word gets a bit persnickety when you try to rename any of the built-in styles. It allows you to do it, but it will always remember what the built-in style was named, and it includes that original name in the new name you specify in step 5.

For instance, let's say you want to rename the Title style, which is built-in to Word. You can choose that style in steps 2-4, but when you give it a new name in step 5 (let's say you want it named "MyArticleTitle"), once you click on OK (step 6), Word shows the name of the style as something like "Title,MyArticleTitle." This behavior is not exhibited if you are renaming custom styles that you previously created; they are renamed outright, with no link to the past name.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8025) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Renaming a Style.

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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2021-02-24 18:14:51

Lyn

The note about "Title,MyArticleTitle." is very helpful! I also noticed unexpected format change with the text using edited original style. I suggest to have a pure custom style to avoid loosing any format.


2020-07-04 07:42:43

Paul Stregevsky

In the Styles Pane options, you can "Hide built-In titles when custom titles are used. (or some such wording).


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