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: Preventing Changes to Styles in Documents.

Preventing Changes to Styles in Documents

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 12, 2014)

1

You may, at some time, want to prevent changes in template styles in documents. The issue isn't how to protect the template itself (which can obviously be done by making the template file read-only within the operating system), but how to make sure that template styles could not be changed once the template is attached to a document.

For instance, if you attach a template to a document, the styles in that template are now available to use within the document. The template styles can also be changed within the document without affecting the styles stored in the original template. (Word only tries to store style changes in the original template if the New Documents Based On this Template radio button is selected in the Modify Style dialog box.)

Unfortunately, even though you can protect the template itself (by making it read-only or storing it in a protected network folder), there is no way to protect the template styles once the template has been attached to a document. To do so would mean that users could not modify any styles at all, even those the user defined strictly for use within a specific document.

A case in point is Word's ability to restrict editing to allow only certain styles to be used when formatting the document. (Display the Review tab of the ribbon, click the Restrict Editing tool, and then click the Limit Formatting check box.) The restriction can come in handy in some instances, but it can stop users from making changes that may really be necessary.

The best long-term solution is to educate your users as to how styles work, how they are changed within Word (in other words, what actions can change them), and instruct them not to make any changes to the styles, either directly or indirectly. It is also a good idea to instruct users to never paste formatted text into a document. The reason, of course, is that such an action pastes style changes into the document as well. Instead, users can click the down-arrow under the Paste tool on the Home tab of the ribbon and select Paste Special. They can then use the Paste Special dialog box to paste the text as unformatted text and format the pasted text using the styles available from your template.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8097) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Preventing Changes to Styles in Documents.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Getting Rid of Persistent Templates

Word uses an open interface that allows add-ons and other programs to expand the way that Word works. Sometimes remnants ...

Discover More

Displaying a Single Page

When displaying the information in your document, Word is rather flexible. It can, if you so choose, display multiple ...

Discover More

Entering Many Items In a Drop-Down Form Field

One of the controls you can add to a Word form is a drop-down form field. This field is similar to drop-down lists used ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Reapplying Styles Seamlessly

Styles are a very powerful feature in Word, as they allow you to consistently apply complex formatting throughout a ...

Discover More

Using Hidden Styles

Using styles to format templates can save a lot of time and ensure consistency when working on several documents. Some ...

Discover More

Automatically Updating Styles

When you add formatting to some text in your document, Word may apply your formatting to every other part of your ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 5 + 2?

2015-02-16 07:26:00

Monika

While combing two documents, the styles get pasted and the formatting for pasted text appears different than the original text. Even using Restrict Editing tool, and Limit Formatting check box is not serving the purpose. As pasted part is large with lot of formatted text, paste without format and again reformat is a big headache.
Can you pl. give tip for this.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.