Understanding Style Sets

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 21, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


2

Jan noted that when she displays the Home tab of the ribbon, clicks Apply Styles, and then looks at the Style Sets available, none of them have a check mark next to them. She wonders how the Style Sets work and how she can tell Style Set a document is using.

The short answer is that you cannot tell. According to Microsoft sources, Style Sets are nothing but a way to determine what groups of styles are shown in the Styles gallery in the Home tab of the ribbon. Style Sets are not stored with a document, as are individual styles. They are not stored in groups, as you can store styles in a template.

This can be easily shown. You can open a new document, add a few paragraphs, select the Elegant Style Set (click the Apply Styles tool), apply some formatting, save the document, and then exit Word. When you come back into the program and load the document, the Elegant Style Set is no longer chosen; there is no check mark next to it in the list of Style Sets. This is because the Style Set is not saved with the document.

Word does allow you to create custom Style Sets by modifying existing Style Sets and then saving your modifications under a new name. Since the Style Set you create is not saved with a document, that custom Style Set will not be available as an option if you move the document to a different computer. Again, it is only for convenience in specifying what styles should appear in the Styles gallery on a single computer.

If you want to take advantage of styles fully, use the Styles task pane and save your custom styles in a template that can be moved to other computer systems, if desired.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9689) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021.

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

Keep with Previous

Word allows you to format a paragraph so that it is on the same page as whatever paragraph follows it. You may want, ...

Discover More

Requiring Input

If you distribute a workbook that is used by others for data entry, you may want a way to make sure they fill in certain ...

Discover More

Shortcut for Show/Hide

Hate to take your hands off the keyboard? Here's a handy keyboard shortcut you can use to display (or not display) the ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Can't Select Style Instances

Using the Styles and Formatting task pane, Word allows you to select all instances of a given style in your document. ...

Discover More

How Word Applies Styles

Styles are a great boon for applying styles in a powerfully consistent manner. How Word applies styles, however, depends ...

Discover More

Checking Bilingual Documents

Do you routinely work with multiple languages in your documents? If so, you may appreciate the suggestions in this tip, ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 1 - 0?

2023-04-03 17:53:57

Anne

I am using MS Word 2016 in a corporate setting, to develop template documents that meet accessibility standards. Note that I am using the word "template" but the documents are actually .docx since we store these "templates" in a document management system that doesn't understand .dotx. The documents are flagged as "read-only" for the users to avoid overwriting the "templates".

I am creating a specific Style Set to use in these documents, but the majority of the employees who will be filling out these "templates" do not have my specific style set. The issue is that in order to meet accessibility standards, I am told I must use the "built-in" styles for things like Header, Footer, Heading 1, Heading 2, etc.

When users (who do not have my style set) open the "template" documents, the built-in styles in their Normal.dotm take over and therefore change the formatting of the document.

Is there a way to prevent this from happening and to force my versions of the built-in styles to stick with the document?

The only solution I have come up is to deploy a copy of my Style Set to all workstations, but this is not desirable as I am likely to continue modifying this Style Set as required.

Thanks


2022-05-23 07:46:21

Guy

Just wanted to point out that, in Word 365, Style Sets are not in the Home tab; they appear in the Design tab. Can't say if that's the case in previous versions of Word.


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.

Videos
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.