by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 2, 2015)
Fredric often has documents emailed to him. He wants to apply his specific, custom styles to them, but the styles do not appear in the ribbon or the drop-downs. Fredric wonders how to find his specific styles so he can apply them.
When you create a document in Word, it has a template associated with it. There is no way around this; even if you think you don't use styles or templates, Word still dutifully associates the Normal template with a new document.
When you receive a document from someone else, that document was not created on your system. (Sounds obvious, right?) On whatever system it was created, it was associated with a template. More than likely, it was associated with the Normal template on that other system. When the document was mailed to you, Word remembers those styles from the template that was associated with it on that other system.
When you open the e-mailed document on your system, Word checks to see what template the document was associated with. If a template by the same name exists on your system, then the template is loaded and Word is happy. If the template does not exist, then Word uses the styles saved within the document itself.
If you don't see the styles you want to see, it simply means that Word hasn't opened the template that contains those styles. The solution is to associate your template—the one that contains the styles you want to see—with the e-mailed document. To do that, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Templates and Add-Ins dialog box.
Your styles should now be available to use with the document. If they are not immediately visible in the Styles task pane, you need to configure the pane to display all the styles:
Figure 2. The Style Pane Options dialog box.
If you prefer to not mess with templates (even though you really should mess with templates), there is a quick and dirty way to get the styles available in the new document: Copy them. Here's a rundown on the technique:
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