Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Deleting Styles.

Deleting Styles

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 26, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


As you work with styles in Word, there may come a time when you want to delete a style you previously defined. To do this, 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. In the list of styles shown in the pane, hover the mouse pointer over the style you want to delete. A down-arrow appears at the right side of the style name.
  3. Click on the down-arrow that appeared in step 2. Word presents you with a list of actions you can take.
  4. Choose either the Revert To Base Style option or the Delete option from the list of actions. You will be asked to confirm your action; click on Yes.
  5. To delete other styles, repeat steps 2 through 4.
  6. When you are done, close the Styles task pane.

You cannot delete styles that are predefined in Word. If you select these styles, the Delete option is not available in step 3.

Note that in step 4 there are two possible options you can use to actually delete the style. If the style is based on an underlying style, then you can only "revert" the style. This means that all the text that uses the style you are deleting is changed to the underlying style for the style you are deleting. If there is no underlying style, then you have the option to actually delete the style.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10225) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Deleting Styles.

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

Removing Line Numbering

If you've added line numbers to your document, at some point you may want them turned off. Here's how to disable line ...

Discover More

Discovering Dependent Workbooks

When you starting linking information from one workbook to another, those workbooks become dependent on each other. ...

Discover More

Searching for Text with a Certain Format

The Find and Replace tool in Word is very powerful. You can use it to search not only for text but for the formatting ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Assigning a Shortcut Key to Styles

Shortcut keys are a great way to apply styles to text in a document. You can easily create a shortcut key assignment for ...

Discover More

Keeping the Styles Pane Open by Default

Word doesn't provide a way that you can display the Styles task pane by default. If you get tired of manually displaying ...

Discover More

Preventing Styles from Changing

It is frustrating to spend a lot of time working on a document, getting your styles just right, and then have those ...

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 five more than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.