Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Getting Rid of Modify Style Message.

Getting Rid of Modify Style Message

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 7, 2015)

Like many Word users, Judie uses custom styles in her documents. Periodically Judie sees a "Modify Style" message asking if she wants to "update the style to reflect recent changes?" or "reapply the formatting of the style to the paragraph" with a checkbox to "automatically update the style from now on." Judie does not want to see this message at all; she wants her styles applied exactly the way she created them and she will explicitly choose whether to modify a style or not.

Getting rid of this message can be accomplished by following these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and later versions display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box, click Advanced. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Advanced options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. In the Editing section of the dialog box, make sure the Prompt to Update Style check box is cleared.
  5. Click on OK.

With the above steps firmly in mind, it is important to understand why someone would see the Modify Style message described by Judie. Let's say you have a paragraph that has the MyPar style applied to it. (This is a custom style you previously created.) If you try to reapply the MyPar style to it and there have been no explicit formatting changes to the paragraph, then you won't see the message. If you try to reapply the MyPar style to it and there have been explicit formatting changes, then you will see the message. Why? Because Word thinks you might want to "codify" the explicit changes you made so they are saved in the style.

The short way around seeing the message—even without explicitly turning it off, as described above—is to not reapply a style. Instead, select the paragraph and press Ctrl+Q to return paragraph formatting to whatever the underlying style says it should be, or press Ctrl+Spacebar to return character formatting to whatever the style says it should be. Both shortcuts bypass the unwanted message concerning styles and get you to the same point that you would be at if you chose to simply reapply the style in the message's dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10688) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Getting Rid of Modify Style Message.

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

Printing Custom Properties

Do you use custom document properties? They can be very helpful, but sometimes hard to get at. This tip shows a way you ...

Discover More

Forcing Input to Uppercase

If you type information into a workbook, you may want to make sure that what you type is always stored in uppercase. ...

Discover More

Fixing Odd Sorting Behavior

When you sort data that contains both numbers and text, you may not get exactly the result that you expected. To know ...

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)

Making Sure Styles Do Not Update Automatically

One of the features of Word that can cause some problems is one that allows styles to be automatically updated based upon ...

Discover More

Changing the Style Gallery

The style gallery appears on the Home tab of the ribbon. You may want to modify how Word displays styles within the ...

Discover More

Deploying Standard Styles through an Organization

When you are working with Word in an organization (regardless of how many people), standardizing styles and their use can ...

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 6 - 3?

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.

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.