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

Applying Numbers from the Keyboard

Creating a numbered list is often done by using tools on the toolbars or the ribbon. With a bit of preparation you can create ...

Discover More

Automatically Adding Tabs in Footnotes

When you add a footnote to a document, Word's normal formatting adds a space after the footnote number and before the body of ...

Discover More

Printing Only Selected Pages

When you print a worksheet, you don't need to print the whole thing. You can print only the pages you want. Here's how to do ...

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)

Printing a List of Custom Styles

You can add any number of styles to your document in order to define how you want your text to appear. If you later want to ...

Discover More

Putting Style Names Next to Paragraphs on a Printout

If you use styles to format your document, you might want a way to print the document and show, to the left of each ...

Discover More

Turning Off a Dictionary for a Style

There may be some paragraphs in a document that you don't want Word to spell- or grammar-check. You can 'turn off' the ...

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 four less 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.

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.