Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Working with Other People's Files.

Working with Other People's Files

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 14, 2015)

2

If you work in an office where Word is used, it is likely that you need to work with documents from other people. If you simply load up their document, then you have to put up with their formatting choices. This may be hard to do, especially if you don't like their choices in fonts or spacing. To overcome this, open a new file (based on the template of your choice) and insert their file in this new document. If there are any styles in their document that match names in your document, then your styles will take precedence. Thus, your formatting choices will be used, not theirs.

Note that this tip will not work if styles were not used in the original document. If the other person explicitly formatted text using the menus or ribbon, then the formatting they used will remain. To overcome this, you may want to select the entire document and reset it to the Normal 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 (13383) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Working with Other People's Files.

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. ...

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What is five more than 8?

2015-03-16 13:43:30

Jennifer Thomas

Yay for Marc -- Using Paste Options is really the best way to control this, particularly if you don't know your default paste settings.

In addition, consider attaching your desired template (Developer tab | Attach Template) and checking Automatically Update Styles; then you can do a quick 'select all XX paragraphs' from the original style name's drop-down list and just click the desired replacement style from the styles you just added.

When done, use Import/Export to remove the unwanted styles & uncheck the Automatically Update option (assuming you want to let the user make document-specific style changes), and you are good to go!


2015-03-16 11:55:52

Marc Hichens

In Word 2010, there are Advanced Options settings defined under a heading named "Cut, copy, and paste". How a target document will look when copying across documents will be dependent upon the settings chosen in these options. You can choose to Keep Source Formatting, Merge Formatting, or Keep Text Only.

When the same style name is used in both source and target documents, and the definitions differ, there is an additional option that can be set to Use Destination Styles.


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