Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Duplicating Styles without Dependency.

Duplicating Styles without Dependency

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 13, 2016)

When you create a new style in Word, that style is typically based on an existing style. If you display the Modify Style dialog box, you can see that there is an option (Style Based On drop-down list) that allows the current style to inherit the characteristics of a style on which it is based.

If you create a new style using Word's inherent "style by example" capability, the new style is automatically based on the old style in the text. You can see this if you format a paragraph with the Normal style, and then apply some explicit formatting to it. Then, with the insertion point still in that paragraph, enter a new style name in the Style box on the Formatting toolbar. Word creates the new style, giving it the name you specified. If you then display the Modify Style dialog box for this new style, you'll see that the Style Based On drop-down is set to Normal, the original style for the paragraph.

So how do you go about duplicating a style without the Style Based On being set to any other style? There seems to be no way to do this in Word. Some WordTips subscribers suggested using the Organizer to create the style, in this manner:

  1. Start with two documents—your original document and a new, blank document. You'll need to save the new document to disk so it can be accessed by the Organizer.
  2. In your original document, create the two styles—your original style and a new one that is based on that style.
  3. Use the Organizer to copy the two styles from the original document to the new, blank document.
  4. In the new, blank document, rename both styles.
  5. Use the Organizer to copy the second style back to the original document.

The rationale is that this copied style will no longer be based on any existing style, since the original style was not copied back with it, and there is no style in the original document that bears the new name of the original style. The only problem is that when the Organizer copies the style back to the original document, it doesn't set the Style Based On drop-down to (no style), it sets it instead to Normal. In other words, you are still in the same predicament, and you still need to display the Style Based On drop-down to manually change to (no style).

The bottom line is that, short of a macro, the easiest solution is to duplicate the style using the "style by example" capability and then set the Style Based On drop-down for the style to (no style). Displaying the Modify Style dialog box may be tiresome, but there seems to be no other way around it.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (95) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Duplicating Styles without Dependency.

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

Getting the Expected Space Before a Heading

If your heading styles are designed to add extra space before the heading, you may be surprised when that extra space is not ...

Discover More

Finding an Unknown Character

Sometimes the characters that appear in a document can be hard to figure out, especially if the document came from someone ...

Discover More

Creating Custom Document Properties

Word allows you to keep track of any number of custom properties about a document. Here's how to create those properties and ...

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 (menu)

Style Names Can Affect Style Definitions

Most people think that you can name styles almost anything you want. You can, but there may be some unintended consequences ...

Discover More

Intelligently Starting a New Paragraph

When using styles in a document, you can increase your productivity by letting Word know what paragraph style you expect to ...

Discover More

How Word Applies Styles

Styles are a great boon for applying styles in a powerfully consistent manner. How Word applies styles, however, depends on ...

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. 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 7 + 7?

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 menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon 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.