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: Renaming a Style.

Renaming a Style

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 8, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Word allows you to rename styles you have defined. You cannot, however, rename any of the predefined styles supplied with Word. To rename a style, follow these steps if you are using versions of Word prior to Word 2002:

  1. Select Style from the Format menu. You will see the Style dialog box.
  2. Select the style you want to rename from the Styles list.
  3. Click on Modify. Word displays the Modify Style dialog box.
  4. In the Name box, enter a new name for the style.
  5. Click on OK.
  6. To rename other styles, repeat steps 2 through 5.
  7. When you are done renaming styles, click on Close.

If you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003, you need to account for Microsoft's addition of the task pane. This means that the steps are slightly different:

  1. Select Styles and Formatting from the Format menu. Word displays the Styles and Formatting task pane.
  2. Scroll through the task pane until you see the style you want to rename.
  3. Hover your mouse pointer over the style name. You should see a drop-down arrow appear at the right side of the style name.
  4. Click the drop-down arrow and choose Modify. Word displays the Modify Style dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Modify Style dialog box.

  6. In the Name box, enter a new name for the style.
  7. Click on OK.
  8. To rename other styles, repeat steps 2 through 6.
  9. When you are done renaming styles, dismiss the Styles and Formatting task pane.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (212) 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: Renaming a Style.

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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