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: Changing Styles.

Changing Styles

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 31, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Once you have defined a style in Word, you can change it at any time. To do this, follow these steps if you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003:

  1. Choose Styles and Formatting from the Format menu. Word displays the Styles and Formatting pane.
  2. In the Pick Formatting to Apply List, locate the style you want to change and simply point to it. (Don't click on it.) Word displays a down-arrow at the right side of the style name.
  3. Click on the down-arrow. Word displays a drop-down menu.
  4. Click on Modify. Word displays the Modify Style dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Modify Style dialog box.

  6. Change the attributes of the style, as desired. You may need to use the Format button to make your changes.
  7. When completed, click on OK.
  8. To change other styles, repeat steps 2 through 6.
  9. When you are done changing styles, close the Styles and Formatting pane.

If you are using Word 97 or Word 2000, the process is a bit different. Follow these steps to change a style:

  1. Select Style from the Format menu. Word displays the Style dialog box.
  2. In the Styles list, select the style you want to change.
  3. Click on Modify. Word displays Modify Style dialog box opens.
  4. Change the attributes of the style, as desired. You may need to use the Format button to make your changes.
  5. When completed, click on OK. The Cancel button changes to Close.
  6. To change other styles, repeat steps 2 through 5.
  7. When you are done changing styles, click on Close.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (371) 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: Changing Styles.

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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