Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 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: Getting Rid of Modify Style Message.

Getting Rid of Modify Style Message

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 3, 2016)

Like many Word users, Judie uses custom styles in her documents. Recently, in Word 2003, Judie has started getting a Modify Style message asking her 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. Choose Options from the Tools menu. You'll see the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Edit tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Edit tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Clear the Prompt to Update Style check box.
  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 (445) applies to Microsoft Word 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) 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

Adding Comments to Your Document

If you would like to add non-printing notes to your document, the Comments feature is one way of doing that. Here's how to ...

Discover More

Letters Turn into Squares

Imagine that you are typing away, and all of a sudden your beautiful prose turns into a series of small rectangles that are ...

Discover More

Resetting Paragraph Formatting

Tired of the formatting used in a paragraph? One way to 'start over' is to make sure that the formatting is reset to its ...

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)

Printing a Full Style Sheet

Word supports the use of styles (they are very powerful), but it doesn't provide a way to get a full-featured style sheet ...

Discover More

Using the Style Area

The style area is an esoteric feature of Word that allows you to easily see the styles applied to the paragraphs in your ...

Discover More

Developing Style Families

Styles, as implemented in Word, represent a powerful way to help you easily standardize your formatting tasks. When creating ...

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 for this tip:

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 one more than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.

Links and Sharing
Share