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: Using the Style Area.

Using the Style Area

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 17, 2015)

Word can show you what the style names are for all paragraphs in your document. This is useful if you are editing a document and need to see if the appropriate styles have been applied. To reveal styles on the left side of the screen, follow these steps:
  1. Make sure you are viewing your document using Normal view.
  2. Choose Options from the Tools menu.
  3. Make sure the View tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The View tab of the Options dialog box.

  5. Set the Style Area Width field to a value other than 0. (A good starting point is .5, which represents one-half inch.)
  6. Click on OK to close the dialog box.
At the left side of your document you should now see a style area. Notice that the style assigned to each paragraph is now visible within the style area. If you want to change the width of the style area at this point, you can do so by using the mouse. Simply click on the vertical line that sets off the style area and drag it left or right. You should note that the style area is only visible if you are using Normal or, in some versions of Word, Outline views. If you switch to any other view, the style area disappears. If you are using any version of Word prior to Word 2000, and you cannot see the Style Area Width box in step 4, then you forgot to switch to Normal view, as mentioned in step 1.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (470) 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: Using the Style Area.

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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