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: Working with Other People's Files.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 13, 2018)
If you work in an office where Word is used, it is likely that you need to work with documents from other people. If you simply load up their document, then you have to put up with their formatting choices. This may be hard to do, especially if you don't like their choices in fonts or spacing. To overcome this, open a new file (based on the template of your choice) and insert their file in this new document. If there are any styles in their document that match names in your document, then your styles will take precedence. Thus, your formatting choices will be used, not theirs.
Note that this tip will not work if styles were not used in the original document. If the other person explicitly formatted text using the menus and toolbars, then the formatting they used will remain. To overcome this, you may want to select the entire document and reset it to the Normal style.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (999) 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: Working with Other People's Files.
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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.