Protecting Styles

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 9, 2018)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Many people have discovered the power of using styles to format their documents. The styles allow them to easily and quickly provide a consistent look to their documents. It is possible for styles to become "corrupted" if you copy paragraphs from one document to another. For instance, let's assume that you have a document that is formatted using your well-defined styles. If someone gives you a different document, and you copy paragraphs from their document and paste them in yours, the pasted information doesn't necessarily adopt the styles you created in your document--instead, it retains much of the formatting that existed in the other document.

So how do you make sure that your styles don't become corrupted when you copy and paste information from other documents? The easy answer is to simply paste the information as unformatted text (choose Edit | Paste Special | Unformatted Text).

There are, of course, difficulties that are inherent in using this approach. The biggest problem is that once you paste the information in your document, you will need to go back and format the text using your styles. In addition, if you are copying tables from one document to the other, then you will need to completely redo the tables, in addition to applying styles.

While the reformatting procedure may seem like a lot of work, it is the only way to stop formats from being imported along with the pasted text.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1491) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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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