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: Preventing Changes to Styles in Documents.

Preventing Changes to Styles in Documents

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 30, 2016)

You may, at some time, want to prevent changes in template styles in documents. The issue isn't how to protect the template itself (which can obviously be done by making the template file read-only within the operating system), but how to make sure that template styles could not be changed once the template is attached to a document.

For instance, if you attach a template to a document, the styles in that template are now available to use within the document. The template styles can also be changed within the document without affecting the styles stored in the original template. (Word only tries to store style changes in the original template if the Add to Template check box is selected in the Modify Style dialog box.)

Unfortunately, even though you can protect the template itself (by making it read-only or storing it in a protected network folder), there is no way to protect the template styles once the template has been attached to a document. To do so would mean that users could not modify any styles at all, even those the user defined strictly for use within a specific document.

The best solution is to educate your users as to how styles work, how they are changed within Word (in other words, what actions can change them), and instruct them not to make any changes to the styles. It is also a good idea to instruct users to never paste formatted text into a document. The reason, of course, is that such an action pastes style changes into the document as well. Instead, users can choose Edit | Paste Special | Unformatted Text, and then format the pasted text using the styles available from your template.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1545) 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: Preventing Changes to Styles in Documents.

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

Accurate Font Sizes

Want to get your typeface exactly the right size? Here's how you can specify just the size you want Word to use.

Discover More

Adding Graphics to a Header or Footer

Excel makes it easy to add graphics to a header or footer. Here's the steps to make it happen.

Discover More

Excel Conditional Formatting

Conditional formatting allows you to modify how information is displayed based upon criteria that you define. Excel ...

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)

Getting Rid of Persistent Templates

Word uses an open interface that allows add-ons and other programs to expand the way that Word works. Sometimes remnants ...

Discover More

Continually Saving Normal.dot

If your Normal.dot file is continually saved when you exit Word, even when you haven't made any changes to it, the ...

Discover More

Saving a Preview with Your Template

Templates provide a collection of styles and boilerplate for new documents. Selecting the right template by filename only ...

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

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 five more than 7?

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


This Site

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.

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.