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

Preserving Style Formatting when Combining Documents

Insert one document into another and you may not get the results you expect. Here's why, along with what you can do about it.

Discover More

Selecting a Paper Source

If your printer allows you to specify different paper trays as sources for paper, you need to know how to select those other ...

Discover More

Counting Cells Containing a Formula

Cells in a worksheet can contain different types of information, such as numbers, text, and formulas. If you want to ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Determining the Template Attached to a Document

If you've opened a document in Word, that document has a template attached to it. This tip looks at what those templates do ...

Discover More

Understanding Templates

Templates are used to store a pattern for how a document should look. As such, they can be a very powerful tool for creating ...

Discover More

How Word Treats Normal.dot

Templates are at the core of how Word creates and formats documents. From the earliest days of Word, the most basic of ...

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. 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 three more than 8?

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.