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: Automatically Updating Styles.

Automatically Updating Styles

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 18, 2015)

2

If you have spent much time working with styles, you know that Word includes a feature that allows for styles to be automatically updated based on explicit changes to a paragraph using that style within your document. (The Automatically Update check box in the Modify Style or Define Style dialog boxes controls this feature.)

There are times when you may want to make a change to a paragraph, and you don't want the change to automatically update the style used in the paragraph. If you find yourself in this situation, you don't have to go into the Modify Style dialog box and turn it off. Rather, you can just use Ctrl+Z (undo).

The reason this works is that a change to a style that uses the Automatically Update setting is actually a two-step process. (These steps happen together, so it appears to be one step to the user.) The first thing that occurs is the selected paragraph is changed. The second thing that occurs is the change is propagated to all other paragraphs of the same style. When you press Ctrl+Z, you undo step 2 (the propagation), without undoing the change to the selected paragraph.

Knowing this, you never have to turn off Automatically Update; you simply "roll back" the update step when you don't want it to occur.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5403) 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: Automatically Updating Styles.

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

Changing Outline Heading Level

Working with a document's outline can be a great way to organize your writing. Word provides a variety of tools for working ...

Discover More

Transferring Data between Worksheets Using a Macro

Macros can be used for all sorts of data processing needs. One need that is fairly common is the need to move data from one ...

Discover More

Locking the Position of Tools

Don't want your toolbar tools to move around on you? You might think you are out of luck, but here is a way you can make sure ...

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)

Ensuring that Spell Checking is Enabled in All Styles

Ever want to enable spell checking in all of the styles within a document, but don't want to check each and every one ...

Discover More

Preventing Styles from Changing

It is frustrating to spend a lot of time working on a document, getting your styles just right, and then have those styles ...

Discover More

Renaming a Style

Styles are invaluable when it comes to applying consistent formatting in and across documents. If you need to rename a style ...

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 2 + 1?

2016-08-31 14:59:12

Lisa

If you don't want to click UNDO everytime, this is how to fix it:

Open STYLES. Go into the style you're using, and click MODIFY. Then uncheck the AUTOMATICALLY UPDATE box. Solved. Sweet, sweet relief.


2014-10-09 12:40:09

Glen

Everyone already knows about CTRL-Z = Undo. I'm looking to not have to do this EVERY TIME I change a font or color to one line. It's a pain to undo continually.
How does one PERMANENTLY UNDO Automatically Update Style feature. You reference "check box in the Modify Style or Define Style dialog boxes" but don't say where to find that


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.