How to organise your styles

So you have upgraded to 2007 and want to know where to start.

Step 2 - organise your styles.

Templates contain many commands that define how your document will look. One of the components of this is "styles". A style is a set of formatting instructions that can be applied to a piece of text with a single action. The set is given a meaningful name so you can remember what it is. When you select some text and apply a style, that text is automatically formatted with ALL the attributes carried by the style.

In Microsoft Word 2007, styles have become more accessible through a Gallery on the Home tab, and a more sophisticated Styles Task Pane.

To organise your Styles Task Pane

  1. On your Home tab, Styles group, click the Dialog Box Launcher in the bottom right corner. The Styles Task Pane displays on the right of your screen.
  2. Tick and un-tick the Show Preview checkbox to view the name of your style, or the name as it appears formatted.
  3. Click the Manage Styles button which you will find across the bottom of the Styles Task Pane.
  4. Click the Recommend tab from which you can change the sequence of styles and whether or not they display on the Styles Task Pane.
  5. Use Move Up, Move Down, Make Last and Assign Value to organise how your styles display. Those with a value of 1 will display at the top of the list.
  6. Use the Show and Hide commands to control whether styles display at all, either in the current document or in all documents based on the template.

Assign all the styles you use most often with a value of 1 so they appear at the top of your Styles Task Pane. Assign lower values to other styles.


  1. I posted a question in this forum:

    But I saw an answer to somebody else's question that linked to your blog. I thought perhaps you might be able to shed some light on my issue.

    Once I've organized my styles by assigning values, the order changes once I've inserted a Quick Part (that doesn't even include the style that is re-sorting). More details in forum post link above.

    Thanks so much! Your blog is very helpful!

  2. ezra s abrams1/3/12

    typical word fubar
    why can't MS ever do something that is easy to use ?
    I really believe, MS ever goes bankrupt, they could make their last few millions selling tickets for people to stand on the road outside MS hq, so yo can cheer as people walk out withot their jobs.
    one day, jst as we now recognize that ma bell gave cruddy service, we will realize how bad ms and google are

  3. Style pollution is the bane of my existence. Is there a way to force the style pane to show only approved styles [a less clunky way than fiddling with Recommend, Restrict and Hide settings over and over again] and, at the same time highlight in the document itself any style that doesn’t conform. And I mean conform: not allow any tweaked variations to slip by. Now that would be a really useful topic. A VBA solution perhaps? As it is, the only known workaround is 2 parts steely grit and 1 part caffeine.