Microsoft Word/Styles problem


Hi Suzanne,
I'm working with Word 2007 and have used styles over the years without any problem. I'm reformatting a book of mine as an eBook saved into the compatibility mode. It's a big book so I'm trying to streamline the formatting. There are only about 10 styles I need that I created. I want to get rid of the other styles (at least another 20) that are in the Styles list so that I don't have to continually scroll through them all. In the 'Style Pane Options' the 'Only in this document' is selected.
I've Googled the question as to whether I can remove those unwanted styles and just work with the ones I want but my question isn't answered directly. What concerns me is whether it will affect any other future documents. Will those other unwanted styles still be available in any other document? From all the articles I've read, it appears that there's no problem but I'm just being cautious.
Can you reassure me that everything will be normal in other documents other than this one?
Many thanks,

I don't think anyone has ever figured out the mystery of what "In use" and "In this document" mean--clearly Word understands them differently from users. But you can, to some extent, control the display of styles using the Recommend tab of the Manage Styles dialog (click the Manage Styles button in the Styles pane). There you can set the priority of each style, hide styles entirely, or set them to "Hide until used."

Many users prefer to use the floating Apply Styles dialog (Ctrl+Shift+S) in combination with the Quick Styles gallery. I like to set up the Quick Styles gallery so that my most-used styles are on the top row. You do this by ruthlessly hiding or demoting styles you'll never use (Normal, Subtitle, Emphasis, and the like) and promoting the styles you use most often.

You can't add them to the Quick Styles gallery directly from the Manage Styles dialog; you have to do that from the Styles pane (an oversight, in my opinion). In the gallery, they are displayed in the order in which they are recommended--those with a Recommend level of 1 first, followed by 2, etc. Styles with the same level will be in alphabetical order.

It takes a good bit of work to set this up initially, but it can save a lot of time in the long run. I also like to make efficient use of the "Style for following paragraph" when defining styles. By default, the following style for all the built-in heading styles is Normal, which I don't use for body text, so I set Body Text as the following style. For printed books, I set Body Text First Indent as the following style for Body Text, and then it continues until the next heading.

The changes you make to style visibility will affect only the current document unless you select "New styles based on this template" when making changes in the Manage Styles dialog or the Modify Style dialog. Often you'll want to create a custom template for similar documents; in that template you'll display just the styles you need for that type of document.
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Suzanne S. Barnhill


I've been using Word for Windows since version 2.0 (1992), and the more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. But I may know a few things that you don't, and I'll help if I can. I answer many questions every day in Microsoft's peer support forums and as a result have been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) designation by Microsoft Corporation. You may be able to find the answer to your question at the Word MVPs' FAQ site or at my own Word FAQ site, so please check those first! Please, no questions about VBA (macros), Registry editing, networks, or complex merges, as I have no experience with these aspects of Word, nor do I have any experience with Word for Mac. Please indicate which version of Word you are using; if you are not sure, see "What version of Word do I have?".


I have a master's degree in classics (Latin), which is surprisingly helpful, though I no longer teach. The things I am proudest of: Having raised two children to maturity, both Merit Scholars, both college graduates (one a philosophy major!), one Phi Beta Kappa (from Harvard!); having been made a Paul Harris Fellow by my Rotary club; having been designated a Microsoft MVP.

Rotary Club of Fairhope, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library

B.A. (Latin), Agnes Scott College, 1966; M.A. (Classics), Emory University, 1972.

Awards and Honors
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award every year since 1999; many Rotary honors

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