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Word: Replace one style with another

June 11, 2010

Scenario

Your Word template uses the Body Text style for main paragraphs, but your author has used Normal. You’ve determined that they’ve only used Normal for paragraphs, not for bullet lists etc. (see the Notes below), so now you want to change all paragraphs styled Normal to Body Text.

How do you do it in one pass of the document without having to check every paragraph and apply the correct style? Well, there are two methods you can use — both methods work similarly in Word 2003 and Word 2007.

Notes and Warnings:

  • If you think that your author has used Normal for more than just the main paragraphs, consider doing this change the slower, but less stressful way by displaying the styles on the left and the Styles pane on the right and checking and applying the correct styles one page at a time. See this earlier blog post for details: http://cybertext.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/word-display-styles-for-each-paragraph/
  • The methods below describe GLOBAL changes to your document. Be very sure that this is what you want to do before going ahead; depending on the size of your document and the number of replacements done, you may not be able to undo these changes. You have been warned!

Method 1: Use Find/Replace

  1. Press Ctrl+H to open the Find and Replace window.
  2. Click More.
  3. Click Format.
  4. Select Style.
  5. On the Find Style dialog box, scroll down to the style you want to change (in this example, Normal).
  6. Click OK. Format: Style: Normal displays below the empty Find what field.
  7. Click in the Replace with field.
  8. Click Format.
  9. Select Style.
  10. On the Replace Style dialog box, scroll down to the style you want to change (in this example, Body Text).
  11. Click OK. Format: Style: Body Text displays below the empty Replace with field.
  12. If you are certain that this is what you want to do (see the Notes above), then click Replace All.

Method 2: Use the Styles pane

This method requires you to turn on Keep track of formatting so you can see the number of instances of each style (see this blog post for details on turning on Keep track of formatting: http://cybertext.wordpress.com/2010/06/10/word-show-styles-in-use/).

  1. Turn on Keep track of formatting.
  2. Display the Styles pane:
  3. Click the drop-down arrow next to the style you want to change (in this example, Normal).
  4. Click Select All [number] Instances.
  5. Scroll the list of styles and select the style you want to replace all instances with (in this example, Body Text). The replacement may take a few seconds to a minute, depending on how many instances were replaced and how big the document is.
  6. Turn off Keep track of formatting if you don’t normally keep it turned on.

See also:

[Links last checked June 2010]

2 comments

  1. [...] Find a style and replace it with another [...]


  2. Tried it. When I right-click on “Normal” in the styles pane, it still says I have 738 instances -_-



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