Word: Why is the Select All button inactive in Styles?

May 12, 2008

Problem: The Select All button is inactive in my Styles and Formatting list (Word 2003; Styles list in Word 2007), which means I can’t select all text with the same style and change it to another style.

Solution: It’s because you have Keep Track of Formatting turned off. I recommend that you leave that ‘keep track’ option turned off (it causes other Word nightmares…), so the solution is to turn it on when you want to select all the same style, then turn it off after you’re done.

To find the Keep Track of Formatting check box:

  • Word 2003: Select Tools > Options from the menu, then select the Edit tab.
  • Word 2007: Click the large Microsoft Office button in the top left corner, click the Word Options button, select Advanced, then go to the Editing Options section.

Full details

[steps checked and updated to incorporate Word 2007, 21 August 2008]


  1. […] I use the Keep Track of Formatting option in Word Options quite often. Mostly, I have it turned off, but if I get a new document to edit from one of my client’s authors, I’ll turn it on so I can see the usage of all the styles in the document (see: https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2008/05/12/word-2003-why-is-the-select-all-button-inactive-in-styles/). […]

  2. This information saved me a lot of time and was very helpful. Thanks, but not going to buy you a cup of the coffee this time ;)

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