Word: Show styles in use

June 10, 2010

Here’s a trick you might find useful, especially if you’re trying to identify where (and if) certain styles listed in the Styles pane have been used in the document.

You click the drop-down arrow next to a style’s name in the Styles pane and see a grayed out Select All: Not Currently Used. You’re baffled as you KNOW that the style is used in the document!

So how do you get Word to display the number of uses and not the grayed out text?

It’s easy — when you know how. The Keep track of formatting option determines whether anything displays here or not. If this option is off, then the usage doesn’t display; if it’s turned on, then it does.

Keep track of formatting is turned off, so no instances are listed

Keep track of formatting is turned on, so all 251 instances are listed

(Both examples above are from Word 2003; Word 2007 looks very similar.)

To find the Keep track of formatting option so you can turn it on or off:

  • Word 2003: Go to Tools > Options > Edit tab.
  • Word 2007: Click the Office button, then Word Options. Go to Advanced > Editing options section.

Personally, I make sure Keep track of formatting is turned off in all my documents, probably as a hangover from earlier Word days when styles got ‘char char char char’ added to them when it was turned on. So, if you’re like me, turn it on to check the usage instances, then remember to turn it off again when you’re done. In Word 2003, in particular, leaving it turned on will make your Styles list really long if authors have added any character formatting to a paragraph.


  1. […] newsletter/blog of CyberText Consulting – technical communication specialists « Word: Show styles in use Taking a few days off » Word: Replace one style with another June 11, 2010 […]

  2. Searching for a way to determine the styles in actual use in a Word 2008 (Mac) doc, not all the ones available, if this can be done with this version. I’m working on a new edition of a technical book, and I’m copying each chapter to a new doc as I begin to work on it, but this means that I’m getting all the styles associated with that original doc, whether I actually used them in the final version of it or not. I’d like to be able to go through that previous edition, identify the styles I didn’t end up using in it, and delete them; however, Format> Styles> Organizer appears to show all the styles available for the doc, whether they’re in use or not.

  3. Hi Gene

    I don’t use a Mac, so I can only comment on what’s available in Word for Windows.

    There’s a setting in the print option for printing just the styles in use in the doc — it’s been there for many versions. In Word 2010, it’s under File > Print > then under Settings, instead of Print all Pages, choose Styles.

    Another option to see just the styles in use is to click the Options link at the bottom of the Styles pane, then select ‘In Use’ for the Styles to Show option.


  4. Thanks so much, Rhonda! You know, soon after I asked that question, based on something I saw elsewhere online about Office 2011’s improvements in style handling, I purchased and downloaded a license of that, and one of its Style pane views is Styles in Use. That appears to have uncluttered my pane, thank goodness 8^) Out of curiosity, I did the print option you suggested, but in Word 2008 it appears to print every style available to that document, rather than just the ones used in the doc. Office 2008 was a tad primitive compared to other Office versions. Thanks again.

  5. This helped to only display the styles actually in use in Word 2010. Saved SO much time! Thank You, thank you, thank you!!!!

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