Word: Use the Organizer to copy macros, styles from one document to another

September 20, 2010

You’ve set up a terrific style in a document and now you want to copy that style to your main template or to another document. Or perhaps you have a macro assigned to a particular document or template that you want to use in another document or template.

While there are several ways to deal with a macro (e.g. copy/paste the code from one document to another, or store the macro in a special macros file), copying a style from one document to another is not so simple. The hard way is to write down or print out all the style’s settings and then re-create the style in the other document. But that method is for masochists!

There’s a much simpler way — use Word’s Organizer function. It’s been around for years, but most people aren’t aware of it. Power users, of course, have probably been using it forever!

Note: The screen shots below are from Word 2003; the Word 2007 screens are almost exactly the same.

  1. Open the Templates and Add-ins dialog box:
    • Word 2003: From the menu, select Tools > Templates and Add-ins.
    • Word 2007/2010: Go to the Developer tab > Templates group, then click Document Template. (If you don’t have the Developer tab [see the Notes below], you can access the Organizer from the Manage Styles dialog box (see Notes) — click the Import/Export button in the bottom left corner.)
  2. Click the Organizer button at the bottom left of the Templates and Add-ins dialog box.
  3. Select the tab for the type of object you want to copy — e.g. Styles or Macro Project Items. For this example, you’ll copy some styles from another document to the one you have open; the same method is used to copy macros.
  4. Click Close File below the right panel. (You would usually close Normal.dot as you want to copy from another document, not the Normal template.)
  5. Click Open File below the right panel. By default, Word opens your Templates folder and sets the file type as a Document Template (*.dot) file.
  6. If you’re copying from another document and not a template, change the Files of type to Word Documents (*.doc, *.doc*), then navigate to the folder where the document you want to copy the styles from is stored.
  7. Select the document you want to copy from, then click Open.
  8. The name of the file you selected displays in the Styles available in field below the right panel in the Organizer dialog box.
  9. In the right panel, select one or more styles that you want to copy. Use Ctrl+click and/or Shift+click to select multiple styles. In the screen shot below, I selected two Table styles.
  10. Click the << Copy button in between the two panels to copy the styles from the document on the right to the document on the left (your current document).
  11. Repeat steps 9 and 10 for any other styles you want to copy. If a style of the same name already exists in your current document, you will be asked if you want to overwrite it. Click Yes or Yes to all if that’s what you want.
  12. When you have finished, click Close. The styles you selected from the other document are now available in your current document.



  1. […] Optional: If you’re feeling confident, create this new style directly in your template. Otherwise, just create it in any document, then, once you’re happy with it, use the Organizer to copy it to your template. […]

  2. Once again proving that Microsoft has it in for their users… why does this have to be so goddamn complicated? Why?

  3. Thanks for this! you just saved me a whole lot of work. Note that these instructions work well for Word 2010 as well.

  4. I can’t find the “style organizer” in Word 2010, can you pls help?

  5. Hi Pat

    Follow the instructions in Step 1 for Word 2007/2010 — you can get to it either from the Document Template, or from the Manage Styles dialog box (where the button to access it is called Import/Export).


  6. I have to agree with Eric… This is not only ridiculously difficult, but it leaves out the part about adding the developer tab…. DUH… of course, all users have automatically gone in an turned on the Developer tab the first time in Word. Another Help search…. geesh….

    Can’t just highlight a style, then copy & paste?

  7. Hi Dale

    The info about the Developer tab is at the end of the post, and is mentioned in Step 1.

    As far as I know, you’ve only ever been able to copy styles from one document to another using the Organizer. You can copy/paste macros from the VBA window in one open document to the VBA window in another open document.


  8. How do you copy styles from one open document to another? I can only access the option to copy from the active document to a template. I think this is because each file is opne in a new window, but I am not sure if I change this.

  9. Hi Tom

    Steps 6 and 7 didn’t work for you? I’m pretty sure I’ve copied from one open doc to another using this method. If it still doesn’t work, then try closing the target doc and see if that makes any difference.


  10. In Word 2007/2010, can I copy a style to multiple documents rather than one document at a time? I have many documents to work with.

  11. Hi Leslie

    As far as I know, you can’t. However, if you ask your question on the Microsoft Answers forum for Word (http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/word), someone there may have a solution using a macro.

    If you do get an answer that works, I’d appreciate it if you could link to it in the comments for this post.



  12. I am currently working on an ebook with one of Word’s newsletter templates. The problem is that my ebook has 12 pages but the template comes built in with only 5. No matter what I do, I cannot add more pages with the same settings as the Template.

    Will the method you’ve described here work for that? This seems rather complicated and I am not very computer savvy. So I don’t want to mess with settings unless it gets me to where I want to go.

    Thank you for any help.

  13. Hi Ben

    None of what I’ve documented here will help. Newsletter templates tend to comprise section/column breaks, text boxes, and the like, which the Organizer doesn’t deal with.

    My installation of Word 2010 doesn’t have any sort of ebook template that I can see, and I couldn’t see any listed on Office.com, so where did you get yours from?

    Also, if your ebook is for publishing to Kindle and the like, then a newsletter template from Word is NOT the way to go, in my opinion. It may be fine for publishing as a PDF, but not for the likes of Kindle. That said, I’m definitely not an expert in ebooks, though I have done a fair bit of reading about the publishing process for them.


  14. Hi Rhonda,

    Thanks for the reply.
    My ebook will eventually be in .pdf format. Thanks for the tip about Templates not being good for Kindle publishing. :)

    I am not working on an ebook template, per se. You know when you click on that Windows icon in Word, and then you click New, and you get that whole page of Templates that you can download for free? I chose one of the Newsletter Templates from there, and cannot for the life of me figure out how to duplicate the pages.

    My boss has Word 2011 (Mac), and all he has to do to get extra pages is to right-click on a Thumbnail (after choosing Thumbnail view from the Navigation pane), and choose the ‘Duplicate’ option. That doesn’t happen in Word 2010 or Word 2007.

    I’d appreciate any help. I’m at my wit’s end. So is my boss. :)
    Thank you, and Happy New Year,

  15. Hi Ben

    I may have found a solution for you. Try this:

    1. Go to the Navigation Pane view (View tab > select Navigation Pane check box).
    2. Right-click on the last heading in the Navigation Pane.
    3. Select New Heading After.

    In the sample newsletter template I opened, this started a new page with a new heading on it. I lost the section settings for number of columns, etc., but that was enough enough to reinstate.

    Another alternative is to go to the end of the last page, then press Ctrl+Enter to force a new page break and thus add a page to the document. The previous section’s headers and footers will apply to the new page.

    If you want to set up a new section on a new page, add a ‘Next Page’ section break — go to the Page Layout tab, click Breaks, select Next Page (from the Section list).

    All these will add extra pages to your newsletter — at least they did for me using one of those standard newsletter templates from Microsoft Words 2010.


  16. And more….

    You can also insert a page in between other pages. You can see this best in the Navigation Pane, though you don’t have to have that pane turned on to do this: Position you cursor on the page that you want to insert the new page in front of. Go to the Insert tab, and select ‘Blank Page’. (You can also insert a cover page in front of the first page — just select ‘Cover Page’ instead of ‘Blank Page’.)

    And if you want to insert new text blocks (e.g. sidebars) into the new page(s) you’ve added, the quickest way is to do this from the Text Box icon on the Insert tab > Text group. (This is actually pretty neat, and I didn’t realise it was there until you forced me to go looking ;-) There are all sorts of neat features related to a newsletter on the insert tab — headers and footers related to the theme, mastheads (under the Quick Parts icon).


  17. Hi Rhonda,

    Thanks so much for your detailed response. :)

    I tried right-clicking in the Navigation Pane but nothing happens. I thought maybe it was just my computer which wasn’t allowing me to right-click, but I tried on my sisters’ laptops and there were no right-click options on theirs either. Have also tried on a desktop in an Internet cafe with the same result. Do you have any idea why this could be?

    I tried forcing a page break, but the template is saved as a picture with text and image boxes inserted in it. So when i click on the end of a page, it just selects the whole image on the page. I think this might be a limitation of this particular Template only and that your solutions will work on others.

    Finally, I just did a Ctrl+A, copied all the Template pages, Inserted Blank Pages, and pasted the whole Template over and over. This seemed to work – the Template got copied with all the formatting and whatnot. But now I am left with several ‘Conclusion’ pages within the Template, which I have to manually delete one by one.

    Thanks again,

  18. “In Word 2007/2010, can I copy a style to multiple documents rather than one document at a time?” I’ve copied the styles and macros that I use often into my normal template. Then they are available in every document that I create from scratch. Did you just gasp when I said I edited my normal template? Not to worry. Save a backup copy if you’re really anal or just delete the normal tempate when Word is closed, It will recreate the default normal template when you open Word. Be sure to save a backup of your edited normal template. I’ve lost my changes more than once when upgrading.

  19. Hi Karla

    You can also separate out your macros into a file of their own and ave that — they are then available to ALL your documents. See here for details: https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2009/10/18/word-separate-out-macros-and-attach-them-to-all-documents/ (I’ve now added that link to the ‘see also’ list in the main article).


  20. Hi,
    I work in a distributed LAN environment and I have a template with toolbars, macros, forms and associated code that I need to copy to each document created by that template for use in other LAN sites (they cannot link to the template store directory). How can I do this in the:
    . This Document – in the Microsoft Word Objects section
    . Private Sub Document_New() – This Document section
    What is the code needed, for example, using the following variable names:
    . Template 1.dot as the primary template
    . Toolbar1
    . Userform1
    . Newmacros
    Any help or guidance would really be appreciated. I have heard that I should use OrganizerCopy Method but I am unsure of the specific code.

  21. Hi Kip

    I’ve never even attempted what you’re trying to do, so I have no idea if it can be done or not. I suggest you ask this on the Microsoft Answers forum for Word, in the programming/customizing section — someone there who’s a VBA guru may be ale to help you.


  22. Hi Rhonda,
    OK, thank you very much for the prompt response, advice, and direction. I’ll see what they say.
    I do know a quick and dirty way around it and that is to use a write protected document as the template (with the code etc in that document) but I’d prefer something more elegant.
    I’ll let you know the outcome if you’d like.

  23. Hi Kip

    If you find a solution, I’d appreciate it if you could add it here or link to it as it’s likely to be useful for others who find this post and have the same issue.


  24. Same problem for me in Word 2007 and 2010.
    Copying styles from the right pane (template) to the left pane (open document) works fine.
    But if I decide to modify a style while editing the document; I( open the template in the right pane, copy the style from the document in the left pane tot he template in the right pane. Then close the template. One is prompted to save the document – confirmed.
    The style was NOT updated in the template – great. I have to open and edit the template in Word, then copy the style from the document to the template. Copying from right pane to left pane – fine. Left to right – doesn’t work.

  25. Hi Baldrick98007 (nice name!)

    I just tested copying two styles from left (current doc) to right (existing but different template). After copying I was asked if I wanted to save the changes to the template (on the right). I clicked yes. I opened a new doc based on the now modified template and the two styles I copied from the doc on the left were now listed in the Styles pane for the new doc (though they were at the very bottom of the list). I applied those copied styles to some text in the doc based on the modified template and they worked fine. So copying from left to right worked fine for me in that quick test.

    I was using Word 2010.


  26. I have used this organizer many times. My (new) problem is that although I can display the screen (step 2) the “Organizer” button is greyed out. It did not used to be greyed out. Has anyone seen this problem? Any suggestions as to how to fix it? I use Word 2010 on Windows 7.

  27. Hi Peter

    It works fine for me, but I’m not using Word 2010 in a corporate environment where it might be locked down. I’m also using Windows 7, so that’s not the issue either.

    Try looking for an answer, or asking your question on the Microsoft Answers forum for Word: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/word


  28. Hi, I’ve got 8 templates that I’ve created and I have a base template where I maintain th elist of styles. I then use the organizer to update the other templates to propogate any changes to all the templates. I’ve found that in some cases the organizer does not bring over all of the attributes of the updated style. For example in my appendix style it doesn’t bring across the change in font size for appendix 2 and the size for appendix 1 is used. Has anyone else had this or similar issues and know a solution.


  29. Hi Chris

    The only thing I can think of at the moment is that perhaps you have different ‘Based on’ styles and that’s conflicting with the imported style settings.

    I know that while the Organizer works well, I still always check my styles just to make sure that everything came across correctly.

    Painful, but not as painful as setting up all the styles from scratch in each template.


  30. I created a new style template based on a document that has all of the formatting I want for every chapter in a book collection. When I open an un-formatted document, then click on Change Styles and select the new style format I created, there’s no option to apply it to the doc that need to be reformatted.
    I’ve also gone through the Organizer to copy the changes from the correctly formatted doc (on right side of dialog box) to the unformatted doc on the left. But nothing happens to the doc I’m trying to change once I close the dialog box after copying the desired format.
    I don’t see any option to save or apply or modify. It seems like there’s an important step missing.

  31. Hi Terry

    Two things to try:

    1. Attach the template to the document and check the ‘Automatically update styles’ check box. Do both of these in the Templates and Add-ins dialog box (in step 2 of this blog post). Once you’ve turned it on, go back into that dialog box and turn that check box off again otherwise any changes you make in the new doc will want to change in the template.

    2. Open the Styles pane (see https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2008/09/11/word-2007-what-happened-to-the-styles-and-formatting-task-pane/) and apply the copied styles from there. This is NOT the same as ‘Change Styles’ — you click the tiny arrow icon (dialog launcher) BELOW ‘Change Styles’.


  32. Thank you very much! It saved a lot of time for me

  33. Wow .. wow .. I had been searching for the technique to port across the ‘Styles’ created in one document to the other word documents for a long time (I almost gave up on this). This blog saved a my time & effort enormously.

    Many many blessings from the bottom of my heart to the author.

    Great job,

    < >

  34. Life saver!! you are my new “go to resource”. I wasted an entire day with my own searching, polling friends and even our help desk!! thx and keep up the great work in 2013.

  35. You can open the ‘Organizer’ for styles & macros in 4 different ways as follows:
    1) Developer tab -> “Macros” (under ‘Code’ block) -> ‘Organizer’ button OR
    2) Developer tab -> “Document Template” (under ‘Templates’ block) -> “Templates and Add-ins” dialogbox -> ‘Organizer’ button OR
    3) Home tab / ribbon -> expand the ‘Style’ block (by clicking on little box at the bottom-right of ‘Styles’) -> ‘Manage Style’ icon/button -> ‘Impot/Export’ button OR
    4) Word Options -> Add-Ins -> (at the bottom, under) ‘Manage’ (drop-down & select) ‘Template’ -> click ‘Go’ -> “Templates and Add-ins” dialogbox -> ‘Organizer’ button.


  36. Thanks for contributing those different ways for opening the Organizer, Eddie — much appreciated.


  37. […] but you want to use some of the useful macros that are contained in the first template. You try to use Word’s Organizer function but you get a message that The project item cannot be […]

  38. Hi there, this has been really useful! After reading your post, I still had to do a bit of digging but at least knew where to start…I expanded the styles menu in Word 2010, then selected the ‘Manage Styles’ button at the bottom, then clicked ‘import/export’ in the dialogue box. From there, I was able to select styles from one particular document and export them to the ‘normal’ template, as well as import them into already existing documents I was working on.

    Thank you! :)

  39. I think there is another simple method to do this like I always did.
    If your Styles is in Document A, open Document A and ‘save as’ to another name such as Document B. Delete ‘old content’ in Document B and copy your new manuscript into Document B and apply the Styles to your text. I think that should be ok. :)

  40. Hi Sumardi

    Yes you can do that, or create a template from Doc A. But when Doc A and Doc B have hundreds of pages, figures, tables, etc. that may not be a quick and easy option.


  41. Hello,
    I have tried this numerous times without any luck on changing the docs I have.. Aaahhh so annoying and I have so many docs to change the styles to the template I have!! : ((



  42. Hi Yokasta

    In addition to copying the styles across from one doc/template to another, you may also have to apply the copied styles to the document — copying them may not be enough:
    * To apply the new formatting of styles with the same name (e.g. Heading 1), go to the Developer tab > Document Template, then select the Automatically update styles check box and click OK. Now go back in there and turn that off again (unless there’s a reason you need it on).
    * To apply new styles copied from another doc/template but not already existing in the target doc, you have to select the paragraph(s) then apply the style from the Style panel (on the Home tab) or the Style pane (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S).

    If the macros are being copied across, then try this: https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/word-copying-macros-from-one-document-to-another-when-the-organizer-doesnt-work/


  43. cool!

  44. Brilliant! Thank you for having the answer to my question straightaway (copying styles), and written out so clearly! Have bookmarked your site for future use, definitely :)

  45. Rhonda, I have to reformat a computer and the user has a very extensive customized auto-correct and auto-text. Will this work to move her existing normal.dotm template from the old computer to the newly formatted? It will take her hours to try and recreate all the customized entries. If not can you suggest how I can do this?

  46. The autocorrect entries are stored in one or more *.ACL files on the computer, so copy those and note their location as you’ll need to add them back in later. I’m not sure about autotext entries.

    If she has any macros attached to normal.dotm, I suggest she puts them into a new doc (good practice anyway in case case normal.dotm gets rebuilt to the defaults). Details on this are here: https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2009/10/18/word-separate-out-macros-and-attach-them-to-all-documents/


  47. I only want to copy a single Template with 4 Styles plus the defaults from my current PC to a new one I’m setting up to replace it.

  48. Hi John

    To copy a template from one PC to another, you don’t need to use any of the info above. Just go to C:\Users\[your_username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates on the original PC and copy the template onto a thumb drive (or directly to the other PC if they are networked). Then paste the template into the SAME location on the destination PC.

    (If you can’t see the AppData folder, follow these instructions: https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/cant-see-the-appdata-folder/)


  49. Hi John

    Simpler still, click on the Windows Start icon and type – %AppData%\Microsoft\Templates – into the search box.
    As soon as you hit the ‘Enter’ key the Word templates directory will open.


  50. N.B. %AppData%\Microsoft\Templates all one line

  51. You’re the best! This saved me so much time and effort. Thanks a lot!

  52. […] the new template to the old document so that the new styles are available in the document. (or, use the Organizer to copy styles across from the old template to the new [longer, slower […]

  53. […] been 10 years since I last wrote specifically about the Organizer in Word, so it’s time for an update. What triggered this post was someone lamenting on a […]

  54. […] new template to the old document so that the new styles are available in the document. (or, use the Organizer to copy styles across from the old template to the new [longer, slower […]

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