5 Ways to Modify and Customize Styles in Microsoft Word

750190 5 Ways to Modify and Customize Styles in Microsoft Word


Styles in Microsoft Word allow you to save formatting settings and apply them with just a click. This helps you format your Word documents more efficiently and consistently.

While Word comes with several built-in styles like Heading 1, Heading 2, etc., you may want to customize these styles or create new styles to meet your specific needs. Fortunately, Word makes it easy to modify and customize styles.

Here are 5 ways to customize styles in Word:

1. Modify an Existing Style

To modify a built-in style like Heading 1 or Heading 2:

  • On the Home tab, right-click on the style you want to modify in the Styles gallery.
  • Select Modify from the dropdown menu. This opens the Modify Style dialog box.


  • Click on the dialog box launcher in the bottom-right corner of the Styles group on the Home tab.
  • Select the style you want to modify from the list and click Modify.

In the Modify Style dialog box, you can:

  • Change font face and size
  • Modify paragraph settings like line spacing, indentation, alignment etc.
  • Add borders and shading
  • Specify formatting for following paragraphs

After you’ve made the changes, click OK. The modifications will apply to all instances of that style in the document.

2. Update a Style from Formatted Text

You can update an existing style using already formatted text:

  • Select the text that has the formatting you want the style to adopt
  • Right-click the style in the Styles gallery and select Update [Style Name] to Match Selection

The style will be updated to match the formatting of the selected text. This is a quick way to update a style without opening the Modify Style dialog box.

3. Create a New Custom Style

To create a brand new style:

  • Format a text selection with the desired formatting
  • Right-click and select Create a Style from the dropdown menu
  • Give a name for your new custom style
  • Click OK

The new style will appear in the Styles gallery and can be applied like any other style.

4. Change Style Set

To give your document a new look, you can simply change its style set rather than modifying individual styles.

To change style sets:

  • Go to the Design tab
  • Click on Style Set and hover over the different style sets
  • Select a set to preview how it will look
  • Click on a style set to actually apply it

5. Clear Formatting and Reapply Style

If you have manually formatted a text with multiple settings, you can strip the direct formatting and reapply the style:

  • Select the text
  • Press Ctrl + Spacebar to clear manual formatting
  • Reapply the style from the Styles gallery

This resets the text to the style’s default formatting.


Using styles and customizing them to your needs is essential to work efficiently in Word. The five techniques covered in this article should help you modify existing styles and create new ones to format your documents faster and in a more organized way.

Implementing styles ensures consistency in formatting across your document – changing a style automatically updates all text with that applied style. So make sure to leverage Word’s powerful styling capabilities in your documents.