WD2000: How to Remove Unused Standard Styles from a Document

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Summary

After you use a standard style in a document, Word adds it to the list of styles. You cannot remove the style name from this list, even if you are no longer using the style in the document. Although this feature is by design, you can use the methods described in this article to remove unused standard styles from the list of styles.

More information

You can delete styles that are not used in a Word document; however, you cannot delete the standard default Word styles. The standard default styles in Microsoft Word are:
  • Normal
  • Heading 1
  • Heading 2
  • Heading 3
  • Default Paragraph Font
After you apply a style in your document, Word adds the style to the Styles list in the Style dialog box (on the Format menu) and to the Style list on the Formatting toolbar. After you apply a standard style in your document, the style remains on these lists, even if you discontinue using the style.

Use one of the following methods to remove unused standard styles from the Style list in your Word document:

Method 1: Copy Document Text to a New Document

This method is useful if your document is small or if you only need to remove the styles from a portion of your document. This method does not work for selections of text that are larger than approximately 50 paragraphs. If your selection is larger than approximately 50 paragraphs, Word copies the entire list of styles, including unused standard styles. If you need to remove unused standard styles from a large document, use Method 2 instead.
  1. Create a new, blank document that lists only the four default standard styles.
  2. Open the document that contains the unused styles you want to remove.
  3. If necessary, remove any standard style formatting you do not want to appear on the Style list in the new document.
  4. Select the entire document or the portion of the document you want to copy to the new document. In any case, do not select more than approximately 50 paragraphs.
  5. On the Edit menu, select Copy.
  6. Switch to the new document you created in step 1 above.
  7. On the Edit menu, select Paste.
  8. Open the Style list on the Formatting toolbar. No unused standard styles should appear on this list.
NOTE: If the entire list of styles appears in the new document, your selection is too large. Perform the Method 1 steps again and select fewer paragraphs, or use Method 2 instead.

Method 2: Save the File in RTF and Then Delete Style References

Use this workaround for large documents when Method 1 is cumbersome or does not work.
  1. Open the document that contains the unused styles you want to remove.
  2. On the File menu, click Save As.
  3. On the Save as type list, select Rich Text Format (*.rtf).
  4. Type a new name with a .txt extension in the File name box and click Save.
  5. Make sure the Confirm conversion at Open check box is selected.
    1. On the Tools menu, click Options and select the General tab.
    2. Select Confirm conversion at Open.
    3. Click OK.
  6. Open the RTF file you saved in steps 2 and 3 above. When the Convert File dialog box appears, select Text Only in the Convert file from list. Do not choose Rich Text Format (.RTF). Click OK.
  7. In the document, Word for Windows formatting appears as RTF code. In this code, style information appears in curly brackets after the "\stylesheet" label. The following is a sample style definition in RTF format:
    {\stylesheet{\s242\tqc\tx4320\tqr\tx8640 \fs20\lang1033
    \sbasedon0\snext242 footer;}{\s243\tqc\tx4320\tqr\tx8640
    \fs20\lang1033 \sbasedon0\snext243 header;}{\s251 \b\f2\fs20\lang1033
    \sbasedon0\snext255 heading 4;}{\s252\li-360\sa120 \b\f2\fs20\lang1033
    \sbasedon0\snext255 heading 3;}{\s253\li-360\sb120\sa120
    \b\f2\lang1033 \sbasedon0\snext0 heading 2;}{\s254\li-360\sb240\sa120
    \b\f2\fs28\lang1033 \sbasedon0\snext0 heading 1;}{\fs20\lang1033
    \snext0 Normal;}}
    							
    To remove an unused style definition, delete the bracketed information for that style. For example, to remove the Footer style from the above sample, delete the following text:
    {\s242\tqc\tx4320\tqr\tx8640 \fs20\lang1033 \sbasedon0\snext242 footer;}
    							
    As another example, to remove the Heading 4 style from the above sample, delete the following text:
    {\s251 \b\f2\fs20\lang1033 \sbasedon0\snext255 heading 4;}
    						
  8. After you delete all unwanted style text, save and close the document.
  9. Open the RTF file you closed in step 8. When the Convert File dialog box appears, select Rich Text Format (RTF) in the Convert file from list and click OK.
  10. Open the Style list on the Formatting toolbar. The unused styles you deleted in step 7 above should not appear in this list.
  11. To save the document back into Word for Windows format, do the following:
    1. On the File menu, click Save As.
    2. On the Save as type list, select Word Document (*.doc).
    3. Click Save.

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Article ID: 193536 - Last Review: June 22, 2014 - Revision: 3.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Word 2000
Keywords: 
kbinfo KB193536

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