Please Help! I’ve Lost My Formatting in My Word 2007 Doc!

by Louellen Coker on February 25, 2009

If’ you’ve spent any time working in Microsoft Word, whether alone or collaborating with others, you’ve probably experienced a bit of wonkiness from time to time. I recently had a project that left everyone involved scratching their heads.

The Scenario, aka the Formatting Issue

In several documents our team has created using Microsoft Word 2007®, we were having difficulty with losing the formatting. We would

  1. Start with a freshly created template, though on occasion we would use a previously created template to create a new document.
  2. Import information, often through cut and paste from a variety of sources.
  3. Clear the existing style formatting.
  4. Apply the new style formatting.
  5. Save the document.
  6. Close the document.
  7. Open the document only to discover that it reverted back to original formatting.

Question of the day: How do we get the style changes to stick?

The Answer, aka the Sigh of Relief

After much gnashing of teeth and consulting with our network (Thanks Facebook Friends and Twitter Tweeps!), we discovered the answer lurking in the developer tab. If you ever find yourself faced with the dilemma that reared its ugly head in our collaborative world, here is a possible solution to your problem.

  1. Open the Developer Tab.
  2. Click Document Template.

    Microsoft Word 2007 Developer Tab.

    Microsoft Word 2007 Developer Tab.

  3. Deselect Automatically update document styles in the Templates Tab.
    Template and Add-ins Settings.

    Template and Add-ins Settings.

  4. Click OK.

Voila! Problem solved, you may now go about your documenting day.

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