Quickly save a new style in Word with these shortcuts

After you've formatted text in a special way, will you need the format again? If so, save a new style using the formatted text!

Working with styles is one of Word's most powerful, and often confusing, features. Fortunately, creating a new style is simple. However, like many tasks, saving a style in Word 2007 and 2010 is considerably different than in Word 2003. The good news is that it's still easy!

Word 2003

Once you realize that you're going to reuse a specific set of formats, you should create a new style, as follows:

  1. Select the formatted text.
  2. Click inside the Style control on the Formatting toolbar.
  3. Enter a name for the new style. Don't use the name of an existing style, or you'll replace that style with your new one.
  4. Press Enter. After saving the new style, you can quickly access it from the Style dropdown.

Word 2007 and 2010

The Style control isn't on any of the 2007 and 2010 tabs, although, you can add it to the Quick Access Toolbar. If you do, you can use the Word 2003 shortcut method. Or, you can do the following:

  1. Select the formatted tab and click the Home tab.
  2. Click the Styles group's dialog launcher (the small arrow in the bottom-right corner). Or, click [Alt]+[Ctrl]+[Shift]+S.
  3. Click New Style at the bottom of the resulting Styles task pane.
  4. Click the New Style button (bottom left).
  5. In the Create New Style dialog box, enter a name and description for the new style. Don't use the name of an existing style, or you'll replace that style with your new one.
  6. If you want to use the new format as a paragraph format, choose Paragraph from the Style Type dropdown.
  7. Make other adjustments, as necessary.
  8. If you'll be using the new style often, check the Add to Quick Style option.
  9. Click OK.

Well, that isn't difficult, but the new versions sure require a lot more steps than Word 2003! That's not really true because I showed you the Word 2003 shortcut earlier. There's also a shortcut for the new versions:

  1. Right-click the formatted text and choose Styles from the resulting context menu. Or, click the Quick Style dropdown in the Styles group.
  2. Select Save Selection As A New Quick Style.
  3. Enter a name.
  4. Click OK.

This shortcut creates the new style and adds it to the Quick Style gallery.


Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.


I have a slightly different need for a new style in that I do not want the new style "based" (Word's term) on an existing style. The new style must be independent of the existing style so that when the new style is copied to an existing document, any existing "based on" attributes in the copied-to document do not affect the copied style. For example (as a very simple case), I'd like to have a "Normal+6ptAfter" style. It has all the properties of the default Word "Normal" style except instead of 0 points after the paragraph, it has 6 points. Too often I find that when copied to someone elses Word environment their existing Normal (or "Body Text") which the user has changed to meet their needs changes the Normal+6ptAfter. I searched the web and found some VB that might do this, but I only hack at VB and don't fully understand the macros, which are meant for other purposes and I'm just trying to modify for my own need. It would seem to be such a useful basic Word function to do this I'm surprised it hasn't existed since Styles were created. Any ideas? P.S. When you use Susan's procedure above, the new style is "Style base on" the existing style.


I followed the steps exactly, but the style never saves into the Quick Styles drop down menu. I am so frustrated with what MS considers the most common Word doc features to default. I have to reformat my Word doc every time I open Word. What PITA. Just once I wish the directions for saving a new style would take so I could at least save four or five clicks to format each and every document before I begin typing.


New Quick Styles are Great. BUT if in Word 2010, I found that My New style wasn't available in the the Next (existing document) that I wanted to reformat! I wanted that New style to be available for any document NEW or OLD! Solution... Open the "Change Styles" and Select "Manage Styles" Next Click on the Import/Export Buton, Bottom left In the List Box (Current Document on Left) Select the Newly created Style In the Centre (between) the 2 list box's Click on the Copy Button THIS WILL COPY THE NEW QUICK STYLE TO THE "NORMAL.DOTM" DOCUMENT!! Open Up a new or Existing document and your New Style SHOULD BE there!! Hope this helps - Took ages to get this sorted just like in 2003!!


Thanks. I was looking for a faster way to create a style based on my favorite formats, and this was very helpful.


I came to this article to try to find a shortcut for creating new styles, and what do I get? The normal, regular way to create a style. What a waste of my time. Why not write an article about how to turn on your computer? I bet no one knows how to do that either.

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