Microsoft KB Archive/102396

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Direct Character Formatting Removed When You Apply Style PSS ID Number: Q102396 Article last modified on 07-14-1994

2.00 2.00a 2.00a-CD 2.00b 2.00c


The information in this article applies to:
- Microsoft Word for Windows, versions 2.0, 2.0a, 2.0a-CD, 2.0b, 2.0c


When you apply a different style to text that contains more than 50 percent of a specific type of direct character formatting (such as underline, italics, or bold), Word for Windows removes that character formatting.

Word does not remove direct character formatting if the text to which you are applying a different style contains less than 50 percent of the direct character formatting or if you also select the paragraph mark preceding the paragraph to which you are applying the style.


This functionality is by design, and it is described on page 217 in “Microsoft Word for Windows User’s Guide.” However, this reference does not specifically state the 50 percent, or “half or more” rule that Word uses to determine whether to remove direct character formatting or not.


Use one of the following workarounds to retain direct character formatting when you apply style formatting:

Workaround 1

Apply the direct formatting after you apply the new style.

Workaround 2

When you select the text to which you want to apply a style, include the preceding paragraph mark in your selection. When you apply the style to this selection, Word retains direct character formatting.

Workaround 3

To apply styles one paragraph at a time while retaining direct character formatting, select the paragraph text (not the paragraph mark), and use the Cut command from the Edit menu to move the paragraph to the Windows Clipboard. Apply the new style to the blank paragraph, then paste the text into the paragraph. Word does not remove the direct character formatting.

Below is a macro to automate Workaround 3. In the macro text, replace “Stylename” with the name of the style you want to apply (be sure to enclose the style name in quotation marks).

Sub Main EditGoTo .Destination = “” CharLeft 1, 1 EditCut FormatStyle .Name = “stylename”, .Apply EditPaste End SUB

WARNING: ANY USE BY YOU OF THE CODE PROVIDED IN THIS ARTICLE IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. Microsoft provides this macro code “as is” without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose.


Word for Windows “User’s Guide,” version 2.0, page 217

“Word for Windows Companion,” Mark Crande and M. David Stone & Alfred Poor, Microsoft Press, 1992, pages 347-348

Additional reference words: 2.00 2.00a 2.00a-CD 2.00b 2.00c docerr winword w4wformat


Copyright Microsoft Corporation 1994.