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How do I modify the default styles in Word 2007?

I need to change the style "Intense Emphasis" from blue to red. Updating the Normal.dotm works well and good when I open up a new 2007 document, BUT when I open a 2003 document via Word 2007 the "Intense Emphasis" is still blue.

Anyone has any ideas why? Thanks!

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Follow this guide and you're done:

  1. Summon the Styles task pane. Click the Dialog Box Launcher in the lower-right corner of the Styles group (on the Home tab), or press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+S.

  2. Point the mouse at the style you want to change. A menu button appears on the right end of the style's entry.

  3. Click the menu button to display the style’s menu, and choose Modify. The Modify Style dialog box appears.

  4. Change the formatting for your style. Use any of the formatting options to change your style. You can click the Format button in the lower-left corner of the Modify Style dialog box to display a pop-up list of formatting dialog boxes. Select one to further customize your style.

  5. Click OK when you’re done. Close the task pane if you’re done with it.


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That modifies the current style in that document. But when creating a new document it goes back to the original Blue. I believe updating Normal.dotm will accomplish this. But alas my problem goes deeper. I need to change the way the default styles look when opening up a Word 2003 doc using Word 2007. – joe Aug 16 '10 at 15:07

If you're opening an existing Word 2003 document, it probably wasn't created using your custom-modified Normal.dotm template, which is why it doesn't adhere to the Intense Emphasis style you've defined for your new documents. You can either make this same change to the Intense Emphasis style in the existing document, then save it, or you can use Import Styles* to copy the style definition from your Normal.dotm template. Then, the next time you open that same document, it should retain the change you made.

Unfortunately, the only way to make this color change apply to all such documents involves travelling back in time to before they were created, then modifying the style of Normal.dotm on the system of the original author (be that yourself or someone else).

*This link contains instructions for using the Import Styles command, written in the context of Word 2010, but the process should be very similar in 2007, if not identical.

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What's wrong with importing styles from another document? – DavidPostill Jun 11 '15 at 21:50
That's a good addition! I have incorporated this into my answer. – Dan Henderson Jun 12 '15 at 4:20

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