So I have a large (~97 mb) Word document, with an ugly and inappropriate modified Heading 2 style. I open the Styles and Formatting pane, right-click on Heading 2 and choose Modify ... and Word crashes. Every time. Well, sometimes I can crash Word by just right-clicking on Heading 2.

I can modify all other styles without a problem, but modifying Heading 2 crashes Word 100% of the time. I can even modify styles based on Heading 2, but not Heading 2.

Thing is, I kind of need to use Heading 2 to make the Table of Contents work right. I also don't like making a document official with a "booby trap" in it for the next person to edit it.

I've already tried opening a new document and copy-pasting this information into it. Didn't work. I'm sure if I did a Paste Special >> Unformatted Text it would be fine, but I would have to reformat a very long document in that case.

I have already deleted normal.dot and let it rebuild multiple times to no effect.

Another possibly related symptom: whenever I close Word I am asked whether I want to save the changed template, even though I haven't changed anything--even if I just open Word with no document, then close it again immediately.


OK, I found a solution. I used the free filters from Microsoft and saved the document as a DOCX file (Word 97 format). When I opened that new file in Word 2003, the problem was gone.

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