I'll try to explain my situation first, to give the question some context and hopefully make it more clear:

  • I have a simple "plain" document (default blank template) with some text in it. All text has a Paragraph Style applied to it: Heading, Heading 2, Heading 3 or Body.
  • I also have a document template that displays those things a certain way. Like Heading is always followed by a page break, and Heading 2 is green etc.
  • I want to paste my "plain" document into the document template, and apply all the styles

When I paste it, the paragraph styles are recognised by Pages, but they are "overriden". So a Heading 2 just becomes black text, with an asterisk next to the paragraph style to indicate it has been overriden.

I can now click on the paragraph style, click on the arrow next to the style and select Clear Override. The heading now becomes green, the way I want it.

I want to apply this to my whole document. Anywhere in the document where there's an override, I just want to reset it to the defined style. Any way to do this?

What I've already tried:

  • Just selecting all the text greys out the ability, because there are different paragraph styles. I can't just select all text, and then select "Clear Override" at the Heading 1 profile; there are also Heading 2 and Heading 3 styles in that same text.
  • The different options when pasting like Paste and Match style (doesn't do what I want at all)
  • Format > Copy Style, followed by Format > Paste Style. But that just applies the style of the text where the cursor is placed. e.g. Format everything in the document as a heading 1.

I, too, would like this feature. It exists in MS Word; there's even a hotkey for it.

I have a suggested workaround that I have not tried; it depends on how smart Pages is about exporting formatting:

If Pages exports both style names and overrides, you could export to Word, open in Word, remove all formatting overrides, save it, then re-open it with Pages.

My favorite use for the feature in Word was when I was interviewing prospective technical writers. Since we were a Word shop, I asked them to submit their resume in Word. I then opened it in Word and pressed Ctrl+A Ctrl+Q Ctrl+Space. That selected everything and then removed all paragraph formatting overrides and all character style overrides. If the document did not change at all, I knew they had named all their styles which said they had a good handle on using the tool. If a resume was done all in Normal style with manual overrides everywhere, I was pretty sure that this was someone who would take a lot of training to work with styles properly. Most people were in between somewhere.


If you're on a Mac, you can go into system preferences, keyboard, shortcuts, app shortcuts, +, ...then add Pages. Or Word ... whatever you're using. In the "Menu Title" section add "Paste and Match Style" (it needs to be the exact wording of the command--that's the command for Pages), and then add in the command keys. (I just used command V because I don't ever want this situation to happen, lol)

  • Appreciate the answer, but that wouldn't have solved my issue. From the original post: > The different options when pasting like Paste and Match style (doesn't do what I want at all) – Martijn Engler Apr 26 '19 at 5:48

Yesterday i was looking for a solution to the same problem, so i remember this page; just now i discovered that we can use "delete style" to get around it, for when deleting a style, Pages asks you choose another style to substitute it, and this apply to all texts with the same style.

You may need create a "bridge" style, for if you are deleting "heading 1", "heading 1" will not be in the substitution list; and in case default "heading 1" is also deleted (it happens or not), you need to backup heading 1 in advance.

Basically i think this solves the problem.

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