Word 2013 Copy Styles to the Normal Template

Graphic representing a Microsoft Word post. A big aqua color letter W.

The easiest way to move styles from one Word document to another is through the use of the default Word template, Normal.dotm or the Normal template. When the Normal.dotm file is used Word will Automatically Update Document Styles in the document where you want the styles applied. If you do not use the Normal template, well let’s say less than stellar results have been reported across the Internet. To put it another way, it does not work.

Getting to the Organizer

The easiest way to move styles from one document to the Normal.docm template is via the Organizer. Getting to the Organizer is a feat unto itself, unless you have the Developer tab in your ribbon. Steps to put the Developer tab in your ribbon:

  1. Launch Word 2013 and open the document containing the styles you like. The styles you want to copy over to another document.
  2. Click File, Options to display the Word Options window.
  3. Click Customize Ribbon, then under Main Tabs check Developer.
  4. Click OK to save your selection and now the Developer tab is available.

Now where is the Organizer? On the Developer tab, click Document Template, then at the lower left of the Templates and Add-ins window is the Organizer button. Yeah, click the Organizer… button.

Make a Copy of the Normal Template

Make a copy of your Normal.dotm file in the same directory where it currently exists, naming it something such as Normal – Copy.dotm. Normal.dotm is located at C:\Users\Yourname\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates

If you do not see the AppData folder, File Explorer is hiding it from you. Microsoft’s way of keeping you safe from yourself. If you know Yourname on the computer you are using, you can use the path above replacing Yourname with your name on the computer.

Copy Styles to the Normal Template

On the left side of Styles tab in the Organizer is a list of customized styles in your open document (probably based off of Normal.dotm originally). On the right side of the Styles tab in the Organizer is a list of customized styles in the Normal template, Normal.dotm.
Select all of the styles on the left side and click the Copy button. If you are warned about overwriting existing styles, it is OK to do so. You did make a backup copy of Normal.dotm, right?

Attach the Updated Normal Template

Now to get these styles you just moved into the other document, follow the steps in my other blog post, Hey Microsoft! Word Up With CSS.

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