Two ways to make Body Text style appear in Microsoft Word

There are two ways to reveal or un-hide a hidden style, most commonly “Body Text” style. There’s the long-winded Microsoft approved method and the faster way.

By default, Body Text style in Microsoft Word is ‘hidden until used’.  That seems like a Catch-22, its not visible until it’s used but you can’t use the style if it’s not on the style list!

There are many ‘hidden until used’ styles in a standard Word template (like ‘Blank Document’ or normal.dotm).  These tips will make any of these styles appear in your Styles list.

Quick way to un-hide a style

The fastest way to expose a hidden until used style is the Apply Styles dialog, press Ctrl + Shift + S

Start typing in the name of the style (the ‘AutoComplete style names’ option helps a lot).  As you can see above, just typing three letters was enough to make the hidden style ‘Body Text’ appear. 

Click Apply to use the style in the document and un-hide it (i.e. it shows up in the Styles pane).

The official Microsoft way to unhide a style

Microsoft’s official advice for unhiding a style is long-winded but gives us an excuse to show you a useful Word dialog box – Manage Styles.

At the bottom of the Styles Pane, click on the ‘tick’ icon to open Manage Styles.

Switch to the Recommended tab then scroll down the loooong list until you find ‘Body Text’.  It will be near the bottom among the ‘100’ styles.

Once you’ve found ‘Body Text (Hide Until Used)’ select it then ‘Set whether style shows when viewing recommended styles’ click ‘Show’.  That will change the style to black text on the list, as seen above.

Change Style Priority

Another change to make on this dialog is the style priority.  Priority controls the order styles appear in most lists. Priority 1 at the top of a styles list, priority 100 at the very bottom.

The default for Body Text is the lowest priority 100 meaning it’ll appear at the very bottom of styles lists.

Click Assign Value and change that to a higher priority (lower number) so you don’t have to scroll down a long styles list.

As you can see above, we changed the Body Text style to priority 1 to put it at the top of lists.

See Why choose Body Text vs Normal in Word

Modifying Body Text style in Microsoft Word

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