Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Deleting Unwanted Styles.

Deleting Unwanted Styles

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 22, 2017)

When you work with other people who use Excel, it is not unusual to copy worksheets from their workbooks into your own workbook. When you do so, the worksheet isn't the only thing that is copied—Excel also copies their formatting styles to your workbook. Manually deleting the unwanted styles can be a hassle, depending on the number of styles. Removing user-defined styles is very easy, though, if you use a macro. The following macro will quickly delete the unwanted styles:

Sub StyleKill()
    Dim styT As Style
    Dim intRet As Integer

    For Each styT In ActiveWorkbook.Styles
        If Not styT.BuiltIn Then
            intRet = MsgBox("Delete style '" & styT.Name & "'?", vbYesNo)
            If intRet = vbYes Then styT.Delete
        End If
    Next styT
End Sub

The macro needs just a little user input. Whenever the macro detects a user-defined style, you are asked if you want to delete it. Clicking on the Yes button causes the style to be removed from the workbook.

You should be aware of the limitations of a macro approach such as this. The biggest limitation is that if your workbook is corrupted in any way (and, yes, it is very possible to have corruption in the styles in a workbook), this macro won't fix that corruption. Instead, you may want to look at a handy third-party solution (XLStylesTool) that can work wonders if you need to clean up your styles in a more comprehensive manner. You can find more information about XLStylesTool here:

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12259) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Deleting Unwanted Styles.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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