Style previews are totally unreadable in Word for Mac

Copper Contributor

Im using Word Version 16.84 on a Mac. I am having major issues with the styles pane on both the ribbon and the right hand side box. It doesn’t matter what fonts I use, they refuse to show up properly. This is what I’m seeing.


Screenshot 2024-04-25 at 23.20.42.png


Screenshot 2024-04-25 at 23.20.34.png


4 Replies


Hi Billy,

Please edit your question to show Word for the Mac in your title and, in the question itself, include your operating system and version. Doing this will get you quicker and more accurate responses.


P.S. The style display in the Ribbon is called the [Quick] Styles Gallery while the list on the side is called the Styles Pane. Correct jargon can help when searching the Internet for help.


The following may help you in asking questions here:

How to Ask Questions In this Forum (to get the best and quickest answers)


I am not on the Mac so can't provide a direct answer.



Does this happen with some documents or with all of them? 


I recall reports stating that the Styles pane may be broken in Word for Mac for some documents that were not originally created in Word. 


You are right. I just tested a new document with the same fonts and I don't get the error.

The original document was Pages converted to Word. It's a shame because cutting and pasting text from the broken styles into a fresh document doesn't fix it. Creating new styles in the broken document doesn't fix it.


The document is incredibly long. Is there any work around that doesn't involve having to reformat it from scratch?



This suggested fix below is for Word for Windows; I don't know that it works on a Mac, but it would be worth trying.


When a document is damaged, try copying all the content, not including the final paragraph mark of the document, into a new, blank document and see if that overcomes the issue. 


To show/hide nonprinting characters, you should be able to click the ¶ icon on the Home tab, or enable nonprinting characters in Word Preferences. 


Perhaps you have already tried this, unsuccessfully?