When InDesign acts flaky, as it is for you, it is time to reset your preferences.
To reset your preferences to their default settings, follow these steps:
Quit the Application
Hold down Shift+Ctrl+Alt (Windows) or the Cmd+Opt+Shift (Mac) as you startup. On Windows, you have 1/10 of a second between these steps. On a Mac, you can hold down the keys, then launch the application.
Continue to hold down the keys until the Reset Preferences dialog appears.
In the Reset Preferences dialog, click Yes.
The file containing your preferences will be deleted, and will be recreated as you begin working.
Did resetting your preferences work, a.j.wag?
In the meantime, did you know you can move through the category list on the left with the keyboard? You can use the up and down arrows, and/or type the first letter of the desired category. For example, tap "b" for Basic Character Formats and "i" for Indents and Spacing. When you have two categories that begin with the same letter, (General and GREP Styles), just tap "g" twice.
Thank you for your response. I understand that this is very late, but I have a follow-up query.
Resetting my preferences did work temporarily. However, after using the paragraph styles again for a while, I am back again with the same problem I had originally.
I can always reset my preferences, but I was wondering if there was a more permanent fix as it's quite frustrating for this to occus in the middle of a work session.
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Have you tried emptying your InDesign Caches? I've found this very successful when I've had a Panel-related problem.
To do this on a Mac open your Home folder and with your finger on the option key go under the Finder Go menu and choose Library. Once in the Library folder open the Caches folder and then the Adobe InDesign folder. Delete the folder that says the Version of InDesign you're using. Make sure that InDesign is not open when you do this.