Italic Typing Doesn't Stay Italic

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 29, 2018)

2

Phil notes that a peculiar feature of Word is its tendency to sometimes undo font changes. He might type, "the cat sat on the mat" and want the word "sat" in italic. That's easy; he hits Ctrl+I before typing the word "sat" and it duly appears in italic as he types. But, when he then hits Ctrl+I at the end of the word (to turn off italic), Word sometimes thinks this is an undo request and un-italicizes the entire word "sat." This doesn't always happen, but does most times, and it really slows down Phil's typing. He wonders why Word does this.

Word seems to do this if it cannot, for some reason, detect that you have typed at least a full word since turning on the italic formatting. Several readers noted that they had the same problem but were able to eliminate the problem by simply pressing the second Ctrl+I after typing the space after the word "sat."

Longtime Word users will also recognize that there is another way around this—change how you apply the italic formatting. Many (if not most) Word users will type first, without worrying about formatting. Then they will go back and apply the formatting after they are done composing and editing the text. In this approach, you would type your entire sentence, then double-click on the word "sat," and finally press Ctrl+I. (Of course, you wouldn't do this after typing each sentence. I would suggest doing it after each paragraph, each page, or every few pages.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (888) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Using a Single Password for Multiple Workbooks

While password protecting a workbook does provide some security for the contents in the workbook, if you have several ...

Discover More

Copying Paragraph Formatting with the Mouse

When you get one paragraph formatted just the way you want, you might want to copy that formatting so it can be applied ...

Discover More

Contractions Flagged as Incorrect

Word, in its never-ending quest to second-guess and try to improve your writing, may be marking your contractions as ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Embedding Fonts in a Document

Fonts are essential to getting your text to look just the way you want it to look. If you have a font that you use in a ...

Discover More

Detailed Measurements

Want to know exactly how far something on the ruler is from the left and right margins of your document? It's easy to ...

Discover More

Making a List of Words Italic

You can use Find and Replace to change the attributes of text in your document. When you want to make changes to lots and ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three less than 6?

2018-12-31 09:48:34

Malcolm Patterson

The longer I use Word, the less likely I am to impose formatting "directly"--i.e., by using the buttons in the Font group of the Home tab in the Ribbon, or by accessing the same controls through the context menu that comes up when I right-click. I prefer to impose a character style, e.g., Emphasis or Strong. That way, I can modify the style globally according to a client's preferences for how to emphasize text. To avoid using the mouse (so my hands stay at the keyboard), I define a keyboard shortcut for these styles. Are there downsides to this approach?


2018-12-29 05:13:44

Andy

I agree that the best way to do the formatting is at the end. It could also be done using a character style.

However, another option for doing the formatting at the time is to put underscores (for italics) or asterisks (for bold) around the text, for example, the cat _sat_ on the *mat*. Word will then autocorrect these to italic or bold.

You may need to enable the setting first. It's in options, proofing, autocorrect options, and it's on the "autoformat as you type" tab.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.