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

Getting Rid of Blue Squiggly Underlines

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 2, 2016)

9

Ivan noted that on his PC the text he writes is frequently "marred" by squiggly underlines in blue. Right-clicking gives him options of Ignore Once, Ignore Rule, or Replace Direct Formatting with Style Normal. Ivan wants to turn off the blue squiggly underlines and is wondering how to do it.

Word likes squiggly underlines—the most commonly seen being red (a potential spelling error) and green (a potential grammar error). The latest squiggly underline introduced in Word is blue, which marks formatting inconsistencies. (This type of marking was introduced in Word 2002.) That is why you see the options you do—particularly "Replace Direct Formatting with Style Normal"—when you right-click the underlined word or phrase.

You can turn off this marking by making a configuration change in Word:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and later versions display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Advanced at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The advanced options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. In the Editing Options section, clear the Mark Formatting Inconsistencies check box.
  5. Click OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6053) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Getting Rid of Blue Squiggly Underlines.

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

Colorizing Charts

Need to change the color of different parts of your chart? It's easy to do when you apply the technique described in this ...

Discover More

Showing Only Added Text with Track Changes

Do you want to change how Track Changes displays the markup in your document? Here's how you can completely hide deleted ...

Discover More

Adjusting the Order of Items in a Chart Legend

When charting your data, a legend is always a nice finishing touch. You may want to change the order in which items ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Turning on Picture Placeholders

Displaying graphics in a document requires a great deal more computer processing than displaying simple text. A document ...

Discover More

Changing Colors of Spelling and Grammar Underlines

The red and green wavy underlines used in Word can be a boon for proofing a document, but they are of little use if you ...

Discover More

Turning Off Background Repagination

When you use Word, it normally performs several tasks in the background while you are typing. One of those tasks is to ...

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 nine minus 4?

2019-05-31 08:30:22

Richard Price

@clan kinraithe: it is there (albeit greyed out), 13th checkbox from the top, just under "Keep track of formatting".

I agree about the pop-up though, and I don't like the anomalous behaviour of its 'Close' link, which doesn't change the cursor to a hand-with-pointing-finger like all normal links do.


2019-05-30 22:51:55

clan kinraithe

Your screen shot doesn't actually show an example of the "Mark Formatting Inconsistencies" check box. I presume it must be there some place, but the example would be more clear if the specific box was shown.

Also, you don't need to always put that "subscribe" pop-up in front of the articles whenever I open the webpage, or return to it after looking at something else. If I want to subscribe, I'll find the link. That pop-up, like all pop-ups, is just annoying.


2018-12-04 12:54:11

Ron

Thanks. Got me on the right track. File/Options/PROOFING/"Mark grammer errors as you type"


2018-11-05 03:01:16

Richard Price

@Kris: if unchecking "Mark formatting inconsistencies" didn't make the blue lines go away, you're probably seeing the same behaviour as I noted in my comment two below yours. Grammar check errors and contextual spelling errors are also marked with blue squiggly lines, and in that respect this Word Tip is out of date. Try going to Word Options -> Proofing and unchecking "Mark grammar errors as you type", and maybe a few more of the options there, if that doesn't work.


2018-11-04 13:53:26

Kris

That did NOT work. The blue lines won't go away!! Is there a way to change the rule? I don't want words capitalized. I am showing words and definitions for students and don't want them to think all the words are proper nouns. Who made WORD the grammar nazi???


2016-12-08 14:17:51

CDSalas

You can remove the blue squiggly lines by unchecking the "Mark grammar errors as you type" under the "Proofing" options.


2016-12-02 03:04:10

Richard Price

For me, this tip is only partly correct - yes, if enabled, formatting inconsistencies are marked with a blue squiggly line but so are grammar check errors and contextual spelling errors. I have "Mark grammar errors as you type" turned on and "Mark formatting inconsistencies" turned off, and I see blue lines but never a green line in Word 2013 and 2016, so I think this part of the tip is out of date. See for example http://www.gcflearnfree.org/word2013/checking-spelling-and-grammar/2/ which states "In previous versions of Word, grammar errors were marked with a green line, while contextual spelling errors were marked with a blue line".

@robert wyatt: in my Word 2016 (on Windows 7) the "Mark formatting inconsistencies" check box is a sub-option under the "Keep track of formatting" check box, which is the 11th main option under "Editing options". It is greyed out if "Keep track of formatting" is unchecked.


2016-10-09 14:08:19

robert wyatt

This explanation is hard to follow, at least for people with Windows 10,because it says, "In the Editing Options section, clear the Mark Formatting Inconsistencies check box." But there is no Mark Formatting Inconsistencies. Look as long as you like. It's not in mine, anyway. But if you hit every button, you might get lucky.


2016-09-23 08:21:57

Andre

Thank you very much, it helped!


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.