Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Formatting E-mail using AutoFormat.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 10, 2020)
I can't tell you how many requests I receive from people wanting to know how to format e-mail messages in Word. They receive e-mail, and immediately notice that each line has a "hard return" at the end, with double-returns between paragraphs. While it is possible to print out the e-mail, it is wasteful of paper since the full width of the page is not used. In addition, you may want to work with the message within Word for some reason.
The easiest way I have found to format an e-mail message is by using the AutoFormat feature of Word. Simply select the text and press Ctrl+Alt+K. This initiates the AutoFormat feature of Word. Absent any instructions to the contrary, it will format information into regular paragraphs and remove extra spaces between paragraphs. This will accomplish what 90% of WordTips readers want done, about 90% of the time.
If you want to adjust how Word does the actual formatting, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The AutoFormat tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11201) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Formatting E-mail using AutoFormat.
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