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 December 26, 2014)
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.
Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!
If you are creating an e-mail in Word, or are creating text that you will paste into an e-mail document, you may want to ...Discover More
Got a whole bunch of e-mail addresses that you need to convert to active hyperlinks? You can do the conversion in a ...Discover More
Ding! You've got mail. That mail has a Word document attached to it. Before you rush off and open that document, take a ...Discover More
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.