by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 20, 2019)
Barry is using Word 2007 and can't get AutoFormat to convert "-->" into an arrow. However, if he copies an arrow from a Word 2010 document, he can paste it into my Word 2007 document just fine. His Word 2007 options are set so that "Hyphens with Dash" is selected in two places within the AutoCorrect dialog box (the AutoFormat tab and the AutoFormat As You Type tab). Barry is looking for ideas why he can't get this to work.
Probably the biggest reason you can't get it to work is because replacing arrows with arrow characters is handled by AutoCorrect, not by AutoFormat. It may seem that the "Hyphens with Dash" setting should control this, but it doesn't.
To see how Word handles the conversion of arrows (and other dingbat symbols), follow these steps:
Figure 1. The AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.
If you scroll down through the entries in the AutoCorrect dialog box, eventually you'll come to the arrows. You should notice various settings on the left, in the "Replace" column. You probably won't find a setting for the "-->" characters, even though on new installs of Word there is such an entry. You can create a new entry for the characters and, in the "With" column, place the arrow symbol you want Word to use. (How you create AutoCorrect entries has been covered in other issues of WordTips.)
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11566) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010.
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!
Type a few dashes, underscores, or equal signs, and you could end up with a full-width line in your document. This is ...Discover More
Word provides several built-in tools that can affect how what you type is formatted. One of those tools can even change ...Discover More
The AutoFormat feature of Word can be configured to make changes to a variety of conditions in your document. Here's how ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.