AutoFormat Won't Convert a Right Arrow

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 25, 2016)

2

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:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Proofing at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Click AutoCorrect Options. Word displays the AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. 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.

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

Header and Footer Data Codes

When creating headers and footers in an Excel worksheet, you can use special codes to add or format information. This tip ...

Discover More

Changing the Default Font for Envelopes

When you create an envelope, Word assumes you want to use the font it has decided should be used for the envelope. If you ...

Discover More

Negatives in Pie Charts

Pie charts are a great way to graphically display some types of data. Displaying negative values is not so great in pie ...

Discover More

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!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Removing Automatic Lines

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

Controlling Automatic Indenting

Type a tab character and you might just find that Word adjusts the indentation of the entire paragraph. If you don't like ...

Discover More

Adding Automatic Lines

Want an easy way to add lines in your document? You can do it by making sure Word is using one of its AutoFormat features.

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 seven more than 3?

2016-12-12 07:34:54

Rob

I recently upgraded from Word 2013 to 2016 as part of Office 365 and the --> and ==> conversions are not there any more. I tried to add them but instead of inserting an arrow it inserts a ? in a box. NOT HAPPY!


2012-04-07 07:38:51

Bobby Saxon

Thanks so much for this tip. I've had a related problem in MS Excel: I use people's initials to identify them, and one person's initials are CNA. But, Excel kept changing this to CAN (which was another person's initials!). I couldn't figure out why it was happening, so I replaced the 'N' with an 'X', which worked, but never sat well with me, as it was a workaround rather than a solution. (I could have written it as C.N.A, but didn't want to double my typing.)


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.