Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Turning Off Automatic Bulleted Lists.

Turning Off Automatic Bulleted Lists

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 15, 2020)

One of the automatic formatting features included with Word is automatic bulleted lists. When you enter some text that Word thinks should be a bulleted list, and then press Enter, Word formats the paragraph with a hanging indent and places a bullet at the beginning of it. In addition, Word assumes the next paragraph will be part of the same bulleted list.

For instance, if you type an asterisk, press the Space Bar or the Tab key, and then type your text, when you press Enter, Word formats the paragraph as a bulleted list. If you didn't want the paragraph to be a bulleted list, you can cancel the formatting done by Word by immediately pressing Ctrl+Z. If the automatic formatting bothers you a lot, you can follow these steps to turn it off:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Proofing at the left side of the dialog box, and then click AutoCorrect Options. Word displays the AutoCorrect dialog box.
  3. Make sure the AutoFormat As You Type tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The AutoFormat As You Type tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

  5. Clear the Automatic Bulleted Lists check box.
  6. Click on OK to close the AutoCorrect dialog box.
  7. Click on Cancel to close the Word Options 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 (11813) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Turning Off Automatic Bulleted Lists.

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

Placeholders for Stamps

Got a reply envelope you want to create? Why not put a placeholder for the stamp on the envelope? It's easy to do if you ...

Discover More

Personal.xls File Not Opening

The Personal.xls workbook is used primarily to store macros that you want available through all of your workbooks. ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Stubborn Icons

Ever tried to clean-up the icons on your toolbar only to have one that won't go away? This tip explores some possible ...

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)

Applying Bullets from the Keyboard

Most people use the tools on the Home tab of the ribbon to apply bullets to paragraphs. If you want to apply them using ...

Discover More

Finding Formatted Bulleted Paragraphs

Want to find the bulleted paragraphs within a large document? Word doesn't have a built-in way to search for this ...

Discover More

Changing the Bullet Type

When you apply bullet formatting to paragraphs, Word allows you to choose from a variety of different bullets. If you ...

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 2 + 9?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.