Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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 September 28, 2013)

1

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 and Word 2013 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, and 2013. 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

Controlling Scroll Bars

Scroll bars are helpful if you have a document that won't fit entirely within the program window. Here's how to turn off the ...

Discover More

Pulling Apart Characters in a Long String

You can easily use formulas to pull apart text stored in a cell. For instance, if you need to pull individual characters from ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Fragment Warnings

Word provides a wide variety of tools that ostensibly help make you a better writer. One of those tools is the grammar ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Changing the Bullet Type

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

Discover More

Problems Using Words as Bullets

If you know the secret, you can use actual words as "bullets" in a bulleted list. The built-in bulleted lists in Word aren't ...

Discover More

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 the ...

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 8Mpixels. 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 three more than 5?

2017-07-08 10:27:15

Karen

Once you have gone through this procedure, will the selection travel with documents you create when they go to others for editing? My problem is that I like bullets flush left and text not hanging, and I've created a style sheet to make that type of bulleted list. However, every time I open these documents, my style pops back to indented/hanging, and I have to modify my style to my preferred appearance. I would like the style to be stable from one editing session to the next, including sessions by colleagues using different computers.

Anybody have any thoughts?

Thank you!


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.