Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 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: Noting Formatting Inconsistencies.

Noting Formatting Inconsistencies

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 25, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Word has had the capability for some time to do "on the fly" checks of both spelling and grammar in your document. Potential spelling errors are marked with a wavy red underline. Depending on your version of Word, potential grammar errors are marked with a wavy green underline, a wavy blue underline, or double blue underlines. Again, depending on your version of Word, formatting inconsistencies are marked with wavy blue underlines or dotted gold line. This last option—to check formatting inconsistencies—is not turned on by default. If you want Word to notify you of these potential mistakes, 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 or a later version, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box click Advanced. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Advanced options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. In the Editing Options section, make sure the Keep Track of Formatting check box is selected.
  5. Make sure the Mark Formatting Inconsistencies check box is selected.
  6. Click OK.

Word now "tracks" the formatting in your document (all behind the scenes) and marks questionable formatting with a wavy blue underline. If you right-click on the underlined text, you can see exactly what Word feels may be wrong with the selection.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12686) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Noting Formatting Inconsistencies.

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

Setting Horizontal Alignment

You can horizontally align the information in a cell in any of eight different ways. This tip explains not only how to do ...

Discover More

Hanging Indent Shortcut

You can use the menu commands to adjust the indent applied to a paragraph. If you want to format a hanging indent, Word ...

Discover More

Hyperlink Doesn't Match Cell Contents

When you add a hyperlink to a worksheet, over time and after doing a bunch of editing, what you see in the cell can get ...

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)

Adding Vertical Lines at the Sides of a Word

Vertical lines are even easier to add around a word than are horizontal lines. There are a variety of methods you can use ...

Discover More

Formatting Page Numbers

Need to format the page numbers you added to your document? Word makes it easy, using the same techniques you use to ...

Discover More

Avoiding a Section Break Booby Trap

Section breaks got your document formatting all messed up? It could be because of the way you added the section breaks in ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 one more than 0?

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.

Videos
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.