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: Changing AutoFormatting Rules.

Changing AutoFormatting Rules

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 20, 2014)

There are two types of AutoFormatting that can be done with Word. The first, AutoFormat As You Type, is done (you guessed it) while you type. The second, plain old AutoFormat, is done when you call the feature into action explicitly.

Word allows you to control the type of actions taken by AutoFormat when processing a document. If you want to change the way AutoFormat works, you do so by using the AutoFormat tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box. To display it, 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 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.
  3. Click the AutoCorrect Options button. Word displays the AutoCorrect dialog box.
  4. Make sure the AutoFormat tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The AutoFormat tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

The dialog box contains a list of formatting actions that can be applied by AutoFormat. Each action has a check box associated with it; if you select a check box, the associated action is performed. Clear the check box to prohibit AutoFormat from taking an action.

Remember that this simply configured AutoFormat; you'll still need to explicitly invoke Word's AutoFormatting capabilities to have the settings applied to your document.

Also, be aware that if you display the AutoFormat As You Type tab of the dialog box, you can adjust similar settings that Word applies as you are typing in your document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13251) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing AutoFormatting Rules.

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

Using the Organizer to Manage AutoText

There are times you need to move your AutoText entries from one template or document to another. Use Organizer to do this ...

Discover More

Endnotes in a Separate Document

When you add endnotes to a document they are normally positioned (as one would expect) at the end of the document. You may ...

Discover More

Understanding MRU Files

Don't you love all the acronyms used in computer terminology? One such acronym—pertinent to Word users—is MRU. ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Smart Quotes in AutoCorrect Entries

Smart quotes can add a finishing touch to your text. You might expect that when AutoCorrect is used to add text, it would ...

Discover More

AutoFormat Won't Convert a Right Arrow

Word can automatically convert different sequences of text characters into single-character symbols. It might appear that ...

Discover More

The Line that Won't Go Away

Have you ever had a line appear on your document that you can't seem to get rid of? It could be due to a built-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}] 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 eight minus 3?

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.