About automatic formatting

By using AutoFormat, you can quickly apply formatting such as headings, bulleted (bullet: A dot or other symbol that is placed before text, such as items in a list, to add emphasis.) and numbered lists, borders, numbers, symbols, and fractions to your text. Microsoft Word can also:

You can automatically format a document either as you type or after you've written it. In both cases, you can control which automatic changes Word makes. You can also turn off automatic formatting.

Word analyzes each paragraph to see how it's used in the document — for example, as a heading or as an item in a numbered list — and then applies a style (style: A combination of formatting characteristics, such as font, font size, and indentation, that you name and store as a set. When you apply a style, all of the formatting instructions in that style are applied at one time.) that's appropriate for that item.

ShowFormatting as you type

When you set options on the AutoFormat As You Type tab (Tools menu, AutoCorrect Options command), Word can automatically format text as you're typing your document. For example, if you type a number followed by a period or hyphen, followed by a space or tab, followed by text, Word makes the text a numbered list.

When Word applies automatic formatting, you can use the AutoCorrect Options button Button image to undo the action or change AutoFormat settings. Depending on the situation, the entire button may appear or the button may first appear as a small, blue box that changes to a button icon when you point to it.

ShowFormatting after you type

When you use the AutoFormat dialog box (Format menu, AutoFormat command), Word can format text in one pass, enabling you to review all the changes Word makes and accept or reject each one.


Applies to:
Word 2003