Automatic formatting results

This topic describes how Microsoft Word automatically formats various elements in your document.

quotation marks

Changes straight quotation marks (' and ") to smart (curly) quotes ( Smart single quotation marks and Smart double quotation marks ).

en dash ( – )

Changes text, a space, one or more hyphens ( - ), one or no spaces, and more text, such as pages 3 - 10, to text with an en-dash, such as pages 3–10.

em dash ( — )

Changes two hyphens immediately preceded by text, such as "pines--ponderosa, for example--grow" to text and an em-dash ( — ), such as "pines—ponderosa, for example—grow."

bold formatting

Applies bold formatting to text that's surrounded by asterisks (*):

Example: *solar system* becomes solar system

This option is on by default only when using Word as your e-mail editor.

ShowTip

italic formatting

Applies italic formatting to text that's surrounded by underlines (_):

Example: _solar system_ becomes solar system

This option is on by default only when using Word as your e-mail editor.

ShowTip

hyperlinks

An Internet, network, or e-mail address becomes a hyperlink (hyperlink: Colored and underlined text or a graphic that you click to go to a file, a location in a file, a Web page on the World Wide Web, or a Web page on an intranet. Hyperlinks can also go to newsgroups and to Gopher, Telnet, and FTP sites.).

Example: http://example.microsoft.com/

borders

Applies a border above a paragraph as you type three or more of the following characters:

  • Hyphens or underscores for a single line
  • Equal signs for a double line
  • Asterisks for a dotted line
  • Tildes (~) for a single wavy line
  • Number signs (#) for a decorative line

 Note   Automatic borders can only be applied as you type (AutoFormat As You Type tab).

numbered lists

Applies numbered list formatting when you type a number followed by a period, hyphen, closing parenthesis, or greater-than sign (>), and then a space or tab and text.

 Note   To end the list, press ENTER twice.

bulleted lists

Applies bullets to any of the following that occur before a space or tab and text:

  • An asterisk
  • One or two hyphens
  • A greater-than sign (>)
  • An arrow created with a greater-than sign and a hyphen or equal sign (-> or =>)

 Note   To end the list, press ENTER twice.

lists with decorative bullets

Applies decorative bullets — where the symbol or picture is followed by two or more spaces and then text.

The symbols must be inserted with the Symbol command (Insert menu), or an inline picture (must be within 1.5 times the height of the line).

lead-in lists

Repeats the same formatting to the lead-in text of the next list item when you type a bullet, asterisk, or similar character, followed by a space, followed by bold, italic, or underlined text, followed by a period, colon, hyphen, em dash, question mark, exclamation point, or similar character, and then a space or tab, and then plain text.

  • Paul: Catch the ball.
  • George: I refuse!

 Note   Lead-in lists can only be applied as you type (AutoFormat As You Type tab).

ordinal numbers

Formats an ordinal number with superscript text; for example, 1st becomes 1st with superscript st.

fractions

Formats a fraction as a single character; for example, 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4 becomes ¼, ½, or ¾.

tables

Inserts a table when you type a plus sign, a series of hyphens, another plus sign, and so on (ending the series with a plus sign), and then press ENTER:

+---+----------+----------------+

Note      Tables can only be applied as you type (AutoFormat As You Type tab).

 
 
Applies to:
Word 2003