The AutoFormat feature in Word allows you to quickly apply formatting such as headings, bulleted and numbered lists, borders, numbers, symbols, and fractions to your text. After Word applies automatic formatting, you have the option to undo the change.
Hover your mouse over the correction, and a small blue rectangle will appear at the left edge of the word. Move your mouse to the rectangle. Click the AutoCorrect Options button that appears and choose to:
- Undo the formatting for this instance only
- Change the specific AutoFormat options globally by clicking the stop option so that Word stops making this change
- Change the options for Word by clicking Control AutoFormat Options.
Turn on or off automatic formatting options
When you set options on the AutoFormat As You Type tab, Word can automatically format text as you are 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.
- Click the File tab.
- Click Options.
- Click Proofing.
- Under AutoCorrect Options, click AutoCorrect Options.
- Click the AutoFormat As You Type tab.
- Select or clear the check boxes for the options that you want to enable or disable. For more information on the options, see the section below.
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What does each option mean?
Replace as you type
- "Straight quotes" with “smart quotes” Replaces straight quotation marks ( " " ) and straight apostrophes ( ' ) with curved, open- and closed-quotation marks ( “ ” ) and curved apostrophes ( ‘ ).
- *Bold* and _italic_ with real formatting Applies bold font to any text enclosed in asterisks (*); applies italic font to any text enclosed in underscores (_). For example, *computer* becomes computer and _computer_ becomes computer.
- Internet and network paths with hyperlinks Replaces typed Internet addresses, network paths, and e-mail addresses with hyperlinks.
- Ordinals (1st) with superscript Replaces ordinal numbers that show the relative position of an item in a sequence (for example, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd) with superscript ( ).
- Hyphens (--) with dash (—) Replaces a double hyphen (--) with an em dash (—); replaces a single hyphen with a space before and after ( - ) with an en dash (–).
Apply as you type
- Border lines Draws a line when you type three consecutive instances of the following characters ~, #, *, -, _, or = on a new line, and then press Enter. For example, typing ~~~ on a new line, and then pressing Enter draws a wavy line across the page.
Automatically as you type
- Set left- and first-indent with tabs and backspaces Indent the first line of a paragraph by putting the cursor before the first line, and then pressing the Tab key. Indent the whole paragraph by putting the cursor before any line in the paragraph (except the first line), and then pressing the Tab key. To remove an indent, put the cursor before the first line of the paragraph, and then press the Backspace key.
- Define styles based on your formatting Applies a built-in style to manually formatted text when the text has the same formatting as a built-in style.
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