Writing for Business and Industry


Untitled Document

Making Word less helpful

How to switch off Autoformatting

Word can be set to apply certain formatting automatically. For example, it can be set so that the "th" of ordinal numbers automatically appears in superscript, i.e. 5th appears as 5th. Most of these formatting options are undesirable in normal writing. Unfortunately, it seems that when we get Word, most of these options are already switched on, and many users do not know how to switch them off. This is why we see all sorts of inappropriate formatting in University circulars.

Here is how to switch off this automatic formatting. It works best to simply turn almost everything off. Then you control Word and it stops helping you.

For reasons known only to Microsoft, you must go to AutoFormat and AutoFormat as You Type and uncheck everything in both places. No one has ever found an explanation of why two tabs exist.



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