How do you stop Microsoft Word from automatically changing text you enter into a document? Does Word automatically number a list of items even when you want to control how the numbered list looks? Find out how to get back control of your documents by making a few easy changes to the options in Microsoft Word 2013 or Word 2010.
Why Text Automatically Changes in Word
Does it seem like Word randomly changes the capitalization or spelling of text in a document? AutoCorrect is to blame. As the name indicates, AutoCorrect automatically corrects the spelling of common misspelled words but also makes other changes including capitalizing the first letter in a sentence, table cell, or line of text. To review your choices:
- Pick File > Options.
- Select AutoCorrect Options from the Proofing category.
- Choose the AutoCorrect tab (Word 2013 screen shown) and uncheck any option that gets in the way of typing your text.
Automatic Outlines & Numbered Lists You Don’t Want
Have you ever tried to create your own numbered list or outline with letters and then watched the numbering or formatting change once you press [Enter] for the next line? This is a huge annoyance for anyone that wants to build their own custom layout for an outline rather than working with the choices in Word.
Do you type your e-mail address or website into a document and then watch as it suddenly changes to blue underlined text (a hyperlink)? Do you ever enter fractions or quotes that automatically re-format?
You are a victim of AutoFormat As You Type, a common Word ailment. To customize Word so that it works for you and not against you:
- Choose File > Options.
- Pick AutoCorrect Options from the Proofing category.
- Choose the AutoFormat As You Type tab (Word 2013 screen shown) and uncheck any option that gets in the way of typing your text. Choices include smart quotes (different open and close quotes), fractions, hyperlinks to websites and e-mail addresses, and automatic numbering.
I recommend you uncheck all of the options in the last 2 sections including Automatic numbered lists. You can still turn on automatically numbered list any time you want them. Turn off choices in the 1st section as desired. Pick OK to finish.
Automatic numbered and bulleted lists and outlines can still be created from the Home tab (Paragraph group) in the Ribbon.
By Dawn Bjork, MCT, The Software Pro®
Microsoft Certified Trainer, Technology Speaker, Software Consultant