Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Quick Tip – Turn Off Auto Formatting In Word

If you’ve ever created a numbered or bulleted list in Microsoft Word, you know that Word automatically makes formatting changes once it senses a pattern in your list. However, the auto-formatted text can become a real chore to change when you want to begin a sentence with a number or bullet point without beginning a new list, or use your own listing style — then the “helpful” automation seems less than helpful.

Fortunately, you can disable (aka “turn off”) this automatic feature (and turn it back on again, later, should you want it again).

To turn off auto formatting:

In Word 2003,

  1. Click the Tools menu, then select AutoCorrect Options.
  2. Choose the AutoFormat As You Type tab.
  3. Remove the checkmarks from the Automatic Bulleted Lists and Automatic Numbered Lists, and click Apply.

In Word 2007, click the Office button (“File” tab in Word 2010)

  1. Click Word Options, and then click Proofing in the list
  2. Click the AutoCorrect Options button.
  3. Select the AutoFormat As You Type button (tab in 2010).
  4. Remove the checkmarks from the Automatic Bulleted Lists and Automatic Numbered Lists, then click OK, and click OK again.

: you may also want to un-check “Format beginning of list items like the one before it”, if you are using different list formats in your document.)

To “re-enable” the Auto-formatting feature, apply these steps but restore the checkmarks.

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Today’s quote:

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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November 10, 2011 - Posted by | advice, how to, Microsoft, word processors | , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I can be a pain in my own butt sometimes! I write a lot of letters and create a lot of documents with bullet points. I had no idea I could turn off the auto formatting! I got so irritated just last week because it wouldn’t let me format it the way I wanted to (it must have thought it was smarter than me lol). Usually the issue is it wants to tab things wrong. I can do WITHOUT auto formatting!!! Can’t thank you enough for this tip!


    Comment by g | November 10, 2011 | Reply

    • g,
      I am glad you found this tip handy, and I must say, it is good to see you here again. Hope all is “groovy” with you and yours!


      Comment by techpaul | November 10, 2011 | Reply

  2. nice tip…


    Comment by Grr | November 10, 2011 | Reply

    • Grr,
      Thank you for the positive feedback. I will try to get more Word tips posted.


      Comment by techpaul | November 10, 2011 | Reply

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