Turn Off AutoFormat Options in Microsoft Word

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated April 19, 2021

Applies to: Microsoft® Word® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 or 365 (Windows)

You can stop Word from changing formatting automatically in your documents by turning off  AutoFormat As You Type settings in the AutoCorrect dialog box. If text or formatting is changing, there are several options you can turn off.

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When Word seems to change formatting automatically, AutoCorrect options are typically causing the change (such as correcting spelling errors, adding lines, changing straight quotes to smart quotes, formatting ordinals with superscript, changing internet paths to hyperlinks and applying automatic bullets and numbering).

To access AutoCorrect, you’ll need to display the Word Options dialog box and then click Proofing in the categories on the left (screenshots are from Word 365 but a similar in other versions of Word):

Word options dialog box with Autocorrect command.

Turning AutoFormat As You Type options off

To turn AutoFormat As You Type options off:

  1. Click the File tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Click Options. A dialog box appears.
  3. In the categories on the left, select Proofing.
  4. Click AutoCorrect. A dialog box appears.
  5. Select the Autoformat As You Type Tab.
  6. Deselect on uncheck the desired options (such as Ordinals with superscript, Hyphens with a dash or Fractions with fraction character).
  7. Click OK twice.

You can turn off options in the AutoFormat As You Type tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box:

AutoFormat As You Type dialog box in Word to turn off automatic formatting.

Don’t confuse AutoFormat As You Type with AutoFormat. AutoFormat as You Type options will make changes as you type. AutoFormat options will change an existing document. There are also several other tabs in this dialog box including AutoCorrect and Math AutoCorrect. If you click the AutoCorrect tab, there are many spelling errors that are fixed automatically (for example, if you type teh, AutoCorrect changes it to the).

Typically, when Word seems to insert a character or change formatting automatically, a setting in AutoCorrect is causing the change.

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Summary
How to Stop Word from Changing Formatting Automatically
Article Name
How to Stop Word from Changing Formatting Automatically
Description
You can stop Word from changing formatting automatically in your documents by turning off  AutoFormat As You Type settings in the AutoCorrect dialog box. If text or formatting is changing, there are several options you can turn off.
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Avantix Learning

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