What to Do If Word Makes Formatting Changes You Don't Want


There are two places to control AutoFormatting, and it's easy to get them confused.

The settings in the AutoFormat tab are applied only when you run AutoFormat from the AutoFormat dialog box. The settings in the AutoFormat As You Type tab apply when you are editing a document?except they do not apply when you run AutoFormat from the AutoFormat dialog box.

The settings in each tab are similar but not identical. Changes you make to the settings in one tab are not automatically reflected in the other. As a result, it's all too easy to clear a check box in the AutoFormat settings tab and wonder why Word is still making AutoFormat changes automatically as you type?or vice versa. Make sure that you've made your changes in AutoFormat As You Type. Also,

  • If you tell Word not to replace symbol characters with symbols, and Word keeps inserting symbols, delete the symbol entries in the AutoCorrect tab (accessible through Tools, AutoCorrect Options).

  • If Word is updating a style globally whenever you change it manually in one location, first select text formatted with the style you want to prevent from updating. Then, choose Format, Styles and Formatting; right-click on the down-arrow next to the style, choose Modify style from the drop-down box, and clear the Automatically Update check box in the Modify Style dialog box.

  • If you told Word you don't want it to automatically format headings as you type and it keeps doing so, clear the Define Styles Based on Your Formatting check box in the AutoFormat As You Type tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

What to Do If Word Doesn't Summarize Your Document

AutoSummarize ignores the following: text formatted in a language other than English (assuming that your user interface is set to English); text formatted as "no proofing"; and text that appears inside text boxes, frames, and tables. In short documents, AutoSummarize may not display any sentences at all, unless you increase the Percent of Original setting in the AutoSummarize dialog box.

Word can prepare summaries of documents written in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, or Swedish, assuming that the appropriate language files are installed. If a document contains text prepared in more than one language, AutoSummarize uses the language used most often in the document.

What to Do If Text Disappears from an AutoSummarized Document

If you run AutoSummarize using the Hide Everything but the Summary option and then save the file while only the summary is visible, Word applies hidden text formatting to all the text not included in the summary. Then, if you reopen the document, you won't see most of your text because it's now formatted as hidden text. Click Close in the AutoSummarize toolbar, and the text will reappear.

What to Do If Smart Tags Appear Even If You've Turned Them Off

Smart Tags can be carried into your files when they're copied from documents created by other users. To eliminate them, click on one to display the shortcut menu; choose Smart Tag Options, and click Stop Recognizing, As Smart Tag.

What to Do If You Want Smart Tags But Don't Want Purple Underlines

If you want to use Smart Tags but can't stand to see purple underlining throughout your document, choose Tools, Options, View; then clear the Smart Tags check box. The Smart Tags still work, but the underlining is no longer present.

    Part I: Word Basics: Get Productive Fast
    Part II: Building Slicker Documents Faster
    Part III: The Visual Word: Making Documents Look Great
    Part IV: Industrial-Strength Document Production Techniques
    Part VI: The Corporate Word