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Small Red Dots under Addresses

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2002 and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Small Red Dots under Addresses.

Barbara notes that when she addresses an envelope in Word she usually chooses the "add to document" option, as she normally has other changes to make. When she does so, she notes that Word adds little red dots under the address line for the street address. These aren't the red wavy lines used to indicate a spelling error, nor are they the green wavy lines indicating a grammatical error—they are little red dots. Barbara has tried everything she can think of to find out what they are and how to remove them.

The little red dots (actually Microsoft says they're purple) are called Smart Tags. You can hover the mouse pointer over them and a Smart Tag indicator (a small circle with a informational "i" within it) will appear to the side of the underlined text. The box lists options you can choose depending on the type of Smart Tag triggered.

The appearance of Smart Tags depends entirely on the type of information you routinely use in your document. While addresses can trigger the appearance of a smart tag, so can other bits of information, such as stock symbols. Some people may never see a Smart Tag appear simply because they don't use documents that contain information that trigger the Smart Tags.

There is no doubt that the appearance of the Smart Tag dots can be distracting. Fortunately, Word provides a way that you can either turn off the Smart Tag capability completely or at least hide the Smart Tag underlines.

To hide the display of the Smart Tags, follow these steps if you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the View tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The View tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Clear the Smart Tags check box.
  5. Click OK.

If you want to turn off Smart Tags all together (so that they aren't even recognized by Word), then follow these steps:

  1. Choose AutoCorrect Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the AutoCorrect Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Smart Tags tab is displayed. (See Figure 2.)
  3. Figure 2. The Smart Tags tab of the AutoCorrect Options dialog box.

  4. Clear the Label Text with Smart Tags check box.
  5. Clear the Show Smart Tag Action Buttons check box.
  6. Click OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3347) applies to Microsoft Word 2002 and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Small Red Dots under Addresses.

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