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Getting Rid of Blue Squiggly Underlines

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: Getting Rid of Blue Squiggly Underlines.

Ivan noted that on his PC the text he writes is frequently "marred" by squiggly underlines in blue. Right-clicking gives him options of Ignore Once, Ignore Rule, or Replace Direct Formatting with Style Normal. Ivan wants to turn off the blue squiggly underlines and is wondering how to do it.

Word likes squiggly underlines—the most common being red (a potential spelling error) and green (a potential grammar error). The latest squiggly underline introduced in Word is blue, which marks formatting inconsistencies. (This type of marking was introduced in Word 2002.) That is why you see the options you do—particularly "Replace Direct Formatting with Style Normal"—when you right-click the underlined word or phrase.

You can turn off this marking by making a configuration change in Word:

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

  4. Clear the Mark Formatting Inconsistencies check box.
  5. 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 (3449) 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: Getting Rid of Blue Squiggly Underlines.

Related Tips:

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Comments for this tip:

Von Pem    25 Oct 2016, 11:59
Brilliant site and helped me a lot.

Thank you.
Jane    23 Jun 2015, 16:00
Short and sweet. It worked! Thank you so much. Best answer.
Dina    19 Feb 2015, 19:54
Great, short and to the point! Thank u :)
N J    15 Sep 2014, 08:36
Thank you for helping me maintain my sanity!
Ernest Bledsoe    11 Aug 2014, 05:44
Thank you for the tip. I was getting very irritated by the blue squiggly lines. I wish they had a "restore everything to default" button.
Rose Putnam    26 Feb 2013, 08:20
Thanks titus+254 for the help.
titus +254    25 Feb 2013, 07:38
hope my help ain't late, follow the directives below for Microsoft Office 7

Just click the OFFICE button, on your bottom left you will see word options, click.
Then on the left panel you will see ADVANCED setting, click it, check on the options that pop-up you will see MARK FORMATTING INCONSISTENCIES under KEEP TRACK OF FORMATTING BUTTON.. Then unmark it.
Rose Putnam    21 Dec 2012, 09:49
Thank you Allen. My problem is all taken care of now. It was so easy to correct again, thank you.
awyatt    20 Dec 2012, 20:05

This tip (the one above) is NOT for your version of Word. You need to click the link at the end of the article to take you to the version of the tip for Word 2007.

Rose Putnam    20 Dec 2012, 17:26
Getting Rid of Blue Squiggly Underlines. I read the instructions and looks pretty simple to turn off formatting inconsistencies. However, try as I might within my word program 7 I cannot find the tools tab that brings up Options. I probably sound stupid but please help. Those blue lines are driving me crazy.

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