Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 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: Understanding the Normalize Text Command.

Understanding the Normalize Text Command

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 17, 2011)

In the process of doing some customizations to Word, Toya was looking through the list of commands that could be added to the menus and toolbars. (This is in the Customize dialog box.) One of the commands is "Normalize Text." Toya can find next to nothing about this command, and hopes to understand more.

Good question, Toya. You are right that there is virtually nothing about this command available on the Web. So, we did a little detective work within Word itself to see if we could figure out more. We were able to come up with one other tidbit of information.

When you use the Customize dialog box (as you did), it is a great way to see all of the commands that are available within Word. It isn't terribly helpful on giving you information about what each command does, however. To do this, you need to pull up the Macros dialog box. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the Macros dialog box. (Easiest way is to just press Alt+F8.)
  2. Using the Macros In drop-down list, choose Word Commands.
  3. Scroll through the list of commands until you can see and select (click once) the NormalizeText command.

In the Description box (just under the Macros In drop-down list) you should see a very terse description of what the NormalizeText command does: "Make text consistent with the rest." This is the only clue—anywhere—that we could find as to what this command does.

Exactly what effect the command has, we can't tell. We created some documents and applied various formatting to paragraphs and characters. We then selected the text and executed the NormalizeText command. There was nothing that happened to any of the formatting.

Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that the consistency referenced in the description has nothing to do with formatting. It could also be very possible that the command has no effect in English, but instead is used for text in other languages. (There are all sorts of internal commands that Word uses, for instance, to work with Asian languages and others that don't rely on the Roman alphabet.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (420) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Understanding the Normalize Text Command.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Changing Above-the-Line Fonts

Word maintains a list of the fonts most recently used in the program. You can't modify the list, but you can turn it on and ...

Discover More

Using Data Forms

Lots of people prefer to enter information directly into Excel, but there is another way that may be helpful: Using data ...

Discover More

Automatic Periods after a Caption

Word can automatically add captions to certain elements of your documents, such as figures or tables. You can control some of ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Can't Split the Document View

Word allows you to split the screen so that you can view two different parts of the same document. This can come in very ...

Discover More

Direction Arrows Confused

What do you do if you open a document, only to find that the arrow keys don't work the way that they should? The first step ...

Discover More

Hiding and Displaying Hidden Text

You can easily hide text by simply changing the attributes associated with the text. Once that is done, you can turn the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 - 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.