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: Turning Off Automatic Bulleted Lists.

Turning Off Automatic Bulleted Lists

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 13, 2013)

One of the automatic formatting features included with Word is automatic bulleted lists. When you enter some text that Word thinks should be a bulleted list, and then press Enter, Word formats the paragraph with a hanging indent and places a bullet at the beginning of it. In addition, Word assumes the next paragraph will be part of the same bulleted list.

For instance, if you type an asterisk, press the Space Bar or the Tab key, and then type your text, when you press Enter, Word formats the paragraph as a bulleted list. If you didn't want the paragraph to be a bulleted list, you can cancel the formatting done by Word by immediately pressing Ctrl+Z. If the automatic formatting bothers you a lot, you can follow these steps to turn it off:

  1. Choose AutoCorrect from the Tools menu. (In Word 2003 you choose AutoCorrect Options from the Tools menu.) Word displays the AutoCorrect dialog box.
  2. Make sure the AutoFormat As You Type tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The AutoFormat As You Type tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box

  4. Clear the Automatic Bulleted Lists check box.
  5. Click on 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 (602) 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: Turning Off Automatic Bulleted Lists.

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. ...

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