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: AutoFormatting a Document.

AutoFormatting a Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 17, 2013)

2

Word includes a feature that formats what you type, as you type it. You probably take many of these automatic formatting (AutoFormat) adjustments for granted. Word does things like changing your quotes to Smart Quotes, automatically creating bulleted and numbered lists, and changing the indentation of paragraphs.

This is fine and good for many people, but what if you get a document from someone else and it needs a lot of the "little touches" applied to it? This is where the real industrial-strength AutoFormat feature of Word comes into play. You see, AutoFormat doesn't just work as you type—it also is available, on demand, to format an entire document. Here's how to AutoFormat your document:

  1. Load the document you want to format.
  2. Choose AutoFormat from the Format menu. Word displays the AutoFormat dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The AutoFormat dialog box.

  4. Use the radio buttons to indicate if you want AutoFormat to work without stopping for your input, or not.
  5. Click on OK.

At this point, AutoFormat works its magic and your document is "reformatted" to appear as it would have if you had typed it yourself.

You should understand that it is very unlikely that AutoFormat will do all the formatting you need done. Each document is different, and you should make sure you examine the document after AutoFormat is completed to see if there are any other formatting tasks you need to complete.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (638) 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: AutoFormatting a Document.

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

Protecting Print Settings

Need to have your print settings always be a certain way? Tired of resetting the settings after others use the workbook ...

Discover More

Saving and Using a Form

After you have created your custom form, you will need to save it so that you can use it as often as needed. Word makes ...

Discover More

Adjusting Values with Formulas

Paste Special is a great tool that allows you to modify the values in a range of cells in your worksheets. You may want, ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Changing Text Orientation

Word allows you to change the orientation of text contained within certain objects, such as AutoShapes, text boxes, and ...

Discover More

Turning Off Smart Quotes for Specific Styles

Smart quotes can be helpful in making a great-looking document, but at times they can be a real pain. Wouldn't it be ...

Discover More

Using Chapter Numbers with Page Numbers

Do you need to add page numbers that include, as well, a chapter number? It's relatively easy to do, as described in this ...

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 0 + 2?

2017-02-27 15:06:07

The best in europe

It doesn't work in Word 2007!


2016-10-13 18:19:03

Tray

Using WORD 2003.
I Load the documentI want to format.
All lines in a paragraph are shorter than the ruler.

I choose AutoFormat from the Format menu. Word displays the AutoFormat dialog box. Chose General Document.

Click Auto Format now.

Nothing happens. Tried marking a paragraph first. no help.


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.