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.

Getting Rid of Blue Squiggly Underlines

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 22, 2016)

13

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.

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

Moving Rows and Columns with the Mouse

Like to use the mouse to help you with your document editing? You can move table rows and column with the mouse by using ...

Discover More

Selecting Individual Cells in a Table

Many times before applying formatting or doing another operation, you need to select an individual cell in a table. ...

Discover More

Changing the Default PivotTable Functions

When you create a PivotTable, Excel automatically sums the data that you place into the Data Items area of the table. ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth 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

Dotted Letter Fonts

Teaching children to write the alphabet can be rewarding. One common way to teach is to create worksheets that show ...

Discover More

A Shortcut for Switching Focus

Word provides keyboard shortcuts for lots of things, but it doesn't provide one for switching to the desktop and back to ...

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 five more than 4?

2017-01-07 16:56:01

allen@sharonparq.com

Lois: Click the link at the beginning or end of the article to see a version for later versions of Word.

-Allen


2017-01-07 16:46:34

Lois Churchwell

the tip on this page does NOT show instructions for Word 2016, "how to turn off direct formatting." Please advise.


2016-10-26 11:28:23

Frank D

Thank you! Your work is much appreciated.


2016-10-25 11:59:48

Von Pem

Brilliant site and helped me a lot.

Thank you.


2015-06-23 16:00:00

Jane

Short and sweet. It worked! Thank you so much. Best answer.


2015-02-19 19:54:43

Dina

Great, short and to the point! Thank u :)


2014-09-15 08:36:21

N J

Thank you for helping me maintain my sanity!


2014-08-11 05:44:59

Ernest Bledsoe

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.


2013-02-26 08:20:10

Rose Putnam

Thanks titus+254 for the help.


2013-02-25 07:38:27

titus +254

HI ROSE PUTNAM, HOW ARE YOU..
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.


2012-12-21 09:49:12

Rose Putnam

Thank you Allen. My problem is all taken care of now. It was so easy to correct again, thank you.


2012-12-20 20:05:31

awyatt

Rose,

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.

-Allen


2012-12-20 17:26:45

Rose Putnam

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.


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.