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: Noting Formatting Inconsistencies.

Noting Formatting Inconsistencies

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 18, 2020)

Word has had the capability for some time to do "on the fly" checks of both spelling and grammar in your document. Potential spelling errors are marked with a wavy red underline, and potential grammar errors with a wavy green underline. Beginning with Word 2002 the program also includes the capability to add even more wavy underlines, this time blue. Follow these steps in Word 2002 or Word 2003:

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

  4. Make sure the Keep Track of Formatting check box is selected.
  5. Make sure the Mark Formatting Inconsistencies check box is selected.
  6. Click OK.

Word now "tracks" the formatting in your document (all behind the scenes) and marks questionable formatting with a wavy blue underline. If you right-click on the underlined text, you can see exactly what Word feels may be wrong with the selection.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3863) 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: Noting Formatting Inconsistencies.

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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