HOW TO: Turn Off Word AutoFormat Features in Word 2000

For a Microsoft Word 97 version of this article, see 139564.

For a Microsoft Word 95 version of this article, see 186959.



This step-by-step article describes how to turn off the AutoFormat feature in Microsoft Word.

The AutoFormat feature in Word works behind the scenes to produce an attractive, easy-to-read document while you concentrate on the content. Word analyzes each paragraph to see how it is used in the document (for example, as a heading or as an item in a numbered list) and then applies an appropriate style for that item. Word also automatically formats Internet, network, and e-mail addresses as hyperlinks; applies bold or underline character formatting to text surrounded by asterisks or underscores; replaces two hyphens with an em dash; and so on.

AutoFormat works in these ways:

  • Word automatically formats headings, bulleted and numbered lists, borders, numbers, symbols, and so on as you're typing your document. You can control which automatic changes Word makes, or you can turn AutoFormat off completely.

  • You can automatically format selected document text or the entire unformatted document, such as an e-mail message, in one pass with the AutoFormat command. You can review, accept, or reject each change.

  • Word automatically formats headings and lists in your plain text WordMail messages when you open them. You can easily distinguish the current message from the previous messages in the e-mail stream.

By default, AutoFormat is "on" the first time that you start Word. You can turn off the options that you do not want.

Turn Off the "AutoFormat As You Type" Options

To turn off certain automatic format features as you type your document, follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu, click AutoCorrect.

  2. Click the AutoFormat As You Type tab.alternate text

  3. Click to clear the check boxes for the settings under the Apply As You Type, Replace As You Type, and Automatically As You Type sections. Clear the check boxes for any settings that you want to format manually.

  4. Click OK.

Turn Off the AutoFormat Features

To turn off certain automatic format features when you click AutoFormat on the Format menu, follow these steps:

  1. On the Format menu, click AutoFormat.

  2. Click Options.

  3. On the AutoFormat tab, click to clear all of the check boxes for the settings under the Apply, Replace, Preserve, and Always AutoFormat sections that you do not want Word to automatically format.alternate text

  4. Click OK.

When you click OK in the AutoFormat dialog box to automatically format your existing Word document, Word uses only the features that you have selected to format your document.

Where Are the AutoFormat Options Saved?

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

When you change the AutoFormat and AutoFormat As You Type options, the changes are saved to the Windows registry in the Word Data key.

If the changes that you make to the AutoFormat and AutoFormat As You Type options are not being saved, part of the Windows registry may be damaged. To correct this problem, follow these steps to reset the Data key:

  1. Quit Word and all other programs.

  2. Click Start, and then click Run.

  3. In the Open box, type regedit and then click OK.

  4. Locate and select the following registry key:


  5. On the Edit menu, click Delete.

  6. Click Yes to the following message to verify that you want to delete the Data key:

    Are you sure you want to delete this key?

  7. On the Registry menu, click Exit.

  8. Start Word. Word automatically recreates the Word Data key in the Windows registry.


For more information about AutoFormat features, click Microsoft Word Help on the
Help menu, type autoformat in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned.

231430 OFF2000: How to Reset Office Registry Settings to Their Defaults

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