Formatting a document that you are working on from scratch is easy. Word's AutoFormat feature automatically applies the necessary formatting elements as you compose your content, but what if you were to receive an unformatted word document from a friend or colleague, who requested you to help him out with some formatting? The good news is that you don't have to review everything from the start and manually add headings, bulleted lists, and other paragraph styles.
You can make use of Word's built-in command to automatically apply the appropriate formatting and it will only take a few minutes to solve the problem (depending on the size of the document of course!). In this post, we'll take a look at how you can quickly format existing Word documents using the AutoFormat feature.
How to Format Existing Word Documents in a Jiffy
Although the AutoFormat feature works in real-time, you can also get it to work retrospectively. For this to work, you need to activate the AutoFormat button and then apply it across the document. Here's how you do it.
1. Open the existing Word document.
2. Click the Customize the Quick Access Toolbar dropdown and select More Commands.
3. The Word Options dialog box is displayed.
4. From the Choose commands from drop-down list, select Commands Not in the Ribbon.
5. Scroll down the results box and select AutoFormat.
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6. Click Add and then click OK to close the Word Options dialog box.
7. The AutoFormat command will now be displayed in the Quick Access Toolbar.
8. Now in the Word document below, notice how the text is missing headings.
9. Click the AutoFormat feature and you'll notice how it has instantly been applied throughout the document.
What AutoFormat Can Do
AutoFormat can automatically apply:
- Built-in heading styles
- List styles
- Automatic bulleted lists
- Other paragraph styles
It can also replace:
The Problem with Applying AutoFormatting
The trouble with AutoFormat, or for that matter any automation feature is that its not perfect. Although AutoFormat can recognize and format many parts of your document, it can leave out plenty of other areas as well.
So despite doing a quick format of your existing document, you will also need to run through your document to make sure that any missing formatting elements are manually applied.