Re-setting Word Options

Blue tick in blue box

A few weeks ago I started writing about re-setting Word options if an update from Microsoft has set them back to defaults

Then I allowed my attention to be hijacked away from Word options when Bard (Google’s AI) admitted lying to me.

Let’s try again

By default, Word automatically capitalises the first letter of every sentence. This is irritating for people like me who learned to peck at a typewriter long before personal computers came along and automatically took care of capitalisation. Also, there are some things that just don’t need capitalising – email addresses, for instance. So Word lets you turn this auto-capitalisation off. If Microsoft turns it back on when it installs a Word update,  it’s likely to be a long time since you last found out how to set it how you like it. Luckily, it’s quite easy when you know how…

Word Options

When you open Word, you may see a list of commands down the left and a list of recently opened documents on the right. In that case, you will see that at the bottom left is the word “Options”. Click on this and you are halfway there. On the other hand, upon opening, Word may immediately present you with a new, blank, document. In that case, click on the “File” command (top left) and then you can click on “Options” (bottom left).

You can find the specific option we want for “auto-capitalisation” by clicking on the “Proofing” option down the lefthand menu, and then clicking on the “AutoCorrect Options” box near the top of the right-hand panel.

You then have five tabs (staggered along two lines). Click on the “AutoCorrect” tab and you will see that you can uncheck the option “Capitalize first letter of sentences”.

Word options
In “Word Options”, select “Proofing” and then “AutoCorrect Options” to access the option to turn off auto-capitalising.


It would be much too tedious to describe all the other options that you can change. It might, though, be worth looking at the “replace text as you type” section (this is also on the “Autocorrect” tab). For instance, if you want to type the copyright symbol, you just type “(c)” (without the quotes). This will be replaced by the copyright symbol ©.

Just as importantly, though, you can create your own “autocorrection” entries. For instance, I have created an item that replaces “vvv” with my website address. Note that when you type the text to be replaced, the replacement doesn’t take place until you type a space after the text to be replaced. You can also use this option to automatically correct words that you habitually spell or type incorrectly.

Word - text replacement

Backing up your Word options?

So, you can see that there are many options in Word (and Excel and the other Microsoft applications) that you can play with to get the program to fit better with your own way of doing things. But it’s a two-edged sword in that the more you configure it for your own needs, the more work you’ll have to do again the next time a Microsoft update wipes out your carefully crafted set of options.

I have not been able to find a way of backing up the configured settings. In fact, this was what Bard lied to me about. The only way I can think of is to take screenshots of the settings. You’d still have to re-enter them after an update wiped them out, but at least you wouldn’t have to think about it. Just copy the settings from the screenshots.

For another view of the subject, this Microsoft page includes variations for earlier versions of Word.

Image by qalebstudio on Freepik