Sunday, February 19, 2006

Potentially Useful

This is probably old news to many, but I discovered it only recently, so I thought I’d pass it along. If you want to boldface or italicize something in Word, but you don’t want to take your hand from the keyboard to operate the mouse, do this: put whatever you want italicized between underscores (e.g., _italicize this_), and put whatever you want boldfaced between asterisks (e.g., *boldface this*). Word will automatically change the text appropriately, unless you’ve turned off your auto-correction. I haven’t discovered a similar trick for automatic underscoring.


Aaron Davies said...

ctrl-U will do underscoring. The reason the * and _ tricks produce bold and italics is simple, and explains why there is no corresponding underscore trick: those are the traditional plain-text (i.e., in email or on usenet) means of communicating those types of formatting.

Glen said...

The more important information to know about Word is that you can turn all that stuff *off*. The "feature" whereby Word sporadically decides what it should insert is different than what you typed is called Autoformat or Autotext. There's a preference panel for it under the Insert menu, and whether it replaces _foo_ and *foo* is a separate checkbox item. Along with replacing ... with an elipsis, replacing " with 'smart quotes' that only look right on certain systems with certain fonts, and so on.