Wednesday, May 04, 2016

How to Customize How Fractions Display in Word

Follow this link for a video explanation of this post.

Microsoft Word has a vast array of formatting settings that can be implemented and tweaked to get the desired results for each individual user. Some of these customizations have been discussed in other posts including customizing the following sections:  General, Save, Proofing and Advanced Options, as well as customizing the Quick Access Toolbar and Style Defaults. This post covers how to modify the way mathematical fractions are displayed in Word so that they appear as fraction characters rather than inline characters like 1/2.

To force fractions to display as a character, enable the setting in Word by:

  • Opening Word
  • Click "File" in the upper left corner and select "Options"

  • In the Word Options box, click "Proofing" in the menu on the left
  • In the Proofing menu, click the "AutoCorrect Options" button at the top

  • In the AutoCorrect menu, click the "AutoFormat As You Type" tab
  • Place a check in the box next to "Fractions (1/2) with fraction character  " to enable this setting

  • Click "OK" twice to close the options menus
  • The setting will now be active and applies to fractions as you type them (NOTE: This will not change existing fractions in the document because the feature is an AutoCorrect feature whose formatting is applied only when the item is being typed.)
When working in Word there are hundreds of items that can be set to behave in one way or another. Controlling the formatting of fractions so they appear as a fractional character is but one setting that can be suited to each individual's specific needs. An added benefit to customizing the behavior of these items is the time saved because items are formatting your way automatically rather than requiring manual interaction. 

As always, customization is the key to efficiency!

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  1. nice write up. more Microsoft Word tips & Hidden Features.

  2. Thanks for the feedback John, I will try to post a topic of this type in the next few weeks!