How to Get Rid of the Blue Squiggly Underlines in Word 2013

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Word likes to use squiggly underlines to indicate something isn’t right in our documents. The more common ones are red (a potential spelling error) and green (a potential grammar error). However, you may have seen blue squiggly lines throughout your document as well.

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Blue squiggly underlines in Word indicate formatting inconsistencies. For example, some text in a paragraph might be formatted in a different font size than the rest of the paragraph (as shown in the image above). When you right-click on text marked with a blue squiggly underline, three choices display at the top of the popup menu: “Replace direct formatting with style Normal,” “Ignore Once,” and “Ignore Rule.” The first option will change depending on the type of the formatting inconsistency. In this example, if you choose the first option, the font size of the underlined text will change to match the rest of the text in the paragraph. Choosing “Ignore Once” removes the blue squiggly line on that one occurrence but doesn’t fix that specific formatting problem for that occurrence. The “Ignore Rule” option skips all occurrences of that specific formatting problem throughout the document.

This feature may be useful at times. However, if you have a document in which you purposely use different formatting in the same paragraph or other uncommon formatting practices, you may not want to see blue squiggly underlines throughout your document. This feature can easily be disabled. To do this, click the “File” tab.

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On the backstage screen, click “Options” in the list of items on the left.

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On the “Word Options” dialog box, click “Advanced” in the list of items on the left.

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In the “Editing options” section on the right, select the “Mark formatting inconsistencies” check box so there is NO check mark in the box.

NOTE: If the “Mark formatting inconsistencies” check box is grayed out, select the “Keep track of formatting” check box so there is a check mark in that box. Now, you can uncheck the “Mark formatting inconsistencies” check box.

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Click “OK” to accept the change and close the “Word Options” dialog box.

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Now you can leave the differently formatted text as it is without seeing the annoying blue squiggly underlines.

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As useful as this feature tries to be, the blue squiggly underlines can be distracting, especially if you have a lot of formatting inconsistencies in your document. However, this feature can help can help you format your documents consistently, if you can get over all the squiggly underlines.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.