How can I get Word to stop autoformatting?

For certain reports I prepare , I write a long bit of text and then break it into lines. Some of the lines mid-paragraph should be set off from the margin by several spaces. NOT by indent or whatever that slidy thing on the Ruler does.

Kind of like this:

“Once upon a midnight dreary While I pondered weak and weary Oe’r many a quaint and curious Volume of forgotten lore”

I manually break up and format WITH HARD RETURNS AND SPACES ONLY into this:

Once upon a midnight dreary
[space][space][space]While I pondered weak and weary
[space][space][space]Oe’r many a quaint and curious
Volume of forgotten lore

But Microsoft Word 2000 jumps in with its auto formatting when I start writing the second and third lines and converts the spaces into indents. I have to manually go back and change it every time.

I know I should theoretically be able to disable this by going into Insert | AutoText and disabling all the selections under tabs “AutoFormat” and “AutoFormat as you type”–I’ve done that, but Word keeps autoformatting in this situation anyway.

What to do?

Does a little lightning bolt pop up next to the newly-autoformatted indent? If you click on that, you should be able to tell Word to stop in that particular context.

Nope – that sounds like a feature I’ve seen in Word 2003 or later, but not the version I’m using.

Hrm, it’s been a looooooong time since I’ve used 2000, sorry. Worst case, could you edit the offending paragraphs in other text editors and copy and paste the entire section back afterward?

Or… instead of manually typing five spaces, try copying five spaces as a whole from another program and pasting it into Word. Maybe that won’t trigger autoformat?

P.S. Last thing to try – have you tried looking under AutoCorrect in addition to AutoFormat? IIRC, they used to be two distinct features.

(1) Close Word and reopen. Try it again. If that doesn’t work:

(2) Close Word and restart Windows. Try it again. If that doesn’t work:

You may have a corrupt I just explained about that in a recent thread; you should be able to search for it. Try generating a new and report back.

ETA: I would also suggest setting tabs instead of using multiple spaces. You can set different tabs for each line if you want. Spaces are elastic, but tabs will park that puppy right where you want it.

Are you applying styles to your document?

Yeah, you really want to be using styles. Using spaces is just asking for trouble.

I could use styles if I wanted, but in this case spaces are necessary for what I’m doing.

I don’t know if it applies in this case, but there are documents when I want straight quotes instead of curly “typesetter” quotes. In Word 2000 I have to uncheck the smart quote box in two places, Autoformat, and Autoformat as you type. And both places again when I turn them back on.

I have also had to remove things from the Autocorrect section.

It sounds like Word is putting you into an outline form automatically. I know there is a place to fix that, but it’s been so long, I’ve forgotten how. I fixed it when I was typing a question and answer thing. I would type Q, tab, the question, hit return…and Word would insert a P. I would then backspace and do A, tab, answer. Hit return…and Word would insert a B. And so on, over and over. All I remember is that, like the example I gave above, I had to turn it off/make some adjustment in multiple places.

Check here–this is NOT a Microsoft site, they have lots of archived answers about Word2000, and if all else fails there’s a place to ask the experts.