How to Disable Automatic Capitalization Correction in Microsoft Word

956192 How to Disable Automatic Capitalization Correction in Microsoft Word

Automatic capitalization is a feature in Microsoft Word designed to help correct formatting mistakes as you type. It automatically capitalizes the first letter of sentences, table cells, days of the week, and more. While handy, this can be frustrating if you commonly write in formats requiring unusual capitalization rules. For example, when writing poems or using title case.

Fortunately, Microsoft Word allows you to easily customize when automatic capitalization is applied. This article will walk you through the steps to disable automatic capitalization correction. We’ll also cover how to create custom capitalization rules for specific words.

Understanding Automatic Capitalization

Before diving into the settings, let’s briefly cover what automatic capitalization in Word does:

  • Capitalizes the first letter of sentences – This is the most common feature, capitalizing the first letter typed after a period, question mark, or exclamation point.
  • Capitalizes first letters of table cells – Automatically makes the first letter of every table cell uppercase.
  • Capitalizes names of days – Capitalizes the full names of days of the week (e.g. “Tuesday”).
  • Capitalizes first letter of proper nouns – Detects if you type a proper noun based on context and capitalizes the first letter.
  • Capitalizes first letter of honorifics – Titles like “Mr.” and “Mrs.” are automatically capitalized.

As you can see, these automated formatting changes are meant to save you time and effort. But the capitalization rules might not always match your intent.

Disabling Automatic Capitalization

Disabling specific automatic capitalization rules in Word only takes a few clicks:

  1. Open the File tab and select Options.
  2. Choose Proofing from the navigation bar.
  3. Click the AutoCorrect Options button.
  4. Select the AutoFormat As You Type tab.
  5. Uncheck any capitalization options you want to disable:
    • Capitalize first letter of sentences
    • Capitalize first letter of table cells
    • Capitalize names of days
    • Capitalize first letter of proper nouns
    • Capitalize first letter of honorifics (Mr., Mrs., etc.)
    Unchecking auto-capitalization options in Word
  6. Click OK to save your changes.

And that’s it! Going forward any text you type in Word documents will avoid applying the capitalization rules you disabled.

Tip: You can re-enable any of the options later by simply re-checking the box.

Custom Capitalization Exceptions

The steps above completely disable selected auto-capitalization rules. But you can also create custom exceptions for specific words and phrases that should not be automatically capitalized.

For example, to prevent Word from ever capitalizing the abbreviation “Ltd.”:

  1. From the AutoCorrect tab, click the Exceptions button.
  2. In the Exceptions for dropdown, choose First letter auto-capitalization.
  3. Enter “Ltd.” in the Text entered field.
  4. Leave the Change to field blank.
  5. Click Add to create the exception rule. Adding a capitalization exception in Word

Now anytime you type “Ltd.” Word will no longer capitalize it.

You can add as many custom exception words/phrases as needed this way. Just be sure to:

  • Select “First letter auto-capitalization” in the Exceptions for dropdown
  • Leave the Change to field blank
  • Click Add to save each exception

When to Use These Options

Disabling automatic capitalization correction can be useful in several situations:

  • Creative writing – When drafting poems or text using unique capitalization styles for emphasis. The automated formatting changes will only get in the way.
  • Using title case – If you frequently type text that should have capital letters for all major words, automatic capitalization will capitalize too many words.
  • Writing abbreviations – As in the “Ltd.” example above, you may commonly write abbreviations or acronyms that should always be lowercase.
  • Typing website/email addresses – To enter something like “[email protected]” without Word automatically capitalizing the email and domain.

Essentially any situation where Word is “over-formatting” and changing capitalization incorrectly is a good opportunity to disable the auto-corrections.

Recommendation for Most Users

For those who write in a traditional document format, my recommendation is to leave the automatic capitalization options enabled. They will likely save you time and effort in the long run.

However, disable these two specific options:

  • Capitalize first letter of table cells
  • Capitalize first letter of proper nouns

I’ve found these two settings seem to cause the most frustration and “over-capitalization”. Disabling them prevents the vast majority of incorrect formatting changes.

Then use the Exceptions option outlined above to prevent individual words/phrases from being capped.

Re-Enabling Automatic Capitalization

You can always re-enable any of the automatic capitalization rules you previously disabled:

  1. Return to the AutoCorrect Options menu.
  2. Under the AutoFormat As You Type tab, re-check boxes for the capitalization rules you want to enable again.
  3. Click OK.

The settings will once again apply to all new Word documents you create going forward.

Final Thoughts

While automatic formatting can speed up your workflow, it’s no help if it’s actively changing text incorrectly.

Hopefully this guide gave you the tools to tailor Microsoft Word’s auto-capitalization to best match your writing style and document formats. The Exceptions list in particular can help create rules for those stubborn words and phrases that Word insists on capitalizing incorrectly.

Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions! I’m happy to help explain further or troubleshoot any issues with disabling automatic capitalization.