Category Archives: formatting

Web Appropriate is Not Document Appropriate

Please remember that the World-Wide Web is one medium; printed, professional documents are another. Standards for style on the Web are not the same as standards for style in printed form. I’m almost certain that you have received communication at work or in school that looked like this:

web okay

Microsoft Word automatically turns URLs and email addresses into links. I’m not sure how this is useful, since Word is a word-processor, but I guess we all send each other longer documents as attachments in email, so perhaps there is some need. All I know is that I have never needed text in a document to be a live link.

When you print your work, do you want the URLs to be blue and underlined? I don’t! I certainly do NOT want my email addresses to look like that, especially on my resume.

You could simply remove the underlining and change the color to black, but the text will still be a live link, which can be irritating if you’re editing your work later. In MS Word, in order to remove the link completely, highlight the text and in the INSERT menu, choose HYPERLINK (Apple-K is the keyboard shortcut on a Mac; I believe it’s CTRL-K on that other thing).

remove hyperlink

Click the Remove Link button, and hit OK. The text will be formatted plainly, just the way we like it.

To set Word so that it never turns your URLs and email addresses into hyperlinks, look in the TOOLS menu and choose AUTOCORRECT. You’ll have to make two changes in the panel that pops up. First, in the Autoformat As You Type view, uncheck “Internet paths with hyperlinks,” as shown below.

autocorrect as you type

Then click the Autoformat button at the top of the panel and do exactly the same thing, as shown below.


Click OK and you are good to go! Please note that different versions of Word might have these options in different places, but they’re there somewhere, so if yours aren’t in the same place as mine, look around for them. I think you’ll agree that the results are totally worth it!