Out of the box, Microsoft Word is unfriendly to poets. Here’s a quick fix to reconfigure Word to make it more poet-friendly.
The Problem: Word automatically capitalizes the first word of every sentence and every new line. You do not write poetry in that format, and are tired of backspacing and changing all those words. Or worse, you’re letting Word tell you how to format your poetry.
The Solution: A few simple checkboxes.
(The steps are for Word 2007; menu choices will be different for other versions)
- Click the Office icon at the top left of Word, then choose Word Options from the bottom of the menu.
- Click Proofing
- From the screen on the right, click the box “AutoCorrect Options” in the first section, called “AutoCorrect Options”
- Uncheck “Capitalize first letter of sentences”
Word will now no longer automatically replace what it considers “incorrect” lower case letters.
But it will still mark this error with the green, squiggly “Grammar Error” underline. To turn off that annoyance:
- In the section called “When Correcting Grammar and Spelling in Word” click the “Settings” button.
- Uncheck “Capitalization”
- Click OK
Now Word will stop reminding you that you don’t know what you’re doing.
If you’re likely to make other grammatical, spelling and syntactical “errors” in your poems, click one more box in this screen, “Hide grammar errors in this document only”
More Options: Set Word to ignore capitalization in either all new documents or just the current one. The very bottom of the screen has a drop-down box called “Exceptions For.” Choose either the current document name, or “All New Documents.”
If you find this tip helpful, let me know by using my Contact page (or leaving a comment below).