Apr 26

Top 5 Microsoft word problems and annoyances with solutions

Word LogoWord is one of those programs that has become pretty much necessity for many people even though there are free alternatives out there. The main reason is probably the fact that it is what we are all use to it and are not aware of the free versions out there.

Word does tend to have a nice little collection of annoyances. Below are the top 5 Microsoft word problems I am asked about and the ways in which you can fix these little problems.

1. Why can’t I read Docx

Docx is the later version of the .doc extension that was used in word prior to version 2003. If you have a version that is 2003 or before you will be unable to open documents with these file extensions. The problem is that later versions of word default save files as .docx they cannot be read by the earlier versions of word.

The solution is to download the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint File Formats which will convert the files into a readable format.


Alternatively you can get the original creator of the document to save the file as a word 97-2003 document which is also available as an option in the later versions of office. This will enable you to read the file.As a final option you could upgrade to the latest version of the microsoft office suite.

2. Why is there big spaces between my sentences in word

This is a frustration for many. The default setting is normal in word which means that you get the annoying spaces between your sentences when they are not wanted. For example doing a list can be very frustrating when there is a space between every item There is a quick and easy solution to prevent this problem in microsoft word.

Select the Home tab and on the right hand side you will see a menu option called Styles (Click image to enlarge)

microsoft word style problems

Select the no spacing option will remove the line spacing between the list items.

3. My word toolbar has disappeared

This sometimes happens if the ribbon (the toolbar at the top where all the options are see above image in problem 2) is hidden or disabled. To enable the ribbon again select the arrow at the top right and untick minimize the ribbon.

Microsoft word ribbon

4. Setting default font and size

Some people do not like the default font and size that you are forced to use everytime you start a new document in microsoft word but there is a way to change the default font and font size in word to solve this problem so that it starts with the font you require rather than having to change it on every document.

Start by pressing the small arrow icon on the bottom of the font selection.

word default font size

You will be presented with the following screen.

set default font in microsoft word

Select all the defaults that you want here. Remember that these will be for every new document that you create. Set font and size and then hit the default button at the bottom left (highlighted) and then press ok.

5. Word capitalises when I don’t want it to and does other auto corrects I don’t want.

Many people find this problem frustrating as it is said to be a feature but can be annoying. Aside from the capitalisation of letters another common gripe is the fact that any web address you type is automatically converted to a hyperlink. This can be a problem in many ways particularly if it is a letter you are writing to be printed off as you will have a blue hyper link in the middle of the letter.

Luckily there is a way to change this and other auto correct annoyances in the options.

Firstly we need to go to the office icon at the top left of the screen and then select word options.

Microsoft word auto correct 1

On the next screen select proofing in the left hand menu and then autocorrect in the right hand pane (both highlighted) The next screen that comes up allows you to modify all the autocorrect options.

word auto correct