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Sunday, November 14, 2010

MS Word for Authors: Underline to Italic and vice versa

You might want to first read the post "MS Word for Authors: Secrets of Find and Replace," from 10/31/2010. This is a follow up tidbit.


While italic for emphasis seems to be gaining ground, I'm told that some editors still want underline instead. Switching back and forth in your ms. is a trifle tricky, but put this on a sticky on your monitor and you'll know how to do it whenever you need to.

First, here's how to change underline to italic. Try this on a test document.

On a PC: Open the Find and Replace dialog box and click in "Find what." Then use the key command for underline: Ctrl+U. Beneath "Find what", note the label "Format". Do the key command a couple times and note that "Format" toggles through Underline, No Underline, and blank. Leave it set to Underline. The "Find what" box should still be empty.

Then click in the "Replace with" box. Use Ctrl+U. Do it again, so that Format is set to No Underline. With the cursor still there, use the key command for italic: Ctrl+I. "Format" should now read "Font: Italic No Underline". Again, leave the box above empty.

Now click Replace All.

To recap, you have to specifically turn off underline, you can't just replace it with italic. And you must turn off underline and turn on italic in a single step.

On the Mac I have available for testing, the Find and Replace box does not respond to the keyboard commands. Instead, open Find and Replace, click in "Find what" and use the Format button in the dialog box--Format/Font. Find "Underline style" and select "None". Click OK. Then click in the "Replace with" box, go back to Format/Font and, at Font Style, select Italic. Click OK. Click on Replace All.

In reverse: Set "Find what" to italic. Set "Replace with" to Underline, Not Italic. Replace All.

On the Mac, for Underline, select the single line.

Thank you to my friend Bill who reminded me how to do this. Give it a try and if it doesn't work or if you have a better method, please add a comment.

Sometimes things get confusing.

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