Get Word to Print Single-Character Fractions


Q. I type reports mostly in Times New Roman font and often use fractions. For example, when I type 1/2, Word converts it to 12 —a single-character fraction. But if I change fonts, the word processor doesn’t always convert the fraction I had typed as a single character. What’s going on here? Am I being shortchanged with my copy of Word?

A. No, you’re not being shortchanged; it’s a shortcoming—not so much in Word as in some of the fonts in your computer. But before going into that, let’s see how the single-character fraction works and how you can control it.

With a few keystrokes you can program Word to change a fraction into a single character or to leave it alone. To make your choice, click on Tools, AutoCorrect Options and AutoFormat As You Type , which brings up this screen:

Notice a box labeled Fractions (1/2) with fraction character ( 12 ) . If you check this box, Word replaces some fractions with a single-character version.

Why did I say some fractions? Because not all fonts have all single-character fractions, and some have more than others, which explains why, when you change fonts, some of your fractions don’t convert to a single character.

While you’re in the AutoCorrect section, consider what other defaults you want to change. One of the handiest is Hyphens (--) with dash (—) . With that box checked, every time you finish typing a word, typing two dashes and then another word, the short hyphens will be replaced by a full dash—like this.

SPONSORED REPORT

Revenue recognition: A complex effort

Implementing the new standard requires careful judgment. Learn how to make significant accounting judgments and document them and collaborate with peers for consistent application.

VIDEO

How to Excel pivot a general ledger

The general ledger is a vast historical data archive of your company's financial activities, including revenue, expenses, adjustments, and account balances. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, shows how to prepare data for, and mine data with, PivotTables.

QUIZ

News quiz: Taking an economic snapshot and looking to the future

Recent news included IRS actions that affect individuals and partnerships and a possibly influential move by a Big Four accounting firm.Take this short quiz to see how much you know about the news.