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.


Cybersecurity threats proliferating for midsize and smaller businesses

This report details how SMBs can properly protect private information from breaches, design and implement a cybersecurity policy, and create safeguards for training and education.


Test yourself on these often confused words

The spelling checker on your word processing program can do only so much to flag problems. Your best insurance is to learn the troublesome words that trip up writers and use them correctly by the standards of formal, written English.