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How to type fractions in word

As almost everyone knows, Microsoft Word is one of the oldest and probably the most used word processor. It has a wide array of tools and features that make it a complete solution when it comes to typing text on a computer.

While typing text, you could need more than simple letters and words. Probably the most non-letter characters you will type are numbers, and numbers sometimes are expressed in the form of fractions. So the first question when it comes to numbers and Microsoft Word is probably how to type fractions in word? Let’s try to give an answer to this simple question.

Typing fractions – the simple ones

The standard way to type a fraction is using the Division Symbol, using the forward slash (/) on the keyboard. This symbol is used even in some more mathematic-related software like Microsoft Excel, so it’s a pretty standard way to represent the division between two numbers.

Microsoft Word has an auto-formatting feature helping the user to get some fractions formatted automatically into something visually better than 1/2.

The auto-format generally automatically transforms one-half (1/2), one-fourth (1/4) and three-fourths (3/4) to better-formatted characters (½, ¼, ¾).

This feature is usually active by default, so you can simply type 1/2, then press the space bar and the fraction gets immediately formatted. If that’s not the case you probably have to switch it on. Let’s see how to switch auto-format on for fractions and some other characters.

  • The first step is opening the Office menu clicking on the Office button in the top left corner of word.
  • From the dropdown menu you should choose “Word Options” in the lower part.
  • Now you just opened the Word Options configuration window.
  • From the left side menu you should select “Proofing”.
  • From the Proofing window you should click on the “AutoCorrect Options” button.
  • The previous step will open a new AutoCorrect window, inside it you should click on the “AutoFormat As You Type” tab.
  • Inside the AutoFormat As You Type tab you should find the checkbox to activate the option to replace fractions with fraction character.
  • In the same window you can find other similar options like quotes, ordinals, hyperlinks and so on. If you find that something you need is unchecked, check it to activate it.
  • When you finished, click on OK to close both windows saving the changes.

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