How to Disable Smart Tags in Microsoft Word

If you don't want to use Word's smart tags, you can turn them off

What to Know

  • To disable a smart tag, hover mouse pointer over smart tag text > Smart Tag > Remove this Smart Tag
  • To remove all instances of smart tag from your document, select Stop recognizing > Smart Tag.
  • Disable smart tags entirely: Tools > AutoCorrect Options > Smart Tags > deselect Label text with smart tags.

This article explains how to disable smart tags in Microsoft Word 2007 and 2003. Newer versions of Word, including Microsoft 365, don't use this feature.

Disabling Smart Tags

Some users find smart tags can get in the way of work. As a solution, smart tags may be disabled selectively, or they may be disabled entirely.

To turn off a smart tag, follow these steps:

  1. Hold your mouse pointer over the smart tag text.

  2. When the Smart Tag button appears, click it.

  3. Click Remove this Smart Tag from the menu. If you want to remove all instances of that Smart Tag from your document, instead move your mouse down to the Stop recognizing… menu item and select as Smart Tag from the secondary menu.

To disable Smart Tags entirely, follow these steps:

Word 2003

  1. Click Tools.

  2. Select AutoCorrect Options.

  3. Click the Smart Tags tab.

  4. Deselect Label text with smart tags.

  5. Deselect Show Smart Tag Action buttons.

  6. Click OK.

Word 2007

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button in the upper left corner of the window.

  2. Click the Word Options button at the bottom of the menu box.

  3. Click the Proofing tab.

  4. Click the AutoCorrect Options button under AutoCorrect options.

  5. In the AutoCorrect dialog box, click the smart tags tab.

  6. Deselect Label text with smart tags.

  7. Deselect Show Smart Tag Action buttons.

  8. Click OK.

What Are Smart Tags in Word?

Microsoft Word 2003 or 2007 can identify certain types of data in a document, such as an address or phone number, and apply a smart tag to it. The smart tag is indicated by a purple underline of the identified data text, and it allows you to use additional features related to the tagged text.

If you place your mouse pointer over the text, a small box labeled with an “i” appears. Clicking on this box will open a menu of possible smart tag actions that Word can perform based on the data. For example, a smart tagged address gives you the option to add the address to your Outlook contacts. This saves you from having to select and copy the address, open Outlook, and then follow the process of creating a new contact.

Smart Tags Deprecated in Later Versions of Word

Smart tags were not included in Word 2010 and later versions of the software. Data is no longer automatically recognized and identified with a purple dotted underline in these later versions.

Recognition and smart tag actions, however, can still be triggered. Select the data in the document, such as an address or phone number, and right-click on it. In the context menu, move your mouse down to Additional Actions. A secondary menu will slide out offering more actions.

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