Irritant: Too many blue wavy lines in Word?

Some documents seem to be so cluttered with these blue wavy lines that we cannot read the content at all. Here is a solution to this problem and explanation of the root cause and the REAL solution.

blue wavy lines in Word

Photo credit: rikomatic / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

The Solution

Quick and dirty solution is to suppress the blue wavy lines. File – Options – Advanced – Remove the checkbox – Mark Formatting Inefficiencies.


The Real Solution

Blue Wavy lines indicate that the formatting applied to the content is not appropriate. Right click on it to find out what is the best way out.

In this case, the Normal style has a font size of 11. For some reason, the text shown has font size of 12. That is what “formatting inconsistency” means. Manual formatting which is on top of the underlying style is called direct formatting.

Word detects the problem and provides a quick solution as well – in the Right Click Menu.


Once you do this, the blue wavy line will disappear. That’s it.

You will find this setting very useful in documents where either formatting has been done completely manually or styles have been used but are overridden with additional manual formatting. Try it out. Did you find this useful?

Comments? Suggestions? Wish list?