How to Turn Off Automatic List Detection in Google Docs

Have you ever started typing something into Google Docs that started with a dash, only to have the application automatically start the next line with a dash, too? This is happening because Google Docs thinks you are trying to type a list, so it is helping you out.

When you are actually typing a list, then this can save you some time. But if you aren’t typing a list, or don’t like the formatting that Google Docs uses when it creates lists, then you might want it to stop. Fortunately there is a setting in Google Docs that controls this automatic list creation, so you can follow our tutorial below and see how to disable automatic list detection in Google Docs.


How to Prevent Google Docs from Automatically Making Lists

The steps in this article were performed in the Google Chrome Web-browser version of Google Docs. Following these steps is going to disable the default Google Docs settings that causes the application to automatically turn certain types of text into lists when it detects them. This will apply account-wide, so it will affect other documents that you edit in Google Docs as well.

Step 1: Go to your Google Drive at and open a document.


Step 2: Click the Tools tab at the top of the window.

click the tools link at the top of the window in google docs



Step 3: Click Preferences at the bottom of the menu.

open the google docs preferences menu



Step 3: Uncheck the box to the left of Automatically detect lists, then click the OK button at the bottom of the window.

how to stop automatic list detection in google docs



Does your document have a lot of formatting that you want to change or remove, but changing each individual setting is too time consuming? Learn how to clear all formatting from a selection in Google Docs and make your re-formatting tasks a little simpler. newsletter

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