How to Stop Google Docs from Turning Text Into Lists

Have you ever typed a dash as the first character on a line in Google Docs, only to hit Enter at the end of the line and be presented with another dash on the next line? This is occurring because of something called automatic list detection. While it is useful when you are actually creating a list, it can be unwanted if you aren’t.

Fortunately this is a setting that you can adjust. Our tutorial below will show you how to turn off the automatic list detection and get Google Docs to stop automatically creating lists.

How to Turn Off List Detection in Google Docs

The steps in this guide were performed in the desktop version of Google Chrome, but will also work in other browsers like Firefox or Edge.

Step 1: Sign into Google Drive and open an existing Google Docs document or create a new one.

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

click Tools

Step 3: Choose the Preferences option near the bottom of this menu.

click Preferences

Step 4: Click the box to the left of Automatically detect lists to remove the check mark, then click the OK button at the bottom of the menu.

how to stop Google Docs from automatically detecting lists

Need to share your Google Docs document with someone that doesn’t use Google Docs? Find out which file types you can convert to in Google Docs and see how to perform that conversion.