I’m still using Microsoft Word 2013, so this may not be an issue in Word 2016/Word 365 — yeah, right — every version of Word that I’ve used, so far, has done this.
I’m somewhat old–school. I like to put spacing between paragraphs when I want it. I like to trigger bulleted (or numbered) lists by myself. I don’t like Word deciding that I must want 8 pt spacing after a paragraph, or deciding that I want a bulleted list because I used a carraige return followed by a tab.
Fortunately, these are really configuration settings. If you search diligently, you can turn these off.
Diligent searching is what you do when you’ve gotten aggravated about that feature one too many times, so you start searching the options, and keep searching until you find the fix.
The feature that caused my frustration was the autospacing between paragraphs. I knew, and often used, the Ribbon’s Home tab to select "No Spacing" Style instead of "Normal." I saw an option on the Design tab that would let me save styles, but that did not solve my problem — a new document still had the Normal paragraph style.
This time, I decided that the controlling setting must be in the Options dialog box, which is found in Microsoft Word via the Files menu bar; the selection Options is at the bottom of the left column.
You might think that you’d find the setting on the Display tab. Not there. Nor is it on the Customize the Ribbon tab.
The Advanced tab, in the first section (Editing options), has a checkbox Enable click and type. When that is checked, which it is by default, you can access the Default paragraph style pull–down options box. By default, this options box has Normal selected.
Since I like to control the line–spacing myself, I changed Normal to No Spacing. I blindly actually thought this would work…
Well, it does, almost. It doesn’t affect the first paragraph. It does affect the bottom padding/separation on subsequent paragraphs, though.
The only way I’ve found to set the entire document to the No Spacing style is to open a new document, select No Spacing on the Home tab of the Ribbon, and then File > SaveAs, enter a file name and change the file type to Word Document Template (*.dotx). Then, on subsequent new files, Open Word, then above the Blank Document, click on Personal (defaults to Featured) and click on your new template.
Similarly, the settings to turn off automatic bulleting and automatic numbering are well hidden. You can find the checkboxes at File > Options > Proofing > AutoCorrect Options… On the Autoformat As You Type tab, in the Apply as you "type" section, uncheck Automatic bulleted lists and Automatic numbered lists.